Rwanda’s tourism sector once again grows by double digits in first half of 2013


(Posted 06th September 2013)

Data released in Kigali yesterday show a continued and sustained growth of the country’s tourism sector. During the first half of 2013 the tourism industry’s revenues grew by 11 percent while tourist numbers rose by 14 percent compared to the record breaking year 2012.

Rica Rwigamba, Head of the Tourism and Conservation Department at the Rwanda Development Board said yesterday in Kigali: ‘The increase in tourism revenues and visitor numbers are important in driving economic growth and generating opportunities that will improve the lives of Rwandans. In addition, we will continue to prioritise visitor safety and security in our parks and other tourist destinations’ the latter comment aimed to once again dispel unfounded fears over visitor safety in the country, suggestions about which are reportedly fueled by foreign sources either envious, unfriendly or outright hostile towards Rwanda.

Meanwhile has Nyungwe Forest National Park, aka The Enchanted Forest, made it into the top 7 nominations for the upcoming World Travel Awards, competing with the likes of Kidepo Valley National Park in Uganda, the Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya, the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, the Krueger National Park in South Africa, the Etosha National Park in Namibia and the Kalahari in Botswana. Rwandan tourism stakeholders and officials are keenly awaiting the outcome of the vote and are confident that Nyungwe, a unique biodiversity hotspot which last year won the British Guild of Travel Writers Global Award, can go all the way.

The winners of the World Travel Awards for Africa will be named at a Gala ceremony in Kenya’s capital Nairobi in mid October.

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