For the fourth-time, Rwanda has been showcasing its remarkable attractions and investment opportunities in tourism and travel at Akwaaba, Lagos in Nigeria.
Recognized as West Africa’s main travel and tourism fair, the 13th Africa travel Market Akwaaba 2017 held in Lagos from September 10th – 12th, is a key source market for leisure and business tourism in Nigeria and Western Africa.
Over the years, Akwaaba has grown to become an important Africa Tourism marketing platform in the region drawing attendance from over 7,000 to 10,000 Visitors from 20 Countries. Among the exhibitor’s included national tourism organizations, numerous airlines, both domestic and foreign; and leading Africa hotel chains, destination management companies.
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.
At the event also was the Remarkable Rwanda Stand, RwandAir; with daily flights to Lagos and a new hub in Cotonou to serve better west African cities, the National Carrier is consolidating its position in the region as a carrier of choice.
The fair highlight was the beautiful dance of the national ballet Urukerereza which displayed Rwanda’s culture through dance and drums performances throughout the 3-days adding glamour to Rwanda’s participation at the international fair. At the closing ceremony, the cultural troop was voted the best performer.
Speaking at the travel show, the high commissioner of Rwanda to Nigeria Ambassador Stanislas Kamanzi emphasized the importance of tourism in Africa in boosting intra-trade and deepening relations amongst nations of the world.
He stated that Rwanda’s participation at Nigeria’s leading travel show presented a good opportunity to tap into a fast-growing market of outbound tourists in Africa.
Additionally, three women in the Rwanda tourism industry have been presented awards at the Akwaaba Africa travel Awards as leading women in tourism.
Top 100 leading women in Africa Travel were recognized. The winners from Rwanda includes Belise Kariza, the chief Tourism officer at the Rwanda Development Board, Josephine Fifi Rurangwa, Head of Africa Expansion at Wakanow and Annie Uwase, freelancer driver and tour guide.
Belise Kariza, the Chief Tourism Officer at the Rwanda Development Board said that she has been thrilled of the award she and her colleagues received in the tourism and hospitality industry.
“Women play an important role in tourism development in Rwanda, these recognitions are a token for the opportunities availed to women by the good leadership our country enjoys” she said.
Speaking at Akwaaba opening ceremony, the director general of Nigeria National Council of Arts and Culture, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe applauded the organizers of Akwaaba and said that soon oil will be given a break as culture and tourism will become the country’s new oil.
As Lagos is the business hub of Nigeria and tourism in Nigeria centers largely on events, the travel show was a great occasion for Rwanda to actively promote Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Events (MICE), to an audience where a majority of outbound trips are for business purposes.
During the travel show, a number of events featured among them; the Chef Challenge a culinary event aimed at promoting culinary tourism by showcasing the best of Africa’s hospitality, a conference on Aviation in Africa with the theme “One-year commercial aviation accident free year. What did Africa do right”, a discussion for women in tourism and a conference for youth in tourism.