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Rwandan Conservationist Appointed Board Member, African Tourism Board

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Red Rocks Cultural Center in Rwanda founder, Greg Bakunzi, has been appointed as the latest board member of the African Tourism Board. Bakunzi is a star in African tourism with a vision for the industry, for sustainability, and for his unique approach in generating business to Rwanda and the whole of Africa.

In February 2019, Bakunzi made Rwanda proud when he was featured on the global tourism and conservation map as the founder of Red Rocks Cultural Center and claimed another award during the 10th Tourism Investment and Business Forum for Africa (INVESTOUR) awards. The event was organized jointly by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), FITUR, and Casa Africa.

Today Bakunzi joined the new African initiatives of leaders in the African Tourism Board. ATB President Alain St. Ange welcomed Greg today to his Board appointment saying, “It’s a good day for African tourism. I am very pleased Mr. Bakunzi agreed to join our board and share his leadership and vision with Africa. This is great news for our new organization.”

Bakunzi reached out to fellow members and the African tourism industry last week with the following message:

“It is with great honor and appreciation that I thank you for this great opportunity to be a productive part of the African tourism board, I truly appreciate the courtesy you have extended to me. Thank you again for your confidence in me. I am looking forward to beginning my work as a part of your organization. My journey in tourism and community development spans over 15 years and as a newly appointed board member of the ATB am excited to bring my expertise and knowledge to support further implementation of the objectives of the African Tourism Board.

I started back in 2001 as a tour guide and eventually founded my company Amahoro Tours which has grown since back in 2008 I saw my business grow to a level that I was proud of. After that, in 2011, I thought I should do something else without giving up Amahoro Tours, that’s when I came up with Red Rocks Rwanda as a cultural center, which is which now works with Red Rocks initiative for Sustainable Development, a non-profit organization operating in Africa working with individuals and groups to encourage, support, and celebrate more sustainable actions through creating awareness of Global warming and also ending the use of plastic seed bags, thus preserving our natural resources and cultural heritage with the purpose of promoting tourism and environmental conservation as the leading sustainable community empowerment tool to uplift the socio-economic status of our members.

I am looking forward to using my capacity as an advocate for responsible tourism that benefits the surrounding communities and areas through providing jobs and ensuring that we understand what challenges communities face and how to overcome them by using their abilities as a base for finding sustainable solutions.

According to a report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF), the travel industry will double in the next 5 years, generating trillions annually and as part of my personal strategy is to position our destinations as travelers favorites, by agreeing with the belief that prioritizing sustainability in the tourism sector means people and economies will in general greatly benefit because of globally the African continent has much more exciting and abundant natural attractions to offer travelers.

It is against this background that I will use my platform to encourage others to fully understand that we need to shape up or change our mindsets and acknowledge the fact that community and tourism is beneficial to the development of our travel destinations.

As a passionate community development advocate, I am pleased to let you know that Red Rocks has been given international awards for the work we have been doing. Most recently Red Rocks were selected as one of the best community tourism organizations in Rwanda by the Chamber of Tourism.

We have been also been awarded by the United Nations as one of the best tourism initiative organizations in #Africa and Green Destination Travel has given us a certificate for Best Green Destination Travel Area. In my opinion, my biggest achievements are different events and conferences I have attended around the world. These events show me that there is actually a lot more to do than what I did.

The best part of the conference is where I pick something and share with other people in the same industry and my plans are to use Red Rocks in the future and I want it to be one of the best ecotourism destinations in the region and on the continent.

I understand that this task comes with responsibilities and am glad to offer my best of effort for the great advancement of tourism development, and tourism investment in the region.

Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to be a part of the African Tourism Board and I look forward to the work we have ahead of us.”

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