Uganda Tourism Board resumes grading and classification exercise

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Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) has started to undertake a nationwide grading and classification exercise. This was revealed at a press conference at UTB headquarters addressed by Lilly Ajarova CEO (UTB), Uganda Hotel Owners Association (UHOA) Chairperson and Vice Chairperson, Board of UTB, Susan Muhwezi, Broadford Ochieng, Deputy CEO (UTB) and Jean Byamugisha, Executive Director (UHOA). The exercise will be conducted in phases to cover the entire country. The first phase that begun on 1st August to 4th September, 2023 will be conducted around Kampala, Entebbe, Jinja, Masaka, Mbarara, Fort- portal and Mbale.

Ms. Lilly Ajarova revealed that the exercise is in fulfillment of one of UTB’s mandates to carry out Quality Assurance of the tourism sector as enshrined in the Tourism Act 2008. “Section (J) UTB enforces and monitors standards and (K) mandates us to register, inspect, license and classify tourism enterprises,” she said. The exercise aligns the country and tourism players to the provisions of article 115(2) of the East African Treaty. In the treaty, Tourism is one of the identified sectors where partner states work together in a coordinated manner, to develop the quality of accommodation and catering facilities for visitors within the region.

Mrs. Susan Muhwezi explained that UHOA and private sector were fully in support of the exercise and urged hoteliers to participate for the good of the industry. She said grading will add value to their investments through increased marketing of the facilities within the accredited grades. She explained that the exercise is a vital component of marketing Uganda as a competitive tourism destination that observes good standards for visitor enjoyment.

Mr. Broadford Ochieng revealed that UTB was working tirelessly to tick off all the Five “As” of tourism that include Attractions, Amenities, Activities, Accessibility and Accommodation. He explained that accommodation was one of the important components in streaming standards that make Uganda competitive destination.

Ms. Byamugisha Jean, noted that grading is important in aligning the industry to international standards as well as manage guest expectation ant it supports the pricing systems of hotels. It will therefore create a positive impact because of the improved quality of tourism products and services offered to tourists.

Field assessment teams have received ICT equipment that are preloaded with automated Eclassification System making it efficient and effective to carry out their work seamlessly. Uganda Board Tourism is determined to ensure enforcement of the standard protocols for the well-being and growth of the sector.

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