A ground breaking ceremony took place yesterday to kick start the reconstruction of the Uganda Hotel Tourism and Training Institute (UHTTI) also known as the Crested Crane Hotel in Jinja. The re-development of Uganda Hotel and Tourism Training Institute is, according to officials, aimed at skilling the tourism sector’s labor force to meet world class standards.
The structure will now comprise 50 bedrooms and will be constructed by ROKO Construction Ltd without shutting down the existing facility. The project will cost Sh24.5 billion funded by the World Bank.
While officiating at the event, the Minister for Tourism Prof Ephraim Kamuntu told UHTTI staff that “you must aim at being the leading tourism training institute as well as have a quality curriculum to train competitive human resource.”
“Most of the Managers in our Hotels are foreigners, not because we aren’t equally good but because we lacked competent institutions to train our people in these skills. Today therefore is a landmark in the journey we have been trekking,” he said.
“This is phase one. We look forward to continuous progress – a journey of a thousand miles begins today.”
The Uganda Hotel and Tourism Training Institute (UHTTI) started in mid of 1980’s after a feasibility study under the project UNDP/ILO/UG/30. The institute was established at Fairway Hotel in Kampala in 1989 as a pilot school under the ILO/UNDP.
When Fairway Hotel was repossessed by its original owners in 1991, ILO/UNDP pulled out of the project, leaving it entirely to the Government of Uganda.
In her remarks, the Permanent Secretary in the Tourism Ministry Doreen Katusiime said that the skills to be gained from the revamped and better equipped UHTTI-Jinja will be of International standard and are expected to bridge the skills gap that had beleaguered our sector for long.
“Today marks a new beginning as we usher into a place that produces highly qualified and competent Human Resource for the Hospitality Industry”, Patricia Sempa, the Board chairperson said.