Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame is set to receive the 2017 World Tourism Award for Visionary Leadership on the opening day of World Travel Market London this November.
H.E. Kagame is being honoured with this award in recognition of his visionary leadership through “a policy of reconciliation, sustainable tourism, wildlife conservation, and economic development attracting major hotel investment, resulting in the remarkable turnaround that has led to Rwanda’s rise as one of the leading tourism destinations in Africa today.” The results of such leadership are physical and practical.
In less than a decade, Rwanda’s tourism sector has seen a remarkable increase in revenues from $200 million USD in 2010 to $404 million USD in 2016 as visitor arrivals increased by 12% per annum.
The 2017 WEF Global Competitive Report placed Rwanda on the 2nd position in most competitive destinations for business in Africa, leading to more foreign investments in the tourism sector.
More achievements include the global expansion of Rwandair’s routes to up to 23 destinations and the increase of Rwandair’s airlift capacity through two new A330 airbus aircraft; the construction of Bugesera International Airport; the launching and operations of Kigali Convention Centre that officially made Rwanda a destination for international conferences and meetings; along with the launch of high end hotels in Rwanda such as Radisson Blu Hotel and Marriott Hotel.
Conservation achievements that increased productivity of tourism include the growth of the mountain gorilla population by 26.3%; fencing the Akagera National Park to reduce human-wildlife conflicts; the joint forests, Gishwati and Mukura that now make Rwanda’s fourth National Park; the reintroduction of lions and rhinos in Akagera National Park and tremendous reduction of poaching all over the nation.