Monday, October 22, 2012

Rwanda Government plans to build animal sanctuaries to boost Domestic Tourism

Rwanda had an animal sanctuary on the hill of Rebero in Kicukiro district but was destroyed during the 1994 genocide memorial and so, it has never been rebuilt. The government official from the Rwanda Development Board confirmed that the board plans to create an animal sanctuary which will be named the Wildlife Education Center. It will be used to educate children about the values and importance of wildlife. The ministry added that they are embarking on a major awareness of tourism on both local and at the international level. This will hamper the growth of local tourism as animal sanctuaries or orphanages have been proven to be major drivers of tourist numbers locally.

Uganda and Kenya have animal orphanages and sanctuaries located in major towns, which has seen their tourism revenue increase. Uganda has Uganda wildlife Education Center (UWEC) in Entebbe, Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary and Ngamba Island ChimpanzeeSanctuary on Lake Victoria where as Kenya has the Nairobi National Park and Haller Park in Mombasa.
Now the Rwandan government has planned the establishment of wildlife sanctuaries where they will collect and protect animals that are found to be illegally detained in homes and those endangered in captivity. 

The sanctuaries will not only serve to protect animals, but will also be for educational purposes as stated by the Manager in charge of conservation at the Rwanda Development Board Mr. Télésphore Ngoga. In relation also to tourism promotion, the government of Rwanda has lined up several projects such as fencing Akagera National Park; defining a buffer zone for the VolcanoesNational Park, reinforcing protection of Nyungwe Park and diversifying its tourism products. The promotion of domestic tourism is vital to increasing tourism revenues especially from domestic tourists and also will be a great opportunity for locals who cannot afford Gorilla permits, transport and accommodation costs to visit the National Parks. this will reduce on the costs the locals incur on their Rwanda safaris.

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