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Social Impact Of Tourism In Rwanda

Social Impact Of Tourism In Rwanda : Tourism has been a major economic drive in Rwanda for so many years with the industry contributing more than 4% of GDP. In 2013, Rwanda recorded a number of tourists with more than 2 million visitors spending an estimated $570 million thus making it an important source of revenue for the nation. With its natural beauty and rich culture, Rwanda is a perfect destination for the tourism industry but has also had an impact on the people and the country at large. The impact of tourism is seen in both negative and positive way;

The positive impacts of tourism can be seen in the development of infrastructures such as hotels and created employment for Rwandans by having many tour operators, guides among others thus contributing to the economy. Furthermore the introduction of the tourism sector has helped to reserve cultural and heritage sites since these attractions provide visitors with an opportunity to understand and appreciate the history of the nation.

The most benefit from the tourism sector is the economic benefit it provides to Rwanda in the form of tax revenue and employment. From 2006 to 2016, the industry has contributed over 70% of the country’s foreign exchange earnings and made thus making a significant contribution to the government revenue through taxation and licensing fees. In addition, the tourism sector has created jobs to many Rwandans working in the tourism industry. Between 2010 and 2015, the number of tourism related jobs increased by 40% and many of these jobs were held by locals who have benefitted from employment opportunities in the industry.

Employment within the tourism industry has grown steadily since the early 1990s when the number of the tourists visiting Rwanda began to increase following the end of the civil war in 1994. Within the recent years, tourism has become an increasingly important source of revenue for the government, accounting for over 5% of total revenue in 2017. In addition to providing a large source of income for the government, tourism also provides jobs to many locals.

The strong economic growth achieved during the past two decades has benefited the tourism industry by stimulating demand for travel and tourism services. As more disposable income has been available due to higher incomes and a reduction in poverty levels, Rwandans have increasingly been willing and able to travel abroad. Nearly a million people have visited Rwanda in the previous years and thus according to the new figures released by the Rwanda development board shows that the numbers are increasing nearly a third on the year. Therefore the growth in visitors is due to the efforts in boosting domestic tourism through use of airports and improved roads.

Social Impact Of Tourism In Rwanda
Social Impact Of Tourism In Rwanda

The global crisis and the following of downturn within the hotel industry had left many hotels on the verge of bankruptcy or on the verge of failure and closure. However, due to improved market conditions in the past years have led to a return to a profitability for an increasing number of hotel chains within the country.

Therefore the tourism sector is an important source of foreign income for Rwanda and contributes to government revenues through taxes collected at border crossings by the ministry of home affairs and at major tourist sites by the Rwanda Development Board.

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