Rwanda has been awarded the Best of the Best exhibitor award and also emerged as the best Continental Exhibitor at the just concluded ITB (Internationale Tourismus Börse) in Berlin, Germany. Kenya came 2nd and Tunisia 3rd on the African category. Other top ten African countries include; Egypt, Namibia, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Gambia, Seychelles, La Reunion. This year’s ITB attracted 186 countries and nearly two hundred thousand people.
ITB being the world leading travel show provides a great platform to show case Rwanda tourism products to the global world but also creates an opportunity for the Rwanda Tourism Businesses to meet, network and transact businesses with international travel buyers in a highly targeted and interactive environment.
Rwanda’s stand number 113 comprised of information exchanges and presentations by Rwanda Development Board, Institute of National Museums of Rwanda, Thousand Hills Expeditions, Primate Safaris, Nyungwe Forest Lodge, Wildlife Tours Rwanda, Nyungwe Top View Amahoro Tours with both trade and consumer groups visiting. The cultural dress, music and dance displays from the National Ballet were huge favorites.
RDB’s Chief Tourism Officer Ambassador Yamina Karitanyi said that Rwanda’s rich history, culture, diversity and endless wildlife experiences showcased at the stand drew a multitude of people and was a big attraction in Berlin. “This year we focused on seeking out potential clients to Rwanda through our private sector. We are excited and honored to have won the two categories for best African and Best Global stand at the 2015 ITB Travel fair in Berlin because this reinforces the confidence that the global market has for our country’s tourism potential.” she said.
“As source markets for our diversified range of attractions, we are encouraged that the steady rise we have witnessed in successive years will continue in future.” Ambassador Karitanyi pointed out.
She urged other African nationals to visit and experience Rwanda adding that it was time for Africans to know more about their neighboring countries. “As we work to link continental travel, this is an excellent period to get to know the rest of Africa. Tourists to Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda have the advantage of using a single visa to visit the three countries,” she explained.
Rwanda’s tourism sector continued to grow in the past one year cementing its position as one of the key sources of for the country. For the year 2014, the sector registered a nine per cent increase in the number of visitors to Rwanda. These numbers grew from 1.14million visitors to 1.2million visitors also accounting for an increase in revenue from US $296.4m to US$303m.