The outlook of Rwanda’s tourism industry is quite positive. Industry experts predict that this year’s revenue of the central African country will increase by 25.8 percent compared to last year and reach USD 400 million. The government announced plans to invest in several tourism projects.
The most popular tourism attraction in Rwanda is gorilla watching. Various tours are offered to the visitors and as such the apes account for 60 percent of Rwanda’s tourism revenue. Another attraction is the remarkable nature which the tourism authorities extensively promote. A new game park, Gishwati-Mukura National Park, is expected by the government to boost the visitor numbers.
The park was established in February 2016 by combining the Mukura and Gishwati forests giving both of these areas official protected status. The park, which is the fourth national park in the country, offers incredible biodiversity allowing for free movement of monkeys. Although currently there are no lodges for tourists to stay in there are plans to build several accommodation facilities over the next couple of years.
According to Francis Gatare, CEO of Rwanda Development Board, the government also plans to launch several adventure opportunities for visitors on Lake Kivu and invest $300 million in the hospitality complex Kigali Convention Centre which includes a convention hall as well as a five-star hotel.
The government also announced the plans to focus more on business tourism and promote the local MICE venues. Currently almost 50 percent of visitors to the country have an annual income of over $85,000.
Ecotourism is another sector where the authorities plan to invest. “There are numerous rustic to luxury ecofriendly lodges and tour operators in Rwanda,” said Francis Gatare. According to him, ecotourism not only boosts the revenues of the economy but above all it is of great benefit to the local residents.