Rwanda is on a journey to extend and expand its tourist market. last week the nation participated in the Vakantiebeurs tourism exhibition, in Netherlands. The event is held annually and is a good platform for marketing tourism products and destinations. Rwanda had the opportunity to showcase its tourism products and market itself as a holiday destination.
The exhibition was held form 13th -18th January in Utrecht the capital of the Dutch province of Utrecht.
According to Guillaume Kavaruganda, Minister Counselor at the Rwandan embassy at The Hague, the Vakantiebeurs tourism exhibition was a success for the Rwandan tourism industry. The Rwandan representatives at the exhibition held meetings and did their best to get some new contracts and maintain already existing relationships with partner in Netherlands.
Vakantiebeurs is arguably the Netherlands’ biggest and most important tourism exhibition, so getting the opportunity to showcase was quite a coup for Rwanda. This years exhibitions attracted about 125,000 exhibitors and 1600 exhibitors from about 160 countries. The crowd included over 14000 travel and media professionals. Quite an impressive crowd, and definitely the right crowd to market tourism products to.
Rwanda was represented by Tour operators; Access safaris and Amahoro tours, embassy officials, and officials from the Rwanda development Board.
The country was represented by Rwanda Development Board (RDB) officials, Embassy officials, as well as two Rwandan tour operators; Access Rwanda Safaris and Amahoro Tours. Rwanda’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Jean Pierre Karabaranga and Linda Mutesi, from the Tourism and Conservation department at RDB interacted with the public and the media at the Rwanda stall. Topic of conversation in these interactions was of course tourism in Rwanda.
Some of the places Rwanda promoted at the exhibition include the Akagera national park, and Nyungwe National park.
Rwanda as a tourist destination is well known for being one of three countries where you can go gorilla trekking. Mountain gorillas are found in Uganda, Rwanda and DRC. In addition to the national parks and the gorillas, it has sites of historical significance such as the genocide memorials which many people travel from far off to come and see.
With the showcase Rwanda has expanded its market, and increased its publicity.