By Kampala Sun writer
The recent #Explore Uganda tourism campaign gaining momentum, was a huge success if the indulgence and social media hype by the beauty queens and influencers Salvador, Madrat and Chicco, Dance Mamweta was anything to go by.
However, behind the hype there were grumbles of facilitation or lack of it that have found their way to the media. It was recently reported that a top organizer and Ministry of Tourism official was in the spotlight over the beauty queens’ facilitation.
During the recent Explore West, the queens from all regions, including Ankole, Buganda, Kasese, Tooro and Bunyoro as well as Miss Tourism Uganda were part of the faces of the campaign alongside influencers.
However, one of the queens came out and claimed they were made to sign for moneys they did not receive.
“Imagine we were told we would receive more than Sh500,000 for all the days we explored Mbarara, Kasese through to Fort Portal. When the sign sheets arrived, our handler, who before setting off, told us we were at his mercy, said we append our signatures to Sh500,000 but give him Sh300,000. We took home Sh200,000 each. Imagine!” the story reads.
However, in an interview with The Kampala Sun, the management of the Miss Tourism pageant makes some clarifications.
They admit that the ministry invited the Miss Tourism pageant to participate in Explore West campaign and committed to facilitate four three beauty queens and their care taker with Sh550,000 each for their upkeep.
The queens were selected by the Miss Tourism Management and forwarded to participate in the promotional campaign that was scheduled for 20th – 24th April 2023.
“The Explore West Campaign management facilitated the beauty pageants as agreed at the end of the campaign. It should be noted that the Miss tourism management mobilized a forward facilitation of Sh300,000 to the queens as they awaited the agreed Sh550,000 from the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities
They reveal that upon the payment, the Miss Tourism Management deducted the forward facilitation as had been agreed with the queens.
“We regret the wrong perception created that put the image of the Ministry of Tourism and campaign in bad light. We support the Explore Uganda campaign and commit to promote domestic tourism in Uganda. The affected parties have been clarified and we are available to provide any further information on this matter,” they explained.