Jinja: The Uganda Hotel and Tourism Training Institute (UHTTI) is embarking on an exciting journey of transformation as construction nears completion for its new site. The institute, which is currently housed in the renowned old Crested Crane hotel in Jinja, is relocating to a modern and state-of-the-art facility due to the substandard conditions of the existing structures.
Speaking at a press conference, Ms. Miriam Namutosi, the UHTTI principal, explained that the magnitude of the second phase of the construction project and the urgency to complete it has necessitated the temporary relocation of the institute for approximately two years.
“We have secured the YMCA Jinja complex through government procurement processes as our temporary home. Our focus is to remodel it to suit our specific requirements before the new semester begins on August 12,” said Ms. Namutosi. She assured that students would be accommodated in new premises.
Effective this month, the old hotel has officially closed, and although limited hotel services will be offered at the temporary YMCA location, the institute’s core functions, including training, restaurant services, and outside catering, will continue. Ms. Namutosi urged all customers and partners to remain patient and supportive as they eagerly anticipate the opening of the new, modern hotel, which is expected soon.
The government of Uganda, in partnership with the World Bank, launched the construction of a 3-star hotel with an estimated cost of UGX 16 billion in 2018. The project, initially scheduled for completion within 12 months, experienced delays due to limited financial facilitation. However, Ms. Namutosi confirmed that the institute will take ownership of the new hotel by December 2023.
The impressive 82-room hotel, equipped with modern amenities, forms part of the first phase of the Ministry of Tourism’s plan to produce skilled and valued professionals in the tourism industry. It aligns with the Tourism curriculum and aims to provide top-notch training, education, and research opportunities in the areas of tourism and hospitality.
Looking ahead, the second phase of the project, estimated to cost UGX 14 billion, will encompass the construction of lecture rooms, an administration block, library, computer laboratory, sports facilities, and demonstration rooms, among others. These upgrades are expected to elevate the quality of training and services, positioning UHTTI as a true center of excellence.
Ms. Namutosi emphasized that the decision to demolish the old Crested Crane hotel, built in 1954, came after careful assessment of its structural integrity, which revealed numerous cracks and leakages, rendering it unfit for use.