Rwanda Convention Bureau

Rwanda Business Travel Guide - - Front Page -

RWANDA HAS PUT mea­sures in place to de­velop new in­fra­struc­tures and ren­o­vate its ex­ist­ing fa­cil­i­ties, par­tic­u­larly in the tourism and con­fer­enc­ing in­dus­try. In or­der to aid this de­vel­op­ment the Rwanda Convention Bureau (RCB) was launched in May, 2014, start­ing with the pur­pose of con­duct­ing meet­ings, in­cen­tives, con­ven­tions, con­fer­ences and ex­hi­bi­tions un­der the tourism de­part­ment within the Rwanda De­vel­op­ment Board. Here, the Bureau ex­plains the ex­cit­ing de­vel­op­ments in place to make Rwanda one of the pre­ferred MICE des­ti­na­tions within East Africa.

Africa Out­look (AfO): Since in­cep­tion, how has Rwanda Convention Bureau de­vel­oped and pro­gressed in terms of its key ob­jec­tives and the mes­sages it tries to get across?

Rwanda Convention Bureau (RCB): RCB has played a cru­cial role in the growth of the econ­omy of Rwanda. Since its be­gin­ning, MICE tourism has con­trib­uted to the over­all tourism re­ceipt as fol­lows: US$29 mil­lion in 2014, $38 mil­lion in 2015 to $47 mil­lion in 2016.

The ob­jec­tive of be­ing a pre­ferred MICE des­ti­na­tion in East Africa has been suc­cess­fully reached by host­ing high level con­fer­ences such as African Na­tional Cham­pi­onship(CHAN), World Eco­nomic Fo­rum on Africa, Africa Union Sum­mit, The Global Africa In­vest­ment Sum­mit, Africa Ho­tel In­vest­ment and Avi­a­tion De­vel­op­ment Fo­rum, 28th Meet­ing of the Par­ties to the Mon­treal Pro­to­col and so many oth­ers. AfO: To this end, how would you say Rwanda has de­vel­oped in re­cent years as a busi­ness travel hub and what are the key rea­sons be­hind its grow­ing ap­peal?

RCB: Rwanda has de­vel­oped in a re­mark­ably good way. To em­pha­sise the sit­u­a­tion, in 2014, the In­ter­na­tional Convention and Congress As­so­ci­a­tion (ICCA) ranked Rwanda on the 13th po­si­tion in terms of a MICE des­ti­na­tion’s in Africa. In 2015, Rwanda climbed to the 7th po­si­tion and now we are proud to see that Rwanda is the third high­est ranked MICE des­ti­na­tion in Africa, after South Africa and Morocco.

The coun­try has sig­nif­i­cantly in­vested in MICE in­fra­struc­ture with sev­eral meet­ing venues with ca­pac­i­ties rang­ing from 50 to 2,600. In terms of hos­pi­tal­ity, a mix­ture of in­ter­na­tional

ho­tels such as Mar­riott, Park Inn and Radis­son BLU has been launched in the past year to­gether with some lo­cal ho­tels brands such as Ubumwe Grande Ho­tel.

An­other key rea­son be­hind the grow­ing ap­peal is that Rwanda of­fers a high level of safety and se­cu­rity. The World Eco­nomic Fo­rum re­port of 2017, ranked Rwanda as 9th safest coun­try in the world and 1st in Africa. Rwanda is also a clean coun­try lo­cated in the cen­tral part of Africa with stream­lined on ar­rival visa poli­cies which makes ac­ces­si­bil­ity more lined.

AfO: What is in store for Rwanda over the course of 2017 and be­yond to con­tinue the good work al­ready com­menced and to en­hance its rep­u­ta­tion as a tourism and busi­ness travel hub fur­ther in the fu­ture?

RCB: In the com­ing months, Rwanda will host some im­por­tant events like Africa Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Re­search and Train­ing in Can­cer (AOR­TIC) which will bring in, a to­tal of more than 1,000 del­e­gates. In ad­di­tion, meet­ing venues un­der con­struc­tion and ease of ac­cess with the open­ing of new routes by RWANDAIR will al­low Rwanda to stay com­pet­i­tive in the mar­ket place.

The Rwanda Convention Bureau will also at­tend renowned ex­hi­bi­tions in the MICE sec­tor such as IMEX Las Ve­gas and IBTM Barcelona to pro­mote Rwanda as a MICE des­ti­na­tion.

AfO: Fi­nally, look­ing for­ward, if we were to speak again in three-five year’s time, what progress and de­vel­op­ment would you hope and ex­pect to be able to re­port back, both in re­gards to the Rwanda Convention Bureau as an en­tity, and in re­gards to the busi­ness travel in­dus­try in Rwanda as a whole?

RCB: I hope in three years time Rwanda will have many in­ter­na­tional ho­tels brands with meet­ing and ex­hi­bi­tions fa­cil­i­ties which will al­low us to host a grow­ing calendar of in­ter­na­tional events.

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