English Premier League side Arsenal’s defensive midfielder, Brazilian David Luiz, is expected in Rwanda on Thursday, 10 October 2019, for a three-day visit aimed at promoting the country as a tourist destination.
Under the sponsorship, the English club completed a three-year deal worth 39 million dollars in May 2019 with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), which sees them promoting the country on their kits.
Estimates by Rwandan officials indicate that before the partnership was signed, 71 percent of the millions of Arsenal fans worldwide did not consider Rwanda a tourist destination, at the end of the first year of the deal, half of them considered the country a destination to visit.
Rwanda has embarked recently on banking heavily on a tourism windfall to develop its economy by betting on high-end travel, thanks to the mountain gorillas of the Volcanoes National Park, and hosting major international conferences in Kigali.
Official reports by RDB indicate that revenue from Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park increased by 25 percent in 2018 to 19.2 million dollars from the previous year from sale of 15 132 gorilla permits during the same period.
Prior to the increase of permit price and other initiatives focusing on promoting the country tourism sectors, 22 219 were sold, raking in 15 million dollars in revenue in 2019, reports said.
Latest figures indicate that international visitors were occasioned by a growing number of high-end arrivals mostly from the United States, Australia, China, and Nigeria, and mostly coming for leisure purposes.
Formerly of Chelsea football club, David Luiz, made his full international debut for Brazil in 2010 and has since earned over 50 caps for his country.
He was a member of the Brazilian teams which won the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and reached the semi-finals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and has also represented his nation in two editions of the Copa América.