This week is Rwanda week at BI WORLDWIDE. Events professionals Katrina Rannard and Teresa Allen recently embarked on a four-day trip to Rwanda, exploring the East African country and what it has to offer for the meetings, incentives, conferences and events industry.
As part of the in:sight project, where BI WORLDWIDE’s events team is investigating and reporting on emerging destinations for the MICE industry, the first destination to explore is Rwanda, in partnership with Green Route Africa.
Rannard and Allen explored the city of Kigali and the Volcanoes National Park, checking out various venues including the Kigali Serena, Kigali Marriott, Virunga Lodge, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Radisson Blu and Kigali Convention Centre.
Events design director Rannard said: “Having seen what feels like a million hotels and conference centres in my life, I was astounded to see the quality of product coupled with impeccable service levels at every turn.
“The facilities in Kigali truly are world-class, especially the Conference Centre which is an event planner’s dream! To add to this, the country is safe, clean and has good flight access, which is rapidly increasing and continues to develop in a conscientious way.
“I can’t wait to put Rwanda forward to our clients and look forward to keeping a keen eye on the future developments which I believe will only enhance its offering further within the MICE market.”
The pair was fortunate enough to visit local villages and participate in Umuganda, where the country gives up a Saturday morning per month, volunteering and helping local communities. The trip involved them visiting the Genocide Memorial, and going on a golden monkey trek and mountain gorillas trek within the Volcanoes National Park.
Events project executive Allen added: “Rwanda is a perfect destination for incentive groups seeking an exciting journey into a fairly untapped part of the world for MICE travel.
“With a vibrant city, once-in-a-lifetime activities like gorilla and golden monkey trekking and stunning views throughout the country, it ticks a lot of boxes to reward successful delegates.
“I came away from our trip with life-long memories and a desire to go back and see more. Rwanda has so much going for it that I hope we can help to showcase its hidden gems and encourage the MICE market to put it firmly on the map.”
Head of events Shaun Casey concluded: “We have invested a great deal of time and energy into launching our strategy to bring some refreshing thought leadership to the MICE market in terms of destination analysis. Whilst we set the bar high in terms of suitability criteria we were going to measure these destinations against, Rwanda exceeded all of our expectations. We are delighted to have chosen it to head the series we are intending to implement over the coming months.”