Jennifer Musisi-KCCA-ED

 

Jennifer Musisi-KCCA-ED
Jennifer Musisi-KCCA-ED

 

Kampala is set to get its first city tour buses – a development that will come as a major boost for urban tourism and further diversify the tourism product offerings.

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Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) is working with Albrieux Africa tours to get the product running by the end of the year.

‪KCCA public & corporate affairs manager, Peter Kaujju, confirmed the city tour bus project saying it is part of the various initiatives aimed at increasing the allure of the city.

Kampala is considered the entertainment capital of East Africa and is one of the most diverse capitals across Africa. Its social scene and night life is almost unparalled across the region with theatre, bar, culture, and live shows dotting the city center from Monday to Monday.

“Kampala has the heritage that makes it special and unique. This is a city with a long and impressive history and cultural attractions spread in different corners for visitors to explore,” said Albrieux Giacomo, the boss of Albrieux Africa Tours.

The city tour itinerary includes stopovers at various elegant historical features that remain almost a secret because of limited marketing. Among them is the Namugongo Martyrs Shrine, Bahai Temple, Old Kampala Mosque that enables a visitor to see the entire city skyline, Kasubi Tombs, Uganda Museum, and Makerere University – one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in East and Central Africa.

KCCA placed the invitation for expression of interest for the product in 2014. Three companies expressed interest, submitted bids, and were considered by KCCA contracts committee.

According to Kaujju, the best evaluated bidder was Albrieux Africa Tours and Travel agency.

“KCCA signed a memorandum of understanding with the company to supply the city bus tour services for five years, the provider has initiated the procurement of two new ‪Ashok Leyland double decker buses,” noted Kaujju.

Kaujju said the locations for the ticketing booth have been approved by KCCA and will be at the National theatre, Kabaka njagalla road near independence monument, and at the national museum.

“The authority has also secured space at Jubilee Park Sheraton to set up a tourist information center where UTB offices, tour operators/guide offices, a craft shop, UWA souvenir shop, and café will be set up,” said Kaujju.

‪‎Giacomo said the product is intended to maximize tourism revenue by taking them to places they would not have considered visiting because of traffic and lack of organized tours.

Globally, city tours enable short-stay visitors to experience the life of the country captured in the city but also add revenue to the economy through the purchase of souvenirs and spending on the short trips.

“We want to create brand/image and reputation for Kampala as a city of hospitality and recreation,” noted Giacomo.

The product, one of the many emerging, will also target to ignite domestic tourism ranging from schools to enthusiastic corporate groups and individuals as well as international tourists booked by tour operators and the walk in tourists.

It will also target conference and meeting delegates, foreign guests booked by foreign embassies, cultural tourists, religious tourists, business tourists, academic tourists, and political tourists

It will run under the theme “Kampala Landscape and Cultures” to let visitors have an experience of the “beautiful undulating scape and historical heritage “of Kampala, and the quiet and scenic peaks of the hills. A suggested name for the tour is “The Seven Hills Odyssey.”

The main hotel cluster in the city, and thus the main embarkation point for visitors wishing to join the tour circuit, is the Nakasero area neighboring the major hotels of Sheraton, Serena, ‪‎Speke, and Imperial Royal hotels.

“This is next to the independence green park and the Jubilee Park – all ideal for relaxing as you wait for your maiden ride,” noted Giacomo.

The company is proposing more use of the National Theatre complex in staging cultural shows and performances aimed at the tourism market.

They are also proposing the remodeling of the African Craft Village by removing the existing concrete structure to provide a setting which reflects Uganda’s cultural heritage with buildings reflecting indigenous architectural styles and materials.