Uganda plans to leverage on the Kampala Marathon to market the East African nation as an ideal tourism destination.
This follows a partnership between the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities and MTN Uganda for the MTN Kampala Marathon slated for Sunday 20 November 2022.
Martin Mugarra, the minister of State for Tourism said the tourism sector hopes to use the marathon to not only raise funds towards improving maternal and newborn health facilities but also draw global attention to the country’s tourism potential.
“Our athletes have become very famous in international marathons abroad, placing our country on the world map in athletics,” he said.
“We, therefore, believe that MTN Kampala Marathon is a golden opportunity for us to lure fans to our tourism potential in Kampala City such as music clubs, cinemas bars and other entertainment.”
MTN Uganda Chief Executive Officer, Sylvia Mulinge, said they are delighted to have stakeholders in the tourism sector on board for the upcoming MTN Kampala Marathon.
“Currently, countries all over the world are riding on sporting activities to promote their tourism. We, therefore, believe that the MTN Kampala Marathon will help us raise funds to save the lives of mothers and babies but also market our tourism potential,” she said.
Lilly Ajarova, the Chief Executive Officer at the Uganda Tourism Board said MTN Kampala Marathon is of special interest to the tourism marketing agency at the time it is developing a sports tourism strategy.
“We look at the MTN Kampala Marathon as a special opportunity to kick-start what we are already doing,” she said.
Amos Wekesa, the chief executive officer for Great Lakes Safaris said it is time for the country to market the MTN Kampala Marathon outside of Africa.
“We need to market this internationally and attract thousands of participants who will come and fill our hotels, grow our revenues and create more jobs for our people,” he said.
Over the past few years, UTB and sector players have embraced sports events as part of their strategy to market the country’s tourism destination.
This year’s marathon held under the theme ‘Run for Babies’ is expected to raise proceeds that shall be used to improve maternal and newborn services in four selected health facilities – Kisenyi and Kawaala health facilities in the suburbs of Kampala, Kachumbala in the Teso sub-region, and Kaabong in the Karamoja sub-region.
Other partners in the MTN Kampala Marathon include; Stanbic bank, Rwenzori beverages, NBS sports, Huawei, New Vision, and the Uganda Athletes Federation.