One of the first things I learnt while in Hospitality and Tourism school was that the tourism industry is not about selling products but rather experiences. Services are usually very tangible and touching emotions is usually what makes a place a good destination.
When we decided to do this special focus on Tourism/Hospitality, we made a quick poll on our social media networks with this simple question: Which of these challenges should our Hospitality sector look into urgently? The following were the responses:
- Customer Service – 50%
- Qualified Workforce – 32%
- Quality of Products – 18%
Rwanda is beautiful, safe and clean with excellent ICT facilities. Over the past years a number of facilities have opened up for different tourism sectors thus making, hotels, restaurants, tour operators, entrainment, attractions, transport etc. key components in this sector. Today Rwanda is blessed to have huge modern conference centres geared to promoting the Meeting, Incentive and Conference (MICE) sector. This segment is an excellent way to boost economies. But obviously, these are not the only things that drive our tourism and hospitality sector.
My background is in Hospitality and even though I have moved on in my career to work on diverse projects, hospitality remains my first passion. Tourism and hospitality are co-related and usually grouped as a single industry. Globally, hotels are important for providing facilities for recreation and entertainment, meeting and conferences. Hospitality therefore requires all the seriousness and professionalism. Hospitality is not an industry for people who have failed in school. It is like any other profession and requires expertise and know how.
In order to satisfy the customer, we have to apply hospitality to the food and beverages sector. In the tourism industry, people are not just looking at the facilities or the price offered, but also looking at the services provided. As service providers we should provide the best services ever, we must exceed the customers’ expectations. When customers and tourists are satisfied with their previous experience, they usually return and become the destination’s word of mouth advertisers.
What are some challenges of this sector in Rwanda? How does competition drive the sector? Is recruitment an area that needs more attention? These are some of the questions we intended to raise during this focus.
As usual, we went round many institutions seeking for partnerships for this special feature. Our plan was to have a wider focus, printed in a larger quantity but this was not possible due to the limited partnerships from key institutions in Rwanda.
We are grateful to all those who supported us! Enjoy the reading and please send us your feedback on our social media platforms.