Luxury US tourists to Rwanda grow by 114%, travel agencies say
By Collins Mwai
Numbers of high-end American tourists to Rwanda have grown by 114 per cent year on year, according to data from a reputable international travel agency network.
The luxury agency network, Virtuoso in their latest data release noted that Rwanda was among the top 10 countries that have experienced significant increases by percentage in year-over-year bookings among American travellers at 114 per cent.
Other countries that had seen significant growth of American travellers were Uruguay, Malta, Romania, Puerto Rico, Egypt and The Maldives.
The agency network findings are from an analysis of data from over 1,000 travel agency partners and 20,000 elite travel advisors across North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East.
In their analysis, they noted that luxury American tourists are increasingly characterized by aspects such as interest in exploring new destinations, seeking fresh adventures, pleasant climate, less-explored cuisines and retreats for relaxation-focused travellers.
The development comes at a time when Rwanda has been rolling out multiple efforts to grow tourism receipts. Among the avenues has been creating a diversity of wildlife in local parks with the addition of rhinos and lions.
The tourism sector is also working edge towards the low density, high-value kind of tourism due to the returns it promises.
Among facilities, the facilities that are well placed for the model include Bisate Lodge, Amakoro Songa Lodge, One and Only Nyungwe and the newly opened Kwitonda Lodge near Virunga National Park.
During the recent inauguration of the facility, Singita Management said that that they are experiencing quite a demand for luxurious high-end tourism.
The facility has a 90 per cent booking for August and September and 55 per cent booking for the next four months after.
The target market for high-end tourism are wealthy and often those who care about conservation and sustainability and who are also seeking a once in a lifetime experience.
Clare Akamanzi the Chief Executive of Rwanda Development Board recently told The New Times that there were plans to identify more sites that would allow for sustainable investments.