The yearly Kwita Izina ceremony in Rwanda, which comprises of the local tradition of inviting the community plus other guests during the naming of a baby Mountain Gorilla, will join 2 other projects for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation Ulysses Awards.
The Award finals will be in Madrid, Spain. The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) made this announcement following the publication of a list of all the finalists at the end of the previous year.
Valentine Rugwabiza the RDB Chief Executive Officer in his words mentioned that they are really grateful for this opportunity to take part in these finals of novel projects by United Nations World Tourism Organization.
He added that this was an international recognition of the great efforts of Rwanda in its innovative, community-focused and sustainable Rwanda tourism and gorilla tours.
The Kwita Izina ceremony was started back in 2005 and to date has seen the naming of 173 baby gorillas by various people which is the President of Rwanda Paul Kagame, his First Lady Jeanette Kagame, a number of Hollywood stars, plus well-known journalists, conservationists and tourism personalities.
This ceremony is in line with promoting and creating awareness for the overall conservation of these endangered gorillas. Also tourist attractions plus destinations in Rwanda are promoted, especially for the community neighboring the Volcanoes National Park in which these gorillas live.
Rica Rwiga RDB’s Head of Tourism and Conservation said that Rwanda is trailing on the right track of promoting tourism and the RDB will carry on forming a foundation for constant positioning of Rwanda as a high-end destination as well as put first the development of sustainable tourism that integrates biodiversity plus community development.
She added that this was a wonderful opportunity to promote Rwanda more widely in the international tourism industry.
In the forthcoming tenth edition of the Kwita Izina ceremony later this very year, it is thought that this event will acquire increased publicity because of its recognition to UNWTO.
As of present date, the event has obtained Rwf586,838,751, (approximately $978,065) for community development as a section of the RDB tourism income sharing plan.
it has progressed from a single day celebration to a couple of weeks and this particularly benefits the neighboring community.
Since 2003 the UNWTO awards for outstanding Innovation in Tourism have attributed tourism initiatives which contribute to highly developed tourism through innovation in-line with values of the UNWTO International Code of Ethics for Tourism as well as the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
In addition the event has increased revenue acquired from tourism and for that reason this is why it is important to be developed much more.
On the other hand, in accordance to UNWTO, the overall arrivals of international tourists increased by 5% in the first 9 months of 2013, the latest ‘UNWTO World Tourism Barometer’ indicates that destinations across the world got a record of 845 million overnight guests in the first 9 months of that year. Which is 41 million additional overnight guests than in 2012’s first 9 months.
The Growth was particularly high in Europe as well as Asia Pacific, where tourist numbers increased by 6%.