KAMPALA: This year, we shall all descend to Jinja for the annual international World Tourism Day celebrations on 27th September. This will be preceded by a month of different tourism events aimed at creating awareness, promoting tourism and building capacity among stakeholders, starting on 6th September in Kampala with the Uganda Hotels and Restaurants Expo, sports activities, tourism forums, workshops in Kampala, ‘Tulambule’ Busoga region and a climax of the official World Tourism Day celebrations on Thursday 27th September at the Source of River Nile, in Jinja.
The World Tourism Day (WTD) is internationally commemorated every 27th of September as a way of bringing people together to reflect on the importance and benefits that accrue from tourism. To recognize and embrace the importance of digital technologies in tourism, providing opportunities for innovation and preparing the sector for the future of work, the UNWTO declared this year’s commemoration theme as: “Tourism and the Digital Transformation”.
Tourism is today the 3rd largest export industry in the world after chemicals and fuels. It brings hope, prosperity and understanding to so many lives and livelihoods all over the world. In Uganda, tourism brought in over USD 1.4 billion in 2016/2017, an increase of over USD100 million from the previous financial year. Employment in the sector is still one of the fastest with over one million working in tourism related businesses.
The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities is together with the agencies Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) and Hotel and Tourism Training Institute (HTTI); and the private sector apex body, the Uganda Tourism Association, are coordinating the local World Tourism Day events.
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