By Jimmy NSENGIMANA
The cultural and historical tourism experience training was organised by IPRC KITABI in partnership with Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and took place at RP-Kitabi college from 13th – 17th January 2020 with the focus of tailoring the tour guides with the Rwandan history knowledge and cultural manifestations required for performing historical and cultural Tourism.
Cultural and Historical tourism portrays all touristic trips that include a full range of cultural and historical experiences, and activities that visitors can undertake to learn what makes a destination distinctive like: traditions, history, monuments, historical sites, lifestyle, festivals, heritage, arts (dance, music, theatre), crafts, interaction with local people and the business of providing and interpreting that culture to visitors.
As communities and tourism operators in Rwanda consider diversifying their economies through tourism, they need to be aware of the changing desires of many travellers.
It is in this regard that the IPRC KITABI, in collaboration with Rwanda Development Board (RDB) did furnish a four day cultural and historical tourism experience training for tourism sector practitioners especially tour operators from various companies that provides tourism services and other key stakeholders.
The training was solemnized by IPRC KITABI’s Corporate Services Division Manager Mr. KAMPAYANA Richard who welcomed all participants and wished them a fruitful training.
“As it is a training institution, IPRC Kitabi is very interested in equipping Rwandans with all knowledge and skills to develop the field as well as to support the country in achieving its set goals.” -Kampayana stated. He added more explanations of Rwanda’s strategies and Vision 2050 and all the opportunities offered especially for tourism business.
Participants of the training were chosen by RDB from different tour companies and Community Based Tourism around the country. They were the personnel that daily guide tourists in different touristic sites and demonstrate various experiences in CBTs around the country.
The total number of the trainees (guides) was 35, and they were decorated with specific knowledge like guiding skills and interpretation principles that will help them to deliver information to tourists in a meaningful and enjoyable way, receive and effectively handle customer complaints using active listening and other customer management techniques, identify and interpret various aspect of Rwandan culture.
Rwandan history, cultural main manifestations and Interpreting cultural-historical resources were among the topics talked about and four field trips to different touristic sites were organised within two last days to have hands on skills of what they had covered in theoretic class of two days.
Certificate awarding and closing ceremony of this training took place at Musanze and Richard KAMPAYANA, the Corporate Services Division Manager of IPRC KITABI was the guest of honour with a representative from Rwanda Development Board (RDB).
In his closing remarks, Mr. Kampayana appreciated the will and action of RDB in supporting the development of Tourism Sector in Rwanda. “I highly appreciate RDB of being the backbone of this capacity building training for this group of tourism sector practitioners that is believed to much contribute on the sector.” He added.
The cultural and historical tourism benefits Rwandan community through diversifying the local economy and social welfare by creating new jobs and businesses, generating tax revenues to the government, supporting existing small businesses and providing options for expansion, building relationships among and within communities, helps to develop and maintain new/existing community amenities and enhancing the community’s image and pride.
Estimation of Global Market Size Over the last five years acknowledged that the culture, heritage and historical tourism segment has been increasing at a rate higher than the growth of tourism worldwide. It is estimated that around 20% of tourist trips worldwide incorporate some form of cultural, heritage or historical activity and the size of the market can be estimated as being over 160 million trips per year.
Today, an increasing number of consumers want safe destinations, meaningful and authentic experiences, the ability to ‘participate’ rather than ‘observe’, a chance to meet locals, adventure activities, unique products and customized experiences, getaway opportunities with suggested itineraries, the opportunity to plan online, opportunities to support good environmental and social responsibility practices.