KAB unveils Institute of Tourism & Hospitality; urged to address the region’s tourism needs.
Kabale University has officially launched the Institute of Tourism and Hospitality, which has been previously under the Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences. According to the current Head of the Institute, Dr. Christine Ampumuza, the Institute aims at being an International Center of Excellence in Tourism Studies and Research.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Joy Kwesiga noted that the Kigezi region is strategically located as a center of tourist attraction. “KAB, being an educational institution comes in to fill the gap through carrying out research, training tour guides and establishing a partnership with the tourism industry”, she noted.
Prof. Kwesiga commended the staff in the Institute, headed by Dr. Christine Ampumuza for their hard work in nurturing it, that has resulted in its growth to an Institute. She stated that the courses the institute offers address the needs of the Kigezi region in which KAB operates and it plays a significant role in the socioeconomic development of the area and the nation as a whole.
The Guest of Honor, Can. Ivan Batuma emphasized the importance of the tourism industry and academia partnership towards the development of the tourism sector. “This collaboration is a driving force behind innovation, sustainability and growth in the dynamic world of travel and exploration. Academia brings forth knowledge and fresh perspectives through rigorous studies and research in which you identify trends, challenges and opportunities that shape tourism landscape”, he noted.
Can Mbabazi explained that academic research helps the tourism industry understand the ever challenging preferences of customers and also know the complexity of delivering services. “This helps transform the theoretical concepts into practical experiences and successful ventures”, he noted. He therefore called on these players to foster a two-way exchange of knowledge in order to produce skilled and ready to work students who are able to promote sustainable tourism practices. Can. Mbabazi noted that working together will help to find innovative ways to protect and preserve the natural and cultural heritages for the generations to come.
He further encouraged students go back to their local communities after graduation and develop them.
“I decided to come back home in Kabale after my graduation, started small here and I keep growing everyday. When you finish you studies, it is important to go to your local community and develop it because there are so many opportunities to bring services nearer to your community. The West and North developed their world, so we must develop our own region”, he added.
The Dean Faculty of Economics and Management Assoc. Prof. Caleb Tamwesigire assured the guests that he would continue to work together with the Institute to see that it continues to contribute to regional development. He noted that the unit’s growth into an institute is as a result of hard work, and commended the members for their hard-work and teamwork.
Dr. Ampumuza’s presentation highlighted the significant progress made by the department. Initially, they began with only one course and a small number of students, but now they have successfully grown to accommodate over 280 students. She further stressed that the Institute was committed to taking tourism to the local people in the region.