Strengthening Sustainable Ecotourism in and around Nyungwe National Park
Nyungwe Nziza: Beautiful Nyungwe
Rwanda is an emerging tourist destination, and in collaboration with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Nyungwe Nziza seeks to help the country reach its tourism potential. To do so, the project targets the spectacular and protected Nyungwe National Park (NNP), focusing on inclusive ecotourism development for the benefit of local communities surrounding the park, and leveraging private sector investment in the management, construction, and maintenance of new and existing park infrastructure.
RDB and the Nyungwe Nziza project are working to transform NNP into a viable ecotourism destination, capable of generating employment and sustainable and equitable income for local communities and other stakeholders, thus providing economic incentives to conserve the rich biodiversity of the Park. The ultimate goal is a thriving economy in NNP with engaged communities and a private sector that realize they can benefit economically by protecting and leveraging the unique environment in which they live and work.
However, one of the central challenges facing NNP as an ecotourism destination is the low volume of tourists, which does not create enough market demand to generate alternative economic opportunities for local communities or investment incentives for the private sector.
Strengthening Nyungwe as a Destination
In addition to establishing Nyungwe as the number one birding destination in the Rift Valley, Nyungwe Nziza seeks to decrease threats to biodiversity, such as fire, poaching, and mining; increase NNP visits and revenue; develop NNP as a brand that goes beyond tourism products; increase local household incomes; and develop a core group of trained health professionals.
Our team is designing and implementing market-driven product development and marketing strategies to result in more private sector investment in infrastructure and services. The project will develop partnerships and joint ventures between local communities and the private sector to increase the availability of accommodation around the park, as well as develop new attractions. At the same time, local communities will be trained to integrate into existing and new value chains around niche products such as bird-watching, chimpanzee tracking, and cultural activities.
These investments to increase the attractiveness of Nyungwe National Park as a unique tourist destination will:
- Diversify the local economy, create jobs, and increase family income, resulting in reduced poverty and reduced threats.
- Forge scalable and creative public-private partnerships to increase investment in and around the Park, resulting in a sustainable, market-driven ecotourism business plan for NNP.
- Improve the ecotourism enabling environment, resulting in sustainable ecotourism development at Nyungwe and beyond.
- Improve the health and lives of people living in and around NNP.