Rwanda Tourism Revenue Sharing (TRS) program

Published: 14 March 2022
Last edited: 14 March 2022

The Tourism Revenue Sharing (TRS) program was introduced by the Rwanda Development Board with the aim to share a percentage of the total tourism park revenues with the communities living around.

The TRS is one of the most progressive and successful community programmes. The goal of revenue sharing is to reduce illegal activities in the park and improve the living conditions of the communities by providing alternatives to park resources and compensation to farmers for the loss of productivity due to wildlife crop raiding. Between 2005 and 2010, $536,665 went to community projects through the revenue sharing programme. In May 2017, revenue sharing was increased from 5% to 10% of gross tourism revenues earned by our Rwanda Development board.

The main focus of spending has been on infrastructure such as schools, water tanks, health centres and sanitation. 

Red Rocks Initiative took the opportunity of the TSR funding to establish Community cooperatives. We embarked on intensive training and skilling on making a lot of art and handicraft products, depicting rich diverse Rwanda Culture, Agro-business, Youth Talent. At the end, even those who used to poach understand the benefits of tourism.

Classifications

Category
Alliance and partnership development
Education, training and other capacity development activities
Sustainable financing
Sustainable livelihoods
Technical interventions and infrastructure
Scale of implementation
Local
Phase of solution
Entirety

Enabling factors

We focused on the assets, skills and resources that are within the community’s control, and how new tourism activities will fit into the mix. Coffee farms have become tourism products themselves, catering for tourists taking part in agricultural experiences and providing additional income. We also complimented existing livelihood strategies with tourism to allow communities to retain our local traditions. This way, they feel empowered by improving their well-being and involving in cultural tourism activities.

Lessons learned

The local community learned the benefit of preserving the park since they earned from the tourism business which was flourishing in Rwanda. Ever since the infrastructures were developed, the local community felt the urge to make sure that the park and the animals within the park are largely protected.

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