We have local options to diversify tourism

Tourism articles always seem to suggest some grand activities and exotic experience-which is okay to attract international tourists to a destination country but that is only half truth.

Editor,

RE: “Diversify Rwanda's tourism beyond gorillas” (The New Times, August 14).

Tourism articles always seem to suggest some grand activities and exotic experience—which is okay to attract international tourists to a destination country but that is only half truth.

Many "places" are not true tourist destinations but they are mere "attractions". These, in turn, create diverse interests for visitors, families, groups alike—many countries promote landmark trees, unique landscapes, hiking trails outside their cities—no pandas needed.

In some instances these attractions are mystified/amplified by their promoters: Livingston's refuge, a German lookout point, a Belgian surveying expeditions base, or more modern highlights e.g. drone ports or popular local dinning pads.

In most cities, you get a map. It highlights vantage points and sights, walking paths and museums, markets and foodie delights. Rwanda does not offer such maps; stay at any hotel and you'll find information is only first hand and scarce.

Tourism board should focus on the small things, the details, and the highlights that make a "place" interesting. Printing might be costly but worth the investment—tourists love to be guided and activities suggested for them. It's always amazing to see cities like Hong Kong and Singapore become tourist destinations, even with their limited history and many man-created/made-up tourist attractions, plus food options.

Tom

 

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