Following the end of the insurgency in northern Uganda, tourism activities are to be revived. “The potential of tourism in this region is enormous,” says Edwin Muzahura, the spokesperson of the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB).
“We are preparing activities expected to rekindle the rich and diverse culture after 20 years of insurgency.”
UTB plans to harness cultural properties and historical sites including internally displaced peoples camps.
Other attractions being prepared for tourism operations are cultural and historical sites such as Fort Patiko, Wadelai, Aruu Falls in parts of northern Uganda.
Also trails have taking tourists to explore areas of historical significance such as Samuel Baker, Luo migrations into northern Uganda have been constructed.
Another trail will lead tourists to the birth place of 1972 Olympic Gold Medalist John Akibua (R.I.P) in Abako village, Lira district.
A brochure to be used as a promotional material for the sites and trails will be distributed locally and internationally. It will be distributed to embassies, Government departments, corporate entities and international entry points.
Muzahura was speaking ahead of the activities organised to commemorate the UN World Tourism Day on September 27.
Gulu will host the national celebrations under the theme, “Celebration of Tourism’s role in linking together the cultures of the world through travel.”
“The activities to celebrate World tourism day in Gulu is an opportunity to tell the world that the war is over and showcase what northern Uganda offers,” said Muzahura.
“It will also help to spread the benefits of tourism to northern Uganda.”
UTB has teamed up with Mahali Africa Consult, a local firm based in Kampala and Purongo, Nwoya district to organise a weeklong activities starting September 23 in Gulu.
On September 23 and 24, the Gulu community will be mobilised to undertake a cleanup and marking of Zebra crossings.
The cultural and historical sites will be officially designated as tourism destinations.
A four day exhibition from September 24-27 will follow and national celebrities like Angela Katatumba, Jackie Chandiru and Kora Award nominee who is also a tourism ambassador Susan Kerunen are expected to perform.
The aim, according to UTB is to celebrate the revival of the lost art and cultural forms, traditional wear, dance, merchandise, folklore from west Nile, Luo, Karamojong to Nubian.
The celebrations will reach a climax with a band match past through Gulu and a corporate dinner at the new boma hotel where local artists will perform.
“Uganda is rich not only in biological diversity, but also in cultures,” said Amos Wekesa, the President of Uganda Tourism Association.
“Northern Uganda had been forgotten. With the return of peace to northern Uganda, it is now possible to go to any part of the country.”