Last month, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) launched a campaign to promote domestic tourism, dubbed ‘TemberuRwanda’, availing two buses that took dozens of nationals on a breathtaking trip around the country to help instill a culture of touring the country among citizens.
Rwanda is a richly endowed country in terms of cultural and natural heritage sites and yet most Rwandans hardly take time off to experience the wonders that dot the Land of a Thousand Hills.
From the legendary ‘Ibisi bya Huye’ in the south and ‘Ibirenge Bya Ruganzu’ in the west, to the mountain gorillas and other primates in the north, and the varied species in the beautiful savannah park of Akagera in the east, Rwanda is not only gifted with top tourist attractions but is a true jewel that its citizens and other travelers need to discover and explore.
While local tourist numbers have increasingly been improving at the Akagera National Park following the reintroduction of lions in the park mid last year, foreign visitors elsewhere continue to significantly outnumber local tourists, a trend that needs to be urgently reserved if the tourist sector is to grow exponentially and achieve its targets.
Tourism sector remains the country’s number one forex exchange earner but it remains far from reaching its potential.
Yet the growth of the tourism sector across the country would present a great opportunity to aligned subsectors such as hospitality, which would strengthen Rwanda’s status as a top global destination not only for tourists and holidaymakers but also for international meetings.
Significantly, this would create more job opportunities; stimulate the growth of other sectors, including agriculture; help promote innovation and creativity; make the countryside more productive, among others.
And this is within our grasp.
But for that to happen we need to embrace local tourism by visiting the magnificent and landmark touristic sites around the country more regularly.