Uganda to Leverage MTN Kampala Marathon to Market Tourism

Uganda plans to leverage the Kampala Marathon to market the East African nation as an ideal tourist destination.

This follows a partnership between the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities and MTN Uganda for the next MTN Kampala marathon scheduled for Sunday November 20, 2022.

Martin Mugarrathe Minister of State for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities said the tourism sector hopes to use the marathon not only to raise funds to improve maternal and newborn health facilities, but also to draw global attention to the country’s tourism potential.

“Our athletes have become very famous in international marathons abroad, putting our country on the world athletics map,” he said.

“We therefore believe that the MTN Kampala Marathon is a golden opportunity for us to attract fans to our tourism potential by Kampala City like music clubs, cinemas, bars and other entertainment.”

He said Uganda is also rich in high-value destinations that offer exceptional wildlife, adventure and cultural experiences that match or exceed those of its neighbors.

Mugarra said that the tourism sector is one of the main sources of foreign exchange for Ugandagenerating US$1.6 billionand employs hundreds of people directly and indirectly per year.

MTN Uganda Chief executive officer, Sylvia Mulingeexpressed their delight to have tourism industry players on board for the upcoming MTN Kampala Marathon.

“Currently, countries around the world are banking on sports activities to promote their tourism, so we believe that the MTN Kampala Marathon will help us raise funds to save the lives of mothers and babies and also market our tourism potential.”

Mulinge said that only a healthy population can engage in tourism activities and thus contribute to the growth and development of the country.

Lilly Ajarova, chief executive of the Uganda Tourism Board, said the MTN Kampala Marathon was of particular interest to the tourism marketing agency as it developed a sports tourism strategy.

“We see the MTN Kampala Marathon as a special opportunity to kick off what we are already doing,” she said.

Amos Wekesathe managing director of Great Lakes Safaris says it is time for the country to market the MTN Kampala Marathon outside of Africa.

“We need to market this internationally and attract thousands of attendees who will come and fill our hotels, increase our income and create more jobs for our people,” he said.

In recent years, UTB and industry players have incorporated sporting events into their marketing strategy for the country’s tourist destination.

The UTB has joined forces with the Uganda Gold Union, Uganda Athletics Federation and in June last year, and in 2019, he entered into a 200 million shillings sponsorship deal and partnership with Uganda football’s governing body, FUFA, as an official tourism partner.

The partnership gave UTB the rights to brand Destination Uganda at local and international games that Ugandan Cranes compete in as well as work with the players in destination marketing campaigns.

Last year UTB unveiled star athlete Joshua Cheptegei as one of the Uganda tourism ambassadors. Cheptegei is the world record holder for the 5KM, 10,000M and 5000M and is now used by UTB to promote Uganda as a global tourist destination.

This year, the marathon organized under the theme “Run for Babies” is expected to generate proceeds which will be used to improve maternal and newborn services in four selected health facilities – Kisenyi and Kawaala health facilities in the suburbs of KampalaKachumbala in the Teso sub-region and Kaabong in the Karamoja sub-region.

Other partners of the MTN Kampala Marathon include; Stanbic bank, Rwenzori drinks, NBS sports, Huawei, New Vision and the Uganda Athletes Federation.

Copyright The Independent. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com)., source English press service