This is an exploratory study that seeks to investigate the Rwanda Tourism strategy with a view to inductively highlight trends, developments, roadblocks, and ways forward for tourism and hospitality. The study is based on a qualitative content analysis of documents including peer reviewed journal articles, policy documents and media sources – a view to theorising the pros and cons of strategic tourism for Rwanda and the implications for the sub-region.
Rwanda is making major strides in broadening and deepening its tourism aspirations from a multidimensional lens including sports, hospitality, and gorillas. The study contributes to the scant research in this space considering Rwanda’s aspirations to be a MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) destination in Africa.
Ignore these News Headlines at your own Peril!
Arranged in no particular order, here goes!
· Rwanda’s economy, tourism shine in Africa wealth report 2023. The New Times, March 31.
· Rwanda ranked second safest country for solo female travellers. The New Times, April 4, 2023.
· Musanze, Rwanda: World’s Greatest Places 2023. TIME Magazine.
· Kigali remains Africa’s second most preferred city for hosting meetings. The New Times, May 30.
Rwanda ranked second safest country for solo female travellers
Rwanda has been ranked as the second safest country for solo female travellers, thanks to its warm friendly hospitality and commitment to women’s inclusion and safety. The ranking was revealed by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on April 3, after consulting with Georgetown University’s Women’s Peace and Security Index, the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap report, and the Institute for Economics and Peace Global Peace Index.
The BBC also talked to women who have travelled alone to top-ranking countries to understand what made them feel safe, hear their own travel tips, and find out the best things to see and do as a solo adventurer. With more than 60 per cent of its parliament made up of women representatives, Rwanda ranks number one in the world for gender equality in parliament, according to the Women’s Peace and Security Index. It also ranks highly in the index’s perception of community safety and is ranked sixth in the world in the Global Gender Gap index, which measures how equitable a country is in terms of economics, education, healthcare, and political participation.
Rwanda’s economy, tourism shine in Africa wealth report 2023
Rwanda has been recognized for its remarkable achievements in a new report, “Africa Wealth Report 2023,” published on March 29.
Rwanda also ranked seventh in the report’s list of the next 10 wealthiest African countries, demonstrating its potential for economic growth and development. The country’s focus on sustainable development enabled it to make strides in various sectors, such as technology, finance, and tourism.
For example, the Gorilla trekking safaris in Rwanda’s Virunga Mountains, in Musanze district, was not long ago,
“Included in the list of top vacation destinations for high-net-worth families. This recognition is significant, as it highlights Rwanda‘s potential as a tourist destination, providing a unique experience for high-end visitors seeking to explore Africa’s natural beauty.”
Rwanda Tourism Framework
In terms of its implications, the study seeks to advance, if not kick-start the conversation on tourism in Africa in general and Rwanda in particular with implications for the Tourism Board, the Visit Rwanda organisation and Higher education. It also impacts the march towards achieving the UN sustainable development goals (decent work, industry, innovation and infrastructure, quality education) – SDGs 8, 9, and 4 respectively, by connecting the dots for partnerships enshrined in SDG17.
All of the above align with the theme of a forthcoming African Research Group conference in Kigali themed, “Contemporary developments in the management of organizations in Africa: tapping into indigenous knowledge and developing viable partnerships.”
Table 1: MICE tourism market segments
|Type||Example||Dates (past, present and future)|
|Association meetings & conventions.||73rd FIFA Congress.||14-16 March 2023, Kigali.|
|Corporate incentives.||Kigali Special Economic Zone.||Continuous/ Ongoing.|
|Corporate meetings.||MWC GSMA Kigali 2022.||25-27 October 2022, Kigali Convention Centre, Kigali, Rwanda.|
|International events.||Signing of the African Union AFCTA Agreement.||21 March 2018, Kigali.|
|Exhibitions.||International Trade Exhibition on Agriculture & Equipment, Dairy & Equipment, Poultry & Equipment, Horticulture & Irrigation.||March 2023, Kigali Convention Centre, Kigali, Rwanda.|
|Government meetings.||Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2022), 26th Meeting of the Heads of Government of the Commonwealth of Nations.||20-26 June 2022, Kigali, Rwanda.|
Why it matters
Overall, there an anticipation of kick-starting the conversation on tourism in Africa in general, and Rwanda in particular, with implications for the Tourism Board, the Visit Rwanda – a department of the Rwanda Development Board. Although the exploratory nature of this article hampers any attempts at generalisation, it is well worth pointing out that such generalisation has never been the ultimate goal of qualitative studies of this kind. Rather it seeks to inductively highlight potential areas for theory development, which may be subjected to deductive theory testing in future studies.