Long-distance runner and world champion Joshua Cheptegei has today been officially named as Uganda’s new tourism ambassador.
While speaking during the unveiling, Cheptegei said; “I am delighted to be here this morning to express solidarity with all the players in Uganda’s tourism industry, as they seek to rebuild an industry that has been nearly destroyed by the #Covid-19 pandemic. I am deeply grateful to the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) for having chosen me for this huge responsibility, to be my country’s Tourism Ambassador.”
“I look forward to sharing my Ugandan story to the rest of the world. In the same breath, I wish to call upon every Ugandan, especially those in the diaspora to make it a point to visit and discover more about this our country.”
According to Uganda Tourism Board-UTB CEO, Lilly Ajarova, this is a mutually beneficial partnership where UTB shall collaborate with Cheptegei and provide support towards his athletics activities at both the domestic and international level and in turn, earn his support and access to his platforms to promote brand destination Uganda.
Cheptegei will consequently use his image in photos, videos and other promotional materials as deemed fit by the Uganda Tourism Board.
“World over, there are mixed signals about the tourism industry’s recovery in this year. In Uganda we expect regional and intra-African visitors to pick up in the second half of 2021,” Ajarova added.
In 2020, at a road race in Monaco, Cheptegei set a new world road 5 km record of 12:51, breaking through the event’s 13-minute barrier, taking 9 seconds from the previous best time of 13:00, set by Kenya’s Sammy Kipketer in 2000.
In August 2020, at the Monaco Diamond League meet, he set a new 5000 metres world record of 12:35.36, breaking Kenenisa Bekele’s 16-year-old world record of 12:37.35 set in Hengelo and On 7 October 2020, in Valencia, he set a world record time of 26:11.00 in the 10000 meters, which again improved on Kenenisa Bekele’s 15-year-old record by more than 6 seconds.