Tour Companies Decry Lack of Accommodation
Rwanda being a country of a thousand hills has got many beautiful things including rivers and lakes, mountain Gorillas, wild animals and many others that attract tourists from all over the world. Rwanda has three national parks which are; Akagera National Park in Eastern province, Nyungwe National Park in Western Province and Volcano National Park in Northern Province.
On 19th January 2012,we visited MGENI ADVENTURES LTD at prince House, Remera-Gasabo district a company that has dealt in Tours and Safaris, Car rentals, Airport pick up and drop off and Hotel reservations for two years but with branches in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
Ndoli Darius, Mgeni Adventures Managing Director who is one of the founders and Chairman of EATN (East African Tourism Network) has 11 years of experience in Tourism in addition to attending various International Trade fairs in USA, Europe and Asia as he told the reporter.
Highlighting challenges faced, Darius indicated lack of enough accommodation especially in Akagera national park as the main problem.
“Visiting the Park requires tourists to be there by 6:00am yet it’s a long journey from Kigali to that place. So you need to spend a night around there to be on time” There is one hotel in Akagera which is very expensive and without enough accommodation in addition to poor service delivery, adds Darius.
He continues to say that compared to other national parks in the neighboring countries, Akagera is not well developed yet it has variety to be seen: different bird species, lakes, crocodiles, Hippos among others. RDB-tourism department knows about the problem of accommodation but no quick effort has been made by the government to solve the problem.
In abid to improve tourism industry in Rwanda, Darius request the government to think about Akagera like how other national parks of Rwanda are taken care of or privatize it to Investors to better develop it for the good of the country and residents.
Also, there is a need for Government Tourism Information Centres in different places of Rwanda because tour companies have to go looking for tourists in trade fairs yet if the GTIC was there, tourists would access easily tour operators and vice versa.
Darius further said that for the local community to benefit from the national park, they should be sent to school or sensitized on how they can work together in cooperatives and make crafts that attract tourists. He advised people in the same business to love and respect their profession because tourism requires honesty, in other words they shouldn’t promise what they can’t offer.