Kwita Izina 2013 set for 22nd June as Rwanda government introduces new draft tourism bill

RWANDA GOVERNMENT INTRODUCES NEW DRAFT TOURISM BILL TO PARLIAMENT

Rwanda’s government yesterday presented a new draft tourism bill to parliament, aimed to strengthen the sector through better regulations and legal provisions.

The tourism sector, presently overseen by the Rwanda Development Board’s Tourism and Conservation Department, has developed in leaps and bounds in recent years, recording double digit growth in terms of visitor arrivals as well as revenues, and become Rwanda’s leading economic sector. A regular source from Kigali has described the introduction of a new draft bill as being aimed to improved the licensing, inspection and grading of hospitality and related tourism businesses but also sets the stage for the introduction of a tourism levy.

The latter is seen as a crucial financing mechanism to support vocational and tertiary training for individuals seeking to start a career in the industry, but also other capacity building measures in support of injecting greater professionalism into the workforce and among investors.

The draft bill was presented by the Minister for Trade and Industry, also in charge of the tourism portfolio, Francois Kanimba, who was quoted as having told the members of parliament: ‘If you look at how things have been conducted in the tourism industry, you find that many things were lacking, even if there is a government agency in charge of promoting the policy on tourism development. There are many businesses in the industry yet for them to mind about quality services, there must be standards and guidelines as well as a system of monitoring so that the country can make progress’.

Meanwhile was it confirmed by RDB’s Media and Events Officer Maurice Twahirwa, that the country’s annual naming of young born gorillas will this year take place on the 22nd of June at the Kwita Izina showground in Kinigi, where the Volcano National Park headquarters are located. According to the details passed on by Mr. Twahirwa will a week of conservation related activities commence on the 15th of June, building up to the main day when reportedly over 20 gorilla babies will be given names by individuals selected for their affiliation to conservation and tourism.

Watch this space for regular and breaking tourism and conservation news from across Eastern Africa.

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