Uganda tourism grading resumes nationwide

The Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) announced a nationwide grading and classification exercise in Kampala, Uganda, during a press conference at the UTB headquarters. To travel to Uganda, you will need to obtain a Ugandan visa. The specific type of visa you need will be determined by various factors, including your nationality, the purpose of your visit, and the duration of your intended stay. 

1995-2021 Uganda Tourism Statistics

Uganda Tourism Statistics

Phase One: Covering Key Tourism Hubs

The first phase of the comprehensive grading and classification exercise is covering the following key tourism hubs in Uganda:

KAMPALA

KAMPALA

  • Kampala
  • Entebbe
  • Jinja
  • Masaka
  • Mbarara
  • Fort Portal
  • Mbale

This exercise is important for ensuring quality assurance within Uganda's tourism sector and enhancing the quality of accommodation and catering facilities for visitors. The government is taking steps to improve the quality of tourism in the country.

Importance of Grading and Classification

The CEO of UTB, has underscored the paramount importance of the grading and classification exercise for Uganda's tourism sector. This exercise serves as a linchpin for several reasons:

  • Enforcing Standards

UTB ensures tourism businesses meet standards, enhancing safety and quality for visitors and Uganda's tourism reputation.

  • Regulation and Licensing

The exercise involves registering, inspecting, licensing, and classifying tourism enterprises. This regulatory function not only maintains quality but also weeds out substandard or unsafe facilities. It contributes to a safer and more enjoyable experience for tourists.

  • Enhancing Competitiveness

Grading and classification boost Uganda's global competitiveness, signalling a commitment to excellence that attracts more tourists, leading to increased arrivals and revenue.

  • Attracting Investment

A well-graded and classified tourism sector attracts investment, leading to improved infrastructure and benefits for tourists and the local economy.

Attracting Investment

  • Marketing Opportunities

Grading allows tourism operators to market their facilities within accredited grades. This gives them a competitive advantage by showcasing their commitment to quality. It also helps tourists make informed choices, contributing to their satisfaction.

  • Alignment with International Standards

Grading aligns Uganda with international tourism standards, attracting international tourists who rely on such standards, and promoting regional cooperation with East African neighbours.

Private Sector Support

The support of the private sector, represented by the UHOA, is instrumental in the success of the grading and classification initiative. Here's why it matters:

  • Collaborative Effort

Collaboration between UTB and hoteliers is crucial, benefiting both businesses and the broader industry by promoting high-quality standards in Uganda, attracting more tourists and revenue.

Accommodation as a Crucial Component

Accommodation is one of the fundamental components of the Five "As" of tourism, alongside Attractions, Amenities, Activities, Accessibility, and Accommodation. 

THE SCOOP

THE SCOOP

It is the cornerstone that can greatly influence visitors' experiences and decisions. High-quality accommodation facilities are crucial for attracting tourists and driving the industry's growth.

Enhancing Guest Experience and International Standards

The Executive Director of UHOA, highlights the importance of grading:

  • Aligning with International Standards

This not only attracts international visitors but also ensures that the industry meets their expectations. It also supports the pricing strategies of hotels, creating a positive impact by improving the overall quality of products and services offered to tourists.

Efficiency Through Technology

Equipping field assessment teams with advanced ICT equipment and automated Classification Systems brings efficiency to the grading process:

  • Streamlined Assessment

This commitment to modern tools reinforces UTB's dedication to enforcing standard protocols for the growth and well-being of the tourism sector. It allows for more accurate and consistent evaluations, benefiting both tourism operators and visitors.

About Uganda Tourism Board

The Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), established in 1994 and revised in the Tourism Act of 2008, plays a vital role in promoting and marketing Uganda globally. 

About Uganda Tourism Board

It ensures quality in tourist facilities, facilitates tourism investment, and fosters private sector collaboration. 

The nationwide grading and classification exercise, supported by technology and international standards, aims to enhance Uganda's tourism quality and competitiveness, making it a top-tier destination for visitors worldwide.

FAQS

What is the purpose of the grading and classification exercise initiated by the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB)?

The grading and classification exercise by UTB aims to assess and standardise the quality of tourism facilities and services in Uganda. It ensures that accommodation, among other aspects, meets international standards, making Uganda a more competitive and attractive tourism destination.

When did the grading and classification exercise begin, and what areas does it cover?

The exercise commenced on August 1st and concluded on September 4th, 2023. The first phase covered key areas, including Kampala, Entebbe, Jinja, Masaka, Mbarara, Fort-portal, and Mbale.

How does this exercise benefit hoteliers and tourism operators?

Hoteliers and tourism operators who participate in the grading process can enhance the value of their investments. Grading provides an opportunity to market their facilities within accredited grades, attracting more visitors and improving their business prospects.

What role does UTB play in enforcing and monitoring standards within the tourism sector?

UTB has a mandate to enforce and monitor standards, register, inspect, licence, and classify tourism enterprises. This role ensures that the industry maintains high-quality standards, which in turn contributes to visitor satisfaction and industry growth.

How does the grading and classification exercise align with international standards and guest expectations?

It helps manage guest expectations by ensuring that tourism products and services meet established quality criteria. This, in turn, supports the pricing systems of hotels and improves the overall guest experience.

What technological enhancements have been implemented to streamline the grading and classification process?

Field assessment teams have been provided with ICT equipment preloaded with an automated Classification System. This technological upgrade ensures efficiency and effectiveness in carrying out the grading process, making it more seamless and accurate.

How does this exercise contribute to Uganda's positioning as a competitive tourism destination in the East African region?

The grading and classification exercise aligns with Article 115(2) of the East African Treaty, where partner states work together to enhance the quality of accommodation and catering facilities. This collaborative effort strengthens Uganda's position as a competitive tourism destination within the region.

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