With an average 1.3 million foreign tourists visiting Kigali City every year, tour operators continue to tap into the opportunities by developing more products and services.
The latest addition to the growing list of products is the Kigali city sightseeing double decker bus, which was unveiled on Thursday 21st March by Kigali City Tour Ltd, Rwanda Development Board, and the City of Kigali.
The Rwf160 million bus has the capacity to serve 200 tourists every day through an itinerary of three schedules called Old Kigali, where tourists are taken through the history of Kigali.
Other tours New Kigali and Kigali night life are scheduled in the afternoon and night, respectively.
(R-L) Vice mayor of City of Kigali Parfait Busabizwa, Mayor of Nyarugenge District Theophila Nyirahonora and Chief tourism officer Belise Kariza toast to the launch of the City tour bus yesterday at
The bus is equipped with a toilet, air conditioner, WI-FI, charging portals for electronic devices and digital screens.
International tourists are charged $40 while domestic tourists, including East Africans, pay $20 for sightseeing. There are also discounts for groups.
The morning itinerary includes routes along KBC-Kacyiru-Kigali Library – National Police -Kigali Genocide Memorial site -Kinamba-Nyabugogo Bus Park-Kimisagara- Nyamirambo Stadium-Nyamirambo -Onatracom-Camp Kigali-Serena Hotel-UTC-Kimihurura and back to KBC.
The afternoon itinerary includes KBC-RDB-Nyarutarama-Golf club- Vision Estate in Gacuriro -Kibagabaga-Kimironko-FERWAFA- Amphora Stadium -Gishushu and back to KBC.
The night life itinerary involves KBC-RDB-Nyarutarama-Golf club- Vision Estate in Gacuriro -Kibagabaga-Kimironko-FERWAFA- Amahoro Stadium -Gishushu and back to KBC.
Chief tourism Officer Belise Kariza speaks during the launch ceremony yesterday.
Then there is Kigali night life tour; KBC-Kacyiru,-National Police-Kinamba-Kanogo-RWANDEX-Sonatube- +250 Club – IPRC Kigali-Nyanza memorial site-Rebero Mount -Gikondo-Rwampara- Nyamirambo -Onatracom-Camp Kigali-Serena-Marriot-UTC -New Cadilac- Kimihurura- Sundown – Fusher -KBC.
The Mayor of Nyarugenge District, Kayisiime Nzaramba, said that; “Rwanda receives approximately 1.3 million foreign tourists per year. This figure is considerable by regional standards. Tanzania receives about three million and Kenya two million. However, these numbers are small compared to other countries such as France (with 80 million tourists) Spain (with 65 million) and South Africa (ten million).”
Therefore, she said, the country needs to intensify efforts to increase tourism resources by attracting more domestic and international tourists.
“The double decker bus is coming to promote innovation in the transport industry, especially in tourism. We invite other investors to explore opportunities that the city can offer for sustainable tourism,” she said.
Guests during the launch ceremony of the Kigali city tour Bus.
Belise Kalisa, the Chief Operating Officer at RDB, said: “It is exciting to have a city tour bus because Rwanda is positioning itself as a high end destination. This is particularly important when we have many delegates, especially those coming for meetings.”
The project is expected to have several effects on the economy.
Augustin Munyandamutse the Managing Director of Kigali City Tour Ltd, said that they plan to roll out more products and increase collaboration with other firms in cities such as Mombasa in Kenya.
“The number of visitors to Kigali is growing. Without more tourism products on the market, tourists might not spend a lot of time in the country. We believe that our new products will increase the number of tourists and hence the number of activities on which the tourists can spend their money,” he said.
Credit: Michel Nkurunziza-The New Times-Rwanda