By John Mulokwa/ Julius Mugaga-Umoja Standard.
Kmapala, Uganda: Simba Group Chairman Dr Bitature expresses hospitality sector growth confidence… wins Coveted Entrepreneurship Award in Tourism.
Marriott Kampala Skyz Hotel developers are forecasting a steady growth in meetings, conferences, exhibitions and related hospitality economic opportunities in Uganda in the next five years.
According to Simba Group Chairman Dr Patrick Bitature, the firm’s bullish growth forecast, projected at 20-30% year on year, is based on the availability of world-class meetings, incentives conferences and exhibitions (MICE) facilities in Kampala and the steady national macro-economic growth prospects.
Following his recent naming as the Entrepreneur of the Year at the African Tourism Leadership Forum, Dr Bitature said the MICE sector growth prospects in Uganda will also provide a positive economic ripple effect for suppliers to the hospitality sector, including farmers.
“This award celebrates the true spirit of Uganda’s entrepreneurship and the positive economic prospects ahead. I am indebted to all my colleagues at Simba Group, particularly the Mariott Kampala Skyz Hotel team, for whom I dedicate this award for their diligence in delivering a world-class facility,” Dr Bitature said.
He added, “The Growth of the local meetings, incentives conferences and exhibitions hospitality sector including bed capacity will continue to be sustained in the medium term with direct and indirect benefits to various stakeholders such as farmers sector suppliers and hospitality professionals.”
He said economic players and foreign investors seeking to explore opportunities in Uganda are finding quality hospitality solutions that meet world-class standards, from culinary variety to impeccable accommodation and conferencing facilities.
During the African Tourism Leadership Forum held in Gaborone, Botswana, Dr Bitature picked the Entrepreneur of the Year award. He was recognised in the outstanding entrepreneurship award category for showing tremendous entrepreneurship impact in Africa’s hospitality industry.
The Africa Tourism Leadership Forum (ATLF) is a Pan-African dialogue platform that brings together key stakeholders of Africa’s travel, tourism, hospitality and aviation sectors to network, share insights, and devise strategies for intra-Africa travel and tourism growth across the continent, whilst enhancing the brand equity of “Destination Africa’’.
Dr. Bitature said the global recognition coming just a few months after Uganda came out of the Covid-19 related lockdowns is a testimony to the excellence the Group continues providing in the hospitality sector in Uganda.
“To be recognised during such extraordinary times is a strong validation of our efforts to provide a haven for all our guests, a safe home away from home. I am honoured to celebrate this incredible achievement with our staff who selflessly put the needs of others above their own. I am also grateful for the strong support from our partners, customers, employees and business associates,” Dr. Bitature said.
“We pride ourselves in providing hospitality excellence and exceeding our guests’ expectations at both of our hotels. The positive reviews reflect how we have constantly been commended by worldwide travellers and praised for unparalleled services.”
After a two-year interruption caused by the pandemic, the meetings and events industry is beginning to show signs of recovery in Uganda and now faces a new stage in its development influenced by the trends and lessons learnt after Covid-19.
In this context, Simba Group is redefining its value proposition for the MICE segment with a priority objective in mind: to be a strategic partner and facilitator of more sustainable events, a fundamental feature that will be at the forefront of the future development of the industry.
Protea Hotel Kampala has won multiple awards including “Uganda’s Country Winner of the World Luxury Hotel Awards 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, Africa Luxury Business Hotel Award 2013 and the Global Tourism Awards; Best Business Hotel in Uganda 2021; while the Naguru based Protea Hotel Kampala Skyz has won Trip Advisor Travellers’ Choice 2021, 4 Star Rating and the Global Tourism Awards Best 4 Star Hotel in Uganda 2022.