Decline of DRC tourism sector
REASONS WHY TOURISM IN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONG LAGS BEHIND COMPARED TO THE NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES?
While tourism sectors in Uganda and Rwanda are growing rapidly, the DR. Congo tourism is instead declining. There are several reasons to account the decline:
Political atmosphere in DR Congo scares many to go there – this is because Congo is constantly attacked by Rebels. The fact that Congo is endowed with minerals – it will be had to fight rebels activities completely so, they keep on disturbing the security of the country hence affecting tourism.
The eruption of mountains in Congo also scares tourists to go there. Some think that mountains can erupt at any time and they fear for their lives. The eruption of Nyiragongo Volcano in 2002 was catastrophic that part of Goma city was left destructed by magma which flew for more than five Kilometers.
Low marketing strategies – The DR. Congo government has done little in promoting their tourism industry. No international exhibitions done, little is invested in marketing among others.
Stiff competition with DR. Congo neighbors like Rwanda and Uganda. All the three countries are endowed with Gorillas so, tourists find it easy to trek Rwanda or Uganda Gorillas.
Lack of International flights – Congo has no direct flight to Europe. Most of tourists come from European countries and the fact that they cannot fly direct to Congo has affect tourism in Congo.
Long distance from one National Park to another – this is due to the fact that Congo is among the largest African countries – therefore, to explore Congo, you need to board A plane to transport you from one point to another to save time – but it makes Congo safaris very expensive. Countries like Rwanda; it is approximately 4hours drive from Volcanoes National park to Akagera National Park. In Uganda, to Semliki national Park, Mt. Rwenzori national park, Kibale forest National park are nearby each other.
Some forests in DR. Congo habours dangerous animals and rebels. Most of the forests in Congo are habitat for pesticides like tsetse flies, mosquitoes which threatens tourists to go there.
Rampant poaching in Congo has led to the reduction of wild animals like Gorillas among others. This has led to shortage of tourist attractions.
Poor infrastructures like roads, hospitals, hotels among others makes DR. Congo tourism rags behind compared to its rivals like Uganda and Rwanda. Due to bad roads, tourists find it hard to move from one point to another.
Some tourist attractions are found in too remote areas with no good roads making them inaccessible. For example attractions found in to thick forest, those found on water bodies among others.
Half backed tour operators – due to the fact that tourism is among the low developed sector in Congo, most of the students find it useless to continue with tourism course at the higher levels because they fear to overstay on the streets looking for jobs in tourism sector which are very few. More so, it’s among the poorly paying jobs in Congo.
Presence of other sectors like mining, forestry, transport, fishing among others – people are putting much attention on the listed than struggling with tourism.
Government policy – the DR. Congo government has not done much to develop tourism sector.