Through social media, a group of three young men started up a touring group called ‘The 250 explorers.’
With a strategy of being the lens showcasing the beauty of Rwanda, these young visionaries dream of becoming the future of domestic tourism in Rwanda.
It all started when the group’s founder, Jesse Juru Nyacyesa, a mechanical engineering student at the University of Rwanda and a social media influencer, posted on Twitter inviting people to join him on a tour.
Though no one responded, he didn’t give up and when he issued his second invite, he managed to get two people.
“This all began in December 2018, when I wanted to visit the Campaign against Genocide (CAG) museum and posted it on Twitter. At first, no one showed interest but two people reached out the second time,” Nyacyesa tells The New Times.
The 250 explorers began with visiting museums, but later as members, they agreed that they wouldn't only visit museums as there is a lot to see in Rwanda.
The 250 explorers at the CAG museum. /Courtesy photo
“We chose to begin with museums because most of us are youth aged below 25 years with little to no clue about our history,” recalls the founder.
“We also decided to visit and explore other tourism places in Rwanda as a way of promoting domestic tourism which is lacking among the youth,” he adds.
Prior to any trip, the 250 explorers post on their social media platforms announcing the upcoming event and call upon anyone interested to join them.
They also decided to create a WhatsApp group for effective communication.
The group had successful trips last year, for example, they visited Liberation Struggle museum, Nyamata Genocide Memorial Centre, Rwanda Art Museum, to name a few.
Every successful trip came with more people. And a group that started with only three members now has 85, and anyone is welcome to join.
Jesse Juru Nyacyesa, the 250 explorers founder.
The future of domestic tourism
In five years, the group aspires to be tourism advocates especially for the younger generation.
“We want to inspire the youth to explore our motherland and be that lens showcasing the beauty of Rwanda. We want to be the future of domestic tourism in Rwanda,” Nyacyesa says.
As a way of encouraging young people to go for tourism, Nyacyesa says it’s important for authorities in charge to come up with special tariffs for students and the youth at large, “because we have tried to advocate for that wherever we go but it's still not easy for young people to visit some places.”