Kampala — Excitement filled the Sheraton ballroom on Sunday night as tour operators, personalities, and media practitioners, among other tourism stake holders, emerged winners of the Uganda Tourism Excellence Awards.
The Vice President Edward Ssekandi graced the ceremony, which recognised best tour operators, media practitioners, and other stake holders in the tourism market, at the climax of the just concluded tourism expo.
Among them, Kampala Serena hotel won the award for best luxury hotel, Mutanda Lake Resort for the best mid-range accommodation, Rwanda Development Board for best regional tourism board, and Serena hotels was the best overall exhibitor.
Rwandair for the second time won the award for best airline and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park was awarded the best wildlife destination. Mr Amos Wekesa and Ms Lilly Ajarova were winners of the tourism personality awards, while Uganda Wildlife Authority was crowned the best conservation institution.
Mr Wekesa is the Chairman of the Uganda Tourism Association and director of Great Lakes Safaris and Ms Ajarova is the Executive director at Chimpanzee sanctuary and wildlife conservation trustpoacher stay warn
Kampala — Cabinet has approved amendments to the Wildlife Act and toughened the penalties against wildlife crimes.
The review of the Uganda Wildlife Act 1996, seeks to address emerging challenges in conservation, including poaching, illicit trans-boundary wildlife trade and increasing human wildlife conflicts.
The acting commissioner of conservation in the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Dr Akankwasah Barirega, said the proposed law spells out a life sentence for a person convicted of wildlife crimes such as poaching and illegal wildlife trade.
"Cabinet already approved the Uganda Wildlife Bill 2015 and, among other things, the law is addressing is the issue of illegal wildlife trade and the penalties that come along with the offenders," Dr Akankwasa said.
"If Parliament agrees with what Cabinet has already approved, wildlife criminals will face a maximum sentence of life in prison," Dr Akankwasah added.