Rwanda’s international tourism revenues dropped by 80% in 2020

On 30 April 2021 at 12:54

Rwanda’s international tourism revenues for the year 2020 dropped by 80% due to effects occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic.

The report made by the East African Business Council (EABC) has indicated that revenues from tourism and tourists arrivals Rwanda dropped.

Figures show that Rwanda generated US$374 million in 2018 from 1,711,000 international tourists.

The revenues were estimated at US$549 million in 2019 whereby the country registered 1,632,000 international visitors.

Due to COVID-19 effects, Rwanda received 494,000 international tourists at Kigali International Airport generating US$ 110 million. Created jobs in the tourism sector also reduced to 165,600 from 331, 200 of the previous year.

Before Coronavirus emerged, tourism sector was among top contributors to national GDP.

For instance, tourism contributed 10% to the 2019 GDP amounting to Rwf 9.15 billion.

The sector had contributed 12.7% to GDP after generating US$ 438 million in 2017 up from US$227 million in 2011.

The gradual increase revenues prompted Rwanda Development Board (RDB) to project doubled tourism revenues from US$438 of 2017 to US$800 in 2024.

The goal was however affected by Coronavirus preventive directives in 2020.

The study indicated that EAC partner states may have recorded a loss of US$4.8 billion in international receipts in 2020 while 4.2 million foreign tourists were not able to travel to their preferred EAC destinations.

International tourist arrivals in Rwanda dropped by 69.7% in 2020, which indicates a huge gap in the sector.

Visitors to national parks also declined significantly by 68, 7% in 2020 compared to the previous year.

EABC report released in April 2021 also indicates that visitors are classified in different segments including leisure, visiting friends and relatives and business as well.

Travel for leisure in Rwanda dropped by 50.3% compared to other segments. For instance, travel for business (with MICE) dropped by 74.5% while Visiting Friends and Relatives segment was most affected as it dropped by 76.7%.