EDITORIAL: Hospitality industry should do more to promote domestic tourism

Some few months ago, within these very pages, we raised the issue of a weak domestic policy for tourism in the country. There was not much on the ground in terms of marketing it and making it vibrant.

Some few months ago, within these very pages, we raised the issue of a weak domestic policy for tourism in the country. There was not much on the ground in terms of marketing it and making it vibrant.

It must have caught RDB ears as it has now begun an aggressive marketing strategy to increase numbers of local tourism and introduce more enticing incentives.

 

As once mentioned, it is embarrassing when a foreigner knows more about your own country than yourself. So, what is the underlying factor that holds back the growth of domestic tourism? Do Rwandans lack the sense of adventure?

 

Maybe the reasons lie elsewhere; a hospitality industry that is out of reach with reality. How do they expect to attract traffic to their establishments when they charge exorbitant rates not commensurate with the services they offer?

 

Many small and medium hotels have in the past run into trouble (or in the ground) because of low occupancy rate yet they have loans to service. Wouldn’t it make more business sense to make something, however small, than leave rooms empty?

They should pick a leaf from Kenya when a few years ago, terrorism scared business away as tourists stayed away from its famous resorts. Local and regional tourism saved the day due to attractive and affordable tour packages.

But that also comes with aggressive marketing that could see many city dwellers escape for a weekend from the hustle and bustle and recharge batteries.

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