Kalangala to host 2017 World Tourism Day
27th September is a global annual day of celebration where people world over join together to reflect on the importance and benefits that accrue from tourism. The event is promoted annually by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
In Uganda, the major celebrations this year will be held in Ssese Islands (Buggala) on Lake Victoria the largest freshwater body in Arica and second largest in the world under the theme, “Sustainable Tourism – A tool for Development”, with week-long activities from 22nd – 27th September 2017, giving an opportunity to the people of Ssese, greater Masaka and the country at large to showcase the various tourism attractions & activities across the Islands.
This year’s event will be flagged off with Tulambule – Ssese Islands, a domestic tourism promotion campaign aimed at encouraging Ugandans to tour places around Uganda in order to become Uganda’s tourism ambassadors themselves
The national celebrations of the day will be graced by the President of Uganda, HE Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. As has been the case for previous WTD celebrations, the week before WTD will have a number of activities targeting the youth, politicians, students, sportsmen and the general public both in Kampala and Kalangala districts.
caption: Ssese Islands in Kalangala District
2017 Tourism Week program
On Thursday 21st September, a culture and tourism seminar will be held at Parliament, led by the Presidential Investment Round Table (PIRT). Friday 22nd September will feature school quizzes and debates in Kampala, led by the Kampala Capital City Authority. Saturday 22nd September will have the Miss Tourism Kalangala grand finale, where the regional beauty queen will be crowned. There will also be a cultural expo in Kalangala and a boating regatta. Monday and Tuesday 25th and 26th September will feature island hopping, walks, workshops, school engagement, and a medical camp, as tourists experience the best that Kalangala has to offer.
The main celebration will then take place on Wednesday 27th September. There will be a march, luncheon, cultural gala, and an evening ceremony where the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) will award hotels that have been graded and certified.
The Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi was the chief celebrant at the event held under the theme, ‘Unlocking Uganda’s Tourism Potential for Sustainable Development’, and attended by both local and international dignitaries, among them Tourism Minister Ephraim Kamuntu and his Deputy Godfrey Kiwanda Ssuubi and the Netherlands Ambassador to Uganda, Henk Jan Bakker.
Ssekandi, who represented President Museveni, said sustainable tourism was important for development and job creation. He also called upon Ugandans to preserve the environment and other ecosystems including forests, national parks, and water bodies.
During the celebrations, H.E the vice president Hon Ssekandi lauded 92-year old Andrinico Magatto, the first person to establish a commercial accommodation facility on Ssese Islands.
In his speech tourism minister Kamuntu stressed the role of sustainable tourism in Uganda’s development and asked Ugandans to embrace local tourism.
The celebration of this World Tourism Day focuses on how sustainable tourism can contribute to development, and reports indicate that Uganda’s current tourism receipts stand at an estimated US$1.4 billion. The government says it wants to add more strategies to raise that figure to US$2.7 billion by 2020, which should see tourist figures rise from current 1.3 million to four million by 2020.
Local tour and travel companies like Jumia Travel and others participated at the event organized by the Ministry of Tourism in partnership with the Uganda Tourism Board.
Meanwhile, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and following that proclamation it is estimated that tourism will continue to grow at an average of 3.3% annually until 2030.
Globally, over the past six decades, tourism has experienced continued expansion and diversification, and it has become one of the fastest-growing and most important economic sectors in the world, benefiting destinations and communities worldwide. International tourist arrivals worldwide have grown from 25 million in 1950 to nearly 1.2 billion in 2015.
International tourism revenues earned by destinations around the world have grown from US$2 billion in 1950 to US$1260 trillion in 2015, with the sector representing an estimated 10% of the world’s GDP and one in 10 jobs globally.
How to get to Ssese Islands
MV Kalangala is the main and easiest transport to Ssese Islands Kalangala from Kampala and Entebbe, located at Nakiwogo landing site in Entebbe the ferry leaves Entebbe at exactly 2:00 Pm every day and it takes 3.5 hours on the water to Ssese getting there at 5:30 pm. The ferry sleeps in Ssese and leaves early morning at 8:00 Am docking in Nakiwogo Entebbe at 11:30 Am. Another route is through Masaka town where much of the journey is driving you only use the ferry for 30 minutes from the Bukakata landing site. For your Uganda safarito Ssese Islands contact Mj safaris Uganda.
Ferry charges from Entebbe to Ssese Islands.
MV kalangala ferry which is managed under the ministry of works and transport in Uganda charges followings rates: Executive wing 14,000s Ugx one way, 10,000 Ugx ordinary wing one way, 50,000 Ugx for small cars and 100,000 Ugx for medium-sized vehicles. For cheaper tour packages to Ssese Islands, Mj Safaris Uganda offers the best services.
Hotels in Ssese Islands
Ssese Islands Kalangala has become a hot selling destination in Uganda for domestic and foreign tourists visiting for honeymoon, vacation, cultural and adventure tourism.
Below is the list of hotels in Ssese now:
- Brovad Sands lodge Ssese -Tucked away in the charming island of Bugala in Ssese Islands on lake Victoria is the tropical hideaway of Uganda, a blissful holiday beach resort that is inviting, cozy, relaxing with direct Water access. A beautiful property embraced by a private natural white sand beach and shaded by soaring natural vegetation, trees, Brovad Sands Lodge is a fascinating treasure immersed in history and tradition.
Victoria Forest Resort, offers the best accommodation in Uganda. All rooms available at Competitive rates and very comfortable.