By Diana Kibuuka
Several airport stakeholders and staff of Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) were on Thursday undertaken through a customer service training aimed at promoting Uganda as a tourism destination. During a training which was held at Golf view hotel in Entebbe, Tom Wasswa the UCCA manager in charge of marketing noted that Entebbe airport is facing competition like any other business. “Such competition is either from other airports or other means of transport thus we should make deliberate concerted effort to developing an attitude of servitude among all customer staff who come in contact with passengers,” expressed Wasswa.
The marketing manager further observed that passengers usually come hours before their flights, which, well as it presents an opportunity for airport business operators, it also increases the airport’s exposure to customer judgement of the quality of services offered. Wasswa, who went ahead to read messages sent earlier by passengers who’ve traveled via Entebbe airport, said it was justifiable to hold such training sessions regarding customer service.
Samora Semakula the manager for quality assurance on Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) said the airport is Uganda’s face which should be utilised well to market the country. According to Semakula, Entebbe airport is the main entry point of tourists coming to Uganda constituting up to 30% tourists’ travels compared to other entry points. “A passenger needs multiple services while at the airport, ranging from flight information, overseas telephone calls, waiting lounge, food, drinks, restroom facilities, parking and taxi plus a last-minute shopping,” urged the UTB quality assurance manager, adding that satisfaction at Entebbe airport, helps to create, develop and maintain a favourable publicity and goodwill about Uganda as a preferred tourist destination.
Meanwhile, Emmanuel Barungi the acting general manager for Entebbe Airport noted that between January to June this year, Airport passengers have risen up to 913,284 in comparison to 842,582 wo used the airport during the same period last year, an indication of 70,702 more passengers recorded. “Having handled 1.84 million international passengers in 2018 and 62,000 metric tonnes of cargo, it is envisioned that the traffic is continuing to grow because of our tourism potential and concerted efforts to market the country in liaison with UTB,” stated Barungi.
He added that aviation clients now have more options than before, saying, they want products and services that are fast and cheap from whoever is to provide them. Barungi further expressed concern for the thrill of social media which makes it faster and easier for customers to spread their dissatisfaction. He thus implored airport stakeholders and staff to undertake regular and continuous training to enhance their knowledge of the industry.