Monday, 24 June 2013

World Tourism boss pledges support to local sector


UNWTO boss Rifai hands over the open letter to President Kagame yesterday. Right is Ousmane Ndiaye, UNWTO director for Africa . 
President Paul Kagame yesterday met with the Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Taleb Rifai with whom they discussed several issues ranging from promoting and supporting tourism globally as well as the status of tourism in Rwanda. 

Currently, tourism is Rwanda’s top foreign exchange earner. Last year, the sector generated about Rwf 178 billion.

During their meeting, Rifai submitted to the President an open letter, which is part of the international campaign aimed at raising awareness about the importance of travel and tourism. 

“This campaign is geared towards Heads of State and I am delighted to say that Rwanda has now joined this group of countries that support this cause,” said Rifai. 

He added that in their meeting, they also shared the President’s visions and ideas on how travel and tourism can form part of the future of Rwanda and Africa at large and as well discussed issues about the need to diversify resource markets.

Rifai was partly in Rwanda for the ninth Kwita Izina ceremony on Saturday and saw 12 baby gorillas named. 

The CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Claire Akamanzi, who accompanied Rifai to meet Kagame, said that Rwanda is interested in tapping all available resources in ensuring that the tourism sector keeps growing.


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