Efforts to promote Rwanda as a conference hub have been boosted by the signing of a partnership deal between local tour firm and one of South Africa’s leading events organisers.
The agreement between Ikaze Professional Conference Organisers and Crystal Events Africa will see the South African firm market Rwanda as a top conferences centre and must-visit tourist destination on the continent, according to Tes Proos, the founding partner of Crystal Events Africa.
“The main purpose of the partnership is to encourage global companies and organisation to hold conferences in Rwanda and Africa, generally as well as to create awareness about Rwanda’s tourist attractions and its potential as a tourist destination on the continent,” she said.
Proos added that the local tourism sector has the potential to attract more tourists and related businesses and hence contribute to job-creation and spur its competitiveness.
Rwanda Development Board (RDB) projects the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Events and Exhibitions (MICE) to contribute $64 million, up from the $47 million in 2016.
The country’s MICE strategy seeks to make Rwanda a top conferences hub and a key revenue contributor to the tourism sector’s total returns, as well as drive job-creation. RDB targets about $444 million (about Rwf370 billion) from the tourism industry this year, up from $404 million last year, banking on continued tourism promotion efforts. The new deal, therefore, supports these initiatives in the medium to long-term.
She said: “We are excited about the opportunities that Africa and Rwanda have to offer. For instance, the flexibility and co-operative spirit between African tourism authorities has been encouraging and instrumental to our efforts to promote the continent.
“We look forward to working with them in making business events in Africa a practical decision for international business communities.”
The official was speaking in Kigali on Monday after the signing event, where the firm, formerly known as Crystal Events and Incentives unveiled its new brand name, Crystal Events Africa, and image. The firm also signed similar agreements with sector players from Cape Town, South Africa and Harare, Zimbabwe.
According to Godfrey Rurangwa, the conference and events sales manager at Ikaze, Crystal Events Africa encourages different companies worldwide to bring their conferences, meetings to Africa, adding that the firm connects sponsors, transport facilities and organises events for the companies.
“This partnership will lead to job-creation, and the country will be able attract more tourists,” he said on the sidelines of the signing ceremony in Kigali.