Rwanda has been ranked among top three world greenest places for 2015, according to World Travel Guide, an international travel guide for adventurous travellers.
The global tourist guide released a list of 20 destinations in the world that are on the path to environmental enlightenment from self-sufficient villages to pioneering national parks.
According to the web portal, Rwanda has been ranked 3rd globally.
Costa Rica emerged top, followed by Ecuador, Rwanda, Uruguay, Brazil, Italy, Switzerland, Finland, Pitcairn Islands, the Isle of Eigg of Scotland, Bhutan, Sweden, Australia, Copenhagen, Chumbe Island in Tanzania, Britain, Iceland, Canada Azores Islands in Portugal and Portland, Oregon in that order.
Yamina Karitanyi, head of Tourism and Conservation at Rwanda Development Board, told reporters on Tuesday, that the ranking provides confidence to travellers coming to Rwanda especially tourists.
“In Rwanda we have much more to offer to tourists beyond the national parks, we have beautiful green scenery and we are proud of that. We are committed to showcasing Rwanda’s beauty to the world,” she said.
The Travel Guide highlighted Rwanda’s excellent eco- credentials and policy on plastic bags as the best attributes.
“But that’s just the tip of the eco iceberg. Thanks to its conservation efforts, Rwanda’s endangered mountain gorillas are thriving, and there are also plans to reintroduce lions and rhinos to Akagera National Park later this year,” said the guide.
The monthly community work, locally called Umuganda, was also credited for promoting cleanliness.
“If you’re visiting Rwanda on the last Saturday of the month, then you better pack a litter picker…because your trip will coincide with Umuganda, a day of national housekeeping when every citizen (including the President) goes out to clean the country.” she added.
Last year, Rwanda received a total number of about 1.22 million visitors, compared to around 1.122 million in the previous year, an annual increase of 97,000 visitors.
RDB has been trying to diversify its tourism sector by promoting Rwanda as a destination for business travelers, through its Meetings, Incentives Conferences and Events (MICE) initiative.
In 2014, the tourism industry generated revenue receipts worth $ 304. 9million. Tourist sites in Rwanda include mountain gorillas, canopy walk, national museums, Lake Kivu, bird watching, Congo Nile trail, Akagera and Nyungwe National parks, culture, among others.