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Tourism, hospitality graduates urged to be entrepreneurs

Tourism, hospitality graduates urged to be entrepreneurs

Posted on 23 January 2015 by peter

Tourism, hospitality graduates urged to be entrepreneurs

Graduands   completing their courses   in tourism and hospitality have been challenged to look at starting their own businesses as one way of contributing to the development of the country.

Zulfat Mukarubega, founder   and legal representative of RwandaTourism University Colleg-RTUC said that    Rwanda requires more entrepreneurs mainly in the hospitality and   tourism   sector to   foster its service delivery.

“ do not  bury your heads in frustration and wait for  the opportune time and cash  fortunes to  start your  business, start  today,”  she  said  during  the 3rd graduation  ceremony for the university  on Thursday.

Sheadds, “Ican’t stress strongly enough   how determined you must be, for the road to success is neither short nor easy. Many will fail at some point, and you must learn   to overcome heavy doses offrustration, burn out and disappointment along the way”.

Mukarubega said that RTUC has equipped the graduands   with   all the skills, competencies and right attitude that they need to transform the Rwandan society in customer care   and entrepreneurship.

“May Rwandans   to world class and the international community out there arelooking up to you Graduands to set a benchmark as employees and more importantly, entrepreneurs,” she added

Rwanda Tourism University College-RTUC began  in  2000 and was accredited and given degree awarding powers  by government  in 2012 offers   courses in Business information technology, hotel and restaurant management, travel and tourism management, vocational  training  programs and media studies.

Callixte Kabera, vice rector of the University said that the  university  college  has been vital in closing the skills gap that has been facing the tourism  sector in the country through  provision of  locally trained  skilled labour.

“We provide hands- on skills to our graduates which we believe   help them to perform well at their workplace,” he said

A total of 433 graduates have received their degrees , diplomas  and certificates  that will help  them   perform  and compete  favorably  in the  tourism  sector.

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Rwanda eyes heritage to boost tourism

Rwanda eyes heritage to boost tourism

Posted on 06 January 2015 by peter

Rwanda eyes heritage to boost tourism

“Economic benefits of heritage tourism include creating new jobs and businesses, increasing tax revenues, and diversifying the local economy” remarks Minister Francois Kanimba.

The Minister also pointed out that, those economic benefits are not the only reason why heritage tourism may be good for your community—“it has quality-of-life benefits as well”.

”Heritage tourism helps preserve your town’s unique character, which results in greater civic pride. Residents benefit too! There are more opportunities available such as shops, activities, and entertainment offerings that the local market alone might not be able to support”, said Minister Kanimba.

What is Heritage Tourism?

Heritage Tourism refers activities and services which provide international and domestic visitors with the opportunity to experience, understand and enjoy the special values of a region’s heritage, are sometimes referred to as heritage tourism.

‘Heritage’ and ‘Culture’ have become interchangeable and elastic terms. In the context of the arts for example, the use of the term culture relates to how a society’s history, beliefs, values, traditions and icons are manifested in an artistic format. The term often embraces Indigenous and natural culture, depending upon the perspective of the proponent.

Heritage tourism occupies a significant proportion of the ‘cultural tourism’ spectrum, and while it often overlaps with and links to other tourism product, the historic or human dimensions considerably inform and shape all parts of the spectrum. In this sense, heritage provides an ‘overarching’ component or common thread for many tourism products in a country or localized area.

Tourism remains at the top of the country’s foreign exchange earners and has retained a share of international business while the country’s opportunities to grow its tourism services are immense, ranging from hosting meetings and conferences, tapping into religious and cultural experiences, taking advantage of its eco and national parks and expanding water and leisure sports.

Rwanda has since invested in the convention bureau and other infrastructure and is seeking investors for spa and golf resort hotels along Lake Kivu and a cable car system on the slopes of the Volcanoes National Park. In addition, a new cultural village will be set up in Kigali to showcase a spectrum of the nation’s heritage in one setting.

Within the framework of implementing the National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan which is among the highlights of the Government seven year plan, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Francois Kanimba chaired a validation workshop on the dubbed “Heritage Corridor Tourism Sub-Master Plan connecting Kigali to the Nyungwe National Park”.

The study was commissioned in collaboration with Rwanda Development Board and aims to transform this region into a competitive tourists’ destination in Rwanda.

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Nyanza Organises New cultural festival

Nyanza Organises New cultural festival

Posted on 25 December 2014 by peter

Nyanza Organises New cultural festival

Rwanda’s tourism industry has continued to be diversified with the latest being the introduction of a cultural festival this Boxing day.

The Nyanza District, home to some of the country’s most impressive historical cultural sites from the former kingdom, has partnered with the National Institute for Museums and others to launch a culture festival held for the first time this year on Boxing Day, December 26.

Information received from Kigali confirms that the Rwesero Art Museum has been selected as the venue for the inaugural event which according to the source will become part of Rwanda’s annual calendar of festivals.

Traditional song, poetry, arts, and crafts, alongside traditional food preparations, will form the core of the various activities for the day, aimed to bring closer the country’s rich history to the present day generation.

The festival targets not only Rwandans but also visitors from Eastern Africa and foreign tourists who are in the country and have the opportunity to stop by and enjoy some of the performances.

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Tourist visa fees scrapped

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Tourist visa fees scrapped

Posted on 24 December 2014 by peter

Tourist visa fees scrapped

Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda have waived visa fees for foreign residents to allow easy access to the region’s diverse tourism experience.

According to Yamina Karitanyi, the Rwanda Development Board’s Head of Department for Tourism and Conservation, the waiver was agreed on under the Northern Corridor Integration projects initiative.

Known as the East Africa Tourist Visa (EATV), foreign residents no longer have to pay the $100 fee for the visa that is valid for 90 days effective December 15, 2014.

Karitanyi, said the waiver on the single East Africa Tourist Visa was the next step in consolidating and enriching the region’s tourism potential.

“We are approaching the rest of the world as a unified and rich tourist destination with varied experiences for travellers. We are also positioning East Africa’s tourism assets collectively as part of the Northern Corridor Integration Projects,” Karitanyi said at the weekend.

She added that joint marketing programmes will be carried out annually and will cover road shows such as the International Tourism Board (ITB) and World Travel Market (WTM) in 2015.

She pointed out that going forward, the partner states will lobby for a single stand during international tourism marketing events.

Outlining the modalities of implementation, Karitanyi said eligible foreign residents shall be issued with inter state pass on exiting the host state and visitor’s pass endorsed in their passports on arrival by presenting valid work/resident permits.

Other immigration procedures and regulations will, however, be maintained.
In preparing for the joint marketing programmes, she noted that the partner states were already gearing up the teams involved by conducting destination training workshops and disseminating information on the use of national identity cards, student/voters cards and the East Africa Tourist Visa.

“We encourage the private sector to take advantage of this opportunity to offer unbeatable packages while maximising win-win offers.”

The just concluded 8th Northern Corridor Integration Summit attended by Presidents; Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Paul Kagame, and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, held in Nairobi last week, also directed Rwanda’s Minister of Infrastructure to convene a meeting of Airline Industry stakeholders and finalise negotiations on the 5th Freedom Traffic Rights on Entebbe-Nairobi-Juba-Nairobi meant to address outstanding issues to reduce the cost of air travel in the region and report to the next Summit that will be held in Kigali.

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Things that you shouldn’t miss in Kibuye town

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Things that you shouldn’t miss in Kibuye town

Posted on 05 December 2014 by peter

Things that you shouldn’t miss in Kibuye town

If you ever think of visiting or taking off a vacation to a tranquil and quite place anywhere in Rwanda, Kibuye town is one of the perfect spots that will be highly recommended.

Located in the Western Province of Rwanda, Kibuyetown is about two hour drive from the capital Kigali. The most interesting aspect about this town is that you will never get lost. The town is built on a single roundabout, arguably the biggest on the region, in that if all roads will lead you to the same place

The town lies on the eastern shore of Lake Kivu, about halfway down, and between Gisenyi and Cyangugu but is largely known for having touristic activities and being a serene place to be in touch with nature.

Surround by Lake Kivu from all angles, the town boasts of hotels, a golf course, a newly built environment museum and a beach. Gold Eden Rock, Bethany Hotel, Moriah Hill and Holiday Hotel are just but a few of the known hotels in the town.

Things that you shouldn’t miss in Kibuye town

The town is also known for being home to one of the rarest lake delicacies of baby fish – which is locally known as sambaza, found in Lake Kivu. The sambaza delicacies are one of the dishes served with locally made cassava flour and the taste of this meal is one the can only be experienced in person.

A boat ride is relatively cheap depending on the number of people on board, but it is recommended that you visit the Amahoro (peace) island where you will watch variety of birds, a domesticated monkey that can share a bottle of beer with the visitors to the amusement.

The Amahoro Island gives one a panorama view of the whole lake and some moments one thinks that they are going to cross the horizons from one planet to another. The perfect view of the sunset on this island is one of the magnificent views as the splash waters hit rocks towards the skyline.

Don’t miss visiting the Bisesero genocide memorial site, a place where Rwandans stood against the genocidaires refusing to divide the community in to Tutsi’s and Hutus during the 1994 genocide memorial.

Here, over 4000 residents had gathered on top of Muyira Hill with stones and spears ready to defend themselves. Mortar 81s and 82s faced the hill letting loose the gigantic bullets as the interahamwe extremists rose up the hill. At the same time the Bisesero Tutsis were aware they had been attacked – upon anyone who tried to go up to the top they would throw stones and spears in defense.

 

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Things that you shouldn’t miss in Kibuye town

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Things that you shouldn’t miss in Kibuye town

Posted on 04 December 2014 by peter

Things that you shouldn’t miss in Kibuye town

If you ever think of visiting or taking off a vacation to a tranquil and quite place anywhere in Rwanda, Kibuye town is one of the perfect spots that will be highly recommended.

Located in the Western Province of Rwanda, Kibuye town is about two hour drive from the capital Kigali. The most interesting aspect about this town is that you will never get lost. The town is built on a single roundabout, arguably the biggest on the region, in that if all roads will lead you to the same place

The town lies on the eastern shore of Lake Kivu, about halfway down, and between Gisenyi and Cyangugu but is largely known for having touristic activities and being a serene place to be in touch with nature.

Things that you shouldn’t miss in Kibuye town

Surround by Lake Kivu from all angles, the town boasts of hotels, a golf course, a newly built environment museum and a beach. Gold Eden Rock, Bethany Hotel, Moriah Hill and Holiday Hotel are just but a few of the known hotels in the town.

The town is also known for being home to one of the rarest lake delicacies of baby fish – which is locally known as sambaza, found in Lake Kivu. The sambaza delicacies are one of the dishes served with locally made cassava flour and the taste of this meal is one the can only be experienced in person.

A boat ride is relatively cheap depending on the number of people on board, but it is recommended that you visit the Amahoro (peace) island where you will watch variety of birds, a domesticated monkey that can share a bottle of beer with the visitors to the amusement.

The Amahoro Island gives one a panorama view of the whole lake and some moments one thinks that they are going to cross the horizons from one planet to another. The perfect view of the sunset on this island is one of the magnificent views as the splash waters hit rocks towards the skyline.

Don’t miss visiting the Bisesero genocide memorial site, a place where Rwandans stood against the genocidaires refusing to divide the community in to Tutsi’s and Hutus during the 1994 genocide memorial.

Here, over 4000 residents had gathered on top of Muyira Hill with stones and spears ready to defend themselves. Mortar 81s and 82s faced the hill letting loose the gigantic bullets as the interahamwe extremists rose up the hill. At the same time the Bisesero Tutsis were aware they had been attacked – upon anyone who tried to go up to the top they would throw stones and spears in defense.

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Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge Named Among Top 100 Hotels and Resorts in the World

Posted on 02 November 2014 by peter

According to the Cond

According to the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards 2013, Sabyinyo was recognized on the top list of Conde Nast Top Hotels in the world placing the lodge 19th on the Top 100 Hotels & Resorts in the World—in the Conde Nast Readers’ Choice Awards 2014.

 

The Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is a luxury lodge that has been built right on the edge of the Volcanoes National Park.

 

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge has the rightful incentives as a destination needed to boost tourism in Rwanda in the areas of leisure and adventure.

 

Rwanda is investing in Infrastructure and other tourism facilities to meet the growing demand for accommodation to secure the sector.

 

From the deep veranda of any of the eight chalets outfitted in warm hues and African materials, you can see the mist-shrouded hills made famous by the late zoologist Dian Fossey.

 

On one side are the slopes of Sabyinyo, one of five inactive volcanoes in the park, making this the first high-end lodging in an area that, along with the adjoining parks in Uganda and Congo, is the last refuge of the endangered mountain gorilla.

 

The property, owned by a community trust and run by Governors’ Camp in Kenya, is a special hybrid of safari lodge and small hotel—with the best elements of both good taste, deluxe bathrooms, attentive staff.

 

In the ranch-style main building, with its sweeping views, there’s a dining room with a menu that aims for haute.

 

Fireplaces in both public and private spaces are for those cold, mosquito-less evenings that follow a muddy day in the park, wandering behind your guide to see one of the gorilla troops.

 

Tourism has been gradually rebounding abreast with emerging ventures that complement the country’s natural riches, including the much-anticipated Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge are what the country needs.

 

Sabyinyo is also ranked number 4 in top 20 safari lodges and camps in Africa in the very prestigious Conde Nast Readers Choice among others.

 

 

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Secrets in the presidential palace at Kanombe

Secrets in the presidential palace at Kanombe

Posted on 30 October 2014 by peter

Secrets in the presidential palace at Kanombe

Some people know former president Juvenal Habyarimana’s residence as from July 5, 1973 to April 6, 1994 and Habyarimana himself as the man behind the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.

Visiting the palace that is located two kilometres from Kigali International Airport, the former presidential palace in Kanombe is tale of opulence, but also a secret cult of African voodoo and self-destruction.

One of the things that many Rwandans don’t know, until they get a guided tour of the palace, is that Habyarimana used to have a sacred voodoo shrine next to the his private chapel.

According to guides, Habyarimana was a staunch catholic but he always turned to the sacred voodoo shrine to get answers to his leadership and future. Many Rwandans at the time only used to hear about it in rumors that their president was voodoo worshipper.

The kind of mindset is seen in one of his greatest possessions, the python- which was believed to be at least 6 metres or more, that had a special pool under a mahogany tree in his compound.

The mystery of Habyarimana’s death may be explained by forensic evidence, but the fact that his plane landed exactly near the pool habiting his pet snake, which many believed possessed his magical powers, is one of the things that will make you wonder if he didn’t fall out of favor with his voodoo practices.

Secrets in the presidential palace at Kanombe

The former president’s living room table supported by pure elephant feet

Like many presidential suits, the palace has an inbuilt armory where it is said Habyarimana kept his arms. But the difference is that the armory was one of the secret rooms in the palace, situated inside the bedroom of his sons, who might not have known about its existence.

The only way to the armory was through a secret door, which could be accessed through the president’s bedroom and incase of any attack he would disappear through the kids room and the enemy wouldn’t even think of it.

The debris for the Falcon 50 presidential plane that went down on 6th April 1994 is also on display at the museum in its original form since the accident.

Apparently the palace has turned into a tourist attraction and a source of historical information and study for Rwandans today.

Youngsters use the palace tennis court and a swimming pool for extra curricula activities and many Rwandans have used the beautiful gardens for wedding events and relaxation.

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Nyabihu: Rwanda’s Gishwati Forest elevated to national park status

Nyabihu: Rwanda’s Gishwati Forest elevated to national park status

Posted on 29 October 2014 by peter

With Rwanda’s keen interest to promote and maintain eco-tourism as one of the pillars of the national economy it was long expected that Gishwati will eventually join the Nyungwe Forest as a new national park, incidentally part of a deal struck between President Kagame and the founder of the Great Ape Trust Ted Townsend some years ago and now become a reality

The law that elevated Gishwati-Mukura into a national park was approved during the cabinet meeting that was held on October 15, led by H.E Paul Kagame.

The law that elevated Gishwati-Mukura into a national park was approved during the cabinet meeting that was held on October 15, led by H.E Paul Kagame.

The creation of a Gishwati Forest National Park has been a long awaited event and serves to underscore constantly voiced sentiments, that a committed and enlightened government can in fact change the future of a country for the better without trampling on its environment, destroying biodiversity and unsustainable exploitation of the natural resources.

Nyabihu district administration is excited about the cabinet approval to elevate Gishwati forest to a national park following its geographical location and tourist attractions.

Angela Mukaminani, vice-mayor for economic affairs in Nyabihu district disclosed that they are happy over the decision to make Gishwati a national park.

Understandably this development has been kept under wraps for a longer time.

“We informed Rwanda Development Board (RDB) about the tourist attractions of Gishwati. Many hills, farmlands and forests that attract the attention of people,” she said.

Nyabihu: Rwanda’s Gishwati Forest elevated to national park status

Gishwati has numerous hills that attract tourists

Nyiraminani added that guest houses and hotels are being set up to accommodate the growing number of tourists, saying it will promote investment and increase the economy of the district and the country at large.

Nyabihu: Rwanda’s Gishwati Forest elevated to national park status

Beautiful terraces made on the agriculture section in Gishwati are eye catching

Before 1994 Tutsi genocide, Gishwati forest had 280 acres per km2 but after the 1994  Tutsi genocide many Rwandan who returned from DRC settled on one part of the forest reducing its size to 7acres per square kilometer.

In a bid to restore Gishwati to its former glory, The Gishwati Area Conservation Program (GACP) began in 2007 with the collaboration of Rwandan president, Paul Kagame, and Great Ape Trust to protect the biodiversity of the Gishwati Forest area and stop some of the rapid degradation.

In the process of protecting the biodiversity of the forest, it was divided into three parts for cultivation, livestock farming and forestry. This resolved the problem of soil erosion that had been caused by the population.

Gishwati makes the biggest part of Nyabihu, Ngororero, Rubavu and Rutsiro district.

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Rwanda leads in world peacekeeping

Posted on 28 October 2014 by peter

Rwanda leads in world peacekeeping

Amb. Yamina Karitanyi

Amb. Yamina Karitanyi, Head of Tourism and Conservation at RDB will represent Rwanda as speaker at this year’s International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT) World Travel Market event ‘Cultivating Sustainable and Peaceful Communities and Nations through Tourism, Culture and Sports.’

Ambassador Karitanyi will share the lessons learned following years of conflict in Rwanda and the role of tourism, culture and sport in post-conflict reconciliation and socio-economic -development.

This will be an interactive session with questions, comments and insights welcome from the floor.

This session, organized by the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) features leaders of the industry who will share their perspectives on the role of tourism in healing wounds conflict, contributing to post-conflict socio-economic re-development and to a “Culture of Peace” at both the community and national levels and across regions of the world.

The session will be a preview of the IIPT World Symposium on Sustainable and Peaceful Communities and Nations being held in South Africa, Februrary16-19, 2015. The Symposium will honor the legacies of three great Champions of Peace and Non-Violence:

Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. and will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the African Union, 20 years of South African Democracy, and the 50th anniversary of Civil Rights Legislation in the United States.

Action oriented ideas for the Symposium will be welcome at the WTM session as well as your nominations of “real life” case studies of Success Stories for presentation a the Symposium.

IIPT Founder and President Louis D’Amore said, “Our intent will be to harness the Symposium and legacies of Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. to build bridges of tourism, friendship and peace in regions throughout the world.”

IIPT is dedicated to fostering and facilitating tourism initiatives that contribute to international understanding and cooperation, an improved quality of environment, the preservation of heritage, poverty reduction, and the resolution of conflict – and through these initiatives, help bring about a more peaceful and sustainable world.

IIPT is dedicated to mobilizing travel and tourism, the world’s largest industry, as the world’s first “Global Peace Industry,” an industry that promotes and supports the belief that “Every traveler is potentially an Ambassador for Peace.”

Other panelists in the event being organized by the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) include: Dr. TalebRifai, Secretary General, U.N. World Tourism Organization (UNWTO); Martin Craigs, CEO Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA); HiranCooray, Director, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority and Chairman, Jetwing Hotels Ltd and Mrs. WahidaJaiet, Managing Director of the Tunisian National Tourist Office (TNTO). Professor Geoffrey Lipman, President, International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) will be the Moderator.

 

 

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