Long distance runner Joshua Cheptegei has been unveiled as an ambassador for the Uganda Tourism Board.
The one year deal will see Cheptegei promote Brand Destination Uganda, which also complements other ongoing initiatives and brand ambassadors, like singer Eddy Kenzo.
The announcement was made by UTB Chief Executive Officer Ms Lilly Ajarova who revealed that Cheptegei will engage in and endorse tourism campaigns for marketing and promoting Uganda as a preferred tourism destination.
He will also promote destination Uganda during his domestic and international sports activities, dressed up in branded uniforms and display the branded collateral.
In addition, his new role entails authorising the UTB to use his image in photos, videos and promotional collateral.
Engage his domestic, regional and international athletics network and peers and encourage them to visit Uganda.
He will create publicity and awareness of the tourism destinations in Uganda that he travels to during the term of this MOU.
Participate in and attend any other tourism promotion events subject to his availability.
He will acknowledge, recognize and publicize UTB as the official tourism partner during press conferences, speeches, announcements, commercials and sports events.
“The Board will provide support towards his athletics activities at both the domestic and international level and in turn, earn his support and access to his platforms to promote brand destination Uganda,” Ajarova stated.
UTB shall also brand Cheptegei and his team during sports activities on both domestic and international scenes.
Conduct a tourism destination training for Cheptegei and his team to equip them with tourism-related information and knowledge.
Manage Cheptegei’s social media pages through UTB’s branding and advertising agency to enhance his brand visibility.
“I am deeply grateful to the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) for having chosen me for this huge responsibility, to be my country’s Tourism Ambassador,” a delighted Cheptegei stated.
“It is a responsibility that I accept with all humility. It is both a challenge; I now know more and more Ugandans will be looking up to me, but it is also a blessing and a motivation because I know more and more Ugandans will now be praying for me to win.
“But perhaps even more important, I am now even more motivated to give every race my all, because I know every win, is not just for me- but it is a win for every of the 700,000 Ugandans employed in the tourism sector, whose livelihoods have been put at stake by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Having been born and raised in the mountainous Kapchorwa district in the Sebei sub-region on the slopes of Mountain Elgon, close to the famous Sipi Falls, I am deeply aware of the impact of tourism on livelihoods, from the top to the very bottom of the chain. I know what tourism can do for the youth, women groups and even the uneducated. There is room for everyone to transform their lives.
“Much as Uganda is well endowed, it is not enough, if the world does not know about it. It is our responsibility as Ugandans to shout on top of the mountains and down in the valleys to everybody across the world such that we attract more and visitors.
“I look forward to sharing my Ugandan story to the rest of the world. In the same breath, I wish to call upon, every Ugandan, especially those in the diaspora to make it a point to visit and discover more about this our country.”
Last year, Cheptegei broke three world records including the 10,000m on Valencia.
He had broken the 10km road in December of 2019 before opening the year with another road world record – 5km road record – in February.
Later in August, he broke a 16-year old 5000m world record at the Monaco Diamond League previously set by Kenenisa Bekele.