Sunday, 14 May 2017

RWANDA: Rwanda A Hot Cake Destination In Africa

Rwanda has been recognized as a striding and fast-growing tourist destination in East Africa, attracting high-class holidaymakers from China, Europe, and the United States.

Known as the “land of a thousand hills,” Rwanda is standing as a leading and attractive tourist destination, competing with Kenya, which is the tourist power point in East Africa.

Gorilla trekking safaris, rich cultures of the Rwandese people, scenery, and a friendly tourist investment environment available in Rwanda have all made this African nation one of the best and most attractive destinations for global holidaymakers.

Rwanda is coming up and the leading nation in East Africa, attracting regional and global conferences in its capital city of Kigali. More than 30 regional and international conferences are scheduled to take place in Kigali within the remaining months of the year.

The Africa Travel Association (ATA) World Congress is one among many of the key, global tourism gatherings to take place in Kigali this year. Expected to attract over 300 global tourism policy makers and travel trade industry leaders, the ATA Congress will be held in August of this year for the first time in Rwanda since its inception in 1975.

The Africa Hotel Investments Forum (AHIF) is another tourism gathering scheduled in Kigali for October of this year.

China, an emerging global tourist market is as well targeting Rwanda as its outbound safari destination. Chinese firms from Jiangsu Province have expressed interest in Rwanda’s tourism and hospitality sector.

Gao Yan, the director for foreign affairs in Jiangsu Province, said companies from the province are looking at investing in hotels, road construction, and the aviation sector, which are instrumental for growth of the local hospitality and tourism sectors.

“We want to focus on tourism and related sectors, because Rwanda is a top destination in the region. This offers us huge investment opportunities, especially setting up hotels in national parks like Akagera and Nyungwe that have unique experiences,” Gao said.

Gao was previously the second secretary and councilor at the Chinese Embassy in Rwanda, where he spent three years. He added that tourism is one of the projects Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to support in Rwanda.

The tourism industry is Rwanda’s top foreign exchange earner, and government has been positioning the country as a must-visit and conferences destination in the region.

Rwanda is targeted to earn $400 million from tourism last year (2016), up from $318 million in 2015. The country expected tourist and visitor numbers to increase by 4 percent last year, up from 1.3 million recorded in 2015.

Located in eastern China, Jiangsu Province is an industrialized area contributing 10 percent to China’s GDP. The province’s GDP per capita stands at $40,000.

Firms from Jiangsu Province are currently developing 5-star hotels and beach properties in Mauritius and Madagascar, according to Gao.

“Our people are traveling more and more to visit Africa, and Rwanda should be their perfect destination,” he said. He added that companies from the province are being encouraged to diversify into the services sector, a shift from manufacturing and mining.