Algeria, May 31, 2017

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Rwanda raises tourism revenue target for 2017

Rwanda targets to generate 444 million U.S. dollars in 2017, up from 404 million dollars last year, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) said Tuesday.

RDB has revised up the country's annual tourism revenue target, within a month, after increasing the price of mountain gorilla trekking permits to 1,500 dollars for all visitors.

Clare Akamanzi, chief executive RDB said tourism receipts will come from the continued tourism promotion efforts and as well as the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Events and Exhibitions (MICE) strategy.

'We are expecting an increase in tourists coming to Rwanda this year, because of several strategies we have put in place like MICE strategy, introduction of lions and rhinos in Akagera National Park among others,' she added.

Rwanda's efforts to grow MICE tourism are paying off, having been ranked at 3rd in Africa after South Africa and Morocco in terms of capacity to host international meetings by the 2016 International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) report.

MICE is an important segment to Rwanda's tourism industry having generated 47 million dollars in 2016 and projected to contribute 64 million U.S dollars to the tourism industry this year.

Akamanzi noted the general conducive business environment in the country and specific reforms that have been put in place for tourism such as marketing and infrastructure and high-end tourism strategy will enable Rwanda generate the targeted revenues in 2017.

Rwanda's tourism sector continues to be the country's largest foreign exchange earner thanks to exceptional hospitality given to tourists.

The small central African country boasts of tourist attractions such as Volcanoes National Park, Akagera and Nyungwe national parks, museums, Lake Kivu, bird watching, culture, canopy walk, and Congo Nile Trail, among others.

The country now has the big five game animals after reintroducing lions last year and Rhinos earlier this month.

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