About 60 tour operators and guides in Uganda were recently sensitized on the Gorilla FriendlyTM pledge initiative and on-going online campaign. International Gorilla Conservation Program and Wildlife Enterprise Network in collaboration with the Association of Uganda Tour Operators conducted a two days meeting for tour operators and guides in Kampala. The meeting focused on the tourism best practices and the Gorilla FriendlyTM Pledge with the aim of creating awareness about the initiative and seeking their support towards promoting this important campaign.
Being a people that interact with tourists often, if well sensitized about the pledge initiative and on-going campaign, tour operators and guides have the potential to popularize the campaign, increase awareness about established gorilla visitation rules and regulations and willing compliance to the same. These actions will consequently lead to an increase in the number of people taking the pledge and contribute to the overall safety and protection of mountain gorillas.
During the meeting the Gorilla FriendlyTM Pledge initiative was officially launched in Uganda by Mr. Stephen Masaba, Deputy Director Tourism and Business and Mrs. Dorcus Twesigomwe, Business Development Manager at Uganda Wildlife Authority.
At the meeting participants also took the pledge and pledged to popularize the website and on-going campaign among their clients. Gorilla Friendly materials including posters and business cards were distributed to the participants for use at their different offices and areas of operation.
IGCP partners like Fauna and Flora International, Conservation through Public Health, Gorilla Doctors and Uganda Wildlife Authority also participated in the two days meeting.