Rwanda was crowned Africa’s leading toursim destination at the World Travel Awards Africa Gala which took place last night at the Radisson Blu Hotel and Convention Centre in Kigali, Rwanda.
“We are so proud to receive this award on behalf of Rwandans. Special thanks to President Paul Kagame for the vision in developing tourism ecosystem,” said Clare Akamanzi, the CEO of Rwanda Development Board.
World Travel Awards established in 1993 serves to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry
World Travel Awards Gala ceremonies are widely regarded as the best networking opportunities in the travel industry, attended by government and industry leaders, luminaries and international print and broadcast media.
World Travel Awards are voted by travel and tourism professionals, business and leisure consumers worldwide. The accolades recognise commitment to excellence which the hotels have demonstrated in the last twelve months.
This year, Rwanda was also recognised by readers of Wanderlust, a top British travel magazine as the fastest growing tourism destination. The publication’s readers voted Rwanda as a top emerging tourist destination at 97.14 per cent with most citing recovery of the tourism sector.
Rwanda’s tourism sector is projected to fetch about $444 million (about Rwf370 billion) in 2017, up from $404 million last year.
“In 1994, we witnessed the horrors of the Rwandan genocide and, in some ways, the country is still recovering. But over 20 years on, it’s making its mark on the travel map. You’ve been heading there and telling us you’ve liked what you’ve seen, crowning it this year’s best emerging destination,” the publisher’s note reads in part.
Recently, the east african nation re-introduced lions to Akagera National Park after a 15-year absence, as well as rhinos.
Last night World Travel Awards Africa Gala also saw Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the fastest growing hotel groups in the world scoop four awards.
In the hotel category, the host of this year’s World Travel Awards Africa Gala Ceremony, Radisson Blu Hotel and Convention Centre, scooped three awards. They were named Africa’s Leading Conference Hotel, Africa’s Leading New Hotel and Rwanda’s Leading Conference Hotel for its spectacular Convention Centre which rooms up to 5,000 delegates.
Rwanda has been showcasing the country as a premier business and tourism destination in Africa and building awareness of Rwanda’s diverse range of unique experiences, for both leisure and business travel.
According to the African Hotel Report 2017 released yesterday by Hotel Partners Africa at the ongoing Africa Investment Forum in Kigali, the Rwandan Hotel investment market has also improved strongly over the last 8 years.
The three-day Africa Hotel Investment Forum connects business leaders from international and local markets urging them to invest in tourism projects, infrastructure and hotel development across Africa.
For the first time Rwanda has joined the “top ten” of the most valuable countries in Africa for hotels. In addition, with average growth in hotel values of 8.8% over the last 8 years, Rwanda experienced the sixth highest growth on the continent over that period.
Rwanda claims the eighth spot in this year’s report as the country continues to demonstrate ongoing growth and diversification.
“That values have increased in 2017 despite the large influx of new supply in the last two years is testament to the confidence that investors have in the stability of the government and the overall investment climate” said David Harper, the report’s author.
Rwanda is held out by many as a beacon across Africa for property investment. With an Ease of Doing Business rating of 67 (out of 189) and Property Rights Protection rating ranked 28 (out of 145), investors have found the climate conducive to property deals.
The government’s concentration on providing infrastructure, reducing ‘red tape’ and stamping out corruption has enabled foreign investors to have confidence in the country’s future.
The African Hotel Report inducates that the hotel industry in Africa is still a very good investment, despite the cyclical nature of the property market.
Since its inception, the Africa Hotel Investment Forum has contributed an estimated $16.8 million to African economies, inclusive of direct, indirect and induced financial benefits.