[Editorial] Tour operators should spread their wings even further

Rwanda has been on a tourist wooing onslaught for some time now with many stakeholders piling up jet miles in a bid to attract many more tourists.

Rwanda has been on a tourist wooing onslaught for some time now with many stakeholders piling up jet miles in a bid to attract many more tourists.

Nearly all major tourism fairs have felt Rwanda’s presence and visitor numbers have continued to grow steadily.

The country’s tourism strategy has been focusing on high end tourism and luxury brands have already opened shop, although back-packers have also been given their slot.

This surely must be an exciting time in the travel and tour industry as more players enter the field, international airlines are jockeying for space at Kanombe International Airport’s apron.

RwandAir has not been left behind either. It has invested in new modern and larger aircraft and spread its wings to new destinations in Europe and Asia and this year sets its sights on the American market.

This is an opportunity for tour operators to cast their nets even wider. The Asian continent should be the next market to corner; it has new money, lots of it. And it is producing millionaires at an amazing speed. That is where innovative tour operators should shift their attention.

The visa regime has been revised drastically that one just needs to fly into the country to get it on the counter, no need for prior applications. Hotel rooms have multiplied several times and new interesting attractions created to kill boredom.

Tourism is the new Eldorado and as more players rush to enter the market, smart tour operators will need to stay a step ahead of the competition. That means seeking new unexploited markets beyond Europe and North America, the traditional tourism hunting grounds.

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