Kampala. Plans are underway to train and certify all tourism drivers as Uganda seeks to standardise its service level to maintain the current growth momentum.
This, according to the Uganda Tourism Association (UTA), will be achieved before the end of this year.
“Drivers are the front line workers in the tourism sector. They spend most of the time with the visitors,” the UTA deputy chairperson Herbert Byaruhanga, said adding that the way drivers treat visitors, gives them the experience they take back home which will determine their return or recommendation to other visitors to come and visit.
Uganda has been aggressively seeking to rise tourism numbers with a target to at least reach 2.1 million visitors by the end of this year.
Ms Pearl Hoareau Kakooza, the UTA chairperson, said tooling employees in the industry with professional skills will clean up the sector as well as attract more visitors.
“You need a professional driver who is knowledgeable about the animals, birds, culture, security of the tourist sites, road safety and will avoid telling the visitors their personal problems,” she said.
This was said during a graduation ceremony of 50 tourist drivers in Kampala.
Mr Byaruhanga, said cases of drivers robbing tourists create a negative impact on the business, which calls concerted efforts to fight.
“We can get rid of these people because there is no way quacks can join the business and we fail to detect them,” he said.
In addition to ordinary driving, he said, professional tourist drivers must have defence driving skills and other skills that gives comfort to guests.