Rwanda has announced an increase of mountain gorilla permit fees from USD 750 to USD 1500, taking immediate effect.
The announcement was made on 8th of May 2017 by Rwanda Development Board (RDB) emphasising that the increase was aimed at strengthening conservation efforts of the endangered species.
Speaking about the new development last weekend, RDB Executive Officer (CEO), Claire Akamanzi reiterated the importance of gorilla tourism to Rwanda.
“Gorilla trekking is extremely an exclusive experience. We have increased the price of Gorilla Permits to ensure sustainability of management initiatives and improve visitors’ experience. We also want to ensure that the communities living around the park area get a better share of tourism revenues to fund development projects and empower themselves economically.” She said
Akamanzi said the price increase would have no effect to the tourists who had earlier purchased their permits before the official announcement.
Tourists who will visit other Rwanda national parks such as Nyungwe and Akagera National park for not less than three days in addition to gorilla trekking in the volcanoes will be rewarded with 30% discount.
Likewise, conference tourists who come earlier before the conference or stay after the conference with mission to visit mountain gorillas will be entitled to 15% discount.
In accordance with Rwanda’s high end tourism policy, the price increment plans was to reinforce preservation endeavors and contribute more to the advancement of groups living around the Volcanoes National Park.
Alongside the new tax, the tourism income sharing rate for groups neighboring the national park will likewise increase from 5% to 10%, which will double twice the total incomes gotten by community living around the Park.
Throughout the most recent 12 years, more than 400 community ventures have been finished including schools, hospitals, business development centers and water supply frameworks to encourage access to clean water. All these projects have directly improved their ways of living of people living around the Park.
New luxury lodges are opening up in Musanze New, and arrangements are in progress to enhance guests’ involvement with Kinigi, including improvement of the data centers equip it with modern offices and tourism administrations, for example, preservation training, youngsters’ learning space and also computerized offices.
Mountain gorillas are an imperiled species with just around 1000 staying on the planet. Of those in the Virunga Massif, Rwanda represents a reasonable percentage of the gorilla populace.
Several gorilla conservation efforts have been expressively subsidized to a rise in gorilla numbers. At the moment, they are so far 20 families habituated for tourism and one family for research in Rwanda, up from just 9 families in 2010.