Following last year’s hugely successful event and Rwanda enormous efforts to establish its self as a MICE hub in the region, it has been announced that the influential Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) will again run alongside AviaDev Africa in Kigali, Rwanda, on October 10-12.
The return to Rwanda comes as Bench Events – the organiser – signed a new agreement with the UN World Tourism Organisation to cooperate closely and to jointly promote tourism through sustainable hotel and aviation development. 2017 marks the UN Year of Sustainable Tourism.
Rwanda is increasingly becoming a destination of choice for international conferences and event organizers, the country has successfully hosted a number of high-level conferences such as the Africa Union Summit in July 2016, World Economic Forum on Africa in May 2016, the Global Africa Investment Summit in September 2016, Africa Hotel Investment Forum in October 2016, the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in October 2016 and the 2nd Aviation Africa Event (500 delegates) in February. Rwanda is equally proud to be hosting Transform Africa Summit (2500 delegates) in May 2017, Africa Health Forum (1000 delegates) in June 2017 and International Conference on Cancer in Africa in November among others.
The joint forum – being held for the second time – provides a valuable 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 worlds of aviation and hotels, alongside top government officials and politicians.
Jonathan Worsley, Chairman, Bench Events, said: “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.” He continued: “We are also very pleased to be returning to Rwanda, a progressive country that is investing in aviation as a catalyst for economic development.”
RwandAir is expanding its fleet and international network. Its first confirmed destination in Asia is Mumbai, and it has New York, London and China in its sights, as well as ambitions to grow as a hub airport for Africa. Work is due to begin this summer on a new airport on the outskirts of the capital, eventually able to handle four million passengers a year.
The CEO of the Rwanda Development Board, Clare Akamanzi, is fully backing 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.”
Rwanda itself has outstanding tourism attractions capitalizing on the world-famous mountain gorillas. Like many other parts of Africa, it has seen tourism grow as a major part of its economy having generated 404M USD in 2016.
AHIF attracts more than 500 high-calibre executives from 45 countries making it the premier hotel investment conference in Africa. Last year, Accor, Best Western, Carlson Rezidor, CityBlue, Hilton and Marriott all made announcements about new hotel projects, 22 in total, and Marriott invited all the delegates to a spectacular launch event to promote 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.