Characteristics of Teso culture for promotion of cultural tourism.
Odongo, Eric Joshua
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Cultural tourism involves the consumption of a wide range of cultural manifestations, like heritage, art, folklore and others by tourists. Cultural tourism can generally be seen as a socio-cultural relationship between people of different diversities/cultures and the tourists who visit the place in search for cultural experiences with the local communities. This form of tourism allows for greater contact between the local communities and tourists to experience new sensations while enabling the economic and social development of the geographical area. This study was conducted to examine the characteristics of the Teso culture for the promotion of Cultural Tourism in Teso subregion. Case study design was applied and data collected using a questionnaire method. Data was analyzed using SPSS and Excel. It was found that Teso culture holds great potential in the promotion of tourism in Teso land due to its rich heritage; traditional products and norms; facilities and services such as hotels and lodges, recreational centers, supermarkets, baking institutions, communication networks and hospitals; Teso museum; coronation grounds; king’s palace; Nyero rock paintings site; wetlands for raw materials of traditional art crafts and the hospitality of the people. Nevertheless, there were some challenges identified hindering the promotion of cultural tourism in Teso sub-region especially in the districts of Kumi, Soroti and Katakwi which included the following; inadequacy of information and knowledge about Cultural Tourism; inadequate support from government and donor agencies; inadequate well-developed structures such as accommodation facilities, road infrastructure and the varnishing cultural artifacts, regalia and tools. There is need to create awareness amongst the local communities through meetings and seminars to embrace cultural tourism, encourage public private partnership in the establishment of welldeveloped infrastructure i.e. road networks, air transport especially the Soroti air strip in the Aviation school, hotels, restaurants, motels, recreation centres, malls and supermarkets; cultural activities such as festivals and galas; branding and packaging of cultural products; lobbying government and non-governmental organizations for support in terms of planning and funding of cultural tourism activities.