KAMPALA, Uganda – On March 21, 2016 The Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) embarked on another phase – grading and classifying hotels and related accommodation facilities.

Under the Quality Assurance Department program, a hotel classification inventory exercise is being introduced, to determine whether a given hotel meets certain essential requirements.

“To qualify for classification, the hotel must meet all aspects of the essential requirements herewith attached,” said James Ssebagala, the UTB Coordinator for Quality Assurance.

“This exercise identifies classifiable hotels in order to prepare them effectively for the hotel classification program,” he added.

Last year, the Uganda Tourism Board held an awards ceremony for hotels previously classified under the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities.

The classification function was moved to UTB in 2014.   UTB Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Asiimwe, explained that the ongoing inventory exercise is aimed at guiding the assessment and standardization of accommodation facilities in Uganda.

“In classifying hotels, Uganda is working with the same standards applied by all East African Community members, which require that all accommodation facilities be classified under the same EAC standards,” Asiimwe said.

The present grading covers the physical and intangible service expected from an accommodation facility in a specified category and level of classification, he added.

The East African Criteria rating system is denoted by stars.   One star denotes the lowest and 5-star is the highest grade. Except for motels and restaurants, whose star rating range is from one to 3 and 3 to 5 respectively, all the other categories are graded from one to 5 stars.

About Uganda

Meeting eyes with a silverback mountain gorilla across a misty jungle after an arduous hike through Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, leaves a lasting impression of arguably the best wildlife safari in the world.   But there’s much more to Uganda.

Uganda is an outdoor sanctuary of crater lakes, white-sand beaches on lake islands, thundering waterfalls, and national parks. A top highlight is Ngamba Island Chimp Sanctuary, where rescued and orphaned chimpanzees live out their days on an island in Lake Victoria. Visitors can cross the equator by boat there, slicing through Africa’s largest lake.

What’s new? The Pope’s landmark visit is spurring plans towards Uganda 2040, when it aims to become a middle-income nation. Infrastructure improvements are part of the plan.

“While the crowds flock to the Serengeti or Masaai Mara, a lush country with fewer touristsawaits visitors in Uganda,” said Thornton of Intrepid Travel. “Mountain gorillas are the main attraction, but the countryside offers many activities.”

Away from the wild, visitors can enjoy the vibrant life of Kampala – the entertainment city of East Africa, that never sleeps. Going east, one can travel to Jinja, the adventure capital of East Africa ( www.atadventures.com/Jinja-Bujagali-adventure.html ), where the Nile begins its journey to Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea. The ashes of Gandhi, the great leader of India, were strewn at the source of the Nile in Jinja, where they too, began their journey to the rest of the world.

Wherever a visitor goes in Uganda, s/he is sure to enjoy the friendliness of the people.   There are 56 languages and dialects, so one can sample many cultures, foods, and lifestyles – all linked by the smile and warmth that defines the people of Uganda. It is a nation that brings together all people, and that is probably why Mahatma Ghandi’s ashes were sent to the world from this location at the source of the Nile.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Vincent Mugaba, Head of Public Relations, Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), Plot 42 Windsor Crescent, Kolol, P.O. Box 7211 Kampala, Uganda, Tel: +256 (0) 414 342 196/7, Fax: +256 (0) 414 342 188, Mob: +256 (0) 772 403 330, E: vmugaba@tourismuganda.info