Tourism

GOV’T BOOSTS TOURISM INDUSTRY IN MASINDI

By Innocent Atuganyira

MASINDI: Hundreds of people on Thursday turned up for the Handicraft Marketing Expo at Kolping Hotel Masindi. The two-day expo which commenced yesterday and ends today {Friday}, has attracted different categories of people from different districts within and outside Bunyoro sub region.

While officially opening the event, the Masindi district principal deputy chief administrative officer Richard Kiiza who represented Phiona Sanyu the district CAO commended the Ministry of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities for the support and boosting tourism industry in the district.

Kiiza asserted that they want to improve and create jobs and become self-reliant and also build block towards the development of Uganda, create linkages between the producers, association, and traders of handicraft products, tourism industry in the country and improve livelihood for the marginalized communities in Uganda.

He also said that their focus is to support the production and marketing of the authentic quality and handicraft products to improve the household income.

The Masindi district Tourism Officer Ritah Karungi cited the challenge of the market for the locally made handicraft products.

Karungi however said she will write to different leaders and organizations to support the industry, and called upon other people to support the tourism sector to improve the livelihood of the exhibitors.

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Ms. Mbabazi Grace Awulo the Project Coordinator Handicraft and Souvenir Development Project disclosed that it’s a three year project which commenced in 2019 and is expected to end this year.

She said that they have done leadership training and governance which has enabled the Masindi team to form a cooperative.

Mbababzi also asserted that they trained the exhibitors on ecommerce and they wanted the producers to be able to sell their products online and most of them have benefited from the ecommerce training since they are already selling their products online.

The project coordinator also asked Ugandans to embrace the sector and support the local tourism to boost the industry.

The Masindi Municipal Mayor Ronald Businge Kyomuhendo said that since Masindi is a tourist district and the opportunity has not been tapped in, there is a need to support the industry.

He therefore pledged to support the industry with a site where they can showcase their products to travellers and tourists.

‘’Since the municipality has enough land, I pledge to support the industry with a site where they will showcase their products to the travellers and tourists,’’ Kyomuhendo pledged.

Gilbert Wabyoona the Chairperson Masindi Art and Cooperative Society Ltd commended the ministry for the support saying they can now get market for their products thus improving their household income.

Wabyoona however said that they still have a challenge of finance since some materials are not within the district therefore purchased from other districts something he said needs money.

He asked the government to support them financially since they have formed the cooperative society which has over sixty members and they are hoping to register more.

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