Numbers of American tourists to Rwanda have grown by 114 per cent year on year, according to data from an international travel agency network.
The agency network, Virtuoso in their latest data release noted that Rwanda was among the top 10 countries that have experienced significant increases by percentage in year-over-year bookings among American travellers at 114 per cent.
Other countries that had seen significant growth of American travellers were Uruguay, Malta, Romania, Puerto Rico, Egypt and The Maldives.
The agency network findings are from an analysis of data from over 1,000 travel agency partners and 20,000 elite travel advisors across North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East.
In their analysis, they noted that American tourists are increasingly characterized by aspects such as interest in exploring new destinations, seeking fresh adventures, pleasant climate, less-explored cuisines and retreats for relaxation-focused travellers.
The development comes at a time when Rwanda has been rolling out multiple efforts to grow tourism receipts. Among the avenues has been creating a diversity of wildlife in local parks with the addition of rhinos and lions.
The tourism sector is also working edge towards the low density, high-value kind of tourism due to the returns it promises.
Among facilities, the facilities that are well placed for the model include Bisate Lodge, Amakoro Songa lodge, One and Only Nyungwe and the newly opened Singita.
Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has also previously said that they are working on devising ways to diversify the country’s tourism, to make the most of cultural, religious and other attractions.
Rwanda is also keen on growing tourism receipts through the conference tourism sector.
Kigali is currently ranked the second most popular destination in Africa for international meetings and events by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). Cape Town in South Africa is ranked first in Africa.
MICE tourism contributed $56 million in 2018, and this year, we intend to increase it to $88 million.
By Collins Mwai