World Tourism Day every September 27th, raises awareness of the need for accessible tourism all over the planet. The UN roadmap for a better world by 2030, calls for new and innovative solutions, not just traditional investments that promote and underpin economic growth and productivity but also redefining and recalibrate the direction and narratives of tourism investments for a more sustainable future for the People, the Planet, and prosperity.
The possibilities of strategic investment for this triple dimension are immense and targets the global tourism workforce which will require millions of hospitality graduates annually between now and 2030 and a further 800,000 jobs a year will require specific vocational training.
For Prosperity by investing in innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship, digitalization and innovation programs are a strategic priority to support particularly young people and women, which are critical to upskill the tourism sector’s workforce. Moreover, the global need to increase investments in programs that support and incentivize entrepreneurship and generate opportunities for innovations is highly needed in the tourism sector.
In order to succeed, the World Tourism Day 2023 under the theme “Tourism and green investment” calls for action to the international community, governments, multilateral financial institutions, development partners, and private sector investors to unite around a new tourism investment strategy.
The theme highlights the need for more and better-targeted investments for the Sustainable Development Goals.
In Masaka City, Local investors are realising this new tourism strategy by establishing a number of new investments to provide hospitality to tourists visiting Masaka city which is preparing to suit a Ramsar city status
Mr. John Bosco Mushabe, the Managing Director of Masaka Cultural Resort Kirimya says he chose to establish the most unique business resort in Masaka to provide different services to tourists for leisure and fun.
“For Market penetration and tourism promotion, we chose a cultural setting which is away from our usual homes. Masaka is located on the shores of Lake Victoria that’s why we concentrated on serving tourists the best fish species like Tilapia commonly known as “Engege”. On the Contrary, Masaka is known for coffee farming that’s why at Masaka Cultural resort our monuments reflect the beautiful image of Masaka for tourists to learn about our local heritage and not to feel out place,” Mr. Mushabe said.
Mr. Ssegawa Sortious, the managing Director Hotel Next says certain amenities are essential for business travel, whether you need meeting equipment, a fitness centre or in-room coffee and tea for those early mornings. If you’re planning a work trip to Masaka, visiting Hotel Next and choosing the best room for your budget contributes to the tourism sector.
Other Hotels and resting centres that are realising a New Tourism Investment Strategy in Masaka include, Hotel Next Masaka, Elsie Hotel Masaka, Solo Hites Hotel, Laudate Hotel Bwala, Garden Courts Hotel, Golden Hotel Kyalusowe along Kampala highway, Camp David Katwadde-Mpugwe, Tropic Inn Hotel Masaka, Courtlane Hotel, Maria flo Hotel, Camp Ndegeya, Greenville Resort Gayaza, Masaka Country Resort Gayaza, Enra Motel-Mbarara bypass, Maple leaf Hotel, Hotel Brovad, Golflane Hotel, Vienna Golden Hotel, Elite Backpackers Bwala, Hotel Zebra, Mariana Gardens Kyabakuza, Mariana Motel Nyendo, Nabugabo Sand beach among others.
All the above mentioned hotels employ a huge workforce that supports the tourism and hospitality sector in the region
Tourism attractions in Masaka
Masaka is popular for motor rallying events, fishing, and camping, beautiful bandas/cottages. Other activities include recreational activities like beach volleyball and beach football. It is an excellent place for family outings.
The major economic activities in Masaka include Agriculture with the major cash crops being Matooke, Sweet potatoes, Pineapples and Tomatoes. Masaka city and the entire sub region have got a number of tourism sites which one wouldn’t miss visiting. These include;
Religious features; the first brick house in Uganda Villa Maria, Cathedrals at Kitovu and Kako, Villa Maria Church, the home to first African Catholic Priests, Chapel of Committo where Catholic Bishops are laid rest, Bukalasa Cemetery where prelates are laid rest, Bukalasa Seminary, Katigondo National Seminary, Bugoma Mapeera Site where Catholic missionaries docked, Birth places of three Uganda Martyrs ie, St Bruno Sserunkuuma Ssaza, St. Charles Lwanga Birinzi and St. Yowana Maria Mzee Minziiro Kyotera, the historical first Catholic parishes like Bumangi in Kalangala, Narozaali in Masaka, Nazareth in Kyotera, etc
Cultural Features; The King’s Palace at Nkozi Lwengo, the Buddukiro historical county house at Ssaza Masaka, the Bigobyamugenyi Royal emclosure in Ntuusi Ssembabule on the banks of River Katonga, Kkooki Chiefdom, Cultural sites of different Buganda Kingdom spirits on several islands in Kalangala, more than 10 clan sites like Mutima at Bbaale, Kinyomo at Kyaasa, Enyonyi Nakinsige and Endiisa etc
Geographical features; the fresh water Lakes like Nabugabo, Lake Victoria, Lake Birinzi, Lake Kakyeera and Kijjanabarora in Kooki with beautiful Natural beaches and shores, Landing sites like Lambu which seats on a tombolo, a small island that has not fully separated from the mainland and other landing sites like Kasensero, Ddimu, Bukakkata among others with rich tourism history, Nakayiba and Namajuzi wetlands, Nkose Island, a class T – Hypsographic island in Kalangala District with high water levels of 1,134 meters deep, etc
Musambwa Island is another superstitious island in the interior of Lake Victoria in Rakai district. It is approximately 5 km from Kasensero landing site on Lake Victoria. This Island derives its name from a local dialect Musambwa which literally means gods/ spirits in Luganda and appear in form of snakes. This name came about due to the overwhelming number of snakes in the area which are believed to be spirits rather than normal snakes.
Within an area of five acres and a population of less than 100 people, there are more than 2000 snakes that inhabit the island, it’s a ratio of over 20 snakes per person. Besides over 2000 snakes residing on the island, there are reptiles and a very large number of bird species, it is also a breeding site for long tailed cormorant, greater cormorants and little egret.
The different bird species include black crake, spur winged plover, grey heron, yellow billed duck, African fish eagle, pied king fisher, Squaco heron and many more that can be viewed with ease than other birding sites where one has to use binoculars. Musambwa island is one place, a tourist needs not to miss to discover the superstitious island.
The Palm oil plantations and farms in Kalangala also attracts thousands of tourists, the Natural forest reserves like Malamagambo in Kyotera, Mujuzi forest in Rakai, Busowe forest Kalangala, LUGGO FOREST AND DDAMULA Luggo Forest, the home to several tree species and the only forest containing the tree from which the mace (Ddamula) symbolizing the authority of the Katikkiro (Prime Minister of Buganda) is cut from. Etc
The changing face of Masaka City central business district with a number of new giant high rising buildings and the well organised streets also currently attracts a number of tourists in the region.
The 2023 Uganda National World tourism Day Celebrations are being held in Bunyoro Region.
By Nsubuga Robert and Maurice Peter Matovu
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