Rwanda’s tourism receipts rise by another double digit figure


(Posted 25th March 2017)


Data just released confirm what was an open secret until now, that Rwanda tourism’s industry has seen yet another double digit growth in 2016 over the previous year 2015. Rwanda grants Visa on arrival for citizens of the African Union member states and is part of a tripartite agreement with Uganda and Kenya to provide an East African Tourist Visa allowing visits to all three countries under just one Visa.
Chief Tourism Officer Mrs. Belise Karisa confirmed that receipts grew to 404 million US Dollars, up from the previous year’s 368 million US Dollars, a 10 percent rise amid corresponding growth of visitors.
The upswing is attributed to three main factors, besides Rwanda’s reputation as one of Africa’s safest destinations to visit:

  • Diversification of tourism products on offer over and above gorilla tracking
  • A deliberate policy to bring MICE business into Rwanda after the opening last year of the Kigali Convention Centre and two additional hotels under global brands
  • RwandAir’s relentless march towards becoming an intercontinental operator, with more than 700.000 passengers handled last year and projecting a million passengers in the short term when Mumbai and London have come on line.

While in 2015 Rwanda had already risen to become Africa’s 7th leading MICE destination is it expected that the country will climb yet higher in the continental rankings due to excellent air connectivity, not just by national airline RwandAir but also by Brussels Airlines – now flying six times a week to Kigali – KLM but also Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airlines among others.


For additional information about Destination Rwanda check out or click on the website of the Rwanda Convention Bureau for details on how supportive the country is for MICE organizers at


  1. Hi there Mr. Thome. I am currently working on an essay on the factors that contribute to Rwanda’s public image for my high school world cultures class, and your post provided great information. Since you seem to be a primary source, I was wondering if I could have a quick interview with you over email. (about 5 questions) If you could, that would be absolutely wonderful and I’d really appreciate it. If you cannot, I’d still like to thank you for reading my comment at all and for providing this source.

      1. Thank you so much! Here are my questions:

        1. Tell me a bit about yourself: what you do, where you are, etc.

        2. Do you believe that other nearby nations such as Uganda and Burundi could benefit from similar tourism related events, especially now with the visa you mentioned?

        3. Do you think tourism has helped Rwanda triumph in recent years over some other nations economically, despite the fact that there are less natural resources?

        4. (Connects a bit to question two) If the answer to question two is yes, do you think this is exclusive to this area of Africa or could it branch out to the north, south, and/or west? This is obviously excluding countries like South Africa, which had higher visiting numbers in the first place.

        5. Out of those starting hotel and tourism businesses, do you know how many are foreign businessmen capitalizing on Rwanda’s recent economic success? If you don’t know, what might be your guess(es) about it?

        Again, thank you very much for taking this into consideration!