Rwanda faced a brutal genocide in 1994 which claimed the lives of over 800,000 people within 100 days. The majority who died were the minority Tutsis and few Hutus. The country’s economy was destroyed which greatly affected the fragile tourism industry until 1999 when national parks were re-opened for tourists.
Once again Rwanda re-established strong conservation policies along with tourist facilities in national parks to attract visitors. Rwanda continued to diversify her tourism products to attract more tourists. Besides wildlife such as the famous mountain gorillas in volcanoes national park, wildlife in Akagera national park and chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe forest national park, Rwanda utilized the genocide legacy to create genocide memorial sites which would not only help to fight genocide ideology but also attract tourists.
There is now tour packages designed to enable tourists visit the different genocide memorial sites where a touching story of genocide victims unfolds in photos, audios, books, documentaries, visual arts and listening live to the survivors who narrate another compelling story why Rwanda should commemorate the 1994 genocide. The experience will give tourists a deeper understanding how Rwanda is progressing from the brutal past to become a safe tourist destination in Africa.