Tourist’s flow to Rwanda’s gorilla park declines due to price hike

Volcanoes Gorilla National Park, Rwanda

Gorilla tourism is one of the major sources of revenue for Rwanda. As per the WWF conservation group the number of the mountain gorillas are around 600 in the Virunga Massif, a mountainous area encompassing parts of Rwanda, Uganda and Congo.

Tourists can watch gorillas from short distance, in their natural habitat at the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Thousands of tourists, local and from foreign countries visit the National Park every year.

However, the flow of tourists have declined this year as the authorities have increased the price of a permit to visit the gorillas from USD 750 to USD 1,500 in May 2017, while Uganda and Congo charges USD 600 and 400 respectively for their gorilla parks.

Tour operators say they have lost substantial business due to the price hike. “It was hectic. I can’t estimate the percentage of tourists we lost but it was very bad,” said Parfait Kajibwami, Manager of Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge near the park. As per their records, they lost almost 40 per cent of their clients after the price hike.

However, some tourists are ready to pay the increased price to watch the gorillas, as it is a once in a life time experience.