KIGALI, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- Tourist visits to Rwanda's national parks increased by 600 percent since 2003 and the revenues from the visits grow by 250 percent, Rwandan Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente said on Monday at a conservation conference in Kigali, capital city of Rwanda.
The Rwandan government together with its partners in public and private sectors are implementing strategies around tourism infrastructure to support increased length of tourists stay, market Rwanda to the world and improve service delivery and conservation of the wildlife, Ngirente said at the opening of the Business of Conservation Conference, adding that these strategies have resulted in significant results.
This solid foundation of conservation, with an aggressive but pro-conservation tourism strategy, has resulted in significant positive socio-economic growth and development benefits for citizens, he said.
Rwanda recognizes the critical need for conservation-based tourism and economic development through the protection of natural ecosystems, the prime minister said.
More than 8.9 percent of Rwanda's land are protected as national parks, including Akagera National Park, Nyungwe National Park, Volcanoes National Park and Gishwati Mukura National Park, according to him.
The conference, co-organized by Rwanda Development Board and Africa Leadership University, convenes leaders from conservation and the sectors it intersects with, to promote best practices, strengthen networks and unique partnerships, and collectively tackle challenges in conservation.