Of the fact that Rwanda increased the price of gorilla permits, the gorilla conversation area has registered a decrease in the number of tourists who were coming to track the mountain gorillas. Having faced with tapering businesses, tour operators in Rwanda have welcomed a 30 per cent low-season discount permit fees to the gorilla conservation areas.
The Rwandan government increased the price of gorilla permits from $750 to $1500 in order to package her attractions as high end tourism destinations, and of this fact tour operators say that they have lost up to 60% of their market base.
After the 30% discount disclosed, Mr. Emmanuel Karake the manager of New Horizon Tours and Services said, “The $1,500 fee is killing us, the discount is a relief.” He also added that, “The gorilla tracking is a unique experience, but this permit fee is too high.”
This 30% discount means visitors will pay $1,050 between November and May, though some tour operators cite other conditions, for instance, a tourist will have to spend at least three days in the country and also visit Rwanda’s national parks of Akagera and Nyungwe, as an added cost.
“I have not got any bookings based on these discounts,” said Aimable Tuyigire, from Home Rwanda Safaris. “But it’s a great idea. Since the price doubled we have lost many customers, many of whom prefer to cross over to Uganda and track gorillas there.”
When one can get the discounted gorilla permits?
The discounted gorilla permits are issued in low season and this always in May and November due to the fact that very few tourists turn up for gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park as well as other national parks in Rwanda.
Tour operators say that they incur extra costs when their clients cross over to Uganda.
For example, they have to pay $20 to the Uganda Revenue Authority, $30 for Comesa insurance and fuel charges, which end up raising their holiday package quotation by 10 to 20 per cent.