- Last Updated on Thursday, 15 May 2014 16:59
Kigali, May 13th, 2014 – The tourism sector in Rwanda has continued to record impressive growth over the last 5 Years. Rwanda achieved growth of 12%, far above the global average of 3% to 5%. In order to accelerate this growth, a new strategy for the sector focusing on the area of meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) has been developed and is being implemented.
Speaking at an event to introduce the MICE strategy and the Rwanda Convention Bureau (RCB), the RDB’s Head of Department for Tourism and Conservation Ambassador Yamina Karitanyi said that; “the economic potential of the MICE sector for Rwanda is immense. Total revenues based on MICE tourism in 2013 were US$49m. This is projected to triple to US$ 150m in 2015, which is 16% of all national export earnings and 34% of the overall tourism receipts.”
While leisure tourism remains a vital part of the national tourism strategy, business tourists have been shown to spend up to three times more than leisure visitors. Rwanda’s share in the international meetings, incentives, conferences and events industry is presently minimal. International Conference and Congress Association’s (ICCA) latest research ranks Rwanda as 21st in Africa. The Rwanda Convention Bureau is a destination marketing arm whose sales and marketing plan is destined to see Rwanda enter Africa’s top 10 by the year 2016. With this growth in MICE tourism , Tour Operators, Hotels, Restaurants, Professional Conference Organisers (PCO’s) and Event Managers, - who form part of the nationwide tourism value chain, will be required to create enhance their product offering to service delegate demands.
Tremendous efforts have been exerted on availing infrastructure and investment in new international meeting, conferencing and accommodation products, the iconic Kigali Convention Centre and the development of transport links through Kigali International Airport. In addition, Bugesera International Airport, a new World Class airport is planned which will provide extra capacity for passenger transport and cargo freight.
In addition, Rwanda offers soft infrastructure such as biodiversity, city management, peace building and reconciliation as well as gender and health making it a role model for the respective themes.
The National MICE strategy is in line with diversifying the current tourism product offering while complimenting existing gorilla tourism, eco-tourism, cultural and community based tourism that are the mainstays of Rwanda’s economy. The Rwanda Convention Bureau has a stand and will be introduced to the global meetings and incentives marketplace at next week’s IMEX International Meetings Exhibition tradeshow in Frankfurt as Africa’s newest Convention Bureau.
- Last Updated on Monday, 12 May 2014 16:13
11th May, 2014 Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda made an announcement on the East Africa single joint visa, which took effect on 1st January 2014. The Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda Ministers, High Commissioners, Heads of Tourism Boards, Tour operators and other private sector tourism stakeholders officially graced the launch of the new cross-border visa during Indaba Fair, the Top Africa’s Travel Show that is held annually in Durban-South Africa.
The tourist cross-border visa between Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda costs USD $100. The single tourist visa resulted from a joint initiative and decision made by the Heads of State of the respective countries. Before the establishment of the single entry visa for Kenya was USD $50 (approximately £30), for Uganda was USD $50 (approximately £30) and Rwanda was USD $30 (approximately £18).
Kenya’s Minister for East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism Mrs Phyllis Kandie applauded the joint tourist move, ‘This will enrich the tourist product offering in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. The region will benefit from an increase of tourists and number of days spends in these countries that have a wide range of products. The region is bound to harvest a much larger share of the over 50 million tourists visiting Africa each year’.
The Rwanda Ambassador to South Africa H.E Vincent KAREGA said “This Single Tourist Visa is a benchmark in our journey and commitment to making the three countries the best and competitive destination and putting our region on the world travel map. It is also a success story and great signal that our three Heads of State are conscious that tourism is at the forefront of economic development. We are confident and proud of this integration endeavour that comes at the right time and will benefit tourists by eliminating multiple visa process thereby boosting tourism revenues and investments in the region”
“The launch of the East Africa single tourism visa at the Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya tripartite meeting is a strong signal of the East Africa commitment to the integration process and marketing East Africa as a single destination. The visitors from our source markets will be able to benefit from the Multiple Entry Visa provision to tour the sister countries.” Hon. Dr. Maria Mutagamba, the Uganda Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiques confirmed.
Uganda is delighted to join her neighbours in providing greater value for the tourists and facilitating the movement of people through the Great Rift Valley states that share much commonality but provide a diverse range of natural and cultural attractions. The minister further notes that this initiative will make the region more competitive and is bound to reduce the cost of doing business in the region.
The introduction of the Joint tourist visa has so far boosted regional travel, adding value to the tourism product offerings of these countries and highlighted the diversity of East Africa.
- Last Updated on Thursday, 18 April 2013 08:54
In line with the Government effort to continue to improve quality of services and standards in the accommodation sector, Rwanda Development Board is in preparation for the second phase of classifying other accommodation establishments.
In this regard, Rwanda Development Board conducted inspection on likely classifiable accommodation establishments to establish their status. One to one meetings with the owners/Managers of those establishments were also held and it was jointly agreed that the missing essential items for classification should be fulfilled before November 2012 so that by the time the second classification exercise starts, accommodation establishment will have prepared your for better star ratings.
Through this awareness and consultative seminar, the current status of the likely classifiable accommodation will be presented to prepare accommodation establishment owners for the planned classification exercise.
The meeting took place on 27th February 2013 in Kigali City at Chez Lando Hotel.
- Last Updated on Monday, 12 May 2014 15:49
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.
- Last Updated on Thursday, 21 February 2013 12:38
|Participants at Lemigo Hotel during the training|
In preparation for the second phase of classification and grading of hotels in the country, Rwanda Development Board through Tourism and Conservation department organized a three day seminar to train hotels that have been identified to be assessed for the star awarding.
The seminar was held at Lemigo Hotel in Kigali City from 10th to 12th October 2012 and it attracted about 60 hotel managers. While officiating the training Mr. Werabe Emmanuel Head of Quality and Standards Division in RDB stated that “the primary objective of the training seminar was to prepare the managers of accommodation establishments for the second phase of grading and classification of accommodation establishments and also to make them aware of the standards for services delivery and customer care.
The classification system brings out different aspects of service delivery essential for customer satisfaction. It covers both physical and tangible characteristics of accommodation establishments such as location, dimension of rooms, supplies in the rooms, frequency of change of linen as well as non-tangible elements such as style, elegance, comfort, finish and luxury. The criteria also cover social contacts such as staff qualification, grooming and communication skills
Classification and grading of hotels is one of the tools that will continue to raise standards in the hospitality industry. Rwanda has so far seen 31 accommodation establishments graded and awarded stars ranging from One Star to Five stars.
Hotels form an integral part of the Tourism industry and the government of Rwanda has prioritized the Tourism sector as one of the key pillars for our country’s economic development and indeed Tourism has been the leading foreign exchange earner since 2007 having generated $251M in 2011.