Rwanda projects ‘new destination appeal’; Rwandair coming to Mumbai from September ’16

Rwanda is one of the most successful nations in Africa which has steadily been attracting investments and tourists. As relations between the African Union and India deepen, it plans to pitch for a major share of corporate outbound, besides deepening bilateral engagement in education and medical tourism to augment footfalls. RwandAir’s unveiling of flight between Mumbai and Kigali, via Dubai, could not have been timed better. 

Rwanda projects ‘new destination appeal’ to tap corporate outbound; Rwandair to unveil flights to India via DubaiRwanda Development Board’s tourism and conservation department is all set to target Indian MICE business in the New Year. As the RDB’s Meetings Planners Guide 2016 was launched last week at a glittering function held at Fortune Exoctica Hotel, Vashi, it collaborated with the Indian Merchants’ Chamber (IMC), a 108 year old Premier Chamber of Commerce and Industry, headquartered in the commercial capital city of Mumbai, to enhance trade, tourism and investments into the country.

Clarence Fernandes, Representative, Rwanda Development Board, noted that “We are indeed very pleased to partner and collaborate with IMC to enhance India’s footprints in Rwanda.”

As Rwanda pitches to project itself as the preferred getaway for MICE and corporate clientèle emanating from Indian shores, it competes with some of the most established destinations that have created a niche for themselves – Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong to name a few. However, Clarence Fernandes believes that the attraction of experiencing a new destination will set them apart from the rest. “‘New Destination Appeal’ is what will make Rwanda stand out and take a lead over traditional destinations like Singapore and Malaysia,” he said.  “Indians are always looking for newer and fresher pastures. Here, Rwanda has much to offer,” he added.

Indicating that the country stood right and ready to host corporate outbound and enhanced bilateral movement of goods and services, he pointed towards the ease of doing business in the country. “Where else in Africa, other than in Rwanda, can you actually start your business in a matter of just six hours,” he exclaimed. “It is a fact that the Registrar General’s Office of the Rwanda Development Board will complete the entire Company registration process within just six hours!” he further added.

Noting that MICE business made up a major portion of Indian arrivals into the country, he shared that, every year, they marketed an important MICE event, under the brand name of “Rwanda Calling ” which aimed at attracting trade , tourism and investments into the country.  He told us that “While this event hosts a majority of delegates from India, “Rwanda Calling” has also attracted businessmen from Uganda, Kenya, Lesotho, United Arab Emirates, Georgia, the United States of America in the West and even from Singapore and Thailand in South East Asia.”

Sharing that it was only one of the three countries in the entire world, where one can actual see and come in very close quarters to the endangered mountain gorilla, he said that “this unique tourism product is only available in Rwanda and Uganda. And, it is generally felt that this is better experienced from Rwanda.”

As India engages deeper with the African Union, Rwanda stands to be a frontrunner in benefiting from the escalated ties between the two. “The Hon. Prime Minister of India is laying adequate stress on Africa and has recently announced a funding of USD 10 billion for projects across the African continent,” said Fernandes.

Although, latest visitor arrival figures were not out, yet, Rwanda attracted over 11,000 Indian visitors each year, we were told. “It is, by far, the safest country in the African continent. Both business and leisure visitors look at safety and security,” he asserted. Refereeing to the recently unveiled Gallup International Report, he said that it had indicated that Rwanda was the 4th safest country in the world, after only Singapore, Hong Kong and Norway. “Moreover, Kigali, the capital city is spotlessly clean and is often referred to as the “Singapore” of Africa,” he said.

The only glitch, in an otherwise promising prospect, in tourism remains the lack of decent air-connectivity. Seeking to address this long-standing omission, Rwanda is all geared up to cement the relationship with flights to Mumbai from its capital via Dubai. Calling RwandaAir’s foray into Indian skies as the ‘icing on the cake’ for enhanced tourism connect between the two nations, he shared :“our very own National Carrier , RwandAir , will commence flights in to Mumbai from September, 2016.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *