ITB Asia 2017
As one of Asia’s leading travel trade shows organised by Messe Berlin, ITB Asia took place from 25th to 27th October 2017 at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre in Singapore. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the show in successfully bringing together experts within the travel trade industry from all over the world to engage in dynamic B2B discussions.
The Rwanda Development Board, together with the High Commission of Rwanda in Singapore and Thousand Hills Africa made its first appearance at ITB Asia this year. The participation saw dozens of major Asian tourism stakeholders seek and engage in meetings to initiate collaborations and partnerships in the promotion of high-end packages to Rwanda.
Rwanda’s participation is expected to boost the rising number of visitors from Asia and Australia and to further introduce Rwanda to new emerging markets, especially for high-end and MICE visitors.
In a press conference held on 26 October 2017, media representatives in attendance listened to speakers that included Mr Lucas J Murenzi from the High Commission, Mr Khassim Bizimungu from Rwanda Development Board and Ms Jacqui Sebageni, the Managing Director of ‘Thousand Hills Africa’. Mr Murenzi emphasised the determination of the Government of Rwanda to promote tourism and wild life conservation that has led to a sharp and steady increase in the numbers of visitors to Rwanda as well as tourism revenues.
On the diversity of tourism attractions and potential in Rwanda, Ms Sebageni shared that besides the flagship gorilla trekking experience, Rwanda offers a variety of other attractions in wildlife, culture and people experiences as well as MICE visitors. She further highlighted the beauty of Rwanda’s nature and the energy of its people.
Mr Bizimungu stated that a solid foundation has been laid at ITB Asia. “These three days have been very fulfilling for me as a representative of Rwanda at ITB Asia. We have managed to establish business contacts with people who have shown genuine interest in selling and promoting Rwanda.”
Mrs Sebageni echoed his optimistic sentiments: “ITB Asia has been a great success for me, as it has provided an introduction to this interesting, lucrative and high-growth potential market that is Asia. We found people curious and interested in Rwanda, and once they heard what we had to offer, they became even more interested. I believe we can grow the numbers from Asia and Australia quite significantly.”
Regarding efforts in conservation, like protecting endangered species and the re-introduction of Black Rhinos and Lions to Akagera National Park, Mr Bizimungu shared RDB’s strategy of focusing on eco-tourism and involvement of local communities in the program that has so far been very fruitful.
Released by the High Commission of the Republic of Rwanda in Singapore
Look out for Rwanda’s booth and Mr Khassim Bizimungu’s interview in ITB Asia’s Day 1 Key Highlights video!