Tarnished Burundi image, serious handicap to touristic sector development

One among other factors that cause Burundi to remain among the poorest countries in the world is the lack of development of the touristic sector. This is mainly caused by the bad image of the country presented by some Burundians.

Faustin Ndikumana: “The government should seek why people are tarnishing the image of their country and find a solution”

Faustin Ndikumana: “The government should seek why people are tarnishing the image of their country and find a solution”

“CNDD-FDD members, FNL members …all Burundians included are victims of poverty because Burundi does not receive tourists. Everyone has to learn to present the good image of his country”. This was said by the Leonidas Habonimana, Burundi National Tourism-ONT Representative, in a meeting with public and private partners.

Habonimana says Burundi is not in war and tourists can come to visit the country. “There are other countries which are less peaceful than our country, but they still welcome a lot of tourists,”he says, adding that tourists who dare come to Burundi despite what is said go back with a positive image of the country. “Some tourists are surprised once they discover how the country is peaceful”, he also says.

For Faustin Ndikumana, Chairman of a local NGO aiming at changing people’s mentality -PARCEM, it is not acceptable to see Burundi being classified among the poorest countries with all the tourism potentials it has. He says everybody should think of the impact of what they say about their country.

He calls on the government members to teach by example and be the good leaders. “The government is the first institution which is responsible for what happens. It should see why there is a group of people who tarnish the image of the country and try to find the solution”.

Ndikumana reminds that Burundi cannot develop while it is still struggling to develop its touristic sector. “Throughout the world, no country can develop without strengthening relationships. And tourism is part of this good relationship”.

With an annual recipe of USD 16million, Burundi is the last country which gains a small amount of money in touristic sector in the East African community. Other countries, that is Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, earn USD 300 million, 800 million, 1 billion and 1.8 billion respectively.

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