President Paul Kagame has said that Rwanda’s goals in tourism and conservation go beyond increasing visitors and revenues to ensuring that the benefits are sustainable and shared by citizens.
Kagame was speaking about the documentary film “Rwanda: The Royal Tour” which premiered at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York on Tuesday.
The documentary was created and produced by Peter Greenberg, CBS News Travel Editor.
The documentary features Greenberg’s weeklong travels through Rwanda, led by President Kagame showcasing the visual diversity of the country’s tourism attractions.
Together, the two went gorilla trekking through Volcanoes National Park, jet-skied in Lake Kivu, explored Nyungwe Forest National Park on an elevated canopy walkway, and saw a variety of wildlife during a safari through Akagera National Park.
Speaking at a question and answer session after the premiere, President Kagame said tourism and conservation benefits are meant to be sustainable and impactful to citizens.
“The goal of tourism and conservation in Rwanda is not only to increase visitor and revenue numbers, but also to ensure that the benefits are both sustainable and shared by all our people,” he said
He said that taking part in the documentary was aimed at showing the wider audience what Rwanda has to offer in terms of touristic attractions.
“I am pleased to have had the opportunity to be Peter Greenberg’s guide in this film and to show a wider audience what Rwanda has to offer,” Kagame said.
On his part, Greenberg said that the film also gives insights to Rwanda’s transformation journey.
“What an amazing transformation Rwanda has had as a country, and what a special opportunity for me — and my audience – to see Rwanda through the eyes of its President,” Greenberg said.
In addition to being commended for its natural attractions and wildlife Rwanda is one of only three places where travelers can see the world’s 880 remaining mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.
The country has severally been recognized as one of Africa’s most exciting new luxury travel destinations.
Rwanda is witnessing exponential growth in its tourism revenues – from $200 million in 2010 to above $400 million in 2016.
The documentary will air on PBS (Public Broadcasting Service), the American public broadcaster beginning Thursday this week.
Rwandans can catch the film on Rwanda Television on Friday evening between 7PM and 8PM.
Tourism experts say that the documentary will serve to showcase Rwanda’s diverse touristic attraction across the world which is in line with plans to increase revenue from the sector.