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Tours & Travel

Uganda Tourism Board moves to license tour operators, guides to enforce professionalism

UWA ranger helps a tourist to wade through part of the recovered forest at Bubiita range in Bududa district. (PHOTO/File)

JINJA – Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) has embarked on a countrywide drive to license tour guides and operators.

The drive involves offering free hospitality lectures to all tour guides and also meeting stakeholders like tourism police and tourism officers on how best they can enforce professionalism within the industry.

Both categories, tour operators and guides will be trained for two weeks and be interviewed to ascertain whether they are fit to operate in the industry.

Speaking to the media after presiding over a stakeholders meeting in Jinja on Friday, UTB’s classification and registration officer, Angela Nalugo said that most tour guides in the country lack the necessary ethics while practicing their job which is affecting the growth of the tourism industry.

Ms. Nalugo stressed that tour guides will be licensed at a free cost and all of them shall be availed with uniforms and registration numbers for easy identification and scrutiny in case they engage in misconduct while on duty.

She added that all tour guides who operate without acquiring UTB licenses and registration numbers shall be charged with impersonation.

UWA rangers stand at the end point of Lonyiri. (PHOTO BY DAVID MAFABI)

Herbert Byaruhanga, the Vice Chairperson of Uganda Tourism Association said that UTB has presided over training of 6,000 tour guides throughout the different regions of the country and licensing them has been overdue.

Mr. Byaruhanga said that tourism is one of the biggest revenue earners for the country and tour guides are so essential in this industry.

He added that, all of them shall be assessed and licensed if they are to operate in 2020.

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