Rwanda rebrands as tourist heaven

Rwanda is attempting to put its recent tragic history behind it and is seeking a UK PR agency to establish a reputation for exciting holidays.

A decade after the slaughter of one million people in an attempted genocide, the Rwanda Office of Tourism and National Parks (ROTPN) is set to build on its reputation for gorilla tours.

A brief circulated to agencies this week outlined the African country’s desire to attract ‘higher spending, environmentally conscious travellers and explorers’.

ROTPN PR manager Eugenie Mukunde said it wanted to raise awareness

of Rwanda’s natural beauty such as its bird-life and flowers.

The body aims to promote cultural tours and hotel openings and attract celebrity endorsement.

It has used Indigo PR, which will repitch, since summer 2003. The country saw a 63 per cent increase in visitors to its parks in 2004.

The successful agency will need to reassure British tourists that the country is a safe destination. ‘You can’t pretend it’s not an issue, but it is safe,’ said Indigo account executive Emily Davis, adding that military activity is restricted to the border with Congo.

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