Rwanda signs MoU with Alibaba to lure Chinese tourists

Chinese tourists can now directly book a tour package to Rwanda on the online travel platform of Alibaba. It was announced by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) on Wednesday in a statement.

The launch of ‘Visit Rwanda’ pavilion on Alibaba’s travel arm, Fliggy, followed the launch of the Chinese e-commerce giant’s Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) in October, which aims at promoting tourism in Rwanda.

Rwandan government and Alibaba have signed a MoU for the purpose.  According to the MoU, eWTP, Fliggy and the RDB will work together to promote Rwanda as a tourist destination through a Rwanda Tourism Store for booking flights, hotels and travel experiences and a Destination Pavilion, where Chinese consumers can learn more about Rwanda.

“We believe that the Visit Rwanda pavilion on Fliggy is one of the avenues that will lead to an increase in tourism traffic to Rwanda from China,” stated Clare Akamanzi, CEO of the RDB.

“Rwandan tourism sector is confident that putting tourism products on China’s online platform helps the industry efficiently penetrate the Chinese market,” said Aimable Rutagarama, Chairman of the Rwanda Chamber of Tourism.

“The move will also help the tourism sector earn more profits as intermediaries will be bypassed and commissions reduced,” added Rutagarama.

He requested all tourism fraternity to utilize the unique platform, in order to enable marketing of Rwanda as an attractive and competitive destination.

Earlier RDB has stated that Rwanda envisages doubling the tourism earnings in the coming years through sustainable wildlife conservation.

As per RDB statistics, Rwanda’s tourism sector has generated 438 million U.S. dollars in 2017. Main source of the tourism revenue was from the endangered mountain gorillas living in Volcanoes National Park.

Rwanda’s other major tourist attractions are Akagera and Nyungwe national parks, and Lake Kivu.