UGANDA’S TOURISM EXCELLENCE AWARDS ANNOUNCED
(Posted 21St November 2015)
The inaugural edition of the Uganda Tourism Excellence Awards was held last evening at the Kampala Serena Hotel during a gala dinner, also marking the end of the country’s second edition of the Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo.
A host of nominations has been received in various categories, all open for the public to vote for one’s favourite.
Guest of Honour for the night was the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, who assured the tourism industry that the Ugandan government was more than ready to invest in the sector, which, while making great strides in past years, has been poorly facilitated in recent years and in the opinion of many overtaxed.
A special recognition award was handed to the Kampala Serena Hotel, which hosted the tourism expo and the award night and received a rousing applause from the crowd. The hotel once again excelled in providing not just a great organization for the Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo but also pulled out all the stops for the Tourism Excellence Awards Gala Dinner last night. Special congratulations go to Serena’s Country Manager and General Manager of the Kampala Hotel Mr. Anthony Chege and his entire team!
Notable winners in the digital media category were Charlotte Beauvoisin as best Ugandan travel blogger for her publication ‘Diary of a Muzungu’, an award well deserved. She just travelled with this correspondent on a media fam tour courtesy of the Kenya Tourism Board following the African Travel Association Annual Congress in Nairobi and during this trip showed the mettle needed to excel in what she does.
The best print media award went to Uganda’s leading newspaper, the New Vision and it was New Vision’s own Solomon Oleny who bagged the honours as Uganda’s best tourism journalist. Bukedde TV, also a New Vision brand, was voted for the best tourism TV programme in the country. In other categories was the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre in Entebbe handed the award for Best Conservation Agency.
In the airline category local favourite Brussels Airlines took the honours, relegating others into the ranks of runner ups while the award for best international tour operator went to Matooke Tours. Red Chilli, a budget accommodation provider in Kampala and at the Paraa Ferry crossing, took the trophy home for Best Budget Hotel.
In the mid range was it the Bunyonyi Overland Resort which captured the most votes while the award for the best luxury lodge ended up in the hands of Marasa Africa for their Chobe Safari Lodge in Murchisons Falls National Park.
Notably did the Rwanda Development Board win the award for best tourism board exhibitor at the just ended Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo which was also held at the Kampala Serena Hotel.
With this gala night does the East African tourism exhibition and award season come to a close for 2015 and it will be all hands on deck for the regional tourism boards and private sector to prepare for 2016 and the main international tourism trade shows in Q1 which highlight is ITB, the world’s largest tourism fair in Berlin.
Congratulations to all the winners in the various categories, those not named here for lack of space included.
For added information about Destination Uganda click on www.visituganda.com or else check out the Uganda Wildlife Authority site for details about the country’s national parks and game reserves via www.ugandawildlife.org