When Uganda’s Minister for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Maria Mutagamba, a few days ago called the Chairman of the Board of Airline Representatives in Uganda, Mr. Benjamin Puissant, to request for support for the revival of Miss Tourism Uganda, the subsequent meeting was not short of spectacular results.
From initially dozens of contestants did the judges meanwhile reduce the number to only 9, and those 9 will have the added experience to carry Uganda’s flag to the home hubs of the 7 participating airlines, which have consented to offer two seats each to one contestant and one cameraman to capture her exploits in faraway lands.
Brussels Airlines was immediately joined by Kenya Airways, KLM, Ethiopian Airlines, South African Airways, Turkish Airlines and Uganda’s own Air Uganda, the latter in fact giving tickets for 2 contestants to fly to a destination within their East African network.
The contestants will be looked after by the sponsoring airlines and have the opportunity to explore such cities as Nairobi, Amsterdam, Addis Ababa, Johannesburg, Istanbul and two East African capitals, probably Kigali and Dar es Salaam, and bring back their experience and new knowledge about travel and tourism when the competition goes into the final stages with yet more contestants being eliminated before Miss Tourism Uganda will be crowned during a Gala Night in Kampala later in the year.
Said Benjamin to this correspondent during a phone interview: ‘Brussels Airlines has always been a partner of Uganda Tourism and we do what we can to support the destination. Many of our fellow airlines immediately responded positively to our request to join Brussels Airlines in offering the contestants tickets and I thank them for their generosity. Four of them declined to be part of this great opportunity to promote Uganda as a destination but the support is enough to take care of the remaining 9 contestants’.
In fact, alongside this event Brussels Airlines offered a 10 percent rebate on their published fares for travelers wanting to visit Uganda from anywhere across their network, which includes New York, Washington DC and literally all the European capitals and commercial cities. A big thank you and bouquets to the participating airlines and the Ministry of Tourism for their initiative and barbs for those who snubbed Uganda’s call to be part of promoting the country abroad and increase visitor numbers to The Pearl of Africa.