Hoima City, September 27, 2023 – The World Tourism Day Celebrations took place at Boma Grounds in Hoima City, emphasizing the theme “Tourism and Green Investments” as a vital element in fostering sustainable development in the tourism sector.
This event coincided with the Explore Bunyoro Campaign, designed to showcase the cultural heritage and significant tourist attractions of the region, including Mparo Royal Tombs, Karuma Waterfalls, Kabalega Airport, Emin Pasha Monument, Kibiro salt lakes, and hot springs, as well as the Bwendero Agro-Tourism farm.
During the event, Hon. Tom R. Butime, Minister of Tourism, Wildlife, and Antiquities, highlighted the importance of investments in tourism. He emphasized that such investments serve as a bridge connecting various stakeholders, businesses, and destinations, contributing significantly to the tourism value chain. Hon. Butime stated that World Tourism Day 2023 serves as a call to action for the international community, governments, the private sector, and multinationals to unite in support of the World Tourism Strategy.
Hon. Butime further mentioned that a series of activities had taken place leading up to the main celebration, including engagements with schools and universities, lectures, tournaments, conferences, gala nights, mayoral discussions, and the ongoing Explore Bunyoro Campaign.
Hon. Robinah Nabbanja Akiiki, Prime Minister of Uganda and Chief Guest, commended the choice of Hoima for hosting the celebrations, especially considering the ongoing oil exploration activities in the region. She emphasized the urgency of the theme “Tourism and Green Investments” in light of environmental challenges and disasters caused by factors like deforestation and environmental degradation. Prime Minister Nabbanja stressed the importance of protecting the environment, which is integral to the tourism ecosystem, employing over 1 million people directly and indirectly.
Furthermore, Prime Minister Nabbanja highlighted the nature-based tourism in Uganda and encouraged guests to explore Bunyoro for its rich culture and iconic sites, including Kabalega International Airport and Mparo Royal Tombs.
In closing, Prime Minister Nabbanja expressed her support for the Ministry of Tourism and commended the efforts of Hon. Tom R. Butime and Hon. Martin Mugarra Bahinduka, along with their team, for their contributions to preserving, protecting, conserving, and promoting tourism in Uganda.
The World Tourism Day celebrations showcased the socio-economic and developmental benefits of promoting tourism in various regions, leading to the full utilization of tourism facilities and numerous investment opportunities. Additionally, several outstanding individuals and organizations, including the Ghetto Kids, She Cranes, learning institutions, kickboxer Golola Moses, and private partners like UNDP and Uganda Birders Association, were recognized for their support and contributions to the sector.
The event was attended by members of parliament, tourism influencers, the Miss Tourism Uganda team, dignitaries from various government departments and agencies, representatives from the private sector, schools, churches, the business community, media, and the local community.