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Virtual tours bring tourists to Rwanda amid COVID-19

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A young Rwadan is offering tourists the chance to visit his country via virtual tourism amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Patrick Karangwa is the founder of Kigali 360, a company that creates virtual tours of some of Rwanda's most impressive sights.

"I realised that Rwanda as a country and in general also Africa were under-represented on Google Maps, on digital maps, this is where the idea came from, I realised that this technology we could do it our self and it was affordable"

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the tourism industry has collapsed across all African countries.

Most African tourism organizations have come up with the concept of providing the continent's digital experiences to casual travelers during the pandemic. Virtual tourism is on the rise. However, Patrick believes traditional tourism will pick up.

"This will never replace traditional tourism because nothing really will replace the fact that people can be at places, at locations and see the things with their own eyes. So this is more a different layer of information," he said.

Last year, tourism brought more than $490 million in revenues to Rwanda, according to the Rwanda Development Board.

This year the pandemic has cost Rwanda $45 million, due to dwindling tourist numbers and after 45 international meetings scheduled to be held in Kingali were postponed or cancelled.

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