By Titus Kakembo Employees are destined to be inspired to deliver services by their employers with a reward to either scale Mountain Rwenzori, tour the globally famed national parks, track gorillas or go for a holiday in a plush hotel with a partner.
“This is called none cash incentive tourism which has been in place since time immemorial,” revealed Uganda Tourism Association (UTA) president Pearl Kakooza. “It is when institutions reward employees and clients with fun, food and entertainment. This can be packaged along with learning and work in this virtual era.”
The breakfast symposium attended by hoteliers, tour guides, drivers, Uganda Tourism Board, Uganda Wildlife Authority and ministry officials were challenged to embrace it if the industry is to recover.
“Travel incentives are a reward subset of an incentive programme, recognition program or a loyalty program, which is a business tool designed to change consumer behaviour to improve profit, cash flow, employee engagement and customer engagement,” Kakooza explained.
“It is going to be a gimmick trigger action, as a reward for these actions from employees or business partners.”
It fosters loyalty and is better than cash incentives for an organisation.
“When one is given a cash reward of sh5m or more, they may service a loan or spend it, but an experience is indelible on one’s memory.”
Kizito added that if properly designed and executed, such an incentive programme can impact all departments and the returns on investment can be proven.
The tourism incentive promotion is part of an ongoing rejuvenation drive dubbed the COVID-19 Economic Recovery and Resilience Response Programme (CERRRP Project.) It is being funded by the Mastercard Foundation, and implemented by the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) and Uganda Tourism Association.
“Domestic tourism is the industry’s key focus,” noted the ministry’s permanent secretary Doreen Katusiime. “It is one way to catalyse recovery – incentive tourism.”
“Today we are also kick starting a period of subsidised trips around Uganda for Ugandans, booked through Ugandan professional tour operators,” Richard Kawere, the UTA CEO, said.