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Uganda Community Tourism Association (UCOTA) and USAID host Cultural Tourism Festival

2-April-2012

Uganda has held a tourism festival, aimed at promoting the importance of cultural and community tourism in conservation.

The festival, which brought together industry stakeholders and community tourism entrepreneurs, also aimed at raising awareness about community based tourism. It show cased community based enterprises products and services like crafts-mats, shoes etc.

The Uganda Community Tourism Association (UCOTA) and USAID-Sustainable Tourism in the Albertine Rift hosted the event in Kampala.

Ms. Helen Lubowa, the UCOTA executive director, said they developed Pearls of Uganda to discover which tourism businesses are truly devoted to sustainable tourism.

The Uganda Community Tourism Association is a not for profit organization handling community based tourism enterprises. It trains its members, markets their products and services as well as networking with stakeholders.

Companies that support conservation were awarded with certificates included, Red Chilli, Marasa Africa, Gorrilla Forest Camp, Uganda Lodges, GeoLodges, Mahogany springs, Uganda Safari Company, Gorilla Forest Camp and Ishasha Ntungwe River Camp.

The event also brought upcountry communities together with tourists and private sector players that support them, without having to leave Kampala city.

Uganda's minister for tourism Mr. Ephraim Kamuntu urged operators and lodge owners to embrace conservation to increase foreign exchange earnings.

BY PAUL TENTENA: The East African Business Week

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