The joint forum, which is the second edition after the first one also held in Rwanda last year, provides an 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 aviation and hotel sectors, alongside top officials.
“This is the forum to do business, a unique opportunity for leading airline, airport and hotel executives, alongside government representatives, to explore the crucial link between aviation and hotel investment and discuss potential new airline routes,” said Jonathan Worsley, the chairman of Bench Events. “We are also very pleased to be returning to Rwanda, a progressive country that is investing in aviation as a catalyst for economic development.”
AHIF attracts more than 500 executives from 45 countries, making it the premier hotel investment conference in Africa. Last year, AccorHotels, Best Western, Carlson Rezidor, CityBlue, Hilton and Marriott all made announcements about new projects, 22 in total, and Marriott invited all the delegates to the launch event of its new flagship property in Kigali. AviaDev, which ran alongside AHIF, facilitated over 500 conversations between airlines, government officials and airports to discuss new aviation routes.
The CEO of the Rwanda Development Board, Clare Akamanzi, said Rwanda welcomes the return of AHIF and AviaDev.
“It’s a vital part of our mission to showcase Rwanda as a key destination to do business. I foresee many new business relationships developing,” she remarked.
The organisers explained their choice to return to Rwanda by the fact that the country is increasingly becoming a destination of choice for international conferences and event organizers, in line with the government’s policy to promote MICE tourism (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events).
It has successfully hosted high-level conferences such as the Africa Union Summit (July 2016), the World Economic Forum on Africa (May 2016), the Global Africa Investment Summit (September 2016), the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (October 2016), the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (October 2016) and the 2nd Aviation Africa Event last February.
Other major conferences to be held in Rwanda this year are the Transform Africa Summit with an expected 2500 delegates (May), the Africa Health Forum (June) and the International Conference on Cancer in Africa (November), among others.