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Kigezi Residents Embrace Homestay Tourism

Last year alone, over 50 tourists from Europe and Asia who visited Uganda for gorilla tracking and the Batwa Cultural experience trail in Bwindi-Mgahinga Conservation Area chose to stay with homes, Richard Munezeero, the Kisoro District Tourism Officer says.

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More tourists to Kigezi sub region are opting for Homestay tourism as opposed to luxurious hotels and Lodges. The arrangement permits visitors to rent rooms in local families, creating a union that allows the host family to earn an income, while visiting tourists become familiar with the local lifestyle.

Last year alone, over 50 tourists from Europe and Asia who visited Uganda for gorilla tracking and the Batwa Cultural experience trail in Bwindi-Mgahinga Conservation Area chose to stay with homes, Richard Munezeero, the Kisoro District Tourism Officer says.

He explains that these were able to experience Local traditions of cooking, millet grinding, cow milking, traditional churning of fermented milk for ghee, African poetry and craft making among others.

The idea of embracing homestay tourism was initiated in the region by the International community of the Banyakigezi, an association that brings together all People from Kigezi living in Uganda and in the Diaspora.

Alex Mugume, a resident of Ruhija in Kabale District hosted two guests from Europe in 2014, who were fully active in the home\'s daily activities. He says the experience aided him learn and share experiences on culture and build a relationship that has remained in place even after the visitors returned to Europe.

Arinaitwe Emmanuel, the manager Bakiiga Lodge and staff of Kabale tourism information Centre says that the tourism Project is a good idea that needs to be supported to grow. He says that this will help local homes also share the returns from the tourism sector.

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Sheebah Hanyurwa, the owner of Golden Monkey Guest house in Kisoro town downplays fears that homestay Tourism may negatively impact on their Business. He says that tourists come with different Budgets and often book into Hotels before embarking on the homestay experiences.

However, Leonard Tumwesigye, a Director at children rescue voluntary organization based in Kabale calls for restraint especially on matters related to mixing of cultures.

He says that some tourists come to Uganda with different intentions. He says that on some occasions foreigners pitch camp in homes and end up misleading children into acts that contradict African culture.

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