All the 35 professional guides who were undergoing a two-week training on the Rwanda Liberation History Tourism trail, have completed their course and ready to offer the highly anticipated service.
Last year, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) in partnership with the Ministry of Defence conducted the 15-day training for the guides in order to improve their knowledge on the Rwanda Liberation History Tourism trail.
The120-kilometer Liberation History Tourism Trail is a new tourism product consisting of a collection of sites and trails in 33 sites in six districts of the country that were significant in the War on National Liberation that commenced in October 1, 1990 and ended on July 4, 1994.
According to Rtd Lt. Col. Ndore Rurinda, the Course Coordinator and Managing Director of La Bestas LTD, a local tour company, told Taarifa that the exercise is part of the country’s strategy of diversifying tourism products.The retired veteran, an avid and experienced military instructor, said the product is well packaged and informed by facts collected from real stories from the field and actors in the struggle.
The trail was opened to the public in August 2019.
The tour guides have been equipped with the ability to contextualize and accurately narrate the facts and history of the trail, Rurinda said.
The training offered three major orientations; a theoretical account, a field tour and a narration ability in different languages.
Speaking during the kick off of the training, two weeks ago, the Head of Tourism Regulation Department, Emmanuel Nsabimana said that the Liberation History Tourism Trail is a monumental part of Rwanda’s history and heritage with potential to grow tourism revenues.
“We organised the training for the tour guides to improve their knowledge about the trail as it involves both the theoretical part and field visits that will equip them with the knowledge to guide tourists satisfactorily ” he said.
Rwanda Defence Force, Air Force Chief of Staff, Major General Emmanuel Bayingana, who officially opened the training said, “We are happy to work with tour guides to improve their knowledge on the Rwanda Liberation History Tourism trail and help educate the future generation to uphold the cause of the struggle.”
The Liberation History Tourism Trail has always been a potential revenue earner for the industry.
Tourists, both local and foreign, are expected to learn more about the liberation struggle that started before October 1990 and ended with the Rwanda Patriotic Army putting an end to the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi.
In addition to that, it will diversify Rwanda’s tourism offerings and revenues and provide more employment opportunities to people working in the sites.
Denise Benzige-Omany, RDB’s Cultural Tourism Project Manager, said the product was thought through the lines of diversification and attainment of tourism targets.“The liberation of Rwanda, in it’s own way, is an important story, and we keep getting people asking us about it. We decided to find a better way of telling how it happened and where it happened,” she said.Some of the sites of the Liberation History Tourism Trail
1. Kagitumba (Entry Point), Matimba, Nyagatare
2. Nyabwishongwezi (Death of late Fred), Matimba, Nyagatare
3. Gabiro CTC (1st Barracks captured), Rwembogo, Gatsibo
4. Namuhemure Hill (1st T/Wing), Rwimiyaga, Nyagatare
5. Ryabega (Death place of late Senior Commanders), Nyagatare
6. Gikoba (RPA Seized Position), Tabagwe, Nyagatare
7. Shonga (1st strong enemy Position Defeated), Tabagwe, Nyagatare
8. Kabuga (1st Fundraising in 1992), Karama, Nyagatare
9. Nyagatare Town (1st City captured), Nyagatare
10. Kaborogota (157 CMF HQ), Tabagwe, Nyagatare
11. Gikagati (Barracks Location), Karama, Nyagatare
12. Karama (T/Wing), Karama, Nyagatare
13. Muhambo (7 CMF HQ), Gatunda, Nyagatare
14. Cyondo (B CMF HQ), Kiyombe, Nyagatare
15. Rushaki (Residence of CHC), Rushaki, Gicumbi
16. Mukarange (101 CMF HQ), Mukarange, Gicumbi
17. Mulindi (RPF/RPA HQ), Kaniga, Gicumbi
18. Kaniga (Radio Muhabura), Kaniga, Gicumbi
19. Cyumba, Cyumba, Gicumbi
20. Rubaya (Sick Bay HQ), Rubaya, Gicumbi
21. Bwisige, Gicumbi
22. Bungwe (Assembly Point 3rd Bn), Burera
23. Kivuye “Gatebe” (RPA Communications Center), Gatebe, Burera
24. Kivuye Sector (A CMF HQ), Kivuye, Burera
25. Runaba Parish (C CMF HQ), Butaro, Burera
26. Butaro Hospital (57 CMF HQ), Butaro, Burera
27. Ruhengeri (Prison), Muhoza, Musanze
28. Urugano (RPA Reorganization place), Nyange, Musanze
29. CND, Kimihurura, Gasabo