Two upcoming cultural events being organised by different government agencies have focused on Tourism Promotion at the centre of the events. The first event – the 2nd Edition of the National Art and Cultural Festival that is organised annually by the Uganda National Cultural Centre (UNCC) and scheduled to take place between November 1 and 3, is running under the banner “Culture for Sustainable Tourism.”
The second event – the Uganda Film Festival which is organised by the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) and scheduled to take place in the last week of November (Nov 25-29, 2019) also highlights Tourism as the central theme of the celebrations under the title: “Film and Tourism in the Pearl of Africa.”
Highlighting tourism at such cultural events is a laudable step by the different government agencies as it demonstrates the sense of responsibility by all players in government to market the country’s rich but hitherto less exploited potential.
Focusing on culture goes a step even further to open the eyes of ordinary Ugandans that tourism goes beyond showing the natural attractions such as wildlife, climate and Uganda’s beautiful scenery. It should be noted that some of the most visited countries such as France, Italy, The United States, China, depend mostly on their rich cultural heritage as the biggest attraction for tourists.
Cultural tourism and its associated facets of visual art, traditions, music, food, religion, and social events are very important pullers of people. And, beyond pulling tourists, encouraging the preservation of our heritage helps to promote documentation that builds society’s memory and history.
Cultural tourism is therefore a very important trend that Uganda has been missing out greatly. As a media institution, we wish to appeal to the Ministry of Tourism and other players to reward anyone or particular institution that goes an extra mile in preserving culture, be it through innovation, rehabilitation, documentation or simply conservation.
Going forward, this effort should be expanded to mobilize and sensitize the general public especially religious institutions, traditional institutions, universities and communities to understand how to develop a tourist package, how to handle and cater for tourists.
Along this line, the general public should be encouraged to tour different place as a way to nurture local tourism..