KARONGI-There was an upsurge of visitors to the Western Province during this festive season to the extent that it is currently difficult to find room at most hotels.
The area is renowned for its famous touristic attractions because all hotels are mostly located on the shores of Lake Kivu, the largest lake in the country, and this time it is overwhelmingly congested.
In Karongi district, a mini survey conducted yesterday indicated that due to the influx of guests during this festive season, most hotels only remain with their most expensive rooms.
On average, a single room costs between Rwf 15000 and Rwf 50,000 per night.
A receptionist at Bethany Hotel, one of the main hotels in the town, told The New Times that the remaining rooms go for Rwf 35, 000.
“There has been a significant increase in the rate of occupancy of the rooms since last week with more people making bookings until the end of the festive season,” he said.
He added that unlike previously when occupants were mainly foreign tourists on holiday, this time there is a large number of Rwandans.
“There is a surge of clients and it’s amazing how Rwandans are picking up the culture of celebrating holidays away from home,” he explained.
At another facility called Holiday Hotel, all rooms were booked until the end of next week.
When The New Times visited the hotel yesterday, there was one client who had travelled with his entire family to celebrate Christmas. He said that he had to book week in advance.
“I am lucky to have booked earlier. With this rapid increase of visitors, I could not have gotten accommodation for the whole family,” he observed.
In a phone interview last evening, Karongi district Mayor, Bernard Kayumba, said a number of other recreational activities have been organised so as to accommodate the large number of visitors.
“Various sporting and entertainment events have been organised in form of competitions in order to entertain the visitors during their leisure time throughout the festive season,” he said.
During the Christmas weekend, guests enjoyed a beach volley tournament in which the winning team was rewarded with a trophy and Rwf 60,000.