Although the country has made strides in building quality accommodation and conference facilities, players in the tourism sector say there is a gap in the entertainment and leisure industry.
According to RDB Customer Care and Regulatory Division Manager, Emmanuel Nsabimana, increased investment in entertainment and leisure could help make Rwanda more attractive and boost the tourism industry.
“There are a lot of opportunities in the entertainment and leisure including the setting up of amusement parks, amphitheatres and cinema facilities,” said Nsabimana. “At the moment, entertainment and leisure facilities are inadequate.
“We are showing them the demand, so they must get their act together and deliver the entertainment and leisure services for Rwandans and visitors.”
Nsabimana said the Board was ready to offer advice and guidance to potential investors.
Nsengiyumwa Barakabuye, Chairman of the Rwanda Hospitality Association, said more nightclubs, entertainment centres, recreational sites and parks were needed to support the tourism sector.
“There is need for hotel owners to put up additional facilities to cater for festivals and entertainment events to provide more leisure options for tourists to stay longer.”
Barakabuye noted that Rwanda, which is popular for gorilla tracking and the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) could attract more international holidaymakers if it provided entertainment and leisure needs.
Solange Ayanone, a hospitality industry expert, said there was a need for strong partnerships between the Rwanda Development Board and sector players to make sure foreign visitors got entertainment and leisure services.
RDB projects the tourism sector to contribute $444 million to the country’s economy this year, compared with $404 million last year. The MICE sector is expected to generate $64 million, compared with $47 million the previous year.