The significance of Igongo Cultural Centre to the development of tourism in Uganda
Atukwasibwe, B. Charlotte
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The study aimed at assessing the contribution of Igongo Cultural Centre to Uganda's tourism development. The study was done under the following objectives: to assess the contribution of Igongo Cultural Centre to the conservation of the culture from South Western Uganda, to assess the impact of Igongo Cultural Centre to the surrounding communities, to examine the challenges and propose possible solutions evaluate its operations in conserving culture of south western Uganda. The study was mainly quantitative and it used questionnaires as the main research instruments to collect data from Igongo Cultural Centre. The study also used interview guides to get information from workers who were directly involved in activities of the centre. The researcher collected data from 70 respondents which included 20 employees, 30 tourists and 20 community members. The study established that Igongo Cultural Centre is of great importance to the community because of its contribution to cultural conservation and to the people of south-western Uganda. Igongo contributes to the community by giving them employment opportunities, market for products, revenue, improving social services and facilitating interaction with tourists. Culture at ICC is conserved through education, cultural dances, the museum, the craft shop and the Biharwe eclipse. The study found out that ICC has both positive impacts and negative ones. The positive impacts include revenue, improves local services, provide market for goods, employment, facilitation for interaction and preservation of culture. The negative impacts include depletion of local culture, limited interaction between tourist and the community, demolition of natural environment, inflation and so on. The study also found out that ICC faces a number of problems in conserving culture of South Western Uganda which include poor infrastructure, shortage of land, negative attitudes of the community towards the centre, limited funds, lack of publicity, lack of trained labour and poor transport systems. These problems can be solved by advertisement, protecting properties of the people, local government support, improving the standards of the centre and welcoming all cultures to the centre.