Mixed Feelings About Increase In gorilla permit fees
Rwanda has continued to see a phenomenal increase in the number of tourists visiting the Country especially due to the attraction of the mountain gorillas.
Some of the locals in the areas around Volcanoes national Park are excited about the increment in the number of mountain gorilla trekking permits. According to some the local communities will see an increase in the amount of money received from the revenue sharing programs. The Rwanda tourism body ensures that money from gorilla trekking is shared with the communities around Volcanoes national park as with other tour attractions in the Country.
“Additional tourism revenue would lead to increased share that is given to park communities. We’re expecting an enormous increase in community projects.” According to a local from one of the districts, around Volcanoes national park.
He further stated that “We have several projects which need financing and the more returns from the country’s tourism the better.”
The 50% increase in the Rwanda gorilla permits announced in January cuts across board meaning non-resident foreigners will be paying $750 dollars from the initial $500, resident foreigners will be paying $350 dollars and the residents will also see an increase in the amount paid to $50 from the initial $33 for gorilla trekking in Rwanda.
According to the Rwanda Development Board the increment in gorilla permit fees was because the low permit fees threaten the conservation of the mountain gorillas as the number of tourists too high for gorilla tourism given their numbers
However, according to the RDB, the new changes will not affect the price of gorilla permits being bought now and 1st June 2012.
According to John Gara, the Chief Executive Office – CEO of the Rwanda Development board the increment in gorilla trekking prices, coincides with the increase in the gorilla tourism as well as the rapid increase of the mountain gorilla population which has been about 3.7% for the last couple of years.
Rwanda gorilla tourism fetched $251 million last year, whereas in 2010 there was a 14 percent increase from the previous year with the Country earning $200 million.
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