The New Year has come with good news from the past year, that revenues from Tourism increased by 54 percent. This has come at a time when Rwanda is striving to move away from foreign aid dependency as President Paul Kagame has persistently urged Rwandans, most recently, during his New Year’s message to Rwandans.
The success in the sector that only existed by name before the liberation of our country should catapult us into action to aggressively tap into this newfound gold mine to generate more income in 2009.
The Rwanda Office of Tourism, which is one of the seven institutions that were merged to form the Rwanda Development Board, projects that at least 1.14 million visitors will come to Rwanda this year, though the number might go beyond the figure.
Let Rwandans take advantage of the situation to get more foreign exchange out of this flow of tourists into the country. To our advantage, Rwanda was voted among “Top 10 Countries to Visit in 2009” by Lonely Planet, one of the worlds leading travel guides.
Also, 2009 should be a year of investments, now that the government has done its part to establish a conducive investment climate that has come to supersede other countries in the region.
Rwandans both in the country and those in the Diaspora should work hard to improve the hospitality sector, setting up more hotels with quality services.
Above all training the waiters and waitresses working in the hotels to make them more professional and to keep up with the expected standards as we look forward to hosting more visitors.