By Rackara Emmanuel
Gulu – The Acholi Tourism Board (ATB) have overwhelmingly confirmed their exceptional readiness for the World Tourism Day scheduled to take place this week in Gulu Town. The event starts Tuesday, 24 September up to Friday, 27, 2019.
The ATB says they have so far visited most of the tourism sites within the eight districts in Acholi sub-region, encouraging the general public to participate in the upcoming events.
The celebration is hopeful to attract high numbers of people within the country, with an underlined theme: “Tourism and Jobs a Better Future for All.”
The event(s) shall be characterized by cultural expo, primary and secondary quiz competitions, campaign in the city, cleaning, motor rally, bicycle rally, music performances and exhibitions.
Dr. Kato Stonewall, the Chairman Acholi Tourism Board, said this is a rich opportunity for the entire 8 districts of Acholi to market their culture, and the various tourist sites in place.
“We want to encourage hotel owners, cultural leaders, dance groups to reap a lot more from this tourism day,” he said.
“Visitors will experience full package of Acholi life at home because many people are coming from different destinations,” he added.
Mr. Kato further added that as a board, they are like “a clearing house gearing towards finding opportunities for markets through intensive coordination, and networking tourism across the country.”
Kenneth Oketta, the Gulu district Commercial Officer said they shall encourage environmental legacy and “city greening by planting trees along Pece swamp in which the seedlings are to be donated by National Forestry Authority.”
“Youth are our priority in this event and in fact we are engaging most of the schools within the region,” he revealed.
He, however highlighted challenges like disunity and lack of interest among some individuals which he said needs to be addressed to form “a trust for a uniform development of the tourism future.”
Benard Obwoyo Laker, a coordinator with ATB said they have already carried out trainings with the guides to help them manage the different activities in most of the tourism sites within the districts of Acholi.
“Last week we did an assessment at Guru-Guru hill were Lamogi rebellion transpired and dearly have sensitized the community around there about the benefit of the site in reference to tourism and the different plans for the site,” he added.
“There is need to train the community near these sites to avoid mixed up information because these sites needed to be looked at as potential for marketing,” he further emphasized.
Mr. Obwoyo encouraged people to take up the advantage of this tourism fete and see how to boost the tourism industry because most times they have lagged behind when such events show up in the district.
According to Mr. Obwoyo, there are a lot of resources which has not been marketed outside due to minimum knowledge, but pledged to work with the different districts of Acholi to coordinate so that “all these can work in a better way.”
Further, Acholi Tourism Board has so far drafted a plan to develop Acholi Tourism Magazine (ATM) which shall be dispatched to prominent places like airports, hotels and magazine stalls, countrywide.
According to available report from Uganda Tourism Board, last year, Uganda government realized over 90 million dollars from tourism sector.