In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the tourism sector has been hit hard and stakeholders are seeking new ways to ensure the recovery of their businesses. One way to do this is by utilizing data to make informed decisions. On May 4, Cenfri, in partnership with the Rwanda ICT Chamber, implemented an awareness training for tourism stakeholders based in Musanze district as part of the Rwanda Economic Digitalisation Program. Cenfri implements the program which is funded by MasterCard Foundation to help the government as well as the private sector leverage the existing data sets to improve how they make decisions. Edwin Byusa, the Capacity Building Lead for the program, stated that the workshop focused on highlighting the beauty of data and its potential benefits, adding that it targeted the tourism stakeholders based on the findings from the second year of the program, which focuses on the tourism and education sectors. Byusa explained that the results revealed several opportunities for the private sector in the tourism industry to learn from data and make informed decisions that could aid in their recovery from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Part of the recovery program is to demonstrate to tourism and hospitality service operators the significance of the numbers: the number of visitors, the products that interest them the most, and the means by which customers are accessing their sites, he said. He noted that the majority of visitors are arriving from the East African Community (EAC), with a significant number coming from DR Congo, and are utilizing road transportation. Byusa emphasized that people in Musanze can capitalize on their roads by creating opportunities to attract these visitors, employment opportunities, and increase their turnover. Additionally, he recommended that they enhance their online visibility, as most businesses are currently not online, and ensure that information available online is accurate, explaining that it's essential to provide top-notch services to customers, which will aid in promoting their reputation and encouraging repeat visits. Yves Ngenzi, the Head of Strategic Programs at the Rwanda Tourism Chamber, explained that the awareness campaign is intended to share valuable insights gained from the program regarding the availability and utilization of tourism data. The objective is to assist businesses in identifying potential areas for growth and improving customer service by leveraging existing data. During the campaign, stakeholders were encouraged to provide feedback on ways to streamline processes and increase emphasis on business growth. They were also reminded of the system that facilitates data sharing, which can help inform decision-making by investors, policymakers, and tourists regarding specific areas. Ngenzi emphasized that the Rwanda Tourism Chamber is committed to advocating for the promotion of internet penetration and building the capacity of stakeholders by providing training on digitization and facilitating access to business opportunities for its members. Andrew Rucyahanampuhwe, the Vice-Mayor of Musanze District in charge of Economic Development, stated that they are in the process of developing a comprehensive tourism plan for the district. The plan will identify the specific factors that draw tourists to the area, identify gaps in currently underutilized tourism sites, and highlight opportunities for development. He encouraged all stakeholders to provide accurate and complete information online and to share relevant data to aid in the development of the district's tourism industry. The ultimate goal is for Musanze to become a tourism center in Rwanda, with a well-developed infrastructure and a range of offerings that will attract visitors from all over the world. Eric Twagirimana, President of the Rwanda Hospitality Association in Musanze district, expressed appreciation for the information provided, highlighting that it will help many members in the district to utilize impactful social media, open websites, and market their hotels and services effectively. He stressed the importance of a strong online presence, noting that in today's world, customers can learn about hotels and other services online without having to visit in person. He emphasized the need for further training to enable members to make well-informed decisions using available data and pledged the association’s willingness to provide any necessary information to support the program's success.