TEMBERA U RWANDA INITIATIVE; THE DRIVE TO RWANDA DOMESTIC TOURISM DEVELOPMENT – RWANDA SAFARI NEWS
The destination has embarked on a campaign that aims at encouraging the natives to take up Rwanda Safaris and tours to explore the magnificent tourist sites that their country has got in stock.
Dubbed Tembera u Rwanda, the campaign that was launched on 29th September 2016 is considered a pivotal point that will see the Rwandan citizens and the foreign residents get to know more about the Rwanda tour products and thus reducing the sector’s reliance on foreign visitors and increase the sector earnings from the local market section.
The drive is being championed by the RDB and its Chief Tourism Officer Belise Kariza oversaw the launch of it. The development of domestic tourism is a desire and if achieved, it will bring along growth in the related business especially those around the micro destinations like Rwanda Safari Lodges, art and craft centers.
The key stakeholders including the tour operators that arrange packages for travelers on safaris in Rwanda have picked interest in the initiative and thus will definitely work with RDB to popularize it and take the target market to the respective sites of interest.
The statistics from RDB indicate that only 37% of the Rwandans visited Nyungwe Forest National Park, 14% visited Volcanoes National Park – the prime destination for Rwanda gorilla safaris and tours and 61% visited Akagera National Park. The destination generated $342 million from tourism in 2015 but now looks forward to 25% increment every year and to achieve this, a range of efforts have to be put in place including invigorating the local market segment to take up tours in Rwanda.
Fortunately, the natives enjoy relatively lower fees to many of the tourist sites such as Rwf4,000 for Rwanda Wildlife Safari of Akagera National Park while the Foreign Non resident pays $35 and Nyungwe where foreign non resident pays $60 and the Rwandan citizen only pays Rwf5,000.
However, the locals still view traveling around as a preserve of the foreigners
Like most of the other non-traditional practices and activities in the country, people’s attitude toward domestic tourism is a big challenge.