ARUSHA - Rwanda will join the rest of the world to attend the forthcoming Karibu Travel and Tourism Fair (KTTF) that is slated for this weekend in Arusha, Tanzania.
The global tourism fete attracts over 200 exhibitors from all over the world, this year it will run from June 5 to 7 at the Kisongo Prison grounds on the outskirts of northern Tanzania town.
The fair is ranked as the second most important African travel and tourism event after the Indaba in South Africa and it is expected to attract exhibitors from across the Great Lakes Region.
“This is the first time we are going to erect our stand at the exhibition and it is very important for us to be attending because we meet a lot of tourists from all corners of the world. It is a pleasure for our country to attend,” said Chantal Rosette Rugamba, the Deputy CEO Rwanda Development Board.
Rugamba, who is in charge of tourism at RDB said that attending KTTF will give Rwanda the opportunity to raise awareness of her tourist attractions and also position itsself as a tourist destination.
Rwanda was this year ranked among the ten world tourism destinations by Lonely Planet, a leading tourism directory.
According to the organisers of the KTTF, exhibitors from Tanzania, Zanzibar, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, the DRC, South Africa, China and Belgium have already confirmed participation.
Among the lined-up exhibitors are tour operators, travel agents, travel writers, airlines, hoteliers, hunters, NGOs and government institutions.
International tourist receipts were USD 96.7 billion in 2007, up from USD 85.7 billion in 2006.
When the export value of international passenger travel receipts is accounted for, total receipts in 2007 reached a record of USD 1.02 trillion or 3 billion a day.
Rwanda’s budding tourism sector received over a million visitors in 2008 and raised an estimated $214 million, up from $138 million the previous year.
Tourism revenue in Rwanda, famous for its gorilla tracking projects, will grow to $224 million in 2009 and visitors will increase to 1.14 million, the board said. Growth has been bolstered by strong investment in the sector that has become the leading hard currency earner.
Rwanda is credited with rapid growth since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi that claimed over 1,000,000 lives.