Rwanda Development Board has kicked off the annual Visit Rwanda ‘Familiarization Trip’ (Fam Trip) to encourage visitors to join the county’s conservation journey.
The Fam Trip is held annually ahead of the Gorilla naming ceremony-Kwita Izina, which has for the last 17 years been a platform for promoting conservation tourism in Rwanda to the rest of the world.
With the support of the Private Sector Federation, RDB brought on board the international tour operators, media personality from across the world to visit Rwanda’s key tourist and environment conservation sites from 15th to 25th September 2021.
The visiting group of 30 consists of international media and tour operators from the USA, France, Germany, Ukraine, South Africa, Tanzania, and Kenya among others.
The guests toured City of Kigali where they visited the Kigali Memorial Site. They will visit various tourism attractions including Akagera and Volcanoes National Parks, Nyanza King’s Palace, Nyungwe National Park, and Lake Kivu belt including Rusizi, Karongi, and Rubavu tourist spots.
“The purpose of this trip of selected international tour operators is to help them explore and become more familiar with Rwandan tourism products; and therefore better package, sell Rwanda as a destination to their respective markets thus driving travel traffic to Rwanda,” said Ariella Kageruka the RDB acting Chief Tourism Officer (CTO).
Kageruka said that the invitees are persons who are interested in learning and contributing to Rwanda’s conservation tourism journey which has come a long way and been supported by high end tourism activities and partners.
Among these is Tim van der Wel, the Director of Avila Reizen, a tour and travel agency in The Netherlands.
Wel said that he is excited to be in Rwanda and with an open mind ready to learn from the countries tourism strategies and activities which he has only been reading about online.
“This is an opportunity for me to see what is happening in Rwanda so that I can be able to show to clients the ideal tourism experience who would love to visit Rwanda,” Wel said.
For the second year into the COVID-19 pandemic Rwanda is eyeing a virtual Kwita Izina ceremony on 24th September 2021 as a way of promoting its conservation tourism activities as the country tried to recover from negative effects (40%) on the sector as result of the pandemic.
On the other hand government has increased its Economic Recovery Fund (ERF) from an iniatial Rwf100billion to over Rwf300billion to boost the tourism and hospitality sector among others which were hit hard by COVID-19.