Sub-Saharan country Rwanda has been recognized far and wide with its growing influence in the tourism industry. The approach on the sector is giving it greater ammunition to lure tourists and investors all around. Recently, including Rwanda’s hospitality sector, have been approached by Chinese firms from Jiangsu Province expressing interests.
According to Gao Yan, the director for foreign affairs in Jiangsu Province, companies from the province are looking at investing in hotels, road construction and aviation sector, which are instrumental for growth of the local hospitality and tourism sectors.
“We want to focus on tourism and related sectors because Rwanda is a top destination in the region. This offers us huge investment opportunities, especially setting up hotels in national parks like Akagera and Nyungwe that have unique experiences,” Gao said during an interview in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu Province.
Gao was previously the second secretary and councilor at the Chinese Embassy in Rwanda, where he spent three years.
He added that tourism is one of the projects Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to support in Rwanda.
The tourism industry is Rwanda’s top foreign exchange earner, and government has been positioning the country as a must-visit and conferences destination in the region.
Rwanda targeted to earn $400 million from tourism last year, up from $318 million in 2015. The country expected tourist and visitor numbers to increase by 4 per cent last year, up from 1.3 million recorded in 2015.
Located in eastern China, Jiangsu Province is an industrialised area contributing 10 per cent to China’s GDP. The province’s GDP per capita stands at $40,000.
Firms from Jiangsu Province are currently developing five-star hotels and beach properties in Mauritius and Madagascar, according to Gao.
“Our people are travelling more and more to visit Africa, and Rwanda should be their perfect destination,” he said.
He added that companies from the province are being encouraged to diversify into the services sector, a shift from manufacturing and mining.