By Hope Abonit
The Uganda Hotel Owners Association has launched the 5th Hotels and Restaurant Expo 2017 which will take place from the 3rd to 7th August 2017 at Hotel Africana People space under the theme, “Promoting the Local Hospitality/ Tourism Industry and Business Investments in Uganda.”
The event was launched by Suzan Muhwezi, the chairperson of the Uganda Hotel Owners Association and also the Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Hon Ephraim Kamuntu during a press conference on Tuesday at Uganda Media Centre.
“The main purpose of hosting the expo is to market the local hotels and restaurants and also we want all Ugandans and all foreign national residents in Uganda to come and see the product we have to offer as the tourism industry in Uganda,” said Ms. Muhwezi.
Mrs. Muhwezi added that they have encouraged all their hotels to implement special rates for all Ugandans and foreign residents so as to promote domestic tourism.
“The Uganda Hotel Owners Association is proud to be associated with the expo. We want to give all the hotels and restaurants a platform to market them to the domestic tourism market in Uganda,” said Ms. Muhwezi.
Hon. Kamuntu also said Uganda is now rated among the best places to visit in 2017 and therefore when these visitors visit the country, they are expected to sleep in these hotels thus the benefits of having many hotels and restaurants in the country.
Ms. Muhwezi went on to explain that just as they have done in the past, they shall also be hosting the waiters and waitresses competitions as well as the competition to crown the best chef in Uganda. Furthermore, the Uganda Hotel Owners Association will also be hosting the Business to Business symposium that will bring together the hotels and the hotel suppliers and partners under one roof to discuss and share ideas on how they can best work together.
Mrs. Muhwezi also explained that the hospitality sector is the back bone of the tourism industry and thus the need to harness its potential through events like the hotel and Restaurant Expo.
Tourism is currently one of the key priority sectors in Uganda’s economy and currently tourism directly employs over 450,000 people, 90% of whom work in the hospitality sector.