Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has tasked the government to put more interest in the tourism sector if the country is to realize the one million more tourists by 2020.
According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, Uganda received 1.8 million tourists in 2018, up from 1.4 million in 2017. In 2017, the 1.4 million arrivals injected about $1.4billion into the economy.
Speaker Kadaga’s call follows her meeting on Tuesday morning with Fiona Kyeru, the reigning Miss Tourism Uganda.
At the meet, the Speaker presented Kyeru with an air ticket to Malaysia to represent Uganda at the Miss Tourism International, further putting to shame Uganda Tourism Board as well as the line ministry for abandoning her at the last minute.
“This morning, I was delighted to meet Fiona Kyeru, who is the reigning Miss Tourism Uganda. I flagged her off to Malaysia where she will be representing Uganda at the Miss Tourism International 2019 pageant by buying her an air ticket. We have high hopes in her to represent Uganda well,” the Speaker, who also reportedly paid for Kyeru’s accommodation and upkeep during her 19-day stay in Malaysia, posted on Tuesday morning.
“I however, urge the government to put more interest in this sector so that upcoming contestants do not find the same challenges that Quinn Abenakyo faced at the last concluded Miss World beauty contest. I am very disappointed with the Uganda Tourism Board and the Minister of Tourism, who failed to raise an air ticket for Fiona Kyeru. I will continue highlighting their plight until Government takes it up because at the end of the day, it is Uganda that shines at the world stage.”
Abenakyo is the reigning Miss World – Africa whose call for financial help was overlooked. UTB and especially Junior Tourism Minister Godfrey Kiwanda were however quick to jump on her newly acquired status.
This is not the first time the Speaker has given the Ministry of tourism an ultimatum to help beauty queens.
In January, Kadaga gave Kiwanda two weeks to come up with a detailed plan on how Abenakyo can be included in the promotion of Uganda and her image abroad.
The Minister Kiwanda explained that government will facilitate all Abenakyo’s travel and administration for Miss world activities, although some sources claim this was never realised.
The World Final gala dinner show held on Friday, November 8, 2019 at Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa in Malaysia.
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