Rwanda President Paul Kagame receives the 2017 World Tourism Award
Rwanda President Paul Kagame(Middle) flanked by officials of The World Trade Market
London, Nov. 7, 2017 (AltAfrika)-The World Travel Market, an annual world leading tourism and trade fair currently underway in London, England has honoured Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame for his efforts for promoting of sustainable tourism and conservation.
The award recognizes individuals, companies, organisations, destinations and attractions for outstanding initiatives related to travel and tourism industry, and in fostering sustainable tourism and developing programs that give back to local communities.
“On behalf of the people of Rwanda I thank you for this award which recognizes Rwanda’s efforts to promote sustainable tourism,” the President said.
“We have been working hard to protect our natural environment while building the infrastructure for our visitors and citizens… Growth in this industry has proven to be a driver of shared prosperity because we ensure that Rwandans benefit directly… This is why for example former poachers are today the most dedicated protectors of wildlife…We are also finding ways to multiply Rwanda’s connections with the rest of the world which is what this award represents
”It is getting easier to travel to Africa. RwandAir now flies to 24 destinations on the continent and beyond including London,” Kagame said adding that “This is a story that is being repeated across the continent as Africans increasingly take charge of our future.” The accessibility is further supported by accommodating visa policies such as ‘visa on arrival’ for African passport holders and select countries beyond the continent.
The President said that good results such as those in tourism have been possible because “Rwanda have made a mindset shift from dependence to dignity self-reliance.” Rwanda has seen tremendous strides in the sector – with ambitious targets to fetch $800 million next year, according to Rwanda Development Board (RDB). The government has initiated a 10% share of all benefits from tourism revenues to surrounding communities – a policy that has significantly reduced the number of poachers to National Parks.
The award follows the International Achievement Summit in London, where Kagame was awarded the ‘Golden Plate Award’ which is the highest honor for an individual’s contributions to Science, arts, public service, Sports and industry.