NEW TOURISM BILL TO BE SENT TO PARLIAMENT FOR CONSIDERATION
Rwanda is putting final touches on a new tourism bill, which is expected to be sent to parliament for consideration and debate before the end of June, it was learned from a regular source in Kigali.
The success story of tourism in Rwanda has become a matter of national pride and equally a matter of regional envy, as the sector has recorded phenomenal growth in recent years, spurred by private and public sector standing together when promoting the country and the introduction of a range of new tourism products, where once upon a time only gorilla tourism was being talked about when the name Rwanda came up.
The formal launch of the Congo Nile Trail in November last year, the unique canopy walk at Nyungwe Forest, the introduction of birding trails through areas outside the national parks and setting the stage for Gishwati Forest to become the countrys fourth national park all have hugely contributed to putting Rwanda on the global map. Additionally have new airlines started to fly to Kigali, existing airlines expanded their frequencies and most important has RwandAir, the national airline of Rwanda, undergone a major transformation in recent years, positioning itself as a prime choice to connect the region and the continent to The Land of a Thousand Hills. This correspondent has often coined the country as Rwanda Incorporated for the coordinated and centrally engineered effort to propel the country, risen since 1994 like a Phoenix from the ashes of the genocide, into the 21st century and connection by fibre optic cable to the international information superhighway has further assisted the country to engage in e-commerce and stay in the spotlight.
Committed conservation efforts, in particular in the forestry sector, have gained global recognition and for sure the admiration of this correspondent, as the target of restoring a 30 percent forest cover by 2020 are fully on track to be accomplished. Said the source from Kigali in an overnight mail: It is time to formalize the sector with a dedicated tourism bill. You got one in Uganda, and so has Kenya and Tanzania and we needed one too. Tourism has become the single most important sector or our economy and Rwanda is investing in human resource development to provide skilled staff to the industry. We have been inviting new investments like the new Marriott Hotel and new lodges and resorts along Lake Kivu are planned. We need a conducive legislation to provide a good legal environment for this and then of course to regulate the sector which is to promote quality and best practices. It is a logical progression.
Rwanda is set to host the 08th Kwita Izina Festival of naming the young born mountain gorillas on June 16th and the forthcoming visit for that event will permit to further gauge opinions and expectations tied to the new tourism bill. Watch this space.