Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO) has expressed disappointment in the 'loose language' used by Tourism Minister Kiwanda Godfrey when he 'equated women to tourist attractions' during the launch of Miss Curvy contest.

During the launch of Miss Curvy last week, the minister said: "We have naturally endowed nice looking women who are amazing to look at. Why don't we use these people as a strategy to promote our tourism industry."

His comments sparked criticism countrywide with a section of Ugandans calling for government's intervention in halting the contest.

AUTO, in a statement seen by Pulse Live Uganda, says the minister's statements 'undermine the dignity of women'.

"We therefore categorically condemn such a message or anyone of the idea that women's bodies should be presented as tourist attractions," part of the statement reads.

The association has tasked the minister to issue an official apology to the tourism sector and the whole nation.

On Thursday, Kiwanda spoke for the first time over the controversy saying he was taken out of context by media.