EDITORIAL: There is much to learn from Kwita Izina

The annual gorilla naming ceremony, Kwita Izina, lived to its billing, attracting thousands of conservation enthusiasts the world over.

The annual gorilla naming ceremony, Kwita Izina, lived to its billing, attracting thousands of conservation enthusiasts the world over.

Robust conservation efforts have paid dividends, both in the increase in number for the animals and better welfare for communities neighbouring the park.

All this is thanks to revenue sharing scheme that began in 2005 which saw 5 percent of tourism revenues injected back to communities around national parks.

So far over Rwf2.6 billion has been spent on nearly 500 community projects.

The unique gorilla naming ceremony is one of the highlights of the tourism calendar. The publicity generated has propelled conservation efforts on the world stage that other sectors should emulate.

Cycling, for one, is a sport that is slowly taking shape and building a niche for itself. The Tour of Rwanda is not to be missed and attracts millions, especially due to live television coverage.

Can those in charge also come up with innovative products to accompany the success? Can it be incorporated into the tourism agenda?

What about the still young Nyanza Twataramye, a cultural extravaganza held annually in Nyanza, Southern Province, the cradle of Rwandan culture with its rich history?

There are many lessons to be picked from Kwita Izina, the bottom line is that we just need to package ideas in an innovative and attractive manner.

The country is blessed with a unique landscape, heavenly weather and resolve to succeed, so there is no reason why we should not rival other touristic destinations.

We just need to dare.

 

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