RE: “RDB moves to align Kwita-Izina with World Tourism Month” (The New Times, March 5).
Tourism boards the world over always look for key products, services and events which will stand out and elicit keen interest among their target markets.
The Rwanda Tourism Board, likewise, identifies such events which will raise awareness on the impact of tourism on communities.
Kwita-Izina will continue to mesmerize the world and will give the country a chance to share its sustainable tourism and conservation story globally.
During a survey conducted to find out why local tourism is still low, 85 per cent of respondents indicated that they lacked money. The solution to this challenge could well be the effective marketing of “homestays”.
The New Times recently published the pros and cons with regard to homestays. However, as a form of economic activity and with the necessary controls in place, homestays will ensure that a large chunk of the 85 per cent locals who said they “lacked money” will definitely be able to tour the country’s features and boost domestic tourism figures substantially.
In conclusion, please allow me to quote Francine Havugimana, the vice-chairperson of the Chamber of Tourism at the Private Sector Federation, when she said, “As the private sector, we need to actively take part and probably take full responsibility in the future to organize these events. We have realized how beneficial they are to all of us, from the hotel owners and travel and tour agencies to local communities.”
I do fully agree with Ms. Havugimana—it is not appropriate to always expect the Government to shoulder the burden of organizing such events, including familiarization tours for travel agents, tour operators, MICE planners and the media.
The Government of Rwanda has and always will be willing to give their full support. But it is the private sector which has to come forward.
Strong partnerships between the private sector and Government will definitely take Remarkable Rwanda to even greater heights.