By An Executive Editor
Today marks exactly a week when the inaugural Tusker Lite Rwenzori Marathon happened in Kasese town.
Thousands (friends, relatives and pets) participated for leisure, fan and excursion purposes.
Soon after the conclusion of the Marathon, UBL Marketing and Innovations Director, Emmy Hashakimana, said: “I’m certain that this marathon is going to transform business in Kasese. Already the signs are evident.”
According to tourism enthusiast Amos Wekesa, “We want to attract more people from across the world to run and also climb Mt. Rwenzori and the conditions to climb are more favourable in July.”
In an independent interview with locals of Kasese, they confirm that indeed, the marathon is worth looking forward to.
Eric Mwesigye, an NTV journalist based in Kasese says that lodges in the area were largely full at least a day before, during and a day after the marathon.
“Hotels (at least for those I know) were full, from Friday to Sunday. It was hard to get accommodation when the marathon was scheduled and confirmed,” Mwesigye says.
Mwesigye’s side is confirmed by that of Robert Mukasa, the Managing Director of HD Restaurant and Hotel.
According to Mukasa, his restaurant was busiest on Friday, Saturday morning and Sunday morning.
“I made money,” Mukasa confirms. Unfortunately for Mukasa, his hotel was under renovation. But he says other hotels where he took his would-be clients for accommodation were all full.
“The rooms were full. I took our clients to other hotels because we were carrying out renovation works,” Mukasa says.
TJ Global Hotel Manager, Maureen Tusabe, says that while her rooms were not all taken, they hosted over 10 visitors (local tourists).
“We managed to host a number of guests. Actually most of them were local tourists (Ugandans). They appreciated the services we offered. We could see that they were excited. They went for the run,” Tusabe says.
Tusabe and Mukasa are all looking forward to the 2023 edition of the Tusker Lite Rwenzori Marathon.
“We are looking forward to the next. The hotel was not entirely filled up by the guests but we are hoping that next year we will have so many of them,” Tusabe says.
Speaking at the Ug Economic Forum Friday, Uganda Tourism Board Chief Executive Officer, Lilly Ajarova said last weekend’s marathon in the Rwenzoris was more than a marathon.
“The food, the music, the different cultures. It was a wonderful experience. It was an awakening to the people in the region about the wealth of their culture and history,” Ajarova said.
The organizers of the Tusker Lite Rwenzori Marathon have pledged that the second edition will be held in July 2023.