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Wednesday 13 September 2023


Tourism industry employees have reasons to smile broadly after the Tanzania National Park embarked on placing significant emphasis on recognizing the pivotal role played by dedicated staff to boost the leisure business to great heights.

By Mutayoba Arbogast, Bukoba

Miss Tourism Rwenzori of Uganda Miss Sarah Rusoke, also graced the award ceremony

Mary Kalikawe, The East Africa Business and Tourism Expo Bukoba 2023 Sustainability Director and Managing Director of Kiroyera Tours based in Bukoba who is also the Chairperson of Association of Women in Tourism Tanzania and who is an Ambassador on the African Tourism Board was the organizer and director of this Tourism award ceremony held in Bukoba in July 2023.

his was the second awards ceremony she organised in Bukoba after the one of 2016 which was held on world Tourism Day at the Lake Victoria shore site where Kiroyera offices were located before being flooded out by the lake in the year 2020. The tourism awards of 2016 were also accompanied by a tourism expo and targeted more the community around Bukoba.

For areas that had been hardly acclaimed for tourism like Bukoba District, awards have made considerable strides to promote innovative actions alongside protecting the environment.

Through awards, tourism has been encouraged in a way that sees the integration of local people into a responsible travel chain and transforms Tanzania into a responsible tourism destination.

12 people and organisations were allocated with awads: President Samia Suluhu Hassan, Cuthbert Ncube- Executive President African Tourism Board, Tanzania Tour Guide Association, Agnes Rwegasira- Tourism industry, University of Dar es salaam, and Remigius Nshange- Resident prominent businessman.

Others are Tanzania Broadcasting Cooperation, Tanzania National Parks, Young African Sports Club- CAF competitors' finalist, Yoas Zachwa-Resident prominent businessman, Amina Kashoro- an Environmentalist, and Air Tanzania Cooperation.

"If we get sponsors of this Prestigious award ceremony that serves to promote the forgotten Lake Victoria resource as an unused Tourist resource, the awards to another set of promotors of Tourism will be held in July 2024", Kalikawe told the conference.

Tanzania National Parks TANAPA’s Rubondo Island National Park won the Award for its nature Conservation Role in Lake Victoria.

During Mr. Superious Kalemela's life (popularly known as Super Kalemela)as a tour guide, Rubondo Island National Park was the only developed tourist attraction in Bukoba District, Kagera Region.

Rubondo Island offers an incredibly unique adventure experience in a pristine sub-tropical ecosystem on which elephants and chimpanzees roam wild.

Awards have seen TANAPA staff morale boosted significantly, on many occasions, following the recorded triumph.

Tourism is an industry where employees can work long hours and face challenges, this can be especially important.

For example, Super Kalemera made many trips to the park in adverse conditions the road from Bukoba to Muganza where one branches off the main road to go to the Lake was not tared and was rough, he had to pass through a part of Biharamulo game reserve at that time which had bandits hijacking vehicles, a situation which pushed him to seek police escort.

According to the tourism record in the Region, Kalemera faced another danger in his endeavor to boost tourism as he had to carry forex in cash as the card payment system which is secure and available now, was not yet functioning at that time.

Mr. Supper's nonresistance to serve tourists in these adverse situations is one of the reasons why he has an award dedicated to his name and to Lake Victoria which he served so we'll till his retirement as a tour guide in the year 2020 after which he eventually died of abdominal cancer in 2022, according to the report.

The report says the gallant adventurer had served as a tour guide for 18 years in the Lake Victoria region before his retirement.

In recognition of people who did all in their power to boost tourism, the award event has since provided Responsible Tourism Tanzania with opportunities to reward innovations in responsible tourism while providing information on best practices.

Among the values emphasized by these awards are innovations that take care of the environment, local people and cultures, impact on women and youth empowerment, and positive contributions to Sustainable Development Goals while practicing tourism business.

Acknowledgment is considered one of the main benefits that comes with winning an award-of course one may have to enter it first.

This is why Mr. Joas Zachwa a prominent businessman in Bukoba who is in the Hotels and entertainment business supports the Miss Kagera beauty pageants, which are held at the highest standards with winners receiving a number of awards, especially brand-new cars.

Miss Kagera had become one of the people drawers to Bukoba and in the districts in which Mr. Zachwa had invested in of a kind modern social hall known as Sky Social Hall.

This investment has promoted the status of Bukoba town, which sees prestigious venues and its environs acclaimed the world over.

Of the many hats he wears, Mr. Zachwa owns the most coveted radio station in Bukoba, Kasibante FM.

The ambassadorial role of media much needed in tourism is well played by Kasibante Radio for Bukoba and Kagera Region.

Winning can help in establishing one’s business as a leader in the industry, as well as their region as a valuable marketing tool. Air Tanzania Corporation (ATC) scooped an award in this direction for boosting tourism to great heights.

Another breakthrough award was received by the Air Tanzania Branch manager in Bukoba Mr. Lugendo Halfan in acknowledging the pivotal role played after it had revived operations with a big modern fleet, signaling tourism promotion the world over.

The airline flies domestically and internationally to serve travelers including tourists. Bukoba Air Tanzania is ever full of Passengers to the extent it's one daily flight between Dar es Salaam via Mwanza to Bukoba is indeed insufficient.

“There is a cry for more flights to serve the Kagera Region. When clients cry for more, it is an indicator of good service. Congratulations ATC,” said the guest of honor, Cuthbert Ncube, Executive President, African Tourism Board.

Awards are powerful ways to differentiate one’s business from one’s competitor and help to build trust and incredibly with potential customers.

The East Africa Business and Tourism Expo Bukoba 2023 Sustainability Director and Managing Director of Kiroyera Tours based in Bukoba who doubles as Chairperson of the Association of Women in Tourism Tanzania and organized this tourism award ceremony.

Mary Kalikawe (Right), Founder and Managing Director of Kiroyera Tours, presenting a cerificate and trophy to Hon.Cuthbert Ncube, Executive President African Tourism Board

This was the second awards ceremony she organized in Bukoba after the one of 2016 which was held on World Tourism Day at the Lake Victoria shore site where Kiroyera offices were located before being flooded out by the lake in the year 2020.

The tourism awards of 2016 were also accompanied by a tourism expo and targeted the community around Bukoba.

Being the recipient of a tourism award has assisted the tourism expo in Bukoba in demonstrating credibility to the business distribution partners.

Inspiration and motivation have been cited as one of the benefits of winning awards as it is a powerful way of recognizing the hard and dedication of employees.

This year's awards in Bukoba had an international air to them as awardees were drawn from as far as South Africa representing tourism at the Continental level.

Among the people who attended the award ceremony was Mr. Francis Mugoga, a prominent tourism figure in Uganda who is also a global Ambassador on the African Tourism Board.

There was also Miss Tourism Rwenzori of Uganda by the name of Miss Sarah Rusoke, who also graced the award ceremony in Bukoba. There was Mr Ngai from the Democratic Republic of Congo who attended the ceremony.

In 1998, Tanzania was awarded a symbol for its outstanding leadership within the Africa Travel Association during the just-ended Africa Travel Congress conference in Accra, Ghana.

The country which hosted last year's Africa Travel Association (ATA) annual congress and trade show in Arusha was praised by Ms. Mira Berman, the New York-based ATA's executive director for having successfully organized the conference which was the best-ever since the establishment of ATA twenty years ago

It was a moment of jubilation and applause from delegates as the Tanzanian delegation led by the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Mrs. Zakia Meghji proceeded in front of conference delegates to receive the award. The award shield is inspired by the African continent and made out of 20-carat gold with a text seen in one of the TANAPA webpage reading:

"Outstanding leadership within the' Africa Travel Association" presented to Tanzania's Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism at the 24th International Congress in Accra.

Members of one of the organizations which received award, with a jovial mood

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