The Uganda Community Tourism Association (UCOTA) was established in July 1998, to empower local communities in sustainable development through small-scale tourism and handcraft enterprises, also known as Community Tourism.
Community Tourism aims at involving the local people in the planning, decision-making and implementation of tourism development activities. This form of tourism assures that the benefits stay as much as possible in the local community.
To date UCOTA has grown into 50 member-groups countrywide, representing about 1200 individuals of whom 63% are women and 37% men.
The groups operate small enterprises ranging from accommodation, guiding services, and restaurants to craft shops and music, dance and drama performances. Most of the groups fund a community project, such as clinics, schools, water sources and literacy programmes.
To spearhead sustainable community based tourism through capacity building, marketing, networking, advocacy and enterprise development in collaboration with stakeholders aiming at increasing community benefits, promoting quality standards, ownership and conservation of natural and cultural resources for better livelihoods.o improve livelihoods.
• To promote community based tourism through small-scale enterprise development to enhance revenue generation for its members and better livelihoods for the communities.
• To bring members together with the purpose of promoting the development of cummunity based tourism.
UCOTA’s Core Activities
UCOTA offers services to its members that enables them to grow in their tourism and handicraft business.
• Capacity building through training and small in-kind grants
• Marketing of members’ product and services
• Advocacy; UCOTA creates a platform for members’ voices to be heard at all levels
• Networking; UCOTA creates a platform for networking with other partners and stakeholders
• Conservation; UCOTA emphasises conservation of natural and cultural resources that communities utilise as tourism resources (attractions)