Rwanda Posts $281m In Growing Tourism Sector

stuff geneva;”>This sector generated $281.8 m compared to $251.3 m generated in 2011 at the same period which corresponds to an increase of 12 percent.

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Rica Rwigamba, Head of Tourism and Conservation at RDB said the country’s tourism growth is attributed to hard work put in extension of its offering in the wake of rising demand for Rwanda’s tourism products to meet the ever increasing number of visitors to Rwanda.

“The Huge growth of investors helped increase the growth of the tourism industry which resulted in putting Rwanda in the top end of tourist destinations in the region,” says Rwigamba.

“As a result, international flight route have extended to Kigali with airway companies such as KLM, Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways and Sa Airlines.”

In 2012, Rwanda hosted 1,075,829 visitors compared to 908,001 in 2011, which represents an increase of 22 percent. This huge bump is due to extra opening hours of some of the land borders since October 2011.

In terms of investments, tourism registered $323.8 m in 2012, an increase of 175 percent from $117.3 m in 2011. This overwhelming result is attributed to big projects that were registered.

“Internationally respected brands Marriot, Hilton, and Radisson Blue are expected to increase the number of 6, 500 rooms that are available today to answer the demand from the rising number of tourists and business travelers as Rwanda positions itself as a conference hub,” observes Rwigamba.

In the same spirit, existing hotels and tourism establishments have embarked on a mission to improve their services through the strengthened professional associations in the tourism chamber.

Also notable achievements are noted in conservation and community development which is at the core of the sustainable tourism agenda, the results reflected in contribution towards communities’ welfare under the revenue sharing framework.

“RDB committed additional five per cent of its revenues generated in parks to the compensation fund that is currently managed by the Special Guarantee fund. The Revenue sharing scheme has been invested in community schools, health centres, and handicraft cooperatives,” confirmed Rwigamba on Monday.

Despite the fact that the number of Rwandan tourists visiting sites like canopy walk in Nyungwe National Park has increased, domestic tourism still needs to grow in the country and that is why RDB is putting an effort to interest local tourists.

Tourism remains one of the fastest growing and most dynamic sectors in Rwandan economy.

It has contributed to the foreign exchange receipts in the country and increased Rwanda’s international visibility as an emerging economy.


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