A National NGO calls for modernization of tourism sector

BUJUMBURA March 6th (ABP) – The chairman of the local NGO PARCEM (Word and actions for the awakening of consciousness and the change of mentalities), Mr. Faustin Ndikumana, held on Monday March 5, 2018 a press conference to explain the challenges that threaten Burundi’s tourism sector.
Mr. Ndikumana first pointed out that the tourism sector is a very important sector that currently provides about 300 million jobs worldwide.
He emphasized that it is a sector that intervenes in the development of a country’s economic growth by accumulating foreign exchange and creating jobs for youth.
The PARCEM chairman said Burundi’s tourism sector fails to generate economic growth because a study which was conducted by the Economic Development Institute (IDEC) in 2017 showed that Burundi is lagging behind other EAC countries and it has been found that the number of tourists visiting the other EAC countries exceed 20% while in Burundi it is less than 3%.
In terms of revenues, other countries like Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda exceed 350 million US dollars while Burundi only reaches 5 million dollars.
Mr. Ndikumana also pointed out that despite this, Burundi has a huge tourism potential that needs to be revitalized.
He mentioned protected areas such as Kibira, Ruvubu, Bururi, Lake Tanganyika shoreline, northern bird lakes, Nyakazu massif, Nile spring, Lake Tanganyika, drums, tea, coffee from Burundi and others.
As a contribution, Mr. Ndikumana suggested that we need to be aware of the failure, to overcome Burundi’s bad international image, which makes it look like a country in political conflict, respect for the laws governing protected areas or tourist sites.
It also requires political ownership at the highest level of the national tourism development strategy, the relevant human resources and a training curriculum, the mobilization of financial resources in the context of public and private partnership.

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