The government of Rwanda, through the Rwanda Development Board, will host the Africa Hotel Investment Forum in 2016 in Kigali.
AHIF brings together the leading international hotel investors in Africa with local operators, ministers, government officials and industry experts, to discuss all aspects of hotel investment and operation in Africa.
The decision to host AHIF in Kigali underlines a clear strategy by Rwanda to attract investment in the tourism sector.
Ambassador Yamina Karitanyi, chief tourism officer at the Rwanda Development Board, said: “We see AHIF as an excellent platform to meet many of the most important decision makers and investors, who have the power collectively to influence investment in the hospitality industry in Africa.
“We are determined to build relationships and showcase Rwanda as the right place to do business and therefore we believe that hosting the event will create an opportunity for local hotel developers to forge partnerships with investors.”
In Africa as a whole, tourism is seen as a highly attractive growth industry.
According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, the sector is responsible for 8.1 per cent of GDP and it is forecast to rise at 4.9 per cent per annum until 2025.
Similarly, Rwanda’s tourism sector continues to grow positioning itself as the leading foreign earner for the country.
For the financial year 2013-14, the sector registered a three per cent increase in the number of visitors to Rwanda.
These numbers grew from 1.14 million visitors to 1.2 million visitors also accounting for an increase in revenue from $293.4m in 2013 to $303m in 2014.
Jonathan Worsley, chairman of AHIF organiser Bench Events, said: “I know of at least three hotel projects in Rwanda that came about as a consequence of a conversation at AHIF.
“I have every confidence that the proactive approach that is being displayed by the Rwanda Development Board will pay off, as all the major hotel chains are seeking new opportunities in Africa – and one of the most crucial issues for them is to find public sector partners that are making a serious effort to speak their language.”