Rwanda has launched a tourism week with new ideas of exhibition, leadership conference and most importantly sharing tourism experiences from other countries in Africa and beyond.
Rwanda Tourism Week exhibition will be three-day event from November 24-26, 2021 to showcase the Tourism and Hospitality actors.
This event has attracted over 100 tourism and hospitality operators with tourism initiatives from as far as South Africa to Ghana, Zimbabwe, Botswana and back to the region in Tanzania, Kenya and to the far north in Somalia and Dubai.
The purpose of this week is to exhibit Rwanda products to attract market to enhance sales, showcase different products and services that Rwanda has to offer, create a platform for communicating the local Chamber of Tourism’s agenda, pull potential stakeholders and investors into the sector and appreciate stakeholders.
Rwanda Development Board (RDB) Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Zephanie Niyonkuru said that event is in line with the COVID-19 pandemic recovery plans after an unparalleled blow to the tourism sector in Rwanda which cut international tourist arrivals translating in losses in tourism receipts.
As the country reopened on 1st August 2020, and began to ease the travel restrictions, tourism and hospitality businesses are gradually recovering. The government also rolled out an initial $100million COVID-19 economic recovery fund (ERF) of which the tourism sector receive about 53% of the support.
“It is vital to keep the confidence and morale in the sector to rebuild and bounce back better thus the suggestion for the 1st edition of the Rwanda Tourism Week,” Niyonkuru said.
Tanzania’s Minister of Environment and Tourism, Philda Nani Kereng said that attending the week as a country, they intend to building a regional integration.
“We are here to invite private partners to cooperate with Tanzania and the aim is to improve the collaboration of the sector since we have a lot to offer in packages and in areas to visit,” Kereng said.
Besides Tanzania, exhibitors from South Africa (The Blue Train and Agri Tourism Africa) and Ghana tour agents like Adansi Travels expressed interest in joining Rwanda to exchange tourism packages and open shop in Rwanda to explore some of the luxury and untapped areas of tourism in the country.
For instance, The Blue Train which offers luxurious train travels could be of interest or profit to Rwanda as the country has pegged on its tourism model towards attracting high end tourists who can spend between $1,500-3000 per night by establishing luxury five star hotels especially in the Volcanic region and Gorilla habitant in Musanze district.
We have intentions of coming to the region and Rwanda has been of particular interest to expand our services,” said Momasonti Ndlovu, the Executive Manager Heritage and Tourism at The Blue Train.
Jacqui Taylor, who also travelled from South Africa with intention to lay ground contacts and partnership on a new model of tourism (agri tourism) said that Rwanda is a perfect place since 80% of the population depends on and has activities that can be visited.
“If I can get a local partner, my plan is to open activities here and leave it to Rwandans to run and own the programs,” Taylor said.
The tourism week will also have a Tourism Leadership Summit and conclude with Rwanda Tourism Awards and Gala Dinner to celebrate the sector which is scheduled to take place on November 27, 2021.