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Tourism receipts up by 4% , while Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda showcase joint tourist visa at ITB



Ben Gasore


Drives by RDB (the Rwanda Development Board)  aimed at attracting more tourists to Rwanda are starting to bear more fruits, with the country’s earnings from tourism growing by 4 per cent last year. Tourists numbers were also up by 6 per cent during the year.


According to new figures from RDB, Rwanda raked in $293.6m (about Rwf196.7b) from tourism, up from $281.8m (about Rwf188.8b) generated in 2012. 


Tourists numbers were 1,137,000 visitors in 2013 compared to around 1,076,000 in 2012, which represents an increase of 61,000 visitors over the year.  Most of the tourists were mainly from the US, the UK and Germany, according to RDB statistics.


The development body noted that the three national parks in Rwanda, Nyungwe, Akagera and Volcanoes National Parks  sold  61,764 tourist activities last year compared to 61,304 the previous year. 


Some of the popular tourism attractions over the year included guided nature trails, birding, canopy adventure, tropical water falls, chimpanzee and mountain gorillas trekking, camping, Congo Nile hike, golden monkeys, Dian Fossey tomb, hiking on Bisoke and Karisimbi mountain peaks, game drives, fishing and boat cruises.




 Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda showcase joint tourist visa at ITB


Eric Kabeera


Rwanda, Kenya, and Uganda yesterday showcased the East African single tourist visa at an exhibition in Berlin, Germany, jointly marketing the region as a single tourist destination. Tourism officials and diplomats from the three countries graced the exercise at the three countries common pavilion at this year’s Internationale Tourismus-Börse (ITB).  


The joint pavilion was established by officials from the three countries to unveil the project to the world participants attending the one-week event.The visa, launched by the respective Heads of State last month, came into effect early this year. A holder of the USD 100 cross-border visa can visit any of the three partner states without extra charges.


Amb. Valentine Rugwabiza, the Rwanda Development Board chief executive officer, said the project will help boost tourism in the region. “Since January 1, the number of travellers to the East Africa region has significantly increased,” she said.  “With this partnership, our unique selling point as a region is highlighted as we have a wide range of experiences to offer,” she added. 




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