Experienced Kenyan Hotelier Samantha Muna has urged the Government of Uganda to continue funding different Tourism and hospitality forums saying it’s through such forums that Uganda will be able to increase tourist arrivals and guest experiences.
Muna, whose career spans three continents – USA, Europe and Africa – in various roles in operations, management, consultancy and advisory, was speaking during the Third Innovation Series that ran under the theme Game-Changing Creativity: The Road to Hyper Growth in Hospitality” at Golf Course Hotel in Kampala.
“In order to increase tourist numbers and experience, the government of Uganda should continue facilitating different tourism forums and discussions, hotels must ensure quality internet/WIFI connection, have different innovations for better experience and ensure staff have some digital knowledge,” said Muna who has over 25 years of experience in the hospitality sector.
Muna, currently the Director of Development for Hilton East and Central Africa gave an example of digital platforms that allow real-time booking like their Hilton Honours app that has strongly enhanced their visitors’ experience.
She said the application allows guests to select their rooms of choice, do digital check-ins, provide digital keys where guests can use their phones as keys to open their rooms and many other experiences.
Daniel Irunga, a Senior Marketing Officer at Uganda Tourism Board, who also spoke at the function, said they intend to have the Tourism Act amended to embrace all the different digital innovations in the tourism and hospitality industry.
Aly Alibhai, the Chief Executive Officer of Talent Africa Group that organizes and hosts music festivals in East Africa said they have fully gone digital in ticket sales, marketing of their concerts is done online and have ensured a cashless environment at all their events.
“Ticket sales have become easy through digital platforms,” he said.
Brian Ntambirweki the Marketing Director Virtual University of Uganda said joint efforts are widely needed to have Uganda realize its set target of registering 4 million tourist arrivals by 2020 while earning $2.7 billion within the period.
BY PAUL TENTENA