Tourism in Rwanda

Rwanda recorded a total of two million tourists in 2019, ranking 77th in the world in absolute terms.

That smaller countries regularly perform lower in a comparison of the absolute number of guests, is obvious. By putting the tourist numbers in relation to the population of Rwanda, the result is much more comparable picture: With 0.12 tourists per resident, Rwanda ranked 109th in the world. In Eastern Africa, it ranked 3rd.

In 2020, Rwanda generated around 212.00 million US dollars in the tourism sector alone. This corresponds to 1.9 percent of its the gross domestic product and approximately 5 percent of all international tourism receipts in Eastern Africa.

Worldwide comparisons:
International tourism
List of safest travel countries

Back to overview: Rwanda

Development of the tourism sector in Rwanda from 2000 to 2019

The following chart shows the number of tourist arrivals registered in Rwanda each year. Anyone who spends at least one night in the country but does not live there for more than 12 months is considered a tourist. Insofar as the survey included the purpose of the trip, business trips and other non-tourism travel purposes have already been excluded. The number of people passing through within the same day, and e.g., crew members of ships or flights are also not considered tourists in most countries. If the same person travels in and out more than once within the same year, each visit counts again.

The red line represents the average of all 16 countries in Eastern Africa.

Tourists per year in Rwanda

Revenues from tourism

In 1995, tourism revenues amounted to 4.00 million USD, or about 0.31 percent of the gross national product. Within 25 years, the country's dependence on tourism has increased drastically. Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, sales were $635.90 million billion, 6.1 percent of gross national product. Thus, each visitor spent an average of $389 on their vacation in Rwanda.

In 2020, tourist receipts plummeted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the $635.90 million billion (2019), only $212.00 million billion remained. This is a 67 percent decrease in Rwanda.

Tourism receipts in Rwanda per year

All data for Rwanda in detail

YearNumber of touristsReceipts% of GNPReceipts per tourist
20191.63 m635.90 m $6.1 %389 $
20181.71 m547.00 m $5.7 %320 $
20171.57 m496.50 m $5.4 %316 $
20161.38 m443.00 m $5.1 %322 $
20151.30 m427.00 m $5.0 %329 $
20141.22 m376.00 m $4.6 %308 $
20131.12 m364.00 m $4.7 %324 $
20121.06 m337.00 m $4.4 %318 $
2011908,000298.00 m $4.3 %328 $
2010667,000224.00 m $3.7 %336 $
2009664,000223.00 m $3.9 %336 $
2008669,000224.00 m $4.3 %335 $
2007610,000177.00 m $4.4 %290 $
2006531,000148.00 m $4.5 %279 $
2001113,00029.00 m $1.5 %257 $
2000104,00027.00 m $1.3 %260 $

Our data on tourist numbers, revenues and expenditures are based on information from the World Tourism Organization. However, to ensure international comparability, the data for some years or countries were manually researched and corrected if they obviously included visitors without overnight stays. In these cases, the data were taken from the official communications of the respective national tourism authorities.

The World Tourism Organization additionally points out that in some countries, the number of tourists is only counted at airports, while in others they are also counted at border crossings or even hotels. A comprehensive and reliable indication is therefore hardly possible in any country.

Comparison: quality of lifeQuality of life 2023 in country comparisonCompare the quality of life around the globe: In which countries is life pleasant, safe and healthy?
Ranking: MegacitiesMega cities - the biggest cities all over the worldRanking of the biggest cities worldwide. On top: Shanghai, Chongqing and Beijing
Japan: Public HolidaysPublic holidays in Japan 2023-2027Statutory and inofficial holidays in Japan for 2023 to 2027