Genesis 2:15 is to Hebrew words, to describe God’s purpose to placing man in the Garden of Eden. Trying to expound the meaning of serving and protecting, the core of our purpose here on earth, and our instruction for worshiping God.
But is always hard to claim that you love the creator, when ignoring the profound harm being done to his master piece. “The more we move to neglect our duty on earth, the further we stray from his purpose. And the closer we are, to succumbing to an existential threat to humanity. Conserving nature and making it potentially impactful to human kind.
And so it is to a tourism framework, bold and aspirational with enabling tranquility to sell the Ssese Archipelago to the rest of the world. It is a duty that the woman member of Parliament, Ms. Helen Nakimuli sought to achieve in her latest interaction with several enthusiasts in North America.
The MP traveled earlier this month with a sole agenda to intensify knowledge dissemination about the Ssese Islands.
“And I would be lying if I said we were anywhere close to understanding the potential of the tourism industry until I perceived that information is key. The fact that fascinating experiences traversing the Ssese Islands come days after an internal, heartily agreement that our destinations are the envy of all other places is proof that anything is possible and achievable if we move to improve and make tourism the island’s strategic source of income,” Nakimuli said as she spoke to several tour operators in the California, USA.
The Ssese islands are an 84 island archipelago also known as the Ssese Group. They are a home to more than 1187 bird species with a bird sanctuary, commonly known as Nsirwe Island. The Islands of the Gods are also rich with Heritage, cliffs water falls, fascinating forest and nature walks and, a serene environment fit for a gate away for tourism and a holiday.
The destination has always had peak seasons for Christmas holiday makers’ book out all hotel rooms. However, the MP says, tourists and nature lovers would, with enough information and desired, targeted audiences, holidays by international travelers could be taken to the Ssese islands, spaced within the different time zones and periods around the world.
“So, our work today is to make sure that people know, world over that Ssese Archipelago is that one place we all need to visit and spend a holiday. More work needs to be done in telling the world that we have the services. And, it’s not just what you say. It’s how you say it, with impactful suasion that would be us open all our islands and its hidden tourism treasure to a national income generating venture.” She added.
The MP met delegations from other countries such as Germany and Finland. She also spoke to a number of tour operators around the world who gathered to make a case on new and modern tourism for the next decade.
After the fall of Fishing, the balance of power of what would have been the biggest revenue earning in Kalangala shifted to favor tourism. Great marketing skills and the telling of stories that inspire people to visit the islands were the only thing that kept driving tourists to get the island district. However, such numbers remain limited.
It is upon such background that the MP, in persuasion of the Island tourism master plan moves to intensify the potential through an increase of the numbers. She targets up to 20,000 tourists visiting the Islands every year by December 2024.
“When we have each tourist leave at least USD 2,000 that would be a lot of income and more taxes would be earned by the District Authorities in form of Hotel tax and other locally generated revenue measures for our District. It is thus important to think and act big enough to ensure that we are successful.” Nakimuli says.
Currently, the industry contributes less than Ugx 100 million as taxes. Nakimuli now says, it is also paramount that the government also provides more and more infrastructure developments like the provision of secure water transport infrastructure to enable tourists get to the distant islands and shores safely.
The initiative comes at a time when other Kalangala District leaders including the Kyamuswa County MP Moses Kabuusu and Rajab Ssemakula, the District chairperson have intensified calls to have the Minister for Works and Transport, Gen Edward Katumba Wamala commit on when a Marine Vessel that plys to Kalangala’s outlying islands is also secured.
“We also call upon investors to come and make boost the recreation sector on our outlying islands to ensure that they all benefit from the potential we all move to create.” Says Moses Kabuusu, the Kyamuswa County Member of Parliament.
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