WORLD BANK GIVES RWANDA TOURISM THE THUMBS UP
(Posted 04th October 2013)
The latest World Bank report on tourism in Africa, released the day before yesterday titled: ‘Tourism in Africa: Harnessing Tourism for Growth and Improved Livelihoods’ has positively heaped praise on Rwanda for their way of doing business, facilitating business and promoting their tourism attractions at home, in the region and further abroad. The report says almost verbatim that Rwanda’s approach can be cited as a model project because is a public-private partnership that secures community land ownership, protects critical biodiversity, and enhances the welfare of local communities.
Rica Rwigamba, Head of Tourism and Conservation at the Rwanda Development Board, while conceding that much more needed to be done and put into place to reach an ideal situation, especially vis a vis human resource development and professionalism, also proudly added that the strategic way forward on which stakeholders had agreed was being rolled out and that all data, for tourism arrivals and revenues generated, were showing consistently upward growth rates.
‘Broad based consultations and constant interaction with the trade associations like RTTA and the the association for hotels and restaurants, besides the Private Sector Federation, have been crucial in getting where we are. The latest effort to push for the development of the Kivu tourism zone is another landmark after introducing a range of attractions and products beyond gorilla tourism. We deal with our issues internally when necessary but stand together to promote our country. That sets us apart from some others in the region. And we have high profile tourism, conservation and cultural events and throw our support behind them. Finally, there are few rotten apples and we are dealing with those to prevent damage to our country’s reputation, so when things go wrong somewhere, we collectively sort them out’ said a regular contributor from Kigali.
Good news indeed that the World Bank has singled out Rwanda’s tourism industry for such praise, not unprecedented though as they too apparently read regular news updates from Rwanda and have taken a leaf or two in telling this African success story. Watch this space.