By our reporter
Members of the International Community of Banyakigezi (ICOB) have asked government to prioritise tourism development so as to improve the country’s image across the world.
This was said during the closure of a 3 day convention of the ICOB Uganda chapter held in Kisoro district.
The convention was organized under the theme “Entrepreneurship through Greening our Environment”
According to Dr. Francis Runuumi, the ICOB chairperson, Kigezi sub-region is a great tourism haven for Uganda but has not benefited much from its potential due to its limited infrastructural development.
“Our Tourism roads are still a serious constraint to our ability to market this region’s attractions. We hope that government speeds up its intention to upgrade these roads,” said Runuumi.
Runuumi added that besides the National parks, mountains and lakes in Kigezi, the cultural heritage of Banyakigezi is good for tourism if it is well promoted.
“The traditional practices of Banyakigezi need to be upheld for tourism. Our antiquities once put together can be of great importance in showing how beautiful this place is. Some tourists would love to enjoy traditional music, costumes, tools and food,” added Runuumi.
He said that the organisation will in the near future embark on a sensitisation drive to change the mindset of residents in the region about economic empowerment.
“We cannot achieve a lot as long as our people are still in abject poverty. We shall be bringing experts in various fields to train our people on how to improve their lives through doing various activities within their vicinity,” said Runuumi.
Eng. Ivan Mbabazi Batuma, the Kigezi Tourism Cluster chairperson asked government to encourage local tourism investment by offering visible incentives towards them.
“We need to see more fair terms for local investors in the sector in order to encourage them. Every Ugandan has the ability to do something in tourism as long as they are well guided,” said Batuma.
Batuma also called on authorities to upgrade transport and communication channels in tourism centres in order to make them more attractive for tourists.
“Our airfields should be improved to encourage tourists to easily reach their destinations in time. We also need better internet connectivity in areas that host tourists because while on their visits, the tourists prefer keeping in touch with their allies and family members,” added Batuma.