“With the growth currently experienced in Karamoja’s tourism industry, the demand for qualified and experienced tour guides and hospitality staff is on the increase.
The reality is that the industry is growing faster than the amount of trained and certified indigenous people. Our Development Programme aims at bridging this gap by training learners in the relevant skills as well as creating the opportunity to gain the necessary experience to enter the market as a qualified tour guide and hospitality staff.”
In order to create more consistent opportunities for communities in Karamoja to play a productive role in the tourism industry, Kara-Tunga, Karamoja Tours aims to further grow its offer in the field of soft adventure and cultural tours. This process will enable Kara-Tunga to improve the quality of the tour packages offered and to further grow the demand for tours in Karamoja.
The current social business model of Kara-Tunga has proven to be inclusive, including low-income people on the supply side as employees, producers and entrepreneurs, bringing the benefits of tourism directly to low-income communities. Also it has proven to be viable, as demonstrated by the financial figures over the first two years of its operations.
Unfortunately, the financial reserves of Kara-Tunga are not able to cover the investments required to further build the capacity of tourism guides in the region through relevant training. This limits the business in scaling up to a level at where it’s inclusive, sustainable and benefitting the whole region of Karamoja. Therefore United Nations Development Programme has given her trust and support to timely implement such a process of capacity building.
In 2018-2019 the strategy of the Karamoja Tourism Academy will be developed in cooperation with EyeOpenerWorks and involving national (Uganda) and regional (Karamoja) stakeholders. The research is funded by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.
In October 2018 – March 2019 a pilot training of tour guides and hospitality staff will take place in close collaboration with Uganda Safari Guides Association, Uganda Wildlife Association and Akiiki Connecting Communication. Funded by UNDP (tour guiding), Enabel (hospitality) and Akiiki (communication).
After the research and pilot training, the curriculum will be developed and the Karamoja Tourism Academy will be formalised as a sustainable tool for tourism development in the Karamoja region.
Kara-Tunga, Karamoja Tours believes that learning a skill like tour guiding should be as participatory and interactive as possible. To safeguard these element in the process of capacity building Kara-Tunga has engaged with EyeOpenerWorks, a Kampala based agency specialized in developing and implementing trainings geared at active and practical learning.
Kara-Tunga and EyeOpenerWorks work together with experts from relevant actors like Uganda Wildlife Authority, Uganda Safari Guides Association to 1) develop a basic training package tour guides and hospitality staff in Karamoja, and 2) facilitate this training for Karamojong youth.