Rwanda to host Africa’s major hotel and aviation summit in October

Rwanda will in October host the second edition of Africa’s hotel and aviation summit for the second consecutive year.

The Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) will again run alongside AviaDev Africa from October 10-12 in Kigali and is expected to attract more than 1,000 aviation and hospitality sectors experts, investors and government officials from 45 countries.

Experts say the opportunity to host the event for second successive time in as many years follows last year’s hugely successful summit in Kigali.

The development is also a huge boost to the country’s efforts to position itself as a Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) hub in the region.

Clare Akamanzi, the chief executive officer of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), said the summit is a vital opportunity for the country to showcase its business and investment potential.

“I foresee many new business relationships and partnerships forged during the summit,” Akamanzi said in a statement yesterday.

She added that the conference is yet another opportunity for the private sector to share experience and expertise with their counterparts from across the continent and beyond.

The joint forum for both aviation and hospitality sectors provides a valuable opportunity to take a strategic approach to the expansion of travel across the continent as it brings together some of the leading executives and investors from the worlds of aviation and hotels, alongside government officials.

Jonathan Worsley, the chairman for Bench Events, said the forum is a unique opportunity for leading airlines, like RwandAir, and hotel executives, as well as governments, to explore the crucial link between aviation and hotel investment and discuss potential new airline routes.

“We are also pleased to be returning to Rwanda, a progressive country that is investing in aviation as a catalyst for economic development,” he said in the statement.

In 2014, Rwanda Development Board launched the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE) initiative to position Rwanda as a top conferences destination to help grow the tourism industry and improve its contribution to national economy, as well as widen opportunities for sector players.

Commenting on the development, Daniel Sambai, the vice-chairman of the Rwanda Hoteliers Association and the Kigali Serena Hotel country manager, said the conference is yet another opportunity for sector players to demonstrate capacity to deliver quality services. “There is no doubt that this is a vote of confidence in the country’s capability to host major events,” he added

Rwanda boasts outstanding tourism attractions, like the world-famous mountain gorillas. Like many other parts of Africa, the country has seen tourism grow in recent years having generated more than $404 million last year.

Last month, the country successfully hosted the second African Aviation Summit that brought together more than 2,000 delegates.

More meetings

Meanwhile, Rwanda is set to host more international meetings this year, including the Transform Africa Summit in May 2017, Africa Health Forum in June 2017, and International Conference on Cancer in Africa in November, among others.

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