I. Executive summary

The promoter of project for the development of community ecotourism in is the Action for the Development of Community Ecotourism  (ADEC in French abbreviation). The goal of the project which is in some aspects consonant with the regional policies and intentions aiming at the diversification of tourist products is to contribute to the promotion of community ecotourism by devising all forms of tourist attractions within communities and to make them the catalysts of socio-economic development of populations around National parks and lakes, protected areas in Rwanda concerned by the project. The project will use participatory approach to involve local communities but due to inherent local inabilities, the project will resort to donors financial interventions. The local participation will include namely the folklore dancers, ex-poachers, and other members of local communities. The sustainability of the project is rooted first in the firm determination of the promoter to contribute, by all means, to community ecotourism development. Second, the project is planned in the perspective of many actors at national and international level to uphold actions in harmony with sustainable goals (SDGs). Lastly, certain activities of ADEC members will generate income benefiting local communities. These include cultural activities, artistic activities, etc.

II. Regional context and problem analysis with focus to Rwanda

II.1. Tourism and Non-Governmental Organizations

 

Tourism sector in Rwanda is growing to unequalled speed offering promising prospects for the country socio-economic development (RDB, 2012; World Travel & Tourism Council, 2018). Thanks to promising prospects, it is identified as the priority sector in the framework of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS), one of the programs of Rwanda’s Vision 2020 (World Travel & Tourism Council, 2018). As matter of facts, the tourism sector has contributed in 2017 respectively 12.7% of total GDP and 11.1% of total employment in Rwanda . However, the Rwandan tourism faces several challenges including namely the lack of diversification of tourist products, the non-qualified or less qualified human resources, the absence involvement of local communities as well as that of small and medium enterprises, the absence or insufficiency of development of quantity and quality of tourist infrastructures and the absence of partnership with international organizations for the promotion of tourist activities.

For long time however, the civic partnership such as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have proven to be real help and can play positively about the tourism concerns , namely the community tourism (Williams, 1998; Mason, 2003; MINISCOP, 2016). It is the NGOs that have initiated the community tourism on the globe. The history of community tourism goes back in France in 1875 before expanding first to other European countries such as Netherlands in 1885 and second to the rest of the world. The role of the civic organizations was to promote towns and assist the tourists. Although tourist activities of civic organizations are today regarded as activities for destination management areas, their overall role consists in search and provision of whatever services needed by tourists. Indeed, it is what is recommended by the World Tourism Organization .

In Rwanda the legal provisions for the existence of non-governmental organization are guaranteed by the national constitution, first by the law No 20/2000 of 26/07/2000 relating to the existence of not-for-profit organizations abrogated and replaced by the law No 55/2008 of 10/09/2008 regulating non-governmental organizations. The registration of a non-governmental organization in Rwanda requires inter alia having at least 3 members, present its objectives and an action plan before the local authorities where it intends to set its headquarters. The action plan must detail financial methods with which the organization will use to reach its objectives. It is required to provide a nominative list of its members and their signatures. The decision of provisional license is given within 3 months from the submission date. As for the legal personality, it is granted by the Minister of Justice having NGOs in his/her attributions. It is obtained through ministerial order communicated to the representatives of the associations within six months from the date on which the application has been deposited.

II.2. Problem analysis


 In Rwanda tourism has proven to be not only an engine gor economic developement but also an enhancing mechanism for social development. The Rwanda tourism policy is centered on the promotion of tourism, the improvementof tourist attractions,  the development of tourist infrastructures, the nurturing of entrepreneurial spirit and the encouragement of the quality standards in hospitality sector (UNCTAD, 2014; Kabera, 2017). However, despite those eminent hightened intentions, the concrete actions for the diversification of tourist poroducts remains illusion and the only hospitality actions are ladden with data relating to revenues and statistics on Rwanda’s monolithic tourism (Goriallas and consort). They concern only statistics on the increase of baby gorillas (from 305 in 2014 to 312 in 2015), on hotel infrastructures ( from 8,003 in 2014 to 9,806 in 2016), the arrivals on the aeports (from 67,871 in 2014 to 88,184 in  2016) . Still worse, the problem get aggravated by the absence of operationalization of possibilities meant to create the favorable environment for entrepreneurship allowing the development of local capabilities and potentialities as well as the nurturing of the behavior consonant with the adequate community development . It has been reported by the Institute of National Museum of Rwanda (INMR) that despite the potential and profitabililty of community tourism, the ad hoc progress recorded are deceiving. As an instance, the visits to the museum have been decreasing from 2010 to 2016 . The following figure depicts the situation.


Figure 1: Number of visitors to National Museum of Rwanda

Source: (MINISCOP, 2016, p. 19)

Obviously and despite the governement intentions of making tourism an instrument for social development as well as the nurturing of the community entrepreneurship through the improvement and multiplicatiion of tourist attractions alongside the encouragement of quantity and quality of tourist infratsructures, nothing real appears to be reported regarding community tourism. It is oftetimes the intentions and assumptions without real reported results. Hence, this project intention is to deal with those shortcomings and try to operationalise those noble intentions oftentimes expressed. We can logically deduce that the liaison and marketing activities suffer from notable inadequacy.

 


III. The goal  and objectives of the Project

 

  The goal of the project which is in some aspects consonant with the regional policies and intentions aiming at the diversification of tourist products is to contribute to the promotion of community ecotourism by devising all forms of tourist attractions within communities and to make them the catalysts of socio-economic development of populations around National parks and lakes, protected areas in Rwanda by the project.
The specific objectives deriving from the goal are the following:


⦁    To serve as liaison between Rwanda Development Board (RDB), and the local communities of Rwanda
⦁    Protection of mountains  gorillas as well as other protected species by educating local population on the importance of those protected            animal   species ;
⦁    Promote the cultural tourism within Rwanda communities ;
⦁    Make profit from local tourist attractions through marketing and advertising ;
⦁    Promote tourism entrepreneurship within the communities of Rwanda.
⦁    Promote nature conservation activities within Rwanda by the project ;
⦁    Promote the development of community organizations.

IV. The activities of the project

 

According to the availablity of necessary funds and with a view of attaining the objectives assigned to the project, the activities that will be required for the running of the project are the following :


⦁    Renting working offices in Rwanda with liaison offices in certain sites of detination management areas . These areas are Volcanoes, Akagera, Nyungwe, Gishwati, Kibuye, Muhazi and Kigali City for Rwanda


Figure 2: Destination Management Areas for Rwanda
Source: (Republic of Rwanda , 2009, p. 104)

⦁    Identification of tourist sites all over Rwanda, through national and regional development plans ;
⦁    Advocacy towards Rwanda Development Board, for the construction and rehabilitation of tourist sites that have been  identified ;
⦁    Conduct marketing research appropriate to each identified tourist sites ;
⦁    Perform campaign of marketinmg activities for each identified tourist sites ;
⦁    Assist and guide community tourists ;
⦁    Make census of ex-poachers in the areas of operations ;
⦁    Regrouping the ex-poachers into commmunty organizations ;
⦁    Make census of tourism entrepreneurial potentialities in the areas of operations ;
⦁    Perform the sensitization campaigns of people on the exploitation of tourist entrepreneurial potentialities in the areas of operations.



V. Project methodology

 

The project will use participative approach for the local communities and due to inabilities inherent to local possibilities; the project will resort to financial interventions of donors. The participation of local communities will include mainly folklore dancers, the ex-poachers and other members of local communities.

 

Figure 3: Rwandese folkloric dancer

Source: (Kabera, 2017, p. 23)

 The participation of local communities will be based on volunteering and benevolence. However, ADEC will organize and do everything necessary to ensure and pay salaries to workers and employees.


VI. Sustainability of the project

 

The sustainability of the project is rooted first in the firm determination of the promoter to contribute, by all means, to community ecotourism development. Second, the project is planned in the perspective of many actors at national and international level to uphold actions in harmony with sustainable goals (SDGs). Lastly, certain activities of ADEC members will generate income benefiting local communities. These include cultural activities, artistic activities, etc.

Bibliography


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