The 2022 national tourism week is set for November 26 through December 3, Rwanda Chamber of Tourism announced on Friday, October 28, in a press conference in Kigali. Under the theme “adopting innovative approaches to boost intra Africa travel as a drive for tourism business recovery”, Rwanda Tourism Week is with an aim to rebuild tourism as the continent recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. “This year’s theme focuses on rebuilding tourism after two years of challenging times that severely hit the tourism sector by setting a vision and long-term goals, that will strengthen the Tourism industry” Frank Gisha Mugisha, the Director General of Rwanda Chamber of Tourism said. “We are spotlighting how tourism can increasingly contribute to economies, inclusively foster sustainability and innovations, and reconnecting Africans to each other and the rest of the world,” he added. Happening for the second time, the event is expected to attract more than 2,000 local and international delegates from more than 15 countries across the world. The week will start off with a photo competition to enable storytellers to showcase Rwanda’s diverse tourism attractions and scenery through photography, with an aim to raise awareness on Rwanda as a destination. Other programmes lined up are the ‘familiarization trips’ where the invited participants and international tour operators will sample packaged Rwanda tourism products and learn more about Rwanda in general, the restaurant week where diners will have the opportunity to enjoy their experience at the top restaurant for a discounted and set-price, and a fashion show that will highlight the innovation of renown local and regional clothing brands. Brenda Nyakira, the Managing Director of Ikaze PCO, an event managing company in Kigali which is planning the fashion event and the exhibition, told The New Times in an interview that their big focus is sustainability. “We see fashion as a very strong part of tourism as well, which is why we came up with a concept to have a fashion show and an exhibition as part of the activities. We really want to see collaboration, especially with more established fashion houses, for example, from West Africa to come and mingle with made in Rwanda brands,” Nyakira added. Other events lined up are the ‘Golf for conservation’, which will feature networking opportunities within the local and regional business communities among delegates, and the exhibition, where exhibitors will have the opportunity to showcase and spotlight their tourism and hospitality products. As announced at the maiden Rwanda Tourism Week, the national tourism chamber will also host its first ever International Business Forum, which will bring together actors from the tourism industry, experts and specialists, the leaders of key local and regional businesses, financial institutions, and organizations in order to strengthen and speed up the sector’s economic recovery. The week will end with a gala dinner, which will see different key stakeholders and business operators in the tourism industry awarded for their outstanding service delivery. Among the expected outcomes of the week include increased domestic, regional, and continental trade linkages, as well as job creation where about 100 people are expected to be employed. The maiden event which took place in 2021 lasted for three days and attracted more than 200 delegates. During the celebration of World Tourism Day 2022, Ariella Kageruka, Head of Tourism and Conservation at RDB said that more than 80 percent of the business in the sector which were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic are on a path to recovery. “The recovery of the sector has been a deliberate effort, working on new innovations and ensuring that we remain operational in different ways. We are happy that even during the pandemic the MICE sector somehow continued to operate,” Kageruka said at the event. Earlier this year in April, RDB announced a 25 percent revenue increase in tourism from $131 million in 2020 to $164 million in 2021, despite the pandemic.