Rwanda and Seychelles to draft MoU on tourism cooperation

RWANDA AND SEYCHELLES SET TO COOPERATE IN TOURISM

The Land of a Thousand Hills and the Creole Island Paradise of Seychelles have agreed to start work on an extensive Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries, linking the respective tourism and culture sectors in an effort to promote twin centre holidays.

The Seychelles already have such agreements in place with a select group of African countries, whereby marketing activities focus on ‘From the Big Five to the Best Five Beaches’, offering tourists a vacation of a lifetime. Rwanda’s unique selling propositions and the positioning in the market of the country as a top class destination to track gorillas and enjoy the forest and savannah national parks, the scenery and the rich culture combines well with the Seychelles standing as an equally top ranked destination for sun, sea and sand and lots more. Both countries share a similar approach to conservation, with the Seychelles having more than half its land under protection, while Rwanda has one of the most foreward looking environmental and in particular re-forestation policies in Africa if not the world.

Seychelles’ Minister for Tourism and Culture Alain St. Ange, who developed the concept while serving previously as CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, met with Rwanda’s recently accredited new High Commissioner Ben Rugangazi and said on the occasion: ‘I believe that as Africans we should rally together and showcase to the world the diversity that exists in Africa. There’s a lot that we can do together. How we can move forward is something that we alone can decide, but this avenue of Africa–Africa cooperation remains the way forward’ before then also extending a formal invitation to Rwanda to participate in the next year’s edition of the ‘Carnival International de Victoria’ between February 08 – 10 before adding: ‘Through the carnival, Rwanda has a chance to put in the forefront their attributes. The International Press covering the event will pick them up and raise the country’s visibility’.

Tourism stakeholders in Rwanda, when asked on their views, expressed delight over the opportunities arising from cooperating with a destination like the Seychelles, from which both countries would benefit, and one regular source from Kigali said: ‘It would be a great deal, offering safaris in Rwanda and beach holidays in Seychelles. I checked and it seems we can connect by air with Ethiopian and Kenya Airways from Kigali which makes this sort of triangular holiday possible when coming on either of the two airlines. Qatar also flies to both places so maybe a deal can be struck to use ET or KQ to cover the sectors from and to Rwanda? And I know from your reporting that the Seychelles are on the roll with their marketing and have been in the headlines for years now with good news. So the combination of Rwanda and Seychelles will be something quite spectacular’.

According to a regular source from Kigali the MoU might be signed before the end of the year, then paving the way for twin centre holidays to be actively promoted. Watch this space.

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