15 September 2017

West Africa: RDB Moves to Tap Into W.Africa's Tourism Market

Rwanda Development Board (RDB) is seeking to attract more tourists and investors from West Africa.

During the 13th international market travel exhibition held in Akwaaba, Lagos Nigeria early this week, RDB showcased Rwanda's remarkable attractions and investment opportunities as part of efforts to attract more tourists and investors to Rwanda.

Billed as West Africa's main travel and tourism fair, the 13th Africa Travel Market Akwaaba 2017 attracted more than 10,000 potential tourists from 20 countries.

Stanislas Kamanzi, Rwanda's Ambassador to Nigeria, told The New Times that the fair is a good business opportunity to market Rwanda's potential.

"We showcased our premier business and tourism potential and urged the investors to come to Rwanda and invest in diverse range of unique experiences, for both leisure and business travel," Kamanzi said.

Rwanda is also leveraging on the current expansion strategy of RwandAir to further spread its wings to all major West African rich capitals.

The national carrier recently announced it will be expanding its foot print into more West African countries as part of the strategy to promote trade and tourism but also increase connectivity on the continent.

Speaking at the event, Kamanzi, emphasised the importance of tourism in Africa particularly in terms of boosting intra-trade and deepening relations amongst African countries.

He stated that Rwanda's participation at Nigeria's leading travel show presented a good opportunity to tap into a fast-growing market of outbound tourists in Africa.

Belise Kariza, the chief Tourism officer at RDB said the trade fair presented Rwanda an opportunity to share knowledge and expertise on how best the tourism sector can be developed.

RDB projects that the tourism sector will fetch about $444milliom in 2017 up from $404million the sector fetched in 2016.

The rise in revenue from the sector in 2017 banks on continued tourism promotion efforts as well as Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Events and Exhibitions (MICE) which is increasingly becoming popular.

According to Josephine Fifi Rurangwa, the Head of Africa Expansion at Wakanow "there is a lot of potential, Rwanda is a beautiful country and a lot has been done to promote business tourism."

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