All Rwandans and foreign residents can now visit museums and other historical attractions across the country- government has granted a 3-month for all access bonus.
Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has launched a domestic tourism campaign ‘Tembera u Rwanda’ that will enable Rwandans to learn about their country.
In a period of three months from October to December, RDB will encourage all institutions, schools and other groups to register for a tour of cultural sites and national museums and have a free drive and access.
On Friday, buses will depart from Kigali with journalists, RDB staff and partners and head to Southern Province to visit sites in Kamonyi, Ruhango and Huye districts.
The three districts host rich historical sites including; Kamegeli rock and several sites surrounding the ancient Rwanda (the kingdom, the queen, the wars).
They will also visit the Nyanza National Museums which include the king palace before heading to Huye and home to the first museum in Rwanda.
The trip will be concluded by a cultural show at 9pm.
RDB is also discussing with hotels, to give discounts to groups of tourists that would like to tour the country and stay in any of the towns to resume their trip the following day.
According to Rwanda Development Board statistics, domestic tourism is still wanting.
In the first half of this year, Akagera was the most locally visited National Park with 60% Rwandans, followed by Nyungwe National Park with 27% of local visitors. Volcano national park, the home to mountain gorillas attracted 14% local tourists.
“It is a pity that foreigners know more about our country than us,” Belise Akariza, the Chief Tourism Officer told KT Press.
“This campaign will emphasize more on history and cultural sites,”she said.
She explained that the main reason why domestic tourism is still lagging is because Rwandans are not aware of how rich their country is.
“Rwandans should know their country, most importantly their culture,” she said.
The ‘Tembera u Rwanda’ campaign will allow all categories of Rwandans to have a chance to visit the historical and cultural sites.
Rwanda expects to boost its revenue earnings from tourism this year by 25.8% through new attractions including a new game park called Gishwati-Mukura National Park that will be launched early next year.
Francis Gatare, Chief Executive Officer of RDB said that tourism revenues are expected to reach $400 million this year, up from $318 million in 2015.