Tourism in general as a sector has continued to grow over the past couple of seasons and the gradual increase is seen in all aspect from new hotel entrants in the market to a bump in tourist numbers both foreign and local visitors have double as of last December and this surcharge is attributed to the lowering of prices for national and east African visitors to national parks and historical sites plus perhaps notable discounts seen provided by hotels and restaurants during the low seasons of foreign visitors.
In Akagera National park last year they reported a 20 percent increase in net revenue, with half of its visitors being local travelers, revealing a boost in domestic tourism. Figures released recently from the park, show it generated $1.6 million in net revenues last year, which is a 20 percent increase on 2016 figures. The revenues covered half of the park’s annual budget for 2017.
The park got a total of 37,284 visitors, 31,032 of them paying visitors —with half being nationals. The park is the country’s second most significant conservation area by tourism receipts. Currently, international visitors pay $40, EAC residents $30 while Rwandans pay Rwf5,000 ($5.80) to visit the park. The park is projecting more than $1.7 million in earned revenue and over 32,500 paying tourists for 2018.
Volcanoes National Park — the biggest tourism receipts earner — and Nyungwe National Park, are both managed by the Rwanda Development Board’s tourism division. According to data from RDB Park revenues are expected to increase by 10 percent from $17.8 million to $20 million, while total tourism revenues are projected to increase by 10 percent from $444 million to $484 million.
Some of the constraints faced in bumping up tourists numbers in the region surrounding the park include limited accommodation as an obstacle to attracting more visitors since the park is located a bit far away from Kigali than any other. The friendly visa policy for Rwanda has tremendously helped upgrade tourism revenue numbers over the years and the visa on arrival policy is a major innovation that has supported these results.