Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tourism in Rwanda Rises

In Rwanda, the conservation of biodiversity has been a major concern since the Colonial era with the creation of the three national parks that harbour rich natural Resources and exceptional tourist opportunities. After independence, the Rwanda Office of Tourism and National parks (ORTPN), whose main mandates were to ensure the promotion of sustainable tourism and the conservation of wildlife was established to answer this concern. Furthermore the Rwandan Government adopted the protection of environment and the promotion of tourism among the main focus of poverty reduction and development in its document “Vision 2020”, with the overall aim to prop up sustainable development. 3 days rwanda gorilla tracking

Also, Rwanda sits at the heart of Africa at the center of the Albertine Rift, where deep volcanic forces are pressing the continental plates apart Its where the world’s exquisite beauty is found as well as unsurpassed biodiversity. Still the country is the bridge between the forest ecosystems of the Congo basin along with the great rift valleys of the East. It shares in the biological riches of both worlds, offering a concentration of biodiversity found nowhere else in Africa plus a wide variety of wildlife. The Volcano National Park in northern Rwanda is home to rare mountain gorillas numbering in hundreds. Apart from mountain Gorillas, the availability of many tourist attractions and potentials led to the development of an absolute guide for conversing Rwanda’s wildlife, history as well as culture along with practicalities such as travel cost and accommodation.

Mean while Rwanda safari is well known for its mountain gorillas which was first brought to international attention by the conservation efforts of Dian Fossey in the 1960s and 70s, Rwanda’s gorillas have featured in numerous documentaries and have in the recent past been visited for example by Bill Gates, Natalie Portman and Ted Turner, who have all participated in the annual gorilla naming ceremony. Of recent, the country launched the Canopy Walk at Nyungwe National Park set 50 meters above ground; it is a thrill-a-minute walkway into the treetops that gives visitors a new, exciting way to experience the park. With this launch, Rwanda Development Board re-states its commitment to product diversification and to enhancing tourists' experiences while conserving the Park's rich biodiversity.

Rwanda’s tourism sector registered a $7.2m increase during the first half of 2010, according to the country’s Development Board. The results represent a 9% increase on previous year, rising from $80.1m to $87.3m, with improved performance for the entire hospitality sector attributed for it. It follows a fall in arrivals between 2008 and 2009 from 699,000 to 765,000. As a result, the Rwandan government is now expecting to generate $206m compared to $174m. rwanda gorilla safari

Rica Rwigamba, head of tourism and conservation at the Rwanda Development Board said that “the country had seen a marked rise in the number of tourists visiting the Volcanoes National Park over the last three years”. However, Rwigamba accepted that Rwanda’s growing tourism sector will still attract more tourists due to the quality of its accommodation and services. gorilla tours rwanda

1.2m mark figure set to hit Kenya tourism

Kenya Tourism forms a vital foundation for the country's economy and is highlights two of Kenya's most unique features wildlife and beaches which make the tourism industry so far the largest single export earner in the country. Careful planning and proactive leadership have maximized the tourism potential as Kenya continually outpaces it's East African safari neighbours.This is evidenced by the solid infrastructure coupled with a devotion to wildlife conservation has propelled Kenya to the forefront of the regional tourism industry.

Besides, Kenya Tourist figures are expected to reach 1.2 million visitors coming through the major airports by the end of the year, Tourism Minister Najib Balala has said.
This will be the largest numbers in the sector’s history having surpassed the 2007 statistics by 17% monthly.” We are experiencing an average 71 percent monthly growth in tourism arrivals compared to 2007 and therefore project the tourist arrivals to hit 1.2million mark by the end of the year. These figures exclude working cross-border travel, Kenyan Diaspora returning home and foreign experts working in the county. The statistics are based on the arrivals from Jumo Kenyatta International Airport and Moi International Airport and the port of Mombasa”. mt kenya safari tours

The Tourism minister told a media briefing on Thursday that the rise was due to aggressive marketing campaigns as well as diversification of the countries traditional source markets.” The new markets we are targeting are Eastern Europe, India, China, Japan as well as African countries where we see great potential," Mr Balala said. safari masai mara

The Government is now riding on Kenyans in the Diaspora to sell the country’s image and cultural heritage. Also Brand Kenya Board says it has planned a series of meetings with Kenyans living abroad in a bid to sensitise them about marketing Kenya as a tourist and investment destination.” We have plans to involve Kenyans in the Diaspora in a project to market our image," says Mary Kimonye, Chief Executive of Brand Kenya Board.” We will soon visit the US and other areas with notable numbers of Kenyans to sensitise them on the issues at hand." Masai mara holidays

More so, the Kenya’s tourism sector has recovered in the past months withstanding the global economic crisis, the volcanic ash phenomenon and the unending travel advisories.
The high figures especially from emerging markets of east Europe, China, India and Africa have contributed immensely to the recovery of the sector. gorilla safaris rwanda