Rwanda: Radisson Blu Registers 18% Growth in Profit

20 February 2020

Radisson Blu Kigali, which also runs the Kigali Convention Centre, has reported a year-on-year profit growth rate of 18 per cent from 2017 to 2019, which demonstrates a significant return on investment.

Denis Dernault, the company's General Manager, said that the growth has boosted its marketing operations as well the ability to run the business sustainably, and effectively raised confidence about future business prospects.

"That's a healthy trend where the stakeholder doesn't have to put money into the complex any more. We are now providing a return on investment," he said.

Even with additional hospitality establishments and meeting venues entering the local market over the last three years, Kigali Convention Centre has maintained dominance hosting over 1,100 events and conferences since July 2016.

In 2019, the growth was among other things driven by over 300 events held at the convention centre among them meetings, conferences and exhibitions.

The growth in revenue, the management said, is among other things a result of efforts by the Radisson Hotel Group, global sales team that has led to constant and persistent marketing.

The sales team pitches to event organisers and bookers in key feeder markets on behalf of the hotel and Convention Centre.

"Sales and marketing efforts such as attending international trade shows and exhibitions with a good conversion rate. Maintaining the hotel and convention centres reputation and introducing the venue and destination to new clients through commissioned case-studies, adverts and advertorials on key MICE focused international publications," Dernault said.

The firm has also established synergy with the Rwanda Convention Bureau providing professional advice related to operations and functional details of the events planned to be hosted at KCC further boosting outcomes of events.

The facility's growth in clientele and revenue has had an impact on other sectors of the economy beyond its suppliers and employees.

For instance, travellers generate additional revenue opportunities in transportation, retail, stand-alone restaurants and bars as well as entertainment and tourism sites impacting businesses in Kigali and beyond.

"This confirms that the investment of a convention centre is returned to the local community through positive economic impacts on homegrown business," Dernault said.

For 2020, Radisson Blu said that they are gearing for major summits including the Commonwealth Heads of States and Government Meeting as well as capitalizing on and increasing networks within the industry and tapping into new markets.

Kigali is currently ranked the second most popular destination in Africa (after Cape Town) for international meetings and events by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA).

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