Hospitality sector can do better in customer care, says government

Akamanzi has called for further improvement in service delivery. Michel Nkurunziza.

Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has urged the private sector, especially hotels, restaurants and other establishments to improve service delivery and customer service so as to maintain growth of tourism industry.

Clare Akamanzi, the Chief Executive Officer of RDB, said that a 2008 study showed that 1 of 4 visitors in Rwanda was dissatisfied with customer care. This has changed over time but there is still room for improvement, she noted.

 

That 5th Edition of the Governance Scorecard showed that quality of service delivery remained the least performance pillar in 2017.

 

Although quality of service delivery remains the least performance pillar in the scorecard, the sector recorded an increase of 1.32 per cent from 74.2 per cent in 2017 from 71.93 per cent in the previous year against the target of 90 per cent.

 

The 2017 scorecard underscored the need to ensure that quality of service delivery is a fundamental obligation of the Government, private sector, and all other service providers.

“Services drive economic growth as they also gather profits. Both the public and private sector institutions should collaborate to brainstorm on major problems, do research and communicate to ensure customers are satisfied 100 per cent. This improves both income for them but also income from tourism industry that boost the country economic development,” she said.

She noted that the growth of Rwanda’s economy is also dependent on businesses, big or small, providing excellent customer service to all types of customers, including potential, new and existing customers.

Different representatives of hotels and other private establishments discuss service delivery. Michel Nkurunziza.

She said that while Rwanda Convention Bureau seeks to increasingly generate more revenues from Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) industry, private sector such as hotels and restaurants play a critical in serving the visitors with better customer care in order to keep MICE growing and boost the country’s tourism industry.

“As government, we have paid close attention to tourism product diversification. Considering that government has been investing in infrastructure such as airports, having RwandAir expanding its wings to more countries is creating more demand for services and, therefore, there is need for efficiency in service delivery to help the business grow,” she noted.

“We have doubled our efforts to market Rwanda to the world through initiatives such as Visit Rwanda. This initiative is part of a broader strategy to invite the world to Rwanda. However, to succeed, we must all ensure that excellent customer service delivery remains a priority,” she added.

The Minister of State in charge of Socio-economic Development, Cyriaque Harelimana, said customer care creates better image of the country which in turn attracts tourists and visitors.

“It is not only about good image creation but also wealth creation for businesses and government where credibility counts for hotels and restaurants that are forefront runners to build the image and wealth. For instance if ALIBABA is coming soon, more visitors are also set to come and they will enjoy excellent services,” he noted.

Rwanda is looking to nearly double its revenues from conference tourism. Last year; it collected a total of $42 million (about Rwf36.3 billion) from 192 conferences.

This year’s target is $74 million (Rwf64 billion) according to RDB.

With five months to go, the Government says it has already collected more than 50 per cent of the targeted revenue from conference tourism this year.

 

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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