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UGANDA CHOOSES MISS TOURISM 2015

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PRESS BRIEF AT UGANDA MEDIA CENTRE, 27TH AUGUST 2015


1.0    INTRODUCTION
The Miss Tourism Uganda pageant is organised by the Tourism sector under the leadership of the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities.

This event has emerged as one of the most glamorous and prestigious highlights on Uganda’s tourism and social calendar. The third Miss Tourism Uganda event has been organised under the theme, “Celebrating our Cultural Diversity”.

The main objective of Miss Tourism 2015 is to promote regional tourism and highlight the rich cultural endowment of Uganda through the facets of fashion, music, food and other cultural attributes of the peoples and places in the eleven uniquely different regions of the country. This year the participation has been drawn from Kigezi, Ankole, Tooro, Bunyoro, Buganda, Busoga, Eastern Mbale, Teso, Northern, West Nile and Karamoja Regions.

2.0    BACKGROUND
The importance of Tourism in Uganda has been elevated in its recognition within the Vision 2040 and the National Development Plan. The government has recognised the importance of the sector by creating a stand alone Ministry to support the growth of the sector. The sector is repositioning its strategy to match the current trends and addressing the binding constraints to growth.

Over the recent period, Uganda has been awarded several accolades in recognition of her natural beauty and record on conservation and indeed the visitor numbers have grown at an exponential rate, especially after the pacification of the country.

Our strategy is to expand this growth by tapping into the domestic market. Successful World tourism destinations are characterized by a strong domestic market. This is an existing market that is less prone to seasonal fluctuations. The Uganda domestic market represents an untapped value whose current spending pattern has less leisure and travel considerations.

A nation's most recognizable and enduring brand identities beyond the National Anthem, Court of Arms and the National Flag, also includes the people, their culture and expressions of beauty. The concept of capitalizing on the Miss Tourism Pageant is premised on building and promoting an additional brand identity to distinguish and promote Uganda's unique attributes and attractions as the true Pearl of Africa.

The Miss Tourism pageant exudes the strong love and willingness to portray the Pearl of Africa in the best light. It enhances a sense of discipline, productivity and service for the common good and promotes cultural values and tradition, and in a sense brands a nation for the core principles for which we stand.


3.0    BENEFITS OF ORGANISING THE MISS TOURISM PAGEANT
5.1    The Miss Tourism 2015 pageant has been positioned to promote regional tourism and highlight the rich cultural endowment of Uganda through the facets of fashion, music, food and other cultural attributes of the peoples and places.
5.2    The pageant is planned to build a strong, recognizable destination brand and event that supports the tourism marketing campaigns through youthful ambassadors to promote the visibility of our attractions and persuade the local population to invest and enjoy the rich cultural endowment of Uganda.
5.3    To create a platform for the youth to develop character and grow personally in poise, confidence, communication skills, physical fitness, and self-discipline.
5.4    To empower the girls and inspire the youth in tourism enterprise using the Miss Tourism Brand
5.5    To promote cultural tourism and inspire domestic demand for tourism
4.0    The Miss Tourism Journey
The search for Miss Tourism 2015 began this year in April with the mobilisation of the regions to participate. Eleven regions expressed interest to participate in the pageant. This exercise was followed by regional activations and trainings and was concluded with the final selection of three tourism ambassadors from each of the participating regions.
On a sad note, during the regional activation of 4th July , the team of former Miss Tourism Pageants and Media headed to the Ankole event, had an accident which suffered three fatalities. Miss Atim Norah, the reigning Queen for Northern, Miss Barbara Nakiwolo, the reigning Queen for Buganda and Miss Resty Namawejje a Media journalist perished in that accident. Ms. Betty Nyachwo is still recovering from the injuries.
We pray that the souls of the departed rest in eternal peace and the injured fully recover.  We regard the departed as angels of tourism and will keep their spirits alive by promoting the vision of the Miss Tourism Pageant.
The media unveiling of the Miss Tourism Pageant was held on the 12th August 2015 at J&M Hotel in Bwebajja. Thirty three pageants drawn from eleven regions participated in the exercise and were forwarded to a boot camp exercise and training in tourism, enterprise and beauty competition.
On the 22nd of August 2015, the beauty queens were subjected to an elimination exercise in which one participant from each region was eliminated. The 22 final competitors are now training and preparing for the grand finale event scheduled on the 28th August at the Kampala Serena Hotel.
The winners of the Miss Tourism Pageants will participate in the International Miss Tourism and Miss Heritage campaigns representing Uganda. The Ministry plans to engage the girls in tourism promotional work during the course of year as Miss Tourism Brand Ambassador.
5.0    Organisational Framework
The Miss Tourism Pageant is an initiative of the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities under the plan to diversify the product offer and build awareness for domestic tourism. The organisational participation is drawn from the tourism public and private sector. The public sector support has been led by, Uganda Tourism Board as the leading promotional agency, the Uganda Wildlife Authority as the leading conservation agency. The Hotel and Tourism Training Institute and the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, while the associations of Uganda Hotel Owners, Uganda Tour Operators and Board of Airlines Association have led the private sector support to the event.

6.0    Financial Arrangements
The Miss Tourism Pageant has been supported by the financial contribution of the key tourism institutions and sponsorship from the Airlines, Beverage and Cosmetic companies and Hotels. The need for greater catalytic support from government is critical in achieving the objectives of the Miss Tourism brand.
i)    The need for a national response and strategy to re awaken the sense of patriotism and pride in our cultural assets using the Miss Tourism brand
ii)    That Miss Tourism Initiative and Grand Finale Event is scheduled for the 28th August 2015 at the Kampala Serena Hotel under the theme “Celebrating our Cultural Diversity”

a)    Support
The promotion of the Miss Tourism brand and enhance the sense of national identity and pride.

b)    Invite
(i)    The general public to come and  participate in the Miss Tourism Final event on Friday 28th August 2015 at the Kampala Serena Hotel


MINISTRY OF TOURISM, WILDLIFE AND ANTIQUITIES
P.O. BOX 4241,
KAMPALA.
AUGUST,
 2015

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