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Rwanda launches bureau to boost tourism

KIGALI, May 15 (Xinhua) -- The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has launched a convention bureau, a one-stop service aimed at boosting tourism in the tiny east African nation.

The new bureau was tasked with revitalizing attractions for visitors who had never been to the country before, RDB Tourism and Conservation Department head Amina Kalitanyi told reporters in Kigali Wednesday.

The new bureau will provide guidance on how to get to each tourism destination, what to do and and where to eat and stay.

It would back the country's ambitious plans to develop and diversify the economy by boosting tourism, she said.

Authorities hope the new bureau will help attract more visitors to the country, especially to the volcanic region located in the north where natural bamboo forests are known to shelter mountain gorillas.

"The country has plenty of hotels and other facilities to receive tourists, whose number could increase with the launch of the new convention bureau," Kalitanyi said.

The latest RDB figures show tourism generated 281.8 million U.S. dollars in 2012 against 251.3 million U.S. dollars the previous year.

The statistics show the biggest source of tourists was the United States, followed by India, Britain, Belgium and Germany.

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