Rwanda needs a practical approach to religious tourism

Published on : Saturday, June 24, 2017

indexReligious tourism does not come within the luxury tourism segment, but Rwanda with the Holy Land of Kibeho, would do well to lay adequate stress on this segment. However, for now, the Rwanda Tourism website makes no mention whatsoever of Kibeho. But from Mumbai alone, there were as many as sixty-eight religious tourists visiting Kibeho in just over six months. The Government of India has already sanctioned allocation of necessary funds for upgrading the road leading to Kibeho.

It is a known fact that Asia’s biggest slum Dharavi in Mumbai has been capitalized by smart tour companies and successfully marketed the ‘Dharavi Tour’ to many foreign visitors. In Rwanda too, there are remarkable refugee camps. MIDIMAR (Ministry of Disaster Preparedness and Refugee Affairs) has just showcased two such camps to visitors. Just like Indian tour operators have turned Dharavi into a ‘tourism product’, it might be prudent to explore the opportunity of converting the Rwanda refugee camps into tourism products as well.

Such an initiative would enhance the self-esteem of the refugees and simultaneously help enable ‘Made in Rwanda’ products to reach international markets. This again would not be luxury tourism but it would instill among the refugees a sense of achievement and satisfaction.

MICE tourism is another key segment for the Rwanda’s tourism revenues. But here, too, there are MICE groups which fall within the different categories and all will definitely not be looking at the five-star and five-star deluxe categories alone but rather a bouquet of tourism products and services.


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