The New Times (Kigali)

27 November 2012

Rwanda Named Among Top Tourist Destinations

RWANDA has been ranked among top 10 world adventurous places for 2013, according to Globe Spots, an international travel guide for tourists.

The travel guide on Monday released a list of 10 countries in the world that are of classic travel for great sights and convenient travel, adventurous places for those who are going above and beyond, seeking out the best travel and hardcore places for those who are willing to travel anywhere just for the buzz.

According to the web portal, Rwanda was ranked sixth globally. Portugal comes number one on the list, followed by Mozambique, Kyrgyzstan, Panama, Armenia, Cuba, Ukraine, Malawi and Canada in that order.

Speaking to The New Times yesterday, Rica Rwigamba, head of tourism and conservation at Rwanda Development Board (RDB), said that the ranking provides confidence to tourists.

"In Rwanda we have much more to offer to tourists beyond the mountain gorillas. And we are proud of that. We are committed to showcase Rwanda's beauty to the world," she said.

According to Globe Spots website, there is more to visit in Rwanda than gorillas and Genocide sites, such as stunning ubiquitous mountains, national parks, excellent lake beaches, great culture, and a dynamic capital city.

"The country has a lot to offer its visitors and is working really hard to convince them to forget about its dreadful past. And with its incredibly well-paved roads, clean and safe streets, and friendly helpful people, Rwanda makes a perfectly smooth introduction to Africa," it says.

For the fifth year, the travel guide magazine has captured what's happening on the travel scene. As usual, they focused on destinations they think will be hot - or at least should be.

Since the beginning of 2012, the country hosted about 493,744 visitors, representing an increase of 22 per cent compared to the same period in 2011.

It recorded a remarkable 16 per cent increase in leisure visitors as well as an eight per cent increase in business visitors.

Last year, the tourism industry generated $252 million in revenues.

Tourist sites in Rwanda include mountain gorillas, canopy walk, national museums, lake Kivu, bird watching, Congo Nile trail, Akagera and Nyungwe National parks, culture, among others.

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