Most crimes in the tourism sector are committed in Kigezi sub region an official with the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) has said.
Samora Semakula, the manager quality assurance most of the crimes are committed by quack tourist guides who are on the rise in the sub region.
“These very unprofessional tour guides are the ones that rob tourists and carry out all sorts of criminal activities that harm the tourism sector,” Semakula told the media on Monday during the opening of a five-day training guides in Kabale district.
The training is aimed at equipping them with all the necessary skills and standards that are required of all tour guides as per the UTB guidelines.
Kigezi sub region, according to Semakula has 60 percent of most of Uganda’s most tourist attractions. This has sparked the rise in numbers of quack tour guides in the region and there was a need to rectify this by training to save and promote tourism in Uganda.
“We are looking for and training tour guides and operators throughout Uganda,” Semakula noted.
UTB to register and license all tour guides and operators
Herbert Byaruhanga, the workshop lead trainer noted that by the end of October this year, all tour guides and operators would be registered and licensed by UTB. This, the chairman of the Uganda Safari Guides Association (USAGA) said would minimize irregularities in the tourism sector.
“We will assess all the tour guides and operators to prove their worth by the end of September. The whole exercise will end in October,” Byaruhanga said, adding that they would undergo tests to prove their competences as tour guides and operators.
He warned the quack operators in Kigezi to stop fleecing tourists lest they face the law.
“Fake operators are dishonest, own fake websites, kidnap or even kidnap tourists. The Tourism police was set in place to monitor them all,” Byaruhanga lamented.
Ivan Batuma, a board member of the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), reminded the tour guides that they were ambassadors of Uganda when handling the tourists.
I advise you to remain disciplined in your work for the sake of the country,” Batuma, also chairman of the Kigezi tourism cluster said while opening the training.
Kigezi sub region hosting 60 per cent of Uganda’s Tourist attractions.
Besides having the highest number of quack tour guides in the country, Kigezi sub region has 60 percent of Uganda’s tourist attractions.
The region boasts the deepest lake in Uganda, Lake Bunyonyi, world famous mountain gorillas, Mount Muhabuura, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest among other tourist attractions.
In January, the tourism police in Kabale arrested Didan Atukunda of Mamba Gorilla Safaris for allegedly defrauding $27,000 from a Dutch tourist. In October 2018, tourism police arrested Mugerwa Ahebwa for allegedly defrauding an American tourist Mendy Payne of over $18,000.