The 15 girls to contest for the revamped Miss Tourism Uganda pageant this year were unveiled last week in a glamorous night.
The selected girls strutted the runway with some dressed in strapless long satin dresses adorned in sparkling crystals, while others wore tie-dyed cotton percale and bustier-styled fabrics that revealed their curves.
Posturing on the red-carpeted stage in dresses designed by Brenda Maraka and Stella Atal, were the girls who impressed the panel of judges in the preliminary tests a few weeks back from the hundreds that had registered.
They will embark on the road to tourist sites around the country in the next 12 days in a bid to showcase sites which will attract tourists. But it will not be a trip for fun alone as some contestants will get to know their fate of staying in the competition at those sites.
A panel of judges and the public will be voting out one contestant per tour after a number of activities and tests on Uganda’s tourism sector.
Six contestants will be voted out to pave way for the remaining nine who will go to the boot camp in Kampala to be trained in the catwalk, etiquette, public speaking and fitness training before they grapple in the grand finale to be held in Kampala on October 5.
It will be interesting considering that among the 15 girls, we have the likes of Kellen Nakaye, Florence Namwase and Margaret Nyendo, who participated in this year’s Miss Uganda pageant and did not win, let alone making it to the top ƒ five.
So, whether one of them will win this crown or not will be matter for another day. It was nice to see Kellen play her violin again on the night, just as she did at Miss Uganda talent night.
A one Assumpta drew applause from the crowd when she revealed she was from Karamoja.
The last Miss Tourism Uganda was held in 2007 and won by May Amongin, who has since gone into oblivion, she was not even around on the night.
The winner this year will represent Uganda in the Miss Tourism International in December to be held in Malaysia.
The guest of honour, Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities Dr. Maria Mutagamba, said the pageant will serve as a marketing tool for Uganda as a tourist destination.
The minister even asked guests present to fundraise on the night and they pledged over sh12m.