Ekkula Tourism Awards Celebrates Champions of Sustainable Tourism Practices

Ekkula Tourism Awards Celebrates Champions of Sustainable Tourism Practices

Ekkula Sustainable Tourism Awards 2023: Promoters of Sustainable Tourism Practises Recognized at the 6th Edition of Ekkula Sustainable Tourism Awards held at Sheraton Kampala Hotel on Friday 24th Nov. 2023.

The much anticipated 6th Edition of Ekkula Sustainable Tourism Awards went down in remarkable fashion at the awards night gala where promoters of sustainable tourism practises, innovations and services were recognized. 

This year's theme; Greening Tourism for improved Sustainable Tourism Practices; a vehicle to a climate resilient and Community-Led biodiversity Conservation approach.’’  The colorful event welcomed notable players in the tourism industry, government and the private sector. 

Leading up to this day, a call for nominations in the different categories was passed and a team of judges thoroughly analyzed, researched and came up with four nominees in each category from the overwhelming number received from the public. 

A voting portel that accounted for 70% of the total votes was opened for the public to cast their votes. The panel of judges who included Vivian Liaz the AG Tourism commissioner at the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Sarah Kagingo the CEO of Soft Power News, Charllotte Beauvoisin Nagawa of the famous diary of a muzungu, Eric Ntalo the head of communication at UWEC Entebbe Zoo and Fanny Martinez CEO Back to the source tours also accounted for their 30% to come up with the final winners in each category. 

One of the judges (Sarah Kagingo) handing over an award to one of the winners 

The Chief Guest Hon. Kabyanga Godfrey, the State minister for ICT was in awe of how the young people are owning up the tourism space and developing products that meet the needs of the industry.

The state minister for ICT Hon. Geofrey Kabyanga

The Minister was full of praise for all successful nominees and winners including Uganda Airlines who won in the category of 'Sustainable Airline of the year',

 "I want to extend my sincere appreciation to Uganda Airlines for making a footprint in the Airline industry in a very short time. The management led by Jennifer Bamuturaki is doing a great job." Hon. Kabyanga said.

CEO Uganda Airlines, Jennifer Banuturaki receiving an award for Sustainable Airline of the Year.

The State Minister for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Hon. Martin Mugarra Bahinduka Congratulated the winners, applauded the nominees for the good work they are doing and pledged full support from his Ministry to the initiative's organisers going forward.

Hon. Martin Mugarra, state minister for Tourism giving his remarks.

Bismac Moses Amumpaire the team leader of Africa Tourism and Environment Initiatives (ATEI), the brainchild of Ekkula Sustainable Tourism Awards Congratulated the winners and applauded the nominees for the good work they are doing in promoting Uganda as a preferred tourism destination.

Bismac Moses Amumpaire, Team leader of ATEI, founder Ekkula Awards

"I wish to extend hearty gratitude to all nominees, their beneficiaries and  supporters, and commendable finalists in this year's Ekkula awards. We appreciate everything you do to make this great nation a sustainable and travelers top choice."

He reiterated the Initiative's main pillars that included among others maintaining the integrity for a secure and unbiased environment for the awards.

"In a realm where awards may easily spark controversy, our essence is woven with threads of fairness, transparency, and resolute integrity. Ultimately, it's not just the victors who triumph, but the entire tourism industry emerges victorious."

"Thank you for being part of our journey so far - 6th Edition and growing stronger. Hearty Congratulations to all the accomplished nominees and deserving awardees. Your dedication to practicing sustainable tourism is a beacon as we collectively embark on the journey to Explore Uganda." He added.

The highlight of the night was the Lifetime Achievement award received by Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga for her immense contribution to the sector's growth, Mrs Susan Muhwezi receiving the Honorary Award and the special recognition award  received by Railway Museum's Cross Cultural Foundation Uganda (CCFU) that is funded by European Union among others. 

Below are the finalists in this year's Ekkula Sustainable Tourism Awards.

1. Tourism Media Personality 2023 - Peninah Nantume - BBS TV. 
2.Travel Photographer Of 2023 - Marvin Miles Mugerwa
3. Tourism Supportive Media House - NBS Television
4. Young Tourism Personality. (Two Awardees) 
- Naahwera Daphine (Sunset Traveller)
- Irene Allen Namisango (Uganda Uncovered)
5. Tourism Ambassador of the Year- Ssenyonyi Derrick
6. Outstanding Tour Guide - David Acaye. 
7. Sustainable Woman of Tourism - Racheal Kakungulu Kilama.  
8.Sustainable Tourism Personality- Civy R Tumusiime. AUTO Chairperson/Pakuba Lodge. 
 9. Cultural Tourism Award 2023  - Kagulu Rock Royal Trek. 
10.  Innovative Tourism Award. -Conservation Through Commercialization. (CTC) 
11. East Africa Tourism Event of the Year - Kwita Izina - Rwanda. 
12.  Sustainable Airline of the Year - Uganda Airlines.   
13.Exceptional Restaurant 2023 - Baguma Restaurant. 
14. Sustainable Boutique Hotel - Casa Solada.
15.  Sustainable Eco Lodge 2023 - Adere Safari Lodge-Kidepo National Park.
16.  Outstanding Service Hotel - Sheraton Kampala Hotel. 
17. Best Luxury and Business Hotel - Speke Resort Munyonyo                                                 
18.  User Friendly Transport of The Year - Aerolink.
19.  East African Tourism Destination 2023 - Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda.
20.  Sustainable Tour Operator- (Two Awardees)
- Churchill Tailored Safaris.
- Speke Uganda Holidays. 
21.  Inclusive Tourism Champion - Isitoshe Tours and Travel.
22. Most Sustainable Tourism Association - Uganda Hotel Owners Association (UHOA)  
23.  Tourism Honorary Award - Mrs Susan Muhwezi.
24.  Lifetime Tourism Achievement - Rt Hon Rebecca Kadaga.