Rwanda Chamber of Tourism (RCOT), on Tuesday, October 31 inked a deal with the Confederation of Tourism of Madagascar (CTM) to partner in tourism development and promotion through mutual growth, sharing knowledge, and collaborative innovation. RCOT is the apex body for all private sector tourism establishments in Rwanda, while the CTM is a Madagascan private initiative whose main mandate is to bring together the professions and tourism institutions in the island nation. READ ALSO: Rwanda tourism revenue more than doubled to $445m in 2022 In the deal, the two entities outlined a framework, highlighting the key areas of cooperation, including capacity-building, joint promotional activities, and the development of niche tourism markets. “We are embarking on a journey of transformation, leveraging the strengths of our respective tourism sectors to create a robust platform for sustainable growth,” said Frank Gisha Mugisha, RCOT’s Managing Director. “We are looking at opening borders to ensure that tourism really flourishes in the country but also in the region and over the continent. Madagascar has a lot to offer; there is a lot we can learn from them and there is a lot they can learn from us,” he added. He pointed out the role of tourism in Africa, noting for example that with the right investment, the sector can fast-track the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). “As the chamber of tourism, we have already started this by organising what we call the Rwanda Tourism Week which brings together continental actors to discuss matters pertaining to how we can trade together, how air transport can be improved across the continent, but also looking at changing the narrative as Africans,” he noted. ALSO READ: Rwanda's economy, tourism shine in Africa wealth report 2023 Tojosoa Razafimahalefa, CTM’s Vice Chairman, said the deal shows the two institutions’ shared vision for a flourishing tourism sector. “We are poised to drive innovation, build capacity, and create a ripple effect of economic benefits for both Rwanda and Madagascar,” he said. Among the things that the Madagascan tourism sector wants to learn from Rwanda is the country’s strategy for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events (MICE). “When you do tourism, you cannot do it yourself. You always need cooperation and collaboration, there are always good practices and lessons to learn from others, and for us, Rwanda is a key country for that. It is a good example in terms of leadership, vision, and mind-set,” Razafimahalefa noted.