Unlicensed Tour Guides Hurting Tourism in Kigezi

1781 Views Kabale, Western Region, Uganda

In short
James Mukwase, a tour transporter in the area, says that the presence of the fake guides frustrates visitors some of whom have ended up cancelling their visits. He implores the Uganda Tourism board to clean up the sector and ensure that ill-intentioned individuals do not infiltrate the industry.

The presence of unlicensed tour guides and operators in Kigezi region is hurting the tourism industry, Kisoro district Tourism Officer Richard Munezero says.

He explains that some unscrupulous people disguise themselves as tour operators and end up cheating, robbing and mistreating tourists adding that the sector will suffer a major setback if such situations are not addressed.

James Mukwase, a tour transporter in the area, says that the presence of the fake guides frustrates visitors some of whom have ended up cancelling their visits. He implores the Uganda Tourism board to clean up the sector and ensure that ill-intentioned individuals do not infiltrate the industry.

Kabale District Tourism Officer Benson Kitabire Kasigazi told Uganda Radio Network that his office has registered four cases of tourists who have been cheated in less than a month. He however adds that they are working with the police to weed bad characters out of the industry.
 
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Simon Byamukama one of the directors at Paradise Eco-hub on Itambira Island on the shores of Lake Bunyonyi calls for close coordination between the operators and the regulatory authorities. He says that working together is key to identifying challenges and possible solutions.

However, Lawrence Muhangi, one of the unlicensed tour guides says that although he enjoys the work, he does not have enough money to obtain the required training by the Uganda Tourism Board. He admits that some of his colleagues hide under the cover of being unknown and take the advantage of tourists.

Innocent Asiimwe, the director of quality assurance at Uganda Tourism Board says that for one to qualify as a tour guide, he or she must possess a license from the sector's regulatory body.

Asiimwe says that all tour operators are mandated to send their guides to the board for training and examination before issuance of licenses. The training equips guides with skills in handling clients, customer care, information dissemination and communication skills.

Asiimwe says that the body is ready to deal with those who disguise as guides but revealed that this can only be achieved with the help of the tour operators.

 

Tagged with: tourism kigezi

About the author

Anthony Kushaba
For Anthony Kushaba, journalism is not just a job; it is a calling. Kushaba believes journalism is one of the few platforms where the views of the oppressed and margainalised can be heard. This is what his journalism aims to do: bring to light untold stories.

Kushaba is the Mbarara region URN bureau chief. Mitooma, Ntungamo, Bushenyi, Sheema, Isingiro, and Kiruhura districts fall under his docket. Kushaba has been a URN staff member since 2012.

Kushaba is a journalism graduate from Uganda Christian University Study Centre at Bishop Barham College in Kabale. Before joining URN, Kushaba worked with Voice of Kigezi (2008), Bushenyi FM (2010) and later on to Voice of Muhabura.

Kushaba's journalism interests centre on conflict, peace and electoral reporting. Kushaba occasionally writes on tourism, health, religion and education. He describes himself as highly driven and will pursue a tip until it yields a story.