This was during a function held at Kampala Serena Hotel on Wednesday evening.
Chaired by former Minister Hon Daudi Migereko, prostate the new Board’s 3-year term will run from May 2017 to May 2020.
Addressing the gathering, Migereko said “Tourism is business,” adding, “If we are to meet our targets we need to have everyone on the value chain on board.”
Minister Kamuntu said the new board’s task is defined.
“The current contribution of Tourism to GDP is about 10 percent. We want it at 15 percent by 2020,” said the Minister.
Kamuntu reminded Migereko that he had been appointed “at a time when Uganda has a target of becoming a middle income country by 2020” hence the need to roll up sleeves.
Other members on the board are Mr James Lutalo, the Director of Tourism at the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife & Antiquities; Zigiti Zelda from the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development; Tom Davis Wasswa, Head of marketing and commercials at Civil Aviation Authority and a member on the previous Board.
Ms Edith Kateme Kasajja, Head of production, Tourism Trade Development represents the National Planning Authority.
Mr Chemonges Sabilla from Uganda Wildlife Authority; Mr Eddie Kirya representing the Rour Operators and Mrs Susan Kabonero Muhwezi, current Chairperson Uganda Hotel Owners Association and owner of Agip Motel Mbarara are also on the board.
Dr Sulaiman Katende from Nkumba University; Mrs Yogi Birigwa Country Manager South African Airways are also Board Directors with Mr Stephen Asiimwe, Chief Executive Officer, Uganda Tourism Board, as Ex Officio who will serve as Secretary to the Board.
Susan Muhwezi said more work needs to be done to realise exceptional results.
“As a hotelier, one of things I will ensure we collectively put more focus on are areas of quality of service and also tackle the capacity gaps,” said Ms Muhwezi.
Outgoing chairman, Dr James Tumusiime said there were “too many agencies in the tourism sector all promoting Uganda.”
He added: “We need to harmonise so as to reduce on duplication of roles.”
Revenues from Uganda’s tourism industry have since hit $1.2bn, creating millions of opportunities.
Researcher Morrison Rwakakamba recently wrote in an article on ChimpReports that it was urgent that “Uganda readies itself to harvest this projected tourism potential and dividend,” adding, the country was “at the brink of major tourism breakthrough and success.”
He said more than any time in history, Uganda has an opportunity to leverage its tourism potential and quickly drive the nation to prosperity.
“For example, more than any other country in East Africa, Uganda’s risk profile is at the lowest. Uganda is fully secure (border to border). Uganda’s security environment is admired in the whole region, rarely suffering any travel bans and travel advisories that have negatively impacted on tourism in some of our neighboring countries,” said Rwakakamba.