She revealed the development yesterday in a press conference following the inauguration of Singita Kwitonda Lodge and Kataza House, a state of the art and luxurious building to host tourists completed in the Nyange sector, Musanze district in the foothills of Sabyinyo Volcano.
The facility will accommodate tourists visiting Rwanda and gorillas.
In May 2017, RDB doubled the gorilla permit cost from $750 to $1500 per person for one hour watching gorillas in the Volcanoes national park.
At the time, RDB also introduced a new exclusive offer for visitors looking at trekking the entire gorilla group for 15,000 U.S dollars with an exclusively personalized tour guide watching gorillas for 1 hour.
The new tariffs raised mixed reactions that Rwandans won’t afford the price but were give exclusive programs enabling them to watch gorillas and experience the beauty of their country.
Akamanzi has said that numbers of visitors have reduced since new tariffs were implemented though the revenues increased.
“Gorillas don’t reproduce all the times. It means that we need to strengthen conservation efforts. That is why it requires enough money to watch gorillas. A large number would visit the species if prices go down yet it is not friendly to their conservation efforts,” she said.
“That is why we sought how to receive a small number of visitors who can bring in enough revenues. It means that revenues from gorilla trekking outnumber the amount we used to get before we doubled the price even when we have small number tourists,” added Akamanzi.
She explained that visitors reduced particularly in the first days but increased gradually. Akamanzi said revenues have been increased too though she was specific on the amount.
Akamanzi said that Rwanda needs at least 96 gorilla visitors per day because they are grouped into 12 gorilla families.
Rwanda has 62% of 880 mountain gorillas present globally.
The Government of Rwanda allocated 10% of tourism revenues to development projects in communities surrounding parks through Revenue Sharing Scheme.
Rwanda targets to earn US $800 million tourism revenues in 2024 from US $438 of 2017.