Kagame emphasises quality service to tourism operators
Rwanda’s tourism experience will continue to be characterized by quality service and excellence as the country works to increase the value of tourism, President Paul Kagame has said.
Kagame was speaking yesterday in Musanze District at the inauguration of Singita Kwitonda Lodge and Kataza House, a high-end tourism facility at the edge of Volcanoes National Park.
The facility which is Rwanda’s first tourism establishment under the high-end tourism brand, Singita, cost about $25 million in construction works that took over five years.
Speaking at the inauguration, Kagame said that Rwanda is working to offer tourists the highest level of service with quality being a hallmark of the experience.
“Like Singita, Rwanda is trying to offer visitors the highest level of service, and quality must be the hallmark of the Visit Rwanda experience. This is what we want to work towards.”
Kagame said that this would create a win-win scenario for all parties involved; visitors, investors and the local community.
He urged residents of Musanze to work hard to meet the demands of the services and products offered by the facility.
“You should make that money by providing secure and comfortable hospitality that our people are expected to provide. I urge the people of this area to work hard to meet the demand that the lodge has created,” he said.
The facility sits on 178 acres (72 hectares) on the edge of Volcanoes National Park allowing guests up-close interaction with nature.
The facility comprises of Kwitonda Lodge which has eight luxurious suites, while Kataza House, an exclusive-use villa, features four spacious suites.
During construction, the investors say, they strived to ensure the facility is designed and built in a way that responds to the natural geology of the site on which it stands.
For instance, as opposed to the traditional concrete foundation which often affects water permeability, the facility used a steel foundation to ensure minimal interruption to the environment.
During construction, the facility sourced local materials and inputs as well as local labour supply consequently improving the community of the region.
Of the $25 million, about $7 million was spent within the Musanze region according to Luke Bailes, the founder of Singita Group.
He said that the facility is hoping to make the most of the growing tourism interest in Sub-Saharan Africa which attracts about 33 percent of the global traffic.
Rwanda Development Board Chief Executive Officer, Clare Akamanzi said that the project was in line with the country’s ambition to grow tourism receipts through the low density-high value model through world-class facilities.
She called on the neighboring community to work closely with the facility to supply products and services as well as conserving nature.
100 people are currently employed at Singita while over 600 were employed during the construction stage.