C9 Hotelworks Travels to Rwanda in their latest Tourism Review
Rwanda is known as the Land of a Thousand Hills, nested in central Africa, adjacent to Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It’s best known to international luxury travelers as one of the three natural habitats of the endangered mountain gorilla species.
From our recent work on the ground in the country and market research, we are giving a snapshot of the country’s hotel and tourism sector in C9 Hotelworks Rwanda Tourism Market Review 2022 report. Without a doubt let’s lead off that this is one of Africa’s safest and cleanest countries and despite tragic events in the early 1990s, economic and social progress have created a strong springboard for success over the past two and a half decades.
From a hotel perspective, the market is still in the early stage of development with only four, five-star hotels in the country, flagged to Marriott, Radisson, Serena, and One and Only. Brand penetration is low, with 90% of accommodation being independent. There are 870 tourism establishments across the country with a total supply of just over 17,000 rooms and 57% being in the budget and economy tiers.
Kigali, the capital and gateway for the landlocked country has a vibrant business sector and a large-scale convention center which is becoming one of Africa’s leading MICE facilities. The city has a strong average room rate and occupancy trend. One key game changer in the market is the new Bugesera International Airport which is a partnership with Qatar Airways and is set to open in 2023. Rwanda is expected to become a regional aviation hub for passengers and cargo.
While tourism accounted for 19% of GDP in the pre-pandemic year of 2019, the market is highly leveraged on Western bucket list travelers to the country’s three national parks. What C9’s analysis shows though is the gap in tourism attractions for both the growing domestic market and travelers from the border countries of DRC, Uganda, and Burundi which accounted for 75.1% of inbound travelers to the country during 2019.
Moving forward, Rwanda’s government has adopted Singapore as an Asian benchmark of how to attract global investors in a forward-looking vision of the country as a center of innovation and attraction as a trading partner. Infrastructure development is a high priority and public-private partnerships are promoted by the Rwanda Development Board as a fast track of progress.
C9 Hotelworks over the years has continued to provide development advisory and undertaken projects in developing markets in Africa. Some of these are highlighted in a series of reports that cover Zanzibar, Adventure Tourism, and Safari’s in Tanzania and more are set to come.
To download and read C9 Hotelworks’ full Rwanda Market Review 2022 report CLICK