TTME JAN 2018-PG 14

Rwanda: An oasis for ME travellers

For the first time at Arabian Travel Market 2017, Rwanda Tourism Board presented their offerings to industry leaders. Few months down the line, the Consulate of Rwanda is fine-tuning the collaterals necessary to support this venture to attract more Middle East travellers to visit the destination.

SHEHARA RIZLY

The Middle East travellers are constantly on the look-out for new destinations that can cater to their many requirements. Having authentic experiences is key to travellers from this region and lavish in their spending for their kith and kin. Yasmin Amri Sued, Chargé d’Affaires, Consulate of the Republic of Rwanda, shares the new initiatives from Rwanda consulate in Dubai in order to promote tourism between the two destinations.

Visa-on-arrival for all
“We are happy to announce that from January 1, 2018, any person living anywhere in the world is entitled to receive a 30 day visa-on-arrival for Rwanda for USD30. Most people don’t travel due to hassle of obtaining visa to enter a country. In terms of tourism, ease of visa actually can contribute to the revenue of the country,” states Amri Sued.

Conservation is pivotal
In developing tourism, conservation is at the centre in Rwanda. “We offer authentic experiences and there is no hunting in Rwanda as the communities living close to the conservation areas have taken up the responsibility to ensure that the primates are safe and not disturbed by visitors. Especially in gorilla trekking (which we are known for), guides give proper conduct details before the journey begins on how to behave and respect the gorillas. As humans we must respect them and their environment,” she says.

Optimum connectivity
Apart from the direct daily flights on RwandAir from Dubai to Kigali there are other flights that connect other parts of the GCC. The connections are available via Mombasa or Addis Ababa or even Nairobi. The direct flight take about five hours to get there while a connecting flight may take an hour or two more.

Unique in Rwanda
Amri Sued says that they have eight families of gorillas, multitude of flowers, birds etc. different trails in the Nyungwe Forest, volcano expeditions and hiking etc. that many travellers can enjoy. She adds that the climate will either be wet or dry but the best time to travel is between June and September. For the people living in the Middle East, some may prefer to see the wet climate as it is different form the desert climate. In terms of accommodation, many well-known international brands are present besides other local options.

Strategies from the consulate
Any destination needs the support of the consulate in order to have more visitors enjoy their stay in the country. Hence the consulate of Rwanda and Tourism Board have now taken on themselves to prepare various collateral about the destination specifically for the Middle East market, organise Fam trips for travel agents, DMCs and media to explore the destination and create awareness about this upcoming outbound destination. This will be done in partnership with RwandAir.

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