The Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) has embarked on a nationwide grading and classification exercise to enhance the quality of Uganda’s tourism sector.
The exercise was unveiled during a press conference at the UTB headquarters, where key figures including Lilly Ajarova, CEO of UTB, Susan Muhwezi, Chairperson of Uganda Hotel Owners Association (UHOA) and Vice Chairperson of UTB, Broadford Ochieng, Deputy CEO of UTB, and Jean Byamugisha, Executive Director of UHOA, addressed the media.
The drive will unfold in distinct phases, covering the entire country. The inaugural phase, commencing on August 1st, will extend until September 4th, 2023, encompassing locations such as Kampala, Entebbe, Jinja, Masaka, Mbarara, Fort Portal, and Mbale.
Lilly Ajarova, CEO of UTB, said that the exercise aligns with UTB’s commitment to fulfill its mandate of ensuring the quality assurance of the tourism sector.
Susan Muhwezi emphasized the wholehearted support of UHOA and the private sector for this initiative, urging hoteliers to actively engage for the industry’s benefit. She underscored that the grading process would amplify the value of investments by facilitating increased marketing of facilities within accredited grades. She further highlighted that this exercise contributes significantly to positioning Uganda as a competitive and standards-conscious tourism destination, ensuring visitor satisfaction.
Broadford Ochieng divulged UTB’s dedicated efforts to fulfill the five critical “As” of tourism, comprising Attractions, Amenities, Activities, Accessibility, and Accommodation. Ochieng stressed the significance of accommodation, a vital aspect that elevates Uganda’s competitiveness as a sought-after destination.
Jean Byamugisha underlined the importance of grading in aligning Uganda’s tourism industry with international standards, managing guest expectations, and refining pricing systems for hotels. This approach will create a positive ripple effect due to the improved quality of tourism products and services offered to tourists. Field assessment teams have been equipped with cutting-edge ICT tools preloaded with an automated Eclassification System, ensuring seamless and efficient execution of their tasks.
UTB is committed to enforcing standard protocols to nurture the well-being and advancement of the sector, ensuring a bright future for Uganda’s tourism landscape.