EDITORIAL: AHIF should serve as a springboard to drive tourism

Tourism and the hospitality industry have dominated the news in this country for the last month, The latest gem on the crown was the official opening of the new Marriott Hotel this week.

Tourism and the hospitality industry have dominated the news in this country for the last month, The latest gem on the crown was the official opening of the new Marriott Hotel this week.

The sector has received a well-needed boost as the country slowly attains its goal of transforming the country into a regional MICE (Meeting Incentives Conferences and Events) hub.

 

The ball got rolling with the annual baby gorilla naming ceremony (Kwita Izina) that has become a must-not-miss occasion on the tourism calendar. It is where a few people get the privilege of naming new-born gorillas.

 

Then the new modern Kigali Convention Centre began to get busy, hosting one international conference after another.

 

Right now, another appropriate meeting that will surely drive the MICE message home; the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF), is taking place there and it should be an occasion for our local hospitality industry operators to glean a few lessons.

While Kigali might be seen as the centre of gravity with its hosting many international events, that is not the case.

Rwanda Development Board is drumming up support for investors to give a keen eye on the so-called Kivu Belt that straddles Lake Kivu in the western part of the country. It has been dubbed: “The hotbed of luxury and leisure tourism”.

This offers innumerable investment opportunities and local stakeholders should not let the AHIF opportunity slip by. Not only will it be an opportunity to get a few tips from seasoned industry operators attending the meeting, they should also strike partnerships to make the Kivu dream come true.

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