Yesterday, we celebrated World Tourism Day.
In Rwanda Tourism is continuously growing as an industry. Tourism’s impact on the 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 total employment.
Rwanda’s tourism as a whole has become a major booster not only for environmental protection but also for economic development.
As the government explores its possibilities becoming environmentally friendly as a way of achieving economic freedom, there are lessons to learn, on how the crucial industry can be a tool for development.
As an anchor for development the tourism sector has gained quick growth becoming one of Rwanda’s highest foreign exchange earners, generating over USD 200million in foreign exchange last year.
So far so good, and this year, magnificent returns have been recorded after the ‘Kwita Izina’ gorilla naming ceremony and related Tourism tours in the various National Game Parks.
Rwanda’s huge strides in the Tourism sector are only stating her ground in the East African Community and the rest of the world as a gem in environmental protection and preservation.
Rwanda has also ensured policies are implemented that preserve and conserve the environment.
For this reason government has taken on the task of balancing the needs in terms of the development of the economy and the lives that depend on the environment - both human, animal and plant lives.
It is a crucial balance to strike, as the existence of each of these depends on the other.
Unlike before, where climate change decisions made by the developed world have greatly affected African countries, today individual states like Rwanda are taking reasonable and personal responsibility to combat the effects of environmental degradation in boosting their Tourism sector by simply protecting natural habitats.
The bottom line is everyone wants to become greener and healthier.
With the realization that the environment is a necessity for life, humanity needs to accept the fact that their lives depend on the environment they live in.