Berlin: On Rwanda’s 13th participation at the ITB, for the first time, Northern corridor countries Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda shared one pavilion in which they launched the single tourist visa. This came as a result of a Heads of States summit that was held in Kampala recently where it was agreed that the single Tourist Visa, which will ease travel for visitors going to the region, be launched at the ITB-Berlin, 2014.
The 3 countries were ranked among the top 5 countries at the ITB Berlin Fair where each of the countries showcased different iconic attractions and traditional dancers revealing diversity of the East African destination.
Speaking on behalf of the delegation that represented Rwanda at ITB- Berlin, 2014; the CEO of the Rwanda Development Board Ambassador Valentine Rugwabiza said that;
“This recognition is important as it is evidence that the market is responding positively to our region. Being in the top 5 among 200 African exhibitors is proof that our region is a preferred destination on the continent. We will continue to work together to reap fruits from these new arrangements in the northern corridor.”
Rwanda, represented by Rwanda Development Board, was selected best continental exhibitor at the ITB (Internationale Tourismus Börse) yesterday in Berlin. Others in this category include Burundi (2nd), Kenya (3rd) and then followed by Uganda (5th).
Countries were evaluated according to numerous criteria such as; interactivity, authenticity, creativity, sustainability, design of the stand, and service quality, among others.
Speaking about what made Rwanda shine; Ambassador Rugwabiza pointed out Rwanda’s exhibitors that were knowledgeable, interactive with clients, approachable, the uniqueness of the stand, the ambience and the traditional dance entertainment from the Rwanda National ballet.
Rwanda also emerged top continental winner at the ITB Berlin Tourism Fair in 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007. In 2009 it was the only African country to be honored with one of the seven outstanding awards at the World Travel Market (WTM) Exhibition in London for excellent Customer service, professionalism and doing business atmosphere at the stand.
Last year, the Rwanda Tourism sector attracted over 1,137,000 visitors and generated US$293.6 million USD which indicated a 4% increase compared to the same period in 2012.