In period of seven months, Rwanda earned Rwf46.3 billion (US$52 million) from international meetings and conferences, the Rwanda Convention Bureau (RCB) has revealed. According to the statistics available Rwanda hosted 201 events between July last year to early February 2019.
The Africa Green Revolution Forum, the GSMA Mobile 360 Africa, Youth Connect Summit and the 5th International Conference on Family Planning were some of the globally recognized events that were attended by over 35,000 delegates, RCB said.
RCB has set a target to collect US$74 million from the Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing and Exhibitions (MICE) tourism sector in 2018/2019 financial year and US$88 million in 2019/20 up from $42 million collected in 2017. Among notable international conferences slated to be hosted by Rwanda this year is the Africa Fine Coffee and Exhibition to take place in February expected to bring in 1500 international delegates, the Africa CEO Forum in March, Africa Health Agenda International Conference and the International Conference on AIDS and STI’s in Africa (ICASA) expected to receive between 7,000 and 9,000 delegates.
“We will keep on the frontline in getting Rwanda known. When Rwanda hosts an international meeting, we ensure that they are successful that foreign delegates keep looking to Rwanda as the best in conference hosting. We also call the guests to spend long in Rwanda so that they spend more in Rwanda which benefits the private sector,” Chief Executive Officer of RCB, Nelly Mukazayire said.
The president of the Private Events’ Organizers, Aimable Rumongi said: “When a conference takes place in Rwanda, private businesses gain a lot, from the eggs’ supplier, the tomato seller and the event’s organizer.”
RCB says that Kigali now boasts of approximately 5,000 rooms in the 2 to 5-star hotels with another 8,000 rooms in modern motels available for travellers. Rwanda was last year ranked the third in Africa as the best country in conference hosting according to International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA).
The year 2019 looks quite optimistic for Rwanda in terms of its conference tourism sector. A good number of four or five-star international brand hotels have set up shop in Rwanda’s capital city Kigali adding to the already existing hospitality facilities.
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