Eight years ago, an ambitious young lady jumped on the wagon to take up a vacancy to work with a resort. The idea of working in a resort sounded so inviting that she could not consider turning down the offer. This is the closest Spacey Kawarach Specioza was coming to living and doing the dream job she thought she would do as a student of Leisure and Hospitality Management.
However, this was not her very first job. After university, she had landed a sales and marketing job with one of the events companies. The one thing on the mind of any first time worker is getting along with the job. Not much attention is given to the pay cheque at the end of the day. Spacey found herself in a similar situation when she realised she had not negotiated her salary at her first job. When it came, she was filled with untold joy and she promised herself to work even harder. That marked a journey of being assiduous and very intentional with whatever she lay her hands on as her job.
A window opened for her to join the Marasa Africa Lodges and she has never looked back. She began working as a receptionist before graduating to different responsibilities which saw her stretch out of her comfort as it opened her to appreciate working in the wild. It was lonesome in the beginning but she had to pick herself up, roll up her sleeves and get her hands dirty.
Marasa Group has a number of lodges spread out in the different parks in the country. Spacey had to take up responsibilities in these lodges. There in the doing, she mastered the art of offering the best service to one’s clients. Later, she was charged with working in the sales and marketing department at the central office where she is currently based. One thing she consistently and constantly repeats is the need to be better at her job. You would easily think she has learnt it all by now but that seems to be a faraway cry.
Today, she is at the centre of sales and marketing. She is back to school to be a better marketer both in practice and qualification. And that is what she wishes for the entire tourism industry. She argues that players in the tourism industry should be at the best of their game especially when it comes to being informed. They should be deliberate in acquiring knowledge that will steer forward the industry.
“Before you sell a destination, you must know how the entire industry works. Before the tourist chooses you, they have to choose the country first. You must have your facts right,” she candidly tells me.
Spacey believes there is a lot of work to do in terms of promoting Brand Uganda. “Brand Uganda is still lacking. However beautiful our country is, as long as it is not known, no one will come.”
In the recent past, the tourism industry has focused on promoting domestic tourists by offering attractive promotions that the locals can take a hold of. The good news is that it the agenda has seen blue waters flow under the bridge. “Travel has become a lifestyle in Uganda and when I see that, my heart melts,’ says a joyous Spacey who has been at the helm of this campaign.
She thinks there is still room for change. “The idea of thinking that good things are abroad should be addressed. Ugandans need to prioritise on visiting their country.”
On #WomenInTourismUg, she is convinced that there is room for more women to take up the opportunities that the industry has to offer. “We too have a chance, we can use it.”
To dust off the day, Spacey shares her thoughts at the here.