The President and CEO of Marriott International, Arne Sorenson, has said that his company is proud to be part of Rwanda’s remarkable transformation journey.
VIDEO: Kigali Marriott Hotel Officially Opens. Source: TheNewTimes/YouTube
Sorenson was speaking Tuesday evening at the grand opening of Kigali Marriott Hotel located in downtown Kigali.
“Rwanda is going through an economic transformation and we are proud to be a part of it,” said Sorenson, adding that the country’s vision to place travel and tourism at the heart of development convinced Marriott to select Rwanda as host to its first sub-Saharan property.
Speaking at the opening, Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi hailed the global hotel chain for its decision.
Murekezi noted that Rwanda has positioned itself as an attractive destination for high value service investments, through Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE) and tourism among key priorities for employment and foreign exchange income.
Because of this, he added, there couldn’t be a better timing than Marriott’s joining the sector.
Alex Kyriakidis, Marriott’s president and Managing Director for Middle East and Africa region noted that, there is something about this project that is particularly fulfilling.
“Every time we open a hotel, we know there is an enormous positive impact on a community. But here, in Rwanda, that impact is magnified by the sustainable approach we have taken to both staffing and supplying the hotel.”
He added that, “Coupled with that transformation is a mutual promise for opportunity — both for Marriott as a hospitality company and for the associates and partners who will help us succeed in this market.”
Rwanda’s travel and tourism industry generated 7.1 percent of the country’s GDP in 2015 and is predicted it to rise at 4.1 per cent annually through 2025.
“The government also thanks the New Century Development for having sponsored this project and attracted Marriott to Rwanda as a strategic partner. Equally important, we thank Equity Bank, KCB and Bank of Kigali (BK) for having financed and believed in this ambitious and transformative project,” the Premier said.
The hotel, has partnered with the Akilah Institute for Women to recruit and train Rwandan women for supervisory positions at its Kigali location.
Among the key features of the Kigali Marriott Hotel include four restaurants and lounges and 18 meeting rooms, among other facilities.Follow https://twitter.com/AthanTashobya