The Uganda Hoteliers Chairperson, Mrs. Susan Muhwezi has expressed her disappointment with the way the Uganda Hotel and Tourism Training Institute (HTTI), was downgraded to a three-star hotel.
She made these remarks on Tuesday May 28, 2019, while on a familiarization tour of the hotel institute in Jinja.
“Iam disappointed to hear that the training hotel currently under construction was downgraded to a three-star hotel rather than the originally quoted four-star hotel,” Mrs. Muhwezi said.
She however, reassured the Hotel Training Institute of Uganda Hotel Owner’s Association (UHOA) support. UHOA is a trade and lobbying organisation that includes almost all of the nation’s hotels, lodges and camps among its members.
“UHOA has been lobbying for the improvement of HTTI and we are therefore happy to visit the Institute on a fact finding mission so as to see how best UHOA can join hands with the management to improve the wellbeing of the students as well as development of the school,” Mrs. Muhwezi said.
Adding that, “UHOA is very well represented in the Tourism sector with a membership of over 500 hotels and therefore has the best platform to push for the most pressing needs of HTTI.”
She said that, Uganda was lagging behind in terms of capacity development and that most of the good management staff had all been to the Kenya UTALI College for training, preferring it to our own HTTI.
Mrs. Muhwezi reiterated her earlier comments on the need to make Human Resource a priority in the tourism and hospitality sector especially now that Uganda is positioning herself for the Meetings, Incentives, Conference and Events (MICE) market.
“UTB has already hired a staff that will be in charge of MICE,” she said.
On her part, the Principal HTTI, Ms. Miriam Amori, thanked the UHOA Chairlady and Board members for visiting the Institute.
“I applaud the good and supportive working relationship between UHOA and HTTI and welcome the Board’s decision to be more involved in ensuring that HTTI becomes a center of excellence for Uganda’s hospitality sector,” Ms. Amori said.
She went on to brief the UHOA Board on the daily operations of the school, opportunities available to the students, fees structure, developments being undertaken as well the current challenges affecting the growth and improvement of services at the school.
UHOA Board then took on a tour of the facility as well as the new hotel under construction. The Board members were joined by the Chairman of the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), Hon Daudi Migereko.
While on the tour, the Board members noted that the contractors would not be able to meet their September deadline. They were also informed that though the hotel had a foundation for three floors, they were constructing only two floors due to lack of funds.
The UHOA Chairperson promised to lobby for more funds that would help complete the 3rd floor as well as build a hostel for the students thereby making it a complete centre of excellence for hospitality.
– AHIF –
Last year, UHOA held a meeting with the management of the African Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF), the largest hotel conference on the continent. The meeting which was also attended by the Tourism Ministry Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Doreen Katusiime was meant to bid for this conference to be hosted in Uganda in 2021. The private sector has put the investment in place to facilitate the MICE industry, it’s now time to look at the human resource to service this segment of the market.