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Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda-ANA
The month of record

Rwanda: Resumption of tourism… for locals only

With a loss of $7.6 million due to the closure after COVID 19, Rwanda has reopened domestic tourism to compensate for the losses incurred.

By Cyuzuzo Saady

 

The tourism sector was the first and by far the most affected by COVID 19. According to a letter sent by the Director General of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Claire Akamanzi, the sector lost 34.9 billion Rwandan francs last March. In allocating this loss, hotels and tourism were the most affected with a loss of Rwf 13.6 billion, travel agencies Rwf 152 million, tour operators Rwf 20 billion, conferences and events Rwf 1 billion. In order for the sector to survive the trade shocks of COVID-19 for one year, it needs financial support of Rwf 29.9 billion, observes the institution.

 

The Rwanda Chamber of Tourism announces huge losses, estimated at 7.6 million dollars due to Covid-19, they have appealed to the government for help to make up for the losses in the tourism and hotel industries.

 

Promotion of domestic tourism 

 

To this end, RDB has initiated a campaign to promote domestic tourism through the negotiation of private sector credit incentives for tourism enterprises.

The economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak has not only affected the tourism industry but also other industries, says Belise Kaliza, head of the tourism department in the RDB. With the end of the pandemic, we will focus on domestic tourism. We are currently working on a very strong campaign for domestic tourism. And we are going to put in place strong promotions to attract international tourists,” she added before stressing: “the RDB does not provide subsidies but it can negotiate credit incentives for the private sector”.

 

“We spend without earning. We pay workers, we pay rent, we booked rooms and the tourists didn’t come “

 

Commenting on the current situation, Vital Munyanyiko, Managing Director of Kalisimbi Tours, said he is having trouble keeping up with the payment of taxes and rents. “We spend without earning.  We pay workers, we pay rent and we had booked hotel rooms and people did not come,” he said, expecting the government to provide tax breaks and debt relief.

 

A short-term option. Because Rwanda, which had banked on business and high-standard tourism, will have to review its roadmap as the recovery of international tourism is not expected before 2021…

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