WTM announcement on Tuesday 5th November 2013: Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda joint visa launching in 2014
- Last Updated on Thursday, 07 November 2013 09:29
Today, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda made an announcement on the introduction of the East African single joint visa, which will take effect on 1st January 2014. The Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda Ministers and High Commissioner officially made the announcement of the new cross-border visa today at the Rwanda Development Board Stand AF230 at this year’s World Travel Market held annually at the Excel London.
Masai dancers from Kenya and Rwanda cultural troupes were among the entertainment during this launch event.
At present tourists travelling between the neighbouring East African countries must obtain a separate visa for each nation, therefore Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda are partnering in order to simplify travel arrangements for holidaymakers, as well as creating a new brand for the whole region in turn opening up opportunities for joint marketing campaigns.
Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda are three countries famed for their wildlife, which will, through the introduction of a joint visa, boost regional travel, adding value to the tourism product offerings of these countries and highlighting the diversity of East Africa.
The introduction of the single tourist visa is a result of a joint initiative and decisión made by the Heads of State of the respective countries.
The Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda joint visa will cost USD $100 (approximately £60.00). The current cost of a single entry visa for Kenya is USD $50 (approximately £30), for Uganda is USD $50 (approximately £30) and Rwanda is USD $30 (approximately £18).
Mrs Phyllis Kandie, Cabinet Secretary for East African Affairs, Commerce & Tourism Kenya stated ‘Kenya is delighted to be joining hands with its neighbouring nations in a move that will benefit tourists visiting the diverse region and boost our respective tourism sectors. The cross-border visa will support intra-regional travel between the participating countries through new joint marketing and trade opportunities.’
Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities of Uganda Hon Dr Maria Mutagamba, commented: ‘We are proud to invite our future tourists to experience a more accessible eastern Africa region. Visitors to our region will benefit from the new, more convenient multi-nation visa and will see the improvements in security, immigration systems, infrastructure and capacity building that this system brings.’
High Commissioner of Rwanda to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Williams Nkurunziza concludes: ‘Rwanda tourism is a cornerstone of our economy Specifically under thus joint init8iative by our respective Heads of State, Rwanda was chosen to take a lead in the issuance of the single tourist visa. The political will has allowed us today to announce the implementation of a single visa and subsequently one destination in a record time of six months. As a country we believe that we will benefit from increase travellers to the region as well as intra regional movement.
‘with the introduction of our cross-border visa we unite to promote the dramatic and varied landscapes, species and experiences that our nations offer. Through this new partnership our USPs will be highlighted from Kenya’s lions and Rwanda’s Gorillas to Uganda’s waterfalls while we work as one to add value to the regional tourism product overall.’
High Commissioner of Rwanda to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Williams Nkurunziza noted, today, we celebrate another milestone in East African Tourism, the impending transformation of our three markets into one seamless tourist offering through the issuance of a single tourist visa for Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. Our three Presidents are strong believers in Regional integration, including in the management of our tourism assets. They changed Rwanda to coordinate the transition to our single tourism visa. Six months later, we are happy to announce the utilisation of this objective. Single visa, one destination.
The High Commissioner further said, Rwanda views tourism as a constant of our economy. We believe the introduction of a single visa strengthens our value proposition as a region, allowing us to eventually promote our dramatic and varied, flora and fauna, our varied landscapes and cultural experience. On a single visa, a tourist can enjoy Kenya’s sandy beaches and majestic lions, Uganda’s waterfalls and magic music, or Rwanda’s rolling hills and rare mountain Gorilla’s. Under this initiative the Tourist is the winner. We seek to provide a smoother and cheaper process that gives you pass to a better banquet of touristic experiences.
For further press information please contact:
Daniela Resenterra, PR Account Manager
Josie Self, Senior PR Account Executive
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 September 2013 15:33
Kigali, 4 September 2013 - The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) today said Rwanda had collected $142.5 million in tourism revenues and registered 664,729 visitors in the first semester of 2013, an increase of 11% and 14% respectively compared to the same period last year.
Travel to the Volcanoes National Park in Northern Rwanda and gorilla tracking continues to be safe despite incidents further in Rubavu area related to the on-going conflict in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, which have been contained.
Rica Rwigamba, Head of Tourism and Conservation at RDB said: “The increase in tourism revenues and visitor numbers are important in driving economic growth and generating prosperity for all Rwandans. We are working to ensure visitors to Rwanda get value for money and unparalleled tourism experiences. In addition, visitor safety and security in Rwanda’s parks and other tourist destinations continue to be a priority.”
Ms Rwigamba also pointed out that investments in the sector have been boosted by the entry of Park Inn by Radisson and Protea Hotels, who have both signed agreements with developers to run their establishments and are set to be operational by early 2014.
Tourism is Rwanda’s largest foreign exchange earner with $282 million earned in 2012.
RDB’s Rica Rwigamba pledges to reinforce legal framework to enhance Virunga Transboundary Collaboration, as new chair
- Last Updated on Thursday, 18 April 2013 08:05
The Rwanda Development Board’s (RDB) Head of Tourism and Conservation, Rica Rwigamba, recently took over as new chairperson of the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration (GVTC).
GVTC also stands as a Mechanism for strategic, transboundary, collaborative management of the Greater Virunga Landscape in three counties namely; Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was set up to effectively conserve and manage the rare mountain gorillas and their habitat. The institutions that manage it include; the Rwanda Development Board, Uganda Wildlife Authority and Congolese Institute of Conservation and Nature-ICCN as they are the parc authorities in the different countries. A Technical Executive Secretariat has its headquarters in Kigali and ensures the running of activities of this collaboration.
The head of Tourism and Conservation in RDB, Rica Rwigamba takes over as GVTC Chairperson following the end of the term of her colleague, Dr. Wilungula of the Congolese Institute for Conservation of Nature (ICCN).
Rwigamba mentioned that she would work on law enforcement to ensure better management of the wildlife ecosystems in the region. “I will strengthen the achievements we have already registered. I will work towards having a legal mechanism like a treaty signed by all the countries to enhance collaboration,” she said.
“We can enhance tourism development in the Virunga area by diversifying our products as a region so that we increase length of stay in this very rich landscape that we share,” she added.
In 2012 alone, Rwanda received 28,483 visitors for gorilla trekking only. The Greater Virunga Landscape is estimated to have 880 Mountain Gorillas, which accounts for almost half of the total number of the primates in the world.
Note to the editor:
Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration is a Mechanism for strategic, transboundary, collaborative management of the Greater Virunga Landscape. Set up by ICCN, RDB and UWA with their partners in the region, it started with ranger collaboration to protect mountain gorillas in Mgahinga, Bwindi, Virunga and Volcanoes NPs in 1991. Later it has expanded in scope (tourism, community conservation and research and monitoring). The area also now extends to central and north Virunga (DRC), Queen Elizabeth, Rwenzori Mountains and Semuliki NPs (Uganda). The Executive Secretariat sits from 2008 in Kigali to coordinate and link stakeholders on behalf of the Protected Area Authorities.
- Last Updated on Monday, 02 September 2013 07:28
There couldn't be a more worthy Rwanda competition winner than Claire Mawdsley - winner of two nights at the luxury Nyungwe Forest Lodge (sponsored by the Shamwari Group), airfare for 2 people to Rwanda (sponsored by Turkish Airlines) and a day in Nyungwe Forest with a guide (sponsored by the RDB). This exciting competition was held at the Rwanda stand at the British Birdfair in Oakham in the UK in mid- August.
Claire correctly answered all the questions about Rwanda and was over the moon when it was announced she had won! She has travelled to Rwanda before and loved it - saying the people are so friendly and the country is incredibly beautiful. Claire is looking forward to experiencing the best of Rwanda with her flight on Turkish Airlines secured. She will also be staying at the luxurious Nyungwe Forest Lodge as part of her prize. Nyungwe Forest is known not only for its 26 Albertine Rift birding endemics, but also for its 13 primate species (25% of Africa's total) which will be a bonus for her too if she gets to see any of them.
When growing up, Claire always wanted to work with animals and to become another David Attenborough! Her last job in Australia was for Taronga Zoo - working in fundraising and volunteering as a zookeeper on a variety of different sections including Australian Fauna, Primates and Ungulates as well as Reptiles. She says she is a bit of an animal nerd.
Her current job as a Direct Marketing Manager for the Royal Society for the Preservation of Birds (RSPB), sees her raising money to help fund their work all over the UK and the world. She will be writing about her experiences in Rwanda in the RSPB Newsletter and will enthuse others with her visit. (The RSPB has 2,000 employees, 17,600 volunteers and more than 1 million members (including 150,000 youth members), making it the largest wildlife conservation charity in Europe).
Claire loves to travel and takes every opportunity to see wildlife - especially endangered species. She has been lucky enough to see some fantastic animals as well as work with them in various sanctuaries and zoos.
One of her best experiences was volunteering at a private game reserve in South Africa, where she studied predator/prey relationships, vegetation destruction by elephants and animal behaviour to help the park manage its wild occupants better.
A very big thank you to the sponsors for providing the exciting competition prizes!
By Marje Hemp
- Last Updated on Thursday, 07 November 2013 09:32
London, 5 Nov 2013 - WTM announcement on Tuesday 5th November 2013: Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda joint visa launching in 2014
Kigali, 4 Sept 2013 - Rwanda’s parks see increased visits and tourism receipts grow
Kigali, 22 August 2013 - Rwanda Competition Prize Winner at the British Birdfair, August 2013
Kigali, 16 April 2013 - RDB’s Rica Rwigamba pledges to reinforce legal framework to enhance Virunga Transboundary Collaboration, as new chair
Kigali, 5 December 2012 - The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) today reassured tourists and the business community that it is safe to travel to all parts of Rwanda.Read more