Boy King graced World Tourism Day Celebrations

Tooro Kingdom monarch congratulates Uganda

Boy King graced World Tourism Day Celebrations

Uganda joined the rest of the world to celebrate International World Tourism Day on September 27, 2020, with a call for increased involvement of rural communities in the tourism value chain.

Held under the theme, “Tourism and Rural Development,” this year’s celebrations highlighted the benefits of including locals in tourism, especially the rural communities that host the various tourism attractions across the country.

According to a press release by Sandra Natukunda, Senior Public Relations Officer of the Uganda Tourism Board, the celebrations were hosted at Nyaika Hotel by the King of Tooro, His Majesty Omukama Oyo Kabamba Iguru Rukiidi IV, who was fresh from commemorating the 25 years “Empango” celebrations since ascending to the throne as a boy king in 1995 making him the world’s youngest monarch to date.

In attendance were a number of dignitaries including: Hon. Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Col. Tom Butime; Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Mrs. Doreen Katusiime; Resident Representative, UNDP to Uganda, Ms. Elsie G. Attafuah; Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), Chief Executive Officer, Lilly Ajarova; Uganda Wildlife Authority Executive Director, Sam Mwandha; and Uganda Wildlife Education Center, Executive Director Dr. James Musinguzi. Also in attendance were cabinet members of the Tooro Kingdom, local government leadership, cultural groups, and tourism private sector among others.

Addressing guests and His subjects, His Majesty King Oyo congratulated Ugandans and the international community upon celebrating World Tourism Day and also passed on his most sincere sympathies to all those especially operating in the tourism fraternity for the losses suffered since the outbreak of the pandemic.

“I congratulate you all upon celebrating the international World Tourism Day and also thank the Government of Uganda for commemorating the day together with the Tooro Kingdom for the first time ever in the history of the Kingdom. I would also like express my solidarity with all those that were affected and or infected by COVID-19 and extend my sincere condolences to all those that have lost their loved ones,” he said.

The Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) CEO, Lilly Ajarova, commended King Oyo for enabling World Tourism Day activities taking place in the Kingdom and also congratulated him upon his 25th anniversary as the King of Tooro.

“Tooro Kingdom is home to some of the greatest tourism assets and attractions that make Uganda the Pearl of Africa. We would like to thank you for always supporting all the activities in the development of tourism in the region,” she told the King. Ajarova said that given Uganda’s diversity of tourism assets and attractions, UTB, together with other sector stakeholders, was ready to shape Uganda into the most preferred destination in the whole world.

“The tourism and travel sector has been the most impacted of all sectors by the COVID-19 global pandemic, therefore, the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities; Uganda Tourism Board; and all other agencies in the private sector are working hard to ensure tourism in Uganda recovers while we put in place whatever is required to have the sector back. We have also gone a step ahead working with the ministry and other sector stakeholders to put in place Standard Operating Procedures and make sure they are fully observed,” she said.