Charles Morgan Kisitu has embarked on a journey of self-realization that has taken him from being a potter on a construction site to being a taxi driver and Chief Executive Officer of a well-respected tour and travel company.
His story is a testament to perseverance. With no qualifications other than the zeal to work, Kisitu reached his turning point on a trip to Masaka, where he was assigned to drive Father Dennis Dease, a priest from the United States who became curious during the trip and wanted to know why a young man of school age drove a taxi.
How he started
The priest was a first-time visitor who had come to Masaka District for a pastoral conference. At the time, Kisitu was working at Kitooro in Entebbe designing taxis for passenger loading.
The job paid him Shs 40,000 a day, which was good money for a young man in 1998. In addition, the job connected him with several people. While the drivers were waiting for passengers, he asked them to give him driving lessons.
The job would also save him some money, which he used to earn a driver’s license in 2000 for Shs 150,000. One morning he asked one of the car owners who had two cars to allow him to use his other car to pick up passengers from Entebbe International Airport and he agreed.
He would work and transfer the money he earned and receive a scholarship. He did that for two years, during which he saved up and bought his own car. In 2003, six months into self-employment, he met Father Dease, who hired him to meet his transportation needs for the seven days he was in Uganda while going about his duties.
“During our conversations, however, Father Dease was concerned about why I was working at such a young age. At that age he thought I should go to school. I informed him of my challenges. Aside from taking care of my siblings, I told him I was working to save some money to go back to school,” says Kisitu.
This was during the journey to Masaka where the priest was going to attend the conference. The two talked about many things and the possibilities that the young man could explore.
His biggest dream was to become a tour guide. Three days later, Father Dease left Uganda, taking some of Kisitu’s personal details with him.
After a year he contacted Kisitu and informed him that he had sent him a package via DHL.
“In my mind I thought it was clothes. However, he had sent me details of an academic scholarship from the university he was collaborating with,” says Kisitu. He had initially dropped out of school in the fourth grade.
So how should he continue? he wondered. He consulted Father Dease, who explained that he had processed the scholarship and offered it to him based on the details he had shared during the conversation.
Kisitu filled out the application forms, scanned them and sent them back to the priest. After two weeks he received a call to get another package, still from DHL.
By this time the taxi had started making him enough money to enable him to purchase a piece of land and build a house, which he did. He had also found a girlfriend and had a son.
Although he needed the scholarship, he had a young family, so he had to make a difficult decision.
After giving it some thought and taking his new family into account, he saw fit to turn down the scholarship.
“I informed Father Dease who spoke to me through a friend and gave me three days to collect my visa at the American Embassy in Kampala and my tickets at KLM. I felt an opportunity slip from my numbers. It was a difficult moment, but I reconsidered my previous decision and decided to go to the University of Saint Thomas in a state called Minnesota in the US,” Kisitu continues.
He was enrolled in university to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business and entrepreneurship. He studied while working and earning as an intern at a company called Best Buy Electronics.
After graduating in 2010, he was hired as a full-time employee for a year. All the time he was in touch and supportive of his family but needed them to be able to focus and be productive so he started working on the process to get them to join him in the US.
He was successful. He enrolled in another entrepreneurship course at the university which required him to give a presentation, which he passed and earned a starting capital of US$75,000 (Shs 270 million).
He has always had a fascination with tours and travel, so his idea was to develop a safari project.
“I didn’t think the idea would go down well, but everyone was intrigued. I did it so it would help me give back to my community back home, since I was raised as an orphan,” he explains.
After graduating and winning the seed capital, he felt he would be more productive back home in Uganda than in the US.
So he planned to return home. In January 2011 he returned to Uganda to pursue his dream of starting a tour and travel company.
The registration process and the formation of the company cost him US$2,500 (Shs9 million). He named his company 1,000 Shades of Green Tours and Safari Company inspired by his love of nature and the fact that Uganda is gifted with different shades.
The first trip he made was to Murchison Falls, where he saw different shades of color, among other things. He adds, “I wanted to start a business that would carry the thought of what I saw and a business that wasn’t constrained by anything.”
While starting his business in Uganda, Kisitu was blessed to organize safaris throughout East Africa which has helped him understand multiple product offerings while introducing potential clients in countries such as the US, Canada and Australia.
He then arranged for his first clients to climb Kilimanjaro, from which he made no money because he miscalculated and ended up topping up $150 (Shs 500,000) to successfully complete the trip.
What was the biggest win you’ve ever made as a tour operator? I ask. “I organized an air trip in 2018 where my sponsor was traveling with a couple who wanted to fly to the Serengeti and I made a profit of US$25,000 (Shs 90 million) from it.”
His greatest loss was the one he suffered after being scammed by someone who overheard a conversation he was having on the phone with a client.
The scammer, a hairdresser, contacted him along with a group of people who told him they had a box full of fake dollars that would become real if they bought a certain chemical and dunk them in it.
Kisitu hesitated to believe them, but something inside him urged him to try. He told them to buy the chemical, but they told him they couldn’t afford it because it was expensive.
They told him his investment would double. He believed them and waited for his share with interest, which has never arrived to this day.
He learned that from now on his goal would be to make money in a clean way.
He advises anyone who wants to do business to remain steadfast. And those who want to start a tour and travel business need to know the travel and tourism destinations they want to sell.
“It took me two years to learn about the national parks and the animals there. You also need to understand where to get what accommodation. You need to know about the high and low end hotels because you have all classes of customers and you can’t sell what you don’t know,” he advises.
He adds: “On a busy day, you exchange 50+ emails with clients asking about many things. So you need to know what you are selling. You have to be a good communicator or have someone who can do the job well.”
And finance is a central part of business. The tourism merchant has an external auditor and an internal auditor who checks his business books. He also has an accountant who oversees cash flows.
Based on his childhood experiences, Kisitu runs a charity to help those less fortunate.
“I do this with proceeds from my businesses including See Them Grow charity
Foundation, 1000 Shades of Green Tours and Safari and 78 Band,” he says.
His business tip is: No one will ever do your business the way you do it. “People will never have the vision and dedication that you have for your own business. So you have to know your business and be present there, and you have to be a servant and not the boss,” he says.
As the founder of the Safari company he is paid Shs10million a month for what he does which includes driving clients to destinations, setting up and sometimes cleaning the office and safari cars.
On his wish list is the goal of retiring at the age of 55. He is currently 44 years old.
“I’m trying to support some of my employees and my children with the takeover. I have two sons. One is 21 years old and the other 17 years old and still studying in the USA. I’ve been working with them since they were five because I want them to take over while I focus on my charity work.
He employs 48 people – 25 in the safari company, 12 in the charity and 11 in the bar and restaurant.
How to make the most of your travel advertising post-Covid: Best Media Info
You can’t stop looking at those conference announcements, but if you’re anything like your travel agency’s marketing team, you don’t know what to think. You want to know what it all means, but that can be difficult when all the industry jargon and buzzwords are flying around. Fortunately, we’re here to break it down for you in our guide to making the most of your post-Covid travel promotion.
messaging is important to assure customers that you will do everything you can to satisfy them. For example, a sample message might look like this: We want you, our valued customer, to have confidence in our business and in what we do. We take every possible measure to ensure you travel safely when you travel with us. Our customers are our priority and we will continue to take care of them by providing informative updates on the matter. Please do not hesitate to contact us if there is anything we can do for you.
Tours and safaris are a big deal, with destinations like Africa, Asia and South America being a mainstay. But recently, self-drive tours have caught on in Europe and North America. Self drive tours in Iceland offer people the opportunity to explore countries like Iceland on their own terms. With a few designated highways or scenic routes, you can decide which area best suits your needs.
If you andSer Generated Contentconsider these four tips:
- Define your niche – who is your typical traveller?
- Establish a consistent content creation schedule – when do you publish new blog posts?
- Leverage partnerships with influencers and experts in your industry – what do they have that you don’t have?
- Interact with customers on social media – how can you address them with your brand’s voice?
Post Covid, many travel agents are looking for ways to get back on their feet. One way you can use this time as an advantage is by using it Offers and discounts offered in the travel industry. For example, you can take advantage of Groupon’s vacation deals or Airbnb’s weekly deals. This makes your company more attractive and up-to-date in a competitive market. It can also attract new customers because they know they won’t have to pay full price. You can also offer your own discount or deal via social media like Facebook or Twitter promotions for 10% off purchases within the next two weeks.
Investing in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can help you get more exposure to your website so more people can find you when they search for a travel company. First, make sure your site is mobile-responsive and can be easily crawled by Google. Next, create compelling content that includes a variety of keywords and links to other pages on your site. That way, Google knows what your site is about and can rank you higher in search results.
Finest Luxury Resorts With Outstanding Hospitality In Dubai
One of the largest cities in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is home to some of the largest buildings ever created. New structures are added to the city almost daily, changing its appearance. It is very amazing to see how an abandoned area has developed with an abundance of huge bricks. The city has gained a reputation as a center for conducting business as well as a popular holiday destination for both domestic and foreign tourists. How else do you want to describe this metropolis if you have several names to name it? It’s a retail mecca, a honeymoon destination, a day trip destination and an entertainment hotspot, and it has an unforgettable nightlife. Known for the Burj Khalifa, the Palm Islands, its history and tranquil sand dunes, the city of Dubai attracts visitors from all over the world looking to experience its unique culture and way of life.
All of the world’s most prominent luxury hotel chains have facilities in Dubai, some of which own multiple properties. Palm Jumeirah is home to many opulent beach resorts that offer luxurious accommodations, a variety of dining options, and a plethora of water and beach activities. If you want to add something extra special to your vacation, book a trip to one of these luxurious resorts in Dubai. These resorts offer the ideal retreat from the monotonous routine of our everyday life by offering you a truly royal experience that represents the city’s upscale ambience. Here you can partake in a variety of activities, including snapping photos that will drive your Instagram followers crazy, enjoying exquisite meals, and embarking on exotic adventures.
Dubai’s best resorts with outstanding hospitality
- Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah: The Burj Al Arab, one of the most luxurious 5 star hotels Dubai hotels, is considered the most opulent hotel in the world and is also considered the only 7-star hotel in the world. Not only known for its stunning, sailing-inspired design, the opulent resort is also located near Jumeirah Beach on a small peninsula just offshore. The massive structure contains 201 duplex apartments and the tallest atrium in the world. Each of these lavishly appointed suites features a private butler, Hermes bath products, a Jacuzzi and a choice of 9 pillow types.
- Atlantis, the palm tree: Possibly the largest beachfront resort in the world, the gargantuan Atlantis, The Palm sits at the top of the Palm Jumeirah project and overlooks the Arabian Gulf from its recognizable central open space. It resembles a huge brown palace that acts as a gateway to Dubai. With options like Signature Suites, which have glass-walled underwater suites that look through one of the resort’s aquariums, the accommodations here are absolutely amazing. The renowned Royal Bridge Suite, one of the finest and most opulent in Dubai, sits above the hotel’s vast open space.
- Four Seasons Resort, Jumeirah Beach: On Jumeirah Beach on the Arabian Gulf, the sumptuous Four Seasons Resort Dubai offers a true five-star experience. Some of the hotel’s rooms and suites, located near Jumeirah Beach, have views of the ocean and some of the city skyline, while other rooms have views of the resort itself. Each has a furnished balcony and luxurious marble bathrooms that feel like they’re at the spa. Families can enjoy a variety of services and activities at the resort, and the free Children for All Seasons program offers all-day supervised activities. In addition, families staying at the resort receive four passes to Dubai’s amusement and theme parks.
- Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah: The Waldorf Dubai is located in the middle right of the Palm Jumeirah. All suites and most guest rooms offer sea views and some suites overlook the Arabian Gulf while others offer views over the water of Jumeirah Beach Residence or the downtown Dubai skyline. The suites and rooms are huge, larger than most Palm hotels, and the marble bathrooms are just as large. The Waldorf’s extensive, 200-metre-long private beach offers a variety of opportunities for relaxation and water fun.
- Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai: This opulent beach resort is located in Jumeira, a recently built beach resort just north of the Jumeirah Beach Due to its location on a peninsula, you have a view of the sea and the skyline of Dubai on the opposite side. Modern and opulent, rooms and suites have amenities like spa-like marble bathrooms and oak-paneled entrances. Some of them have furnished balconies from which you can enjoy views of the sea or the Burj Khalifa.
- Bulgari Resort Dubai: The Bulgari Resort in Dubai is the ideal place to stay if you are looking for a seaside resort with a yacht club. The resort is located in the newly created Jumeira Bay area, close to Jumeirah Beach, on Jumeira Bay Island. The resort is the pinnacle of luxury and one of only a handful owned by Italian jeweler “Bulgari” in the world. There’s no need to queue in a lobby, as the experience begins with in-room check-in. There are rooms, suites, and villas, ranging from opulent hotel rooms to villas that resemble mansions. Villas have features like outdoor hot tubs and private pools.
- Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai: This resort is exceptional if you are looking for first class accommodation. The rooms offer a clear and beautiful view of the Arabian Gulf as the hotel is close to the beach. The lush grassland and white sands of the beach are the ideal complement to this award-winning hotel. Your heart and mind will settle just by strolling through its expanse. With 13 on-site restaurants, they have a full range of amenities to meet your every need. They offer a wide range of cuisines including Mexican, Italian, Continental and Arabic. You will love the food and the courteous service. At its secluded beach, you can also take part in some water sports, including kayaking, water skiing, banana boat trips, etc.
In addition to the above resorts, there are several resorts in the city where families can enjoy themselves. That concludes our list of top resorts in Dubai. In addition, Dubai has some desert resorts that represent an opulent version of a nomadic lifestyle. So choose your preferred option, make your reservation and catch the next flight to Dubai.
The LLM Readers’ Travel Awards hits another successful year, the results are in
After a difficult few years for the travel and hospitality industry, 2022 has seen a resurgence in the search for luxury destinations abroad, and with renewed vigor for travel on home soil, it seems avid travelers are once again enjoying the best of both worlds.
As another year comes to an end with a bang, we at LLM are celebrating another successful awards season. 2022 marks our fifth year of highlighting the best in travel, from the best hotels around the world to premium airlines, cruise lines, destinations and tour operators.
With the sole aim of showcasing the best in their industry and providing positive publicity for those businesses and destinations, we can safely say we’ve achieved this again. Our readers love to dream and travel, and they voted by the thousands – (more than 31,000) – to give their opinion from the carefully curated shortlist of options.
So the results are in and this year we can safely say that the winners of each category deserved their place. You will find the full list of winners here, but we’ve rounded up some of the standout winners below. As our Editor-in-Chief Nick Gibbens commented, “We are thrilled to be able to re-launch our awards and recognize the best of the best in the industry. Hopefully, these results will encourage travelers to seek out these premium picks for their next luxury vacation.
“Our discerning and dedicated readers have spoken, and we are immensely grateful to everyone who took it upon themselves to lend their support behind each and every one of our shortlisted hotels, destinations, cruise lines, airlines, airports, tour operators and… Throw travel sites .
“The travel industry is big and employs so many people who work tirelessly to promote destinations and provide the very best service and experiences for those who love to travel, explore and relax in a variety of exquisite settings. Hopefully we can give back to those in the industry, albeit in a small way, and send our support out there as well.
“Thank you to those who took the time to apply, to those who voted, to our award contributors, and we wish everyone in the industry the very best, especially those who are just starting out or have recently made theirs doors have opened again.”
So who were the standout winners?
In the UK, Linthwaite House in the Lake District has set a record in three categories in the Best UK Hotels category, winning Best Hotel for Food, Best Hotel for Wine and Best Hotel for Golf for the second year running “ Excellent, proving that this luxurious Windermere retreat really is a favorite for our readers.
The famous Hotel DUKES London beat 23 others for the Best Boutique Hotel in the UK, while the Francis Hotel in Bath took first place in both Best City Hotel and Best Hotel for Business categories. The Culloden Estate and Spa in Belfast was voted the best spa/wellness hotel in the UK and firm favorite Ellenborough Park in Cheltenham topped the list for best family hotel after winning the romance category last year.
Best Tour Operator and Best Specialist Tour Operator were won by The Luxury Travel Book and Emirates is back at the top of the list of best airlines, having won in 2018, 2019 and 2020 and being knocked out to second place by British Airways last year. Royal Caribbean tops ‘Best Ocean Cruise Line’ list for the third year running and ‘Best UK City’, Bath has ousted London at the top spot for the second year running.
Heading overseas and in the largest category – Best Hotel in Europe (outside the UK) – the Amada Colossos Resort in Rhodes, Greece was awarded, the As Janelas Verdes Hotel in Portugal’s capital Lisbon took second place and the Burgenstock Hotel and Resort, Lake Lucerne in Switzerland in third place.
Thailand certainly boasts some top hotels, with Akyra Manor Chiang Mai and Aleenta Hua Hin-Pranburi Resort and Spa taking first and second place respectively in the Best Hotel in Asia category. It was the Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort and Spa in Mahe that took the top spot in the Best Hotel in Africa category, narrowly beating South Africa’s Earth Lodge in the Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve.
The NH Collection New York Madison Avenue was named Best Hotel in North America, while the Hitlon Barra in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was named Best Hotel in South America. Jade Mountain Resort in St. Lucia won the Caribbean category and Le Taha’a Island Resort and Spa in Tahiti won for Oceania.
The Amalfi Coast in Italy was the winner for Best Honeymoon Destination, while Verbier in Switzerland was named Best Ski Resort and Barcelona in Spain was voted Best City for the third consecutive year.
Hopefully you will agree that this has been another great year for the awards and we look forward to visiting and utilizing the services of the above distinguished winners.
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