24 Rwandans, who were lucky winners in a recent tourism-related radio quiz visited the Nyungwe National Park, one of the leading tourism destinations and home to the famous Canopy Walk, during the celebrations to mark the World Tourism Day on Tuesday.
The event was organised by Rwanda Development Board (RDB), as a way of encouraging nationals to appreciate, visit and enjoy Rwandan tourism attractions.
The significance of the day, globally, was to raise awareness on the role of tourism, within the international community and to demonstrate how it affects social, cultural, political and economic values.
According to Rica Rwigamba, the Head of Tourism and Conservation at RDB, the 24 participants were selected from the radio quiz aired on Radio Rwanda and Contact FM.
“Questions related to Rwanda tourism were asked and listeners answered them during live phone-in programs, and the winners were brought on the tour,” Rwigamba said.
“The Rwanda theme for this year being ‘Tourism; it begins with YOU’, was chosen to motivate Rwandans to explore and enjoy the extraordinary attractions and not consider tourism as a foreigners’ preserve”.
She further encouraged the 24 participants to be ambassadors of the Rwandan tourism sector, especially amongst the local population.
Evariste Twagirayezu, a resident of Nyagatare District, was part of the group that undertook the canopy walk tour.
“It was an extra-ordinary walk and a once in a life-time experience, though scary. Every time the tour guide tried to show us the birds, I was scared to look sideways due to my fear of heights,” Twagirayezu said.
“Tourism is a culture we must embrace. It’s unfortunate that foreigners get to enjoy the unique and beautiful sceneries of our country before us. The feeling is like a visitor knowing what is in your home better than yourself,” Twagirayezu observed.
“It was a good adventure and thrilling for someone like me. I still can’t believe that I walked on a narrow, shaky- kind of bridge which is 70 metres above the ground,” 17-year-old Annuaritte Mukandatinya narrated.