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UTB Resumes Grading and Classification of Hospitality Facilities

The Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) has initiated a comprehensive grading and classification exercise for hospitality facilities throughout the nation.

This update was unveiled during a press meeting at the UTB headquarters, led by key figures like Lilly Ajarova, CEO of UTB; Susan Muhwezi, Chairperson and Vice Chairperson Board of UTB; Broadford Ochieng, Deputy CEO of UTB; and Jean Byamugisha, Executive Director of the Uganda Hotel Owners Association (UHOA).

For comprehensive coverage, this endeavour will roll out in multiple phases, with the first spanning from 1st August to 4th September 2023, focusing on regions such as Kampala, Entebbe, Jinja, Masaka, Mbarara, Fort-Portal, and Mbale.

CEO Lilly Ajarova elucidated that this task aligns with UTB’s obligation to assure quality in the tourism sector, a directive rooted in the Tourism Act of 2008. “UTB enforces and monitors standards, registering, inspecting, licensing, and classifying tourism enterprises,” Ajarova remarked.

Furthermore, this move helps in positioning Uganda and its tourism stakeholders in harmony with Article 115(2) of the East African Treaty, where tourism is pinpointed as a crucial domain requiring synchronized efforts from partner nations to uplift the standard of accommodations and food services for regional visitors.

Mrs. Susan Muhwezi conveyed the Uganda Hotel Owners Association’s whole-hearted backing for the project and encouraged hoteliers to get involved for the broader welfare of the sector. She emphasized the benefits, asserting, “Grading enhances the marketability of establishments according to their respective grades. It’s a pivotal step towards portraying Uganda as a top-tier tourism destination that upholds superior standards.”

Broadford Ochieng shed light on UTB’s dedication to fulfilling the Five “As” of tourism, encompassing Attractions, Amenities, Activities, Accessibility, and Accommodation. He underlined the significance of accommodation as a key factor in setting Uganda apart as a prime destination.

Jean Byamugisha emphasized the essence of grading in meeting global benchmarks and shaping guest anticipations. Moreover, she noted, it plays a role in shaping the hotel pricing structures. The ultimate outcome is anticipated to be a considerable enhancement in the quality of tourism offerings available to visitors.

To streamline the process, field assessment teams have been equipped with advanced ICT tools integrated with an automated E-classification System, ensuring a smooth and effective execution of tasks.

In conclusion, the Uganda Tourism Board remains unwavering in its commitment to uphold and enforce standard protocols, fostering the sustained growth and flourishing of the Ugandan tourism sector.

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