The Radisson Blu Hotel in Kigali has won three major awards during the World Travel Awards Africa Gala Ceremony 2017, which not coincidentally was held in October at the Radisson Blu Hotel and Convention Centre in Kigali.
Firstly, it was named Rwanda’s Leading Conference Hotel; however, not only did Radisson Blu Kigali beat its Rwandan competitors, it also proved better than any other African hotel in this category as it also scooped the award of Africa's Leading Conference Hotel.
Not bad for a hotel that only opened its doors in July 2016. That is clearly what the jury of the World Travel Awards thought, because Radisson Blu Kigali also walked away with the trophy of Africa's Leading New Hotel.
In the two categories where it took the African crown, Radisson Blu Kigali will go on to compete with hotels from other continents at the World Travel Awards Grand Final, to be held on 10th December in Vietnam.
Radisson Blu Kigali belongs to the Carlson-Rezidor Hotel Group, and is conjoined twins with the Kigali Convention Centre. The complex opened its doors with great pomp, as the first conference it hosted immediately after its inauguration was the 27th African Union Summit.
Since then, Radisson Blu Hotel and Conference Centre has been the beating heart of the government’s drive to promote MICE tourism (meetings, incentives, conferences, events). It has since hosted numerous prestigious conferences such as the Comesa Global Africa Investment Summit, the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (both in 2016 and 2017), the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, a continental conference on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as well as the launch of the SDG Centre For Africa, the 2nd Aviation Africa Summit, the launch of the Africa Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), the 2017 Global Fund Board Meeting, the Transform Africa Summit, the Afreximbank 2017 General Assembly, and of course the World Travel Awards Africa Gala Ceremony 2017.
Not surprisingly, Rwanda has made great strides in MICE tourism since the inauguration of the Radisson Blu Hotel and Convention Centre. In the 2016 ranking of the International Congress and Convention Associations (ICCA), Rwanda took the 3rd place in Africa, behind only South Africa and Morocco. In 2014, Rwanda was ranked only 13th in Africa, and 7th in 2015.
Read this article and more in issue n° 79 of Hope Magazine.