Beyond the Gorilla Experience in Rwanda
Broadening Rwanda’s Tourism
April -June 2015
Rwanda’s tourism industry is primarily focused on the wonderful gorilla visitor experience that 20,000 visitors enjoy annually. Twenty-one years after the genocide of a million Rwandans, the country is regarded by many as an emerging, dynamic, non-corrupt East African developing nation with development potential.
I was engaged by Nepal-based Beed consultants (www.beed.com.np) to review the country’s tourism strategies that aim at broadening the country’s tourism activities and attractions to help realise this potential.
There are considerable opportunities to broaden the nature an adventure tourism activities and develop a strong market for conferences or meetings, targeting East African residents to attend conference meetings in a nearby and safe country.
Wildlife tourism has great potential with three well-managed National Parks. Changing the perception that gorilla viewing/trekking is only suitable during June-July-August to make it known that it occurs throughout the year is a clear desirable goal. With Gorilla day passes costing NZ$1,000 a person a day and are currently being booked, for the peak period, months in advance, solving this challenge of demand and supply is crucial.
Providing support for Rwandan tourism entrepreneurs to rapidly develop and grow small – medium sized business is also crucial. Rwanda’s emerging tourism sector has a great future.
Posted: Friday 17 April 2015