Rwanda Development Board launched KwitaIzina 2017 activities ahead of the event on 1st September 2017, kick starting the World Tourism Month.
This year marks the 13th edition of the annual flagship event in conservation that brings together conservation enthusiasts from all over the world to celebrate Rwanda’s success in protecting an endangered species. The theme of this year is “Conservation and sustainable tourism- a foundation for future generations”, confirming the country’s focus in enhancing awareness on sustainably maintaining biodiversity.
Ms. BeliseKariza the Chief Tourism Officer at Rwanda Development Board speaking during a breakfast meeting with media said that, “Rwanda’s conservation journey has been more rewarding within the past decade, because of the involvement of local communities within the entire tourism and conservation industry to uphold responsibility and sustainability to biodiversity.”
This year as well two community projects in education and one healthcare project will be launched around the three major National Parks in Rwanda as follows; Akagera Primary School on 23rd June 2017, Nyungwe National Park on 29thJune 2017 and the second phase of Gihorwe Health Post in Kabatwa Sector on 17th August 2017.
The aforementioned projects have been in the pipeline since 2013 and 2014, with additional developments this year that will continue to transform these institutions into 12 year basic education schools as well as a fully equipped and operational health post.
The Chief Tourism Officer also announced the planned activities for KwitaIzina week, with a call to action for the public and all key stakeholders to participate in these activities and continue driving the discourse on sustainable tourism, leaving a stamp for future generations.
The weeklong event will be initiated by the Gala Dinner on 26th August where industry leaders will come together to celebrate and support Rwanda’s conservation success and raise funds for conservation project which is Volcanoes National Park Conservation Easement. The Conservation & Tourism Exhibition shall come after from the 27th to 28th August, targeting the public and industry stakeholders to showcase diverse tourism products in the region and host education displays.
The Conversation on Conservation that annually brings together leading experts to deliberate Africa’s common conservation challenges will also take place from 28th to 29th August 2017, closely before the day.
Gorilla tourism remains the backbone of Rwanda’s tourism and conservation industry, and the country continues to leverage on platforms such as KwitaIzina, by joining hands with experts in conservation to ensure the long term sustainability of an endangered species.
Rwanda also seeks to enforce the domestic tourism campaign dubbed Tembera u Rwanda following KwitaIzina 2017, a mini draw promotion event will be held on 4th July and lucky winners will be gifted with an opportunity to visit the gorillas in November 2017.
Since the initial launch of KwitaIzina in 2005, a total of 239 mountain baby gorillas have been named.