The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has allocated RWF3.5 billion (€3.3m) for tourism marketing activities as it seeks to help the tourism and hospitality industry to recover from the effects of COVID-19 in the next fiscal year.

CEO of the RDB, Clare Akamanzi, made the announcement during a budget hearing session with the Parliamentary Standing Committee on National Budget and Patrimony.

“Tourism marketing after COVID-19 will mainly help ensure that people have trust again in visiting Rwanda,” said Akamanzi. “It will also help us to look for clients from both Rwanda and abroad for local (hospitality and tourism) companies.”

She said a review in taxation had been made, citing a three-month waiver of PAYE for hotels and other businesses such as tour companies, adding that such an arrangement could be extended if deemed necessary.

In addition, she said the Rwandan government had set up a COVID-19 economic recovery fund, with RWF95.3 billion (€91.7m) available so far.

“The fund is under the management of the National Bank of Rwanda, which will channel the money through commercial banks in the country for businesses, especially hotels, to access it,” explained Akamanzi.

“The financing will help largely in the loan restructuring, because hotels’ capacity to repay bank loans has reduced as a result of small clientele [compared to the period before the pandemic].”