UTB trains Police officers on enforcing standards in tourism sector

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UTB trains Police officers on enforcing standards in tourism sector
Some of the police officers during the training.

Uganda Tourism Board has started training tourism police officers on enforcing standards in the sector.

During the training at Hotel Africana, UTB CEO, Lilly Ajarova told police officers that they play a key role as stakeholders in the tourism sector.

“We are supposed to ensure standards in the tourism sector are adhered to. Tourism has been identified as one of those sectors who will help drive the country in achieving Vision 2040. To this, we want tourism to move from the  $2 billion earned last year in tourism to $50 billion by 2040,” Ajarova said.

“This means we are remaining with 15 years to reach this target. What we do now will build on what we will achieve in the next 15 years and if we don’t do it now, we will be affected We are supposed to be 25 times what we are earning now. Therefore, this exercise(training) is so critical that we must start it now and do it right for us to hit the target.”

The UTB CEO said in order to reach the target, it is high time standards in the tourism sector are enforced bring about sanity.

She explained that tourism police play an important role in the enforcement of the guidelines that will ensure everyone in the sector is at the same stage.

“Right now anybody can set up a place in their compound and call it a guesthouse, hotel or restaurant even when they don’t have a toilet or running water for people to wash their hands. This is why we need the expertise of police to bring order in tourism sector. We need you to help us focus and help bring order in tourism sector.”

Ajarova cited tourists who were scammed by a tour operator in tickets while other tourists were robbed clean in a hotel in Jinja.

She however, explained that with enforced standards, only registered and licenced players will be allowed to do business in the tourism sector, and this way, they will be bound to ensure the set standards are met or else they lose business.

“We want to first sensistize them of what the law says and they understand that they are outside of what the law says but have an opportunity to correct the mess and then we can go further.”

She said UTB will start by sensitizing especially accommodation facilities including hotels, lodges, guest houses and restaurants on minimum standards required and those not registered and licenced be asked to do so, before enforcement starts.

“We need to make sure there is order, minimum requirements are met by all services providers in the industry. We have to make sure services are of a certain standard and quality, otherwise, visitors will continue complaining of the services offered in the country.”

She said after this grace period has elapsed, those who will have failed to adhere to standards will see UTB enforce the same.

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