JINJA: The Uganda Hotel and Tourism Training Institute (UHTTI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with The Netherlands-based Noorderport College of Tourism and Hospitality (NCTH). The college is one of the most respected colleges in The Netherlands, offering secondary, technical and vocational education including tourism and hospitality.
Speaking at the signing ceremony at UHTTI premises in Jinja last week, Ag. Principal Miriam Namutosi said the aim of the memorandum is to provide a framework within which the parties will seek to develop a long-term partnership in the areas of Tourism and Hospitality training.
“As the institute moves towards fulfilling its mandate as a centre of excellency for hotel and tourism training, collaborations like this are highly welcome and this visit is aimed at cementing our relationship with Noorderpoort College, especially in the field of staff exchange and training, research and curriculum development,” Namutosi said.
Ms Namutosi commended the board for making these collaborations possible, adding that the institute has established a number of collaborations as it moves to becoming a centre of tourism training and research.
“Locally we are collaborating with Makerere University, Makerere University Business School, Busoga Kingdom, Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Uganda Hotel Owners Association (UHOA) and the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) that offers paramilitary training to our students,” Ms Namutosi said.
She also cited international collaborations which include partnerships with Austria, Liberia, Tanzania and Kenya, among others.
Anton Hoexum, who led the team from Noorderpoort, hailed the UHTTI management for the warm welcome and pledged Noorderpoort’s commitment to partnering with the Jinja-based institute.
“We are happy to be in Uganda and here at UHTTI and we are ready to work together in areas of common interest,” Hoexum said.
UHTTI Ag. Deputy principal Moses Kaneene expressed dismay over the lukewarm support the locals extend towards the tourism sector.
“It is very unfortunate that the locals are not interested in tourism. You can imagine it took people from The Netherlands to come and show local people here the tourism potential they possess,” Mr Kaneene said.
The Netherland team that also included students and their tutors has been at UHTTI for a week-long visit. During the visit, the students worked on a joint project with their counterparts at UHTTI that revolved around Studio 62, a struggling Guest House in the heart of Jinja city.
The students established the challenges and during their presentations suggested possible solutions that can help revamp the facility.
The coordinator of the visit and head of research at UHTTI, Emmanel Kaweesi was upbeat by the students’ onspot presentations and urged them to continue working together through the internet.