Alex Ngarambe, The New Times, 4 August 2009
Out of a total of 439,017 international tourists listed in the first semester of 2009 (January to June) 43 percent of them were in Rwanda for business related purposes.
According to the statement released by Rwanda Development Board (RDB), almost 440,000 international visitors arrived in Rwanda during the first semester of the year corresponding to a 7 percent increase compared to 408,000 recorded in the same period last year.
This propelled the increment in revenues to about $92.7 million a 14 percent increase compared to the same period last year.
In the same report from RDB, 28 percent of the total visitors came to visit friends and relatives while 18 percent were in transit, 9 percent were here for other reasons and only 5 percent of the total visitors in the first semester came for holiday.
In comparison with 2008 in the same period, business increased by 18 percent while leisure visitors decreased by 4 percent and transit and other purposes decreased by 3 percent
As recorded by the Directorate of Immigration and Emigration, the great majority of the visitors came from the neighbouring countries. DR Congo led the park with almost 207,000 visitors, Uganda registering more than 70,000, Burundi with 66,000 and Tanzania with 26,000.
Among the arrivals from DRC, 54 percent came for business, 24 percent were in transit and other purposes while 22 percent came to visit friends and relatives.
While those visiting from Uganda, 40 percent of them came to do business and 43 percent came to visit friends and relatives. Tanzania and Burundi 48 percent and 12 percent respectively came for business.
Non African markets increased by 6 percent with leisure and transit and others increasing by 26 percent and 19 percent respectively. However, business and visiting friends and relatives decreased by 9 percent and 12 percent.
The RDB statement also shows that from the non-African market, United States of America recorded the highest number of visitors to Rwanda in 2008 with 9,480 visitors followed by India with 7,022 United Kingdom with 4,622.
In the first semester of 2009, arrivals from USA, India and Belgium decreased by 17, 1 and 5 percent respectively while visitors from UK, Germany and Canada increased by 29 percent, 5 percent and 11 percent.