Rwanda climbs to third rank as African MICE destination


(Posted 08th May 2017)

Few took much notice when in 2014 Rwanda’s standing in the continental ICCA rankings was at 13th position even though the Land of a Thousand Hills had come out of left field to accomplish that, given the challenge with meeting spaces and enough 5 and 4 star hotel rooms.
In 2015 though did the rest of Africa then do take notice when Rwanda’s standing had risen to 7th in Africa, beginning to rival the traditional MICE powers on the continent, including or especially Nairobi, given that ICCA has 39 member countries in Africa no mean achievement.
There has been speculation that Rwanda, when the 2016 rankings are released, my have climbed to perhaps 5th but the results, announced earlier today, surprised everyone including this correspondent.

The investments in a brand new state of the art convention centre adjoining the Radisson Blu Hotel in Kigali, the opening of the new Marriott Hotel Kigali with major meeting spaces available in the hotel plus added new hotels are paying off handsomely, as does the investment in the national airline RwandAir, which is now serving 21 destinations in Africa, the Middle East and India while adding London at the end of May to their network too.

ICCA today confirmed that Rwanda is now, after South Africa and Morocco, the third highest ranked MICE destination in Africa, leaving all others trailing in her wake to the delight of the staff of the Rwanda Convention Bureau, which was formed in 2014 and now has already major success to report.

Having had the privilege to speak at IBTM Africa in Cape Town a few weeks ago I used Rwanda as a textbook example how to build and develop MICE capacity and then market it vigorously and I am pleased to see that my predictions have not only come true but were exceeded.

Congratulations to the entire staff of the RCB and those specialised tour operators in Kigali working the MICE market (RAPCO) for the overwhelming success in their endeavours to turn Rwanda into a MICE destination of choice in Africa.