Rwanda’s tourism strategy is both pro-conservation and pro-people

Monday August 19 2019

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commentary CLARE AKAMANZI. PHOTO | INTERNET 

CLARE AKAMANZI
By CLARE AKAMANZI
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Rwanda’s domestic tourism campaign strategy has borne fruit. Since 2010, we have seen a jump of over 200 per cent in the number of Rwandans visiting Akagera, Nyungwe and Volcanoes National Park.

Just in one year, from 2017 to 2018, we saw an increase of 21.5 per cent in the number of locals visiting the three national parks.

Through the Tembera u’Rwanda local campaign over the past two years, we have given over 400 young Rwandans the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to trek the endangered mountain gorilla for free.

Rwanda’s tourism strategy has always focused on two important areas, sustainability through responsible tourism and conservation and community involvement.

It has always been about protecting our natural heritage, providing world class experiences that highlight the diverse natural beauty of Rwanda while ensuring that Rwandans benefit from this tourism and conservation.

No one has been left behind.

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As local tourism grows, there will be an increased demand for accommodation options for all ranges of budgets. What we are seeing is that that is already happening and the private sector is leading on this.

What we do as the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) is to encourage and partner with the private sector and as a result we have seen an increased number of tourism operators in the country providing a wide variety of experiences, from community-based experiences to high-end luxe experiences to both local and foreign tourists.

Rwanda’s long-term tourism development and conservation strategies speak for themselves.

Clare Akamanzi is the CEO, Rwanda Development Board

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