Rwanda targets Far East tourist market
The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has for the first time participated in ITB Asia that took place in Singapore from October 25 to 27. The Rwanda Development Board, which is the official coordinator for Rwanda’s fast-growing tourism sector, participated in partnership with the High Commission of Rwanda in Singapore.
Officials from Rwanda successfully exhibited the different opportunities available in the country’s tourism sector including the famous gorilla attractions.
Rwanda’s participation opened opportunities for major Asian tourism stakeholders who later expressed interest in initiating collaborations and partnerships towards promotion of high-end packages to Rwanda.
Also, the participation has been expected to boost the rising number of visitors from Asia and Australia and to further introduce Rwanda to new emerging markets, especially for high-end Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Events (MICE) visitors.
Key speakers during the show included Lucas Murenzi from the Rwanda High Commission in Singapore, Khassim Bizimungu from Rwanda Development Board and Jacqui Sebageni, the Managing Director of Thousand Hills Africa, a tour operator in Kigali.
Murenzi emphasized the determination by the Government of Rwanda to promote tourism and wildlife conservation that has led to a sharp and steady increase in the numbers of visitors to Rwanda as well as tourism revenues.
On the diversity of tourism attractions and potential in Rwanda, Sebageni said that besides the flagship gorilla trekking experience, Rwanda offers a variety of other attractions in wildlife, culture and people experiences as well as MICE visitors.
Rwanda and Tunisia made their debut at the event joining Kenya Tourism Board and other African exhibitors from Tanzania, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Sudan. Statistics state that the African market has shown an exceptional growth of 25 percent this year’s show.
An emerging hot-shot tourist destination in Africa, Rwanda had in recent years been recognized by its efforts to develop tourism and conservation of wildlife and nature.
Rwanda President Paul Kagame is to be honored with The World Tourism Award 2017 for Visionary Leadership. He will be awarded the honor on November 6th on the opening day of World Travel Market (WTM) at the Excel Center in London. This year, the annual World Tourism Awards ceremony will be celebrating its 20th anniversary.
President Kagame had shown a visionary leadership through a policy of reconciliation, sustainable tourism, wildlife conservation, and economic development attracting major hotel investments, resulting in the remarkable turnaround that has made Rwanda rising on top as among leading tourist destinations in Africa.
Under his leadership, Rwanda has achieved remarkable tourism success and has been established on the global stage as a leading sustainable tourism destination in Africa.
Tourism is Rwanda’s number one foreign exchange earner which had played a crucial role in the country’s development. Revenue from tourism has doubled from US dollars 200 million in 2010 to US dollars 404 million in 2016 indicating an annual average increase of 10 percent, surpassing the National Export Strategy II target in 2016 by 13 percent.
Over 1.3 million tourists visited Rwanda in 2016. Visitor arrivals for the same period marked from 2010 to 2016 have increased by 12 percent annually against a backdrop of UNWTO arrivals in global emerging markets bench-marked at 3.3 percent for the same period.
The tourism sector in Rwanda is expected to grow at 15 percent per year.
Organized by Messe Berlin, the travel exhibition that was held at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre in Singapore.