In a glittering ceremony held at the Kampala Serena Hotel, 19-year-old Nabukonde Kiyayi Roukaya, hailing from Elgon in Eastern Uganda, was crowned Miss Tourism Uganda for the 2023/24 season. She outshone 24 other finalists representing various sub-regions of Uganda. Nabukonde succeeds Ms. Nabulya Sydney Kavuma, the outgoing Miss Tourism Uganda 2022/23.
The top three positions also featured Ms. Alison Akello from the Teso sub-region, also in Eastern Uganda, as the first runner-up, and Ms. Martha Apero from Karamoja in northeastern Uganda, securing the second runner-up title.
The crowning event marked the culmination of an intensive training and activity period that the contestants underwent over the past few months. These aspiring queens participated in a boot camp held in Entebbe, where they received master-class training in various fields such as marketing, branding, tourism, hygiene, make-up, and insurance. They were also treated to familiarization tours of different tourism destinations across the country.
During the crowning ceremony, the contestants displayed their talents in the domains of fashion, beauty, and intellect by responding to questions from a panel of judges.
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Hon. Chris Baryomunsi, the Minister for ICT and National Guidance, graced the occasion as the chief guest and lauded the finalists for their exceptional beauty and knowledge, particularly in the realms of tourism and environmental conservation. He also extended gratitude to the organizers for their dedication in preserving the Miss Tourism Uganda project, initially founded by the late former tourism minister Maria Mutagamba in 2013.
However, Hon. Baryomunsi expressed disappointment at the lack of male participation in this competition. He recounted his experience at a regional contest in Kigezi where both Miss and Mr. Tourism were featured, suggesting that the inclusion of a “Mr. Tourism” category at the national level could be considered in future episodes.
State Minister for Tourism Martin Mugarra commended the winner, Ms. Nabukonde, along with the other contestants and organizers, for their outstanding contributions. He emphasized the significance of their initiative in reinforcing regional tourism clusters and highlighting Uganda’s diverse cultural spectrum.
In addition to the main title, several other category winners were celebrated at the event:
- Miss Tourism Wellness: Lilian Lissa
- Miss Tourism Congeniality: Sylvia Kasemire
- Miss Tourism Heritage: Joy Ariye
- Miss Tourism Photogenic: Restetuta Ayebare