World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit 2023 | Rwanda
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit has for the very first time happened in Africa hosted by the beautiful and diverse Rwanda. It was an honor for Rwanda to host the Global Summit which saw many key tourism stakeholders, diplomats, travel enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and leaders from across the world travel to Kigali to discuss tourism sustainability, current challenges faced by the industry and future prospects for tourism. The recently concluded summit took place between 1st – 3rd November 2023 at the Kigali Convention Center.
The opening ceremony was a rather colorful one that started off with entertainment which included the beautiful traditional Rwandan dances and key introductions from the leaders of the WTTC Council. In his opening remarks the WTTC Chair Arnold Donald said that “This year our journey brings us to Rwanda, a nation of profound significance. Rwanda is blessed with breathtaking natural beauty and precious wildlife. But its true essence lies in its people.”
The WTTC Global Summit then kicked off after the opening remarks and it was an action packed three days summit that involved presentations, panels with key experts, networking sessions, gala dinners and fireside chats. A number of crucial topics were discussed and these included prioritizing sustainability through community development, importance of nature restoration, training in the hospitality industry, the relationship between climate change and tourism, impact of tourism on Africa’s development and understanding new and emerging markets for travel and tourism. These topics were all championed and led by key travel experts and tourism leaders from different sectors.
In attendance were leaders from across the world and Africa including the WTTC Chair Arnold Donald, H.E Paul Kagame President of the Republic of Rwanda, H.E Samia Suluhu Hassan President of the United Republic of Tanzania, WTTC CEO Julia Simpson, Francis Gatare – the Rwanda Development Board(RDB) CEO, Greg O’Hara the new chair of WTTC, Aurore Mimosa Munyangaju the Minister of Sports Rwanda, Olivier Granet CEO Kasada Capital among others.
What does the World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit mean for Africa?
One might wonder what are the benefits of WTTC Global summit for Africa? Well there are a lot of benefits from the global summit and its impact on Africa’s tourism cannot be ignored.
First the WTTC Global Summit 2024 is of great importance because it brought together key tourism leaders from across the world to share ideas, discuss important topics related to tourism, challenges faced by the industry and how to overcome them.
The Global Summit has also been a great avenue to discuss the sustainability of tourism and conservation of nature. Conservation of Africa’s resources, wildlife and nature is an ongoing journey and the WTTC global summit discussed further on how conservation efforts can be supported and encouraged especially from the community.
The WTTC Summit has also been a great networking avenue for African tourism leaders and travel experts who had an opportunity to share ideas and connect hence further improving the travel and tourism chain of Africa.
The Global Summit has therefore been an important summit and beneficial in unlocking opportunities for travel and tourism growth in Africa.
Rwanda is located in the Great Rift Valley of Central Africa and is bordered by Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rwanda is often referred to as “the land of a thousand hills.” mainly because of its dramatic landscape that is made up of undulating hills. Rwanda was the right destination to host the WTTC Global Summit as it has the great facilities to accommodate large numbers and has been a great champion of sustainable travel and conservation.
Rwanda is rich in bio diversity and welcomes a number of visitors each year who are drawn to this beautiful country with numerous attractions and hospitable people. Rwanda is home to the Mountain Gorillas that are best seen while on a gorilla trek in Volcanoes National Park in northwestern Rwanda. The mountain gorilla population across the world is at 1004 individuals and about half of this population is found in Rwanda.
Rwanda is also known for the famous and diverse Nyungwe Forest national park that is home to the chimpanzees. Nyungwe forest is the oldest rain forest in Africa and is a bird watching haven for specialist birders as over 300 species of birds have been recorded including 27 Albertine endemics. In addition Rwanda is home to the most scenic park in Africa – Akagera National Park, the only savanna park in Rwanda that can be easily explored on a 1 Day tour or 2 Days Wildlife safari. Akagera national park is home to the Big Five and offers incredible wildlife sightings.
As the World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit has ended, extensive discussions were had and we look forward to a future of immense growth in the Africa’s tourism and travel industry..May we all continue to conserve nature and travel sustainably!