While the financial crisis digs holes in people’s pockets, many have finally understood the meaning of savings and investments. They don’t dare waste their precious money on luxuries and save for their basic needs like water, electricity and food.
However, there are those who understood the principle of savings way before the markets came tumbling down.
They saved up, invested and are now enjoying the fruits of their savings.
This group of people can afford to spend on luxuries and wants without feeling a trace of guilt. They can tour the world’s adventure spots that are endowed with wildlife and great scenery.
Rwanda, with her tourist attractions, has become one of their destinations of choice.
This has led to the tourism sector’s quick development into one of Rwanda’s highest foreign exchange earners.
Last year alone, foreign exchange generated from the tourism sector was $200million. This year alone magnificent returns have been.
Tourism today is continuously growing as an industry. Tourism’s impact on Rwanda’s GDP was estimated at 3.5 percent in 2008 and by 2016 it is expected to account for 5.8 percent of the GDP and 4.6 percent of employment.
These figures simply mean that there is actual progress toward development. Without ignoring the fact that Rwanda is still a low income country with a limited number of income sources, the need to properly utilise the available natural resources is what counts.
Early this week, Rwanda’s birds were on display in the UK in a bird fair. ‘Birding’ is a new tourist attraction that is slowly spreading wings in this country.
While some may laugh at this activity, others will travel across the oceans just to look at Rwanda’s birds.
Of 670 bird species, 44 can only be found in Rwanda. Whether we like it or not, bird watching has become a money spinner. This is confirmed by RDB Tourism and Conservation; they expect to generate $11 million from ‘birding’ by 2012.
However, maintaining what has been achieved is also necessary if the success story is to continue.
It will becomes a shame when, after years of investment and hard work; everything goes to waste as a result of poor management and judgment.
This calls for solution-focused people who appreciate what they have and know what to offer the rest of the world.
Rwanda today, stands a better chance to deal with her problems because her people are becoming more resilient at all odds to attain progress.
This is clearly seen in the Tourism sector.
The author is a journalist with The New Times