Rwanda Among African Countries with potential for Tourism Growth
A Research firm – Euromonitor International has identified some African countries that are likely to see strong growth in tourism, and could possibly be lucrative destinations for investors in the tourism industry.
These countries are Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Tanzania. According to Euromonitor, Rwanda is emerging as a well-known destination on the world tourism map recording a 3% increase of inbound tourists in 2011 to reach 723,000.
In 2011, the majority of tourist arrivals came from other African countries. Arrivals from the African continent were led by the Democratic Republic of Congo(16.5%), followed by Uganda (13.5%) and Tanzania (7.4%). Rwanda’s core overseas markets include the US (3.6%), Belgium (2%) and the UK (1.5%).
According to Euromonitor, Rwanda is also ready to implement the East African Community single tourist visa, which will allow tourists to travel freely across the region.
Tourism is the largest foreign exchange earner with $251 million earned in 2011. The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has revealed that for the first semester of 2012, Tourism revenues have increased by 11% compared to the same period last year in 2011. The tourism sector is estimated to have generated US $128.3m compared to US$115.6m generated in the same period last year.
One of the country’s most popular attractions is its mountain gorillas – which has attracted many tourists in the country and RDB has promoted the activity through the annual Gorilla Naming Ceremony (commonly known as Kwita Izina).
Rwanda is, however, trying to diversify its tourism offering, for example through the 150 metre high canopy walkway, the Congo Nile Trail and bird watching routes.