RDB enters phase two of grading and classification of hospitality businesses


Information was received from Kigali overnight that the Rwanda Development Board’s Tourism and Conservation Department is now embarking on phase two of the ongoing grading and classification of hotels, lodges, resorts and restaurants. Over 60 hotel managers and owners were last week gathering in Kigali, after their establishments had been identified to be part of phase two of the exercise, which is unfolding across the entire East African Community to improve standards and quality of services, to be briefed on the requirements and give them details of how to prepare their businesses for the visit of inspectors.

Rwanda was amongst the first East African Community member states to embrace the newly developed guidelines for grading and classification and a year ago revealed their first ratings in a highly publicized event, during which the Kigali Serena Hotel received the only 5 star rating for Kigali so far while the Nyungwe Forest Lodge, owned by Dubai World, was the only one scooping 5 star recognition from amongst the lodges at the time.

Tourism is Rwanda’s key economic backbone with earnings of over 250 million US Dollars in 2011 and ahead by a double digit margin for 2012, a year during which many other destinations are struggling to maintain the level of arrivals from previous years. It is also thought that the aggressive rollout of RwandAir as the country’s national airline, is to a good part responsible for the successes the country enjoys vis a vis becoming a globally renowned adventure destination, coupling nature, wildlife and culture as a unique package and attracting more and more visitors to the Land of a Thousand Hills.

The ongoing grading of hotels is going hand in hand with intensified human resource development and skills transfer to personnel working in the hospitality sector and as a result global hotel giants like Marriott will be opening hotels in Rwanda next year. Watch this space for regular news updates from Rwanda about all things conservation, tourism and aviation.