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Friday, June 2, 2023

Uganda Celebrates the 23rd World Tourism Day in Style

On 1st September 2002, as part of the events leading to World Tourism day, major corporates in Uganda joined the tourism fraternity in a fundraising drive for Rhino Fund Uganda. Nile River Explorers organized this as the first ever-rafting competition in conjunction with Nile Breweries.

This was an add on to the 62sq km land in Nakasongola donated by Africa Ones’ Director Capt Roy; for a breeding project for both black & white Rhinos to be brought into Uganda. Other organizations that made contributions were UNDP, International Rhino Fund – IRF, Dutch organizations in addition to the 10 million Uganda shillings that was raised on the day of the race.

The race covered a stretch of approximately 5Km starting below the Kiira dam wall ending at Bujagali Falls. Competing companied included Pearl of Africa Tours & travel, Barclays Bank Uganda, Sheraton Kampala Hotel, Rainbow International School, Trasami, Ambroseli International School, B.A.T (U) Ltd, New vision, Semliki Lodge & Safaris and the Madhivani Group.

Secondly, we had the mountain / forest biking festival in Mabira Forest Ecotourism Project on 7th September. This was organized by Forest Department of Uganda in conjunction with Uganda Mountain Biking Association and proudly sponsored by Road Master Cycles (U) Ltd, Nile Breweries, Adrift, Rwenzori Beverages Co., Mama mia’s Restaurant, Italbike and Colline Hotel.

A Ugandan gentleman who went away with a brand new Mountain Bike won the Men’s 52km race. Whereas, the women’s event of 26km was won by a Dutch lady who bagged another Mt.Bike courtesy of Road Master Cycles (U) Ltd. The other activities of the day were a children’s short race of 13 years and under plus the treasure hunt, obstacle course and long pull.

On the 27th September 2002, the world celebrated the World Tourism Day under the theme ”Eco tourism, the key to Sustainable development.” Uganda joined the rest of the world and the main celebration was held at the Nile Hotel Upper Gardens after a match past led by the Minister of State for Tourism Hon. Jovino A. Akaki from the Centenary Park to Nile Hotel. Also present were stakeholders in the tourism industry, Primary Schools, University & College Students.

This year’s 6th Domestic Tourism Exhibition organized by Uganda Tourist Board as another activity in commemoration of the 23rd World Tourism Day attracted 45 exhibitors surpassing the number of exhibitors in the previous years. In his opening remarks the Minister for Tourism, Trade & Industry Professor Edward Rugumayo thanked all the people involved in the tourism business and encouraged the young the people to be aware of the environment and conserve what it has for sustainable development. To increase the level of participation of the local people, he urged Ugandans to get to know what their country has to offer for tourism and be part of the consumers of the tourism product. This will in away increase the volume of tourist traffic in the country.

The General Manager Uganda Tourist Baord Mr. James Bahinguza closed the 3 day Domestic Tourism Exhibition on 29th Sept 2002; awards were also given to the best exhibitors who had excelled in various aspects of presentation in relation to this year’s theme. The lucky winners were:-
1. First Prize: Uganda Community Tourism Association – UCOTA.
2. Second Prize: Marasa Holdings Ltd (Mweya & Paraa Lodges).
3. Third Prize: Rwenzori Mountaineering Services Kasese – RMS.
Present to entertain the guests and exhibitors were traditional dancers from Tebifanana Abifuna cultural group; who presented traditional music, dance and drama.

Miss Tourism Africa Viviene Waithira Maina also graced the celebrations during the ” The African Harvest Food Festival” held at Nile Hotel Upper Gardens. The food festival had full support from the Kenya High Commission – Kampala and the Tanzanian High Commission – Kampala. A Variety of African dishes from Madagascar, Tunisia, Egypt, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Congo, Malawi were served to mention but a few.

The Rt Hon. First Deputy Prime Minister Eriya Kategaya was the Chief Guest during the African Food Festival that attracted 250 Guests including 15 Dutch tourists from Holland that were on a Uganda tour for 2 weeks. Other dignitaries included Members of Parliament, Members of the Diplomatic Corp, the Minister of Tourism, Trade & Industry, Chairman of Uganda Tourist Board,Director Tourism, Trade & Industry and members from the Tourism Private Sector.

Tiner School of Design & Beauty entertained the guests with a cultural catwalk, Ndere Troupe with cultural dances representative of the different tribes of Uganda, Racheal Magola also presented a song stressing Uganda’s endowment.

Uganda the Pearl of Africa had celebrations in other districts and towns like Entebbe town. Here the celebrations were spearheaded by His. Worship The Mayor of Entebbe town. Uganda Wildlife Education Center that is an animal orphanage offered free entrance to all men in Uganda.

Mr Waigo John Paul, Administrative Manager, UTB with MIss Tourism Africa, Viviene Waithira Maina.

Entebbe Sailing Club hosted the 2 day Fishing Competition held on 28th / 29th Sept respectively. With a record catch of Nile Perch fish weighing 26Kgs, 23Kgs and 18Kgs.

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