TTME APRIL 2019 -PG -8

Kigali leaves agents in awe

RwandAir organised a familiarisation trip for top agents of the UAE to provide first-hand experience onboard the A330 Rolls Royce engine aircraft and an opportunity to experience Rwanda as a destination of choice and seek opportunities with the many offerings for travellers from the Middle East.

Shehara Rizly

Timothy Njihia, Country Manager – UAE, GCC & Pakistan, RwandAir
We organised the trip to provide an opportunity to the top travel agents to expand their repertoire of RwandAir and Rwanda as a country. They got to experience our product, Airbus A330 and the services onboard comprising full flat beds in Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy, and in-flight entertainment across the entire cabin. In terms of the destination, the focus was on what Kigali has to offer both as RwandAir’s hub and capital city of Rwanda. It was also an opportunity to showcase Rwanda as a Meetings & Events and leisure hub for Africa with RwandAir. Agents had an opportunity to engage with suppliers on a one-onone basis. The criteria for selection of agents was based on both performance and potential.

Peter Kairu, Travel Consultant, dnata Travel
The Airbus A330-200 was amazingly smooth right from take-off till landing. Radisson Blu has a class of its own within the African region not only in terms of the variety of rooms but also a state-of-the-art conventional centre adjacent to it. Our excursion to Akagera National Park was a trip to remember. The park has a variety of animals including the big five which guarantee the country a worthwhile visit. Other attractions include Volcanoes National Park, camel riding, archery, zip lining and Genocide Memorial. Meeting with Rwanda Development Board (RDB) broadened our horizons in terms of understanding Rwanda as a potential country for MiCE. Rwanda is peaceful, welcoming and ready to do business with the outside world.

Fonz Capili, Travel Consultant, Satguru Travel
I had a great experience flying RwandAir, a trip I won during RwandAir’s Product Presentation & Best Practice Session. Rwanda is beautiful and clean. The hotel’s facilities and amenities were top-notch. Akagera National Park was a great experience as we could see all those animals living in their natural habitat instead of a zoo. I think RDB is doing a great job with their packages. They offer three types of packages depending on the budget of the passenger (low, medium and high-end). I think they have everything which MiCE requires including a hotel and convention centre that can offer multiple options depending on the number of people attending events.

Tharik Anvar, Branch Supervisor, Deira Travel
RwandAir is an amazing product. Radisson Blu has an outstanding room service, breakfast, Business Class lunch, Fillini dinner especially Tilapia and the swimming pool. The conventional centre was well equipped with state-of-the-art auditorium and 18 meeting rooms. I also enjoyed the excursion to Fazenda Sengha. The experience in Nabugogo local market and bike taxis was enjoyable. Amongst my best experiences was the roof-top hotel dinner. We were extensively familiarised about Rwanda Tourism and received good support from RDB for our tourism packages. Perfect weather, unmatchable cleanliness, greetings from people and the Friday jummah prayer at Biryugo Masjid made it a worthwhile experience.

Dinesh Udayakumar, Business Travel Consultant, BCD Travel
We travelled in an Airbus A330. The seating in Business Class had full flat beds whilst offering Premium Economy and Economy cabins too. The rooms were excellent with a comfortable bed and a large bathroom with a spacious walk-in shower. The delicious variety of both local and international cuisine was my favourite during the stay. The convention centre was quite large with very good conferencing facilities in the main room and multiple board rooms. It was very well signposted all over with excellent amenities for international conferences of all sizes. We indulged in archery, zipline, horse riding and safari at Akagera National Park. I was completely blown away by its landscape and wide variety of animals.

Sajjad Mahmood, Travel Consultant, dnata Travel
The roads were clean with lots of greenery. Everything was spick and span. Service at the hotel was excellent with fully trained staff. Our expedition to the Akagera National Park was amazing as we got to see some interesting natural wildlife in their habitat. The breakfast and all meals at the hotel were really great. I will definitely miss the tilapia dish which was served at the hotel more than once as per our request. They were all very hospitable towards our team and they made sure that we felt very welcome at the property. The Rwanda tourism board expressed their support and spoke to us about how we could promote the destination. RwandAir flight from Dubai to Kigali was excellent onboard and we thank Tim and his team for organising the trip.

Ahmed Kasim, Manager—Online Operations, Akbar Travels
Flying RwandAir, on board its A330-200 was amazing. Radisson Blu Kigali was a beautiful property with spacious rooms and excellent service. We had two excursions and a convention centre visit. The visit to Akagera National Park was enjoyable. RDB is a very transparent government unit promoting the overall development of Rwanda. The trip to Kigali was a great experience for the corporates. Kigali as a destination is a visual treat for nature lovers. Its weather and greenery is sure to attract GCC clients. As a destination, Rwanda needs to market itself aggressively, especially in the GCC, ISC and EU, where accessibility is easier. For me, Kigali is not only a tourist destination but one with immense business opportunities.

Susan Wanjiru, Senior Sales Executive, Al Rais Travel & Shipping Agencies
The stress-free travel, easy check-in, timely take-off and landing all added to a great experience on RwandAir. The in-flight decor showcased their national heritage and offered passengers a way to experience the local culture onboard. The hotel, with its strategic location, is a luxurious new and beautiful property. The staff was friendly and helpful, rooms were spacious and cozy, and amenities were affordable. The Filini restaurant became the apple of my eye. Rwanda has plenty of experiences to offer ranging from its thousands of green hills, amazing landscapes and spectacular sceneries. RDB has a passion for its property and thirst to make it one of the best MiCE destinations.

Emma Sison, Travel Consultant, Kanoo Travel
The hotel was excellent and the convention centre being next door will be ideal for MiCE business. The entire property was spacious and absolutely apt for guests if they are at a conference next door. The excursions were unforgettable, especially the activities in Fazenda Sengha. Meeting with the RDB team also helps one know much more about Rwanda. The overall experience from a GCC point of view should be based on MiCE business and leisure. Rwanda is tropical and green; so it will be a new destination that could be promoted for people in the GCC who seek lush greenery, wildlife, adventure and a new meeting destination.

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