Kabale University Sets up Tourism, Hospitality Institute.

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Kabale University has established a tourism institute, to have its first intake in the academic year, 2023/2024. The institute aims to eventually grow into a center of excellence in the Great Lakes Region, given that the Kigezi sub-region is a hub in an area of many tourism attraction sites.

The announcement was made by Dr. Christine Ampumuza, head of the Department of Tourism and Hospitality, at a media briefing at the university’s Kampala liaison office at Reev House in Wandegeya on August 2, 2023. Ampumuza was accompanied by Judith Atukunda, the university’s communications and branding officer.

The institute officially launched the following day at the main campus at Kikungiri Hill, Kabale municipality, with Eng Ivan Mbabazi Batuma, the Kigezi Tourism cluster chairperson, as chief guest. It sets off with five programs with 90 bachelor’s, 20 master’s, and 50 diploma students.

Ampumuza said before designing the institute and its programs, a survey of popular tourism destinations in Uganda such as Masindi, Mbale, Kasese, Kabarole, and Murchison Falls national park was conducted.

The survey made many findings, such as the fact that besides the 20 percent revenue-protected areas share with surrounding communities, the individuals therein do not benefit much. Most times, this money is put into collective expenditures like road repairs or school structures.

She said the community individuals will now be able to tap into the tourism benefits because they will be integrated into the institute’s programs. She said through homestead tourism and cultural and spiritual tourism, the institute will involve community individuals as direct suppliers of services and consumers of education.

Even when they are not registered students, community members will acquire crucial skills and knowledge. The institute will also address the imbalance of having many tourism workers as foreigners. The programs too will promote the numbers of domestic (Ugandan) tourists, leading to greater preservation of our cultural heritage and protection of the environment.

Ampumuza stressed that the institute has acquired relevant laboratories and incorporated an outdoor leadership program that will promote

extensive fieldwork. It has also signed memoranda of understanding for practical field sessions and internships with the Bwindi-Mgahinga Conservation Area, Uganda Wildlife Authority, some hotels, and some reputable tour companies in Uganda. It looks forward to partnering with several national and international institutions and agencies.

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