Rwanda Adopts VR Technology to Promote Gorilla Tourism

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By Daniel Sabiiti

James Bang, the AOS Senior Manager said that smart tourism technology is aimed at increasing community and visitors’ interest.

AOS Ltd, a Rwanda-based ICT service provider, has collaborated with Rwanda Development Board (RDB) to develop a new VR technology which will be launched by the end of May.

James Bang, the AOS’ Chief of Center of Excellence, said that the smart tourism technology is aimed at increasing community and visitors’ interest and attention to tourism attraction available in Rwanda.

“We want to provide rich tourism information. So by using virtual technology it becomes more interesting and exciting to give this information through smart tourism,” Bang said while exhibiting prototype at the ongoing 2017 Transform Africa summit in Kigali.

Currently the VR technology has been sampled on three tourism areas- in cultural tourism, gorilla trekking and Kigali city tour, but set to be expanded to all other tourist attraction segments in the country.

This technology will boost the tourism sector which has experienced dynamic growth and continued expansion but is yet to reach its full potential.

VR tech is just part of the bigger picture to create a Smart Tourism Portal in Rwanda which will include gathering data information from government and private sector service providers to create a tourism platform.

According to Bang, this will take time and financial investment in services such as VR hubs and centers to create a one stop center enriched with information.

“More interaction and collaboration is needed with local tourism companies and tourists. With their information and services we can build a smart tourism platform, which makes tourism easy and none traditional,” Bang said.

With availability of funds, Bang says that VR tourism booths can be installed in key areas in the city of Kigali, at the Kigali international airport, stadiums and parks. Each booth (small size) can cost about $300,000.

“In the meantime, AOS has proposed that the VR content be disseminated through RDB website (for download) and through social media, for example; Facebook videos, to make it accessible to those who have VR devices,” Bang s

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