Government sells investment ideas at hoteliers forum

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Gatare gives his opening remarks at the conference in Kigali yesterday. (Timothy Kisambira)

As the country’stourism sector continues its fast paced growth, the government is committed to building partnerships and providing support to help the industry grow even more, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) chief executive Francis Gatare has said.

In his keynote speech at the official opening of the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) at Kigali Convention Center, yesterday, Gatare told the hoteliers and other tourism stakeholders from all over the world that one of the strategies that Rwanda is employing to reap more from tourism was to continue investing in a secure political and economic environment as two of the biggest drivers of the industry.

“Every country that aspires to grow its tourism sector needs to have a safe and stable political and economic environment. This is something that is valuable in the management of macro economics, in the management of safety of people and their property,” he said.

Gatare encouraged the participants to take advantage of the investment opportunities which he said are on forward going trend.

“I also encourage you to look into the growing opportunities. The Rwandan economy continues to grow on average 7.8 per cent and is fully integrated into the regional and international economy and the trend can only continue going forward,” he said. 

On Tuesday, RDB chief tourism officer Belise Kariza announced new investment opportunities along the Kivu Belt.

Key among the opportunities is a hot spring eco-tourism resort on the Rubavu Peninsula, an entertainment and leisure complex in Rubavu, a five-star golf resort and residential villas, an Eco-lodge on Gihaya Island, a premium boutique hotel and tourism center in Rusizi and the completion of a five-star conference and leisure hotel in Rusizi District.

The respective projects range in value from $50 to $152 million.

Gatare highlighted what is being done to make the tourism flourish, pointing out ICT as one of the areas that have been prioritised.

“Rwanda has substantially developed and maintained key infrastructure investments and these include a road network but more importantly, the broadband connectivity. So, ICT investment in the hotel industry is a top priority for us and our government has made broadband investments the heart of the core utilities for any construction that happens, as it is to install electricity and water, broadband connectivity has become one of those important pieces of investment,” he said.

The three-day Africa Hotel Investment Forum is a leading hotel investment forum in Africa, bringing together top international hotel investors in Africa and local operators, government officials and industry experts to discuss all aspects of hotel investment and operation on the continent. The conference is being held under the theme, “Connecting Tomorrow”.

The Forum ends today.

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