Travel gives a new lease on life; it helps one break routines and broadens one’s networks by meeting new people and experiencing new lifestyles.
Travel is both a humbling and exciting experience that should be enjoyed by everyone regardless of financial or social standing.
One Touch Safaris, one of the premium destination management companies in Uganda recently made 10 years, our reporter talked to Mwanje Yosia the Destination Manager of One Touch Safaris on travel, challenges faced by tour operators in Uganda, way forward on Uganda’s tourism sector among other topics.
Below is an excerpt of the interview;
SB: What is your name and full title?
Yosia: My name is Mwanje Yosia, I am the Destination Manager of One Touch Safaris.
SB: What services does One Touch Safaris offer?
Yosia: One Touch Safaris offers destination management. This is an all-round service which includes coordinating and managing destination weddings, hotel and air ticket booking, coordinating of both local and international safaris such as cultural safaris, wild life safaris, desert safaris, lake safaris, slum tours among others.
SB: Why do think people need to travel?
Yosia: Travel gives a new lease on life and awakens the mind. Every human being needs to step away from routine once in awhile to unwind because a fresher mind is more open to endless possibilities. There is a misconception that travel is only for the rich or that travel only makes sense if its done abroad but at One Touch Safaris, we have exciting local and international travel packages that can accommodate varying tastes and budgets. A 3- day honeymoon tour to the beautiful Ssese island could for example go for as low as 198USD.
SB: What motivated you to start One Touch Safaris?
Yosia: I have always had a passion for singing and traveling. When I was young, my parents regularly paid for my school tours to places like Nairobi and Mombasa which gave me a great love for travel and touring. As well, while living with my guardian Professor Simeon Kayiwa at Namirembe Christian Fellowship, I was always given the opportunity to handle airport pick-ups and transfers for international guests that attended the School of Ministry program handled by the church. This experience and many others paved the way for my interest in travel.
SB: What have been your highlights as One Touch Safaris?
Yosia: One Touch Safaris recently made 10 years in existence which is a big achievement for us. We have improved our equipment such as vehicles in order to provide better services for our clients, we are more efficient and hands on. As well, our company is now fully operational in the whole of East Africa and Dubai. We are also grateful for the interest we have generated in Uganda through One Touch Safaris. Also, it gives us great pride to know that our clients have signaled us out as the go-to company for destination wedding management and affordable boat cruises.
SB: What do you think has enabled One Touch Safaris stand out?
Yosia: Our services at One Touch Safaris are personalized experiences. We try as much as possible to provide clients with a variety of experiences to make their tour memorable and exciting, for example a day to day tour arrangement can include a wide range of activities such as candle lit dinner one day then a bush tour the next. We try to be spontaneous and out of the ordinary so that our clients can make unforgettable experiences.
SB: What are some of the best-selling tour sites in Uganda?
Yosia: Uganda is truly a gifted country with so much to offer. We have sites like Kidepo, Murchison Falls, Ssese Islands, national parks, heritage sites.
SB: What challenges have you faced as a tour and travel operator in Uganda?
Yosia: Uganda is a beautiful country with so much to offer the world but we have limited awareness both locally and internationally. Also, our infrastructure such as the roads and accommodation isn’t yet to expected international standards. As well, our education system hasn’t helped improve local tourism because in schools and other institutions of learning, the term ‘local’ is associated with something backward or lacking in class. Also, tour operators have to pay exorbitant taxes which really affects the profit margin but, I would like to say that Uganda’s tourism industry has greatly improved.
SB: What do you think needs to be done to better Uganda’s tourism experience?
Yosia: I believe that official bodies such as Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) should take advantage of social media to market Uganda locally and to the world.
SB: What is your daily inspiration that keeps you going despite challenges?
Yosia: Jesus is my inspiration and the bible is the best guide.
SB: Finally, does One Touch Safaris have any promotions in store for your 10-year anniversary celebrations?
Yosia: We are planning several discounted local and international trips for our clients as indicated on our website www.onetouchsafaris.com , we are also running give-away promotions on our Facebook page @OneTouchSafaris. We shall also organize a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) slum tour to aid children in need.