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Rwanda to host continental tourism conference



Rwanda Tourism University College (RTUC), the country’s leading college in tourism and hospitality in conjunction with ATLAS Africa will organize a continental conference under the theme, “African tourism in global society: central or peripheral?” between 3rd and 5th of June 2013 taking place from the auditorium of the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology.

Clearly stated in the theme of the conference, the discussions will dwell more on the role that Africa’s tourism sector plays in the global perspective and on what can be done for the continent’s share in the revenues from the world’s tourism activities to surpass the current numbers.

According to United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Africa’s market share in global tourism only was three percent in 2009 a rate that according to many players in the sector find insufficient for a continent that has so many natural attractions.

The numbers have however in the recent years been on the rise but still a lot needs to be done for the continent to reap its almost natural high share of the tourism market. For instance, there were 980 million international tourist arrivals in 2011, of which only 50 million traveled to Africa.

The continental conference which will be happening for the eighth time follows the most recent one which was convened in Kampala Uganda in 2011 and for all the times has offered an opportunity to bring together strong brains in the tourism sector to discuss and share expertise and knowledge on a wide range of topics that are dubbed important at the time in Africa’s tourism sector.

Upon becoming a member of the ATLAS in 2011, RTUC requested to host the African conference on tourism and the request was granted. “I cannot say it was hard to get the opportunity to host the conference because currently marketing something Rwandan in the global community is a little easier considering what the country has been through and achieved in less than two decades,” Callixte Kabera the Rector of RTUC scored while addressing the press on the 24th May in Kigali.

According to the Rector, the conference comes with a basket of numerous delicacies for Rwanda and the region at large and is a great opportunity for the country to market its achievements in the sector to other decision makers elsewhere on the continent and beyond.

For instance Kabera offered that, “just the idea of having strong brains in the tourism industry exceeding 200 to convene in your country, is a great advantage and one that Rwanda will for sure get exhortations from and be challenged by these specialists to do much more than has been done.”

Also the benefits for Rwanda to host the conference include the revenues that will be made out of the many participants by local businesses especially those in the hospitality sector.

RTUC was accorded College status in 2006 by the Ministry of education and became a fully fledged University in 2012 after a thorough examination of its status. To date, the University remains the leading producer of human resource for the tourism and hospitality sector and its role to improving the quality of customer care in this particular area is indisputable.

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