SITE Travels to Rwanda for Executive Summit 2018
In fulfilment of our strategy to bring knowledge and best practices to new and emerging incentive travel destinations, SITE leaders traveled to Rwanda for SITE Executive Summit 2018 immediately following IBTM World. The event, sponsored by Rwanda Convention Bureau and its partners, was also made possible through a grant from the SITE Foundation.
This annual education event takes the SITE Board of Directors and Foundation Trustees to a part of the world that can leverage the experience and knowledge of industry leaders to grow its incentive travel business. The unique event is designed to promote growth in emerging destinations, featuring education on topics relevant to MICE professionals in the region.
A high level delegation led by SITE President Annamaria Ruffini, CIS, CITP, CMP and SITE Foundation President, John Iannini, CIS, CITP, CTC spent 5 days in the East African country, concluding unanimously that “Rwanda is incentive ready”.
Over 30 members of the local Rwandan Incentive Travel industry – some of whom are Certified Incentive Specialists (CIS) – gathered to hear presentations on The Fundamentals of Incentive Travel, SITE’s role in the industry and Trends in Incentive Travel. Two panels then discussed Rwanda as an incentive travel destination from the perspectives of product and marketing.
High level discussions also took place with senior government officials including Clare Akamanzi, Chief Executive Officer and Belise Kariza, Chief Tourism Officer at the Rwanda Development Board and Nelly Mukazayire, Chief Executive Officer and Frank Murangwa Director of MICE Destination Marketing at the Rwanda Convention Bureau.
The SITE delegation visited key regions in the country where incentive travel products and services are being developed – Nyungwe Forest National Park and Volcanoes National Park – staying at the recently opened One & Only Nyungwe House and experiencing a thrilling, early morning Gorilla trek.
Commenting on the experience, Annamaria said, “Since the tragic events of the 90s Rwanda has recovered remarkably and is fast becoming a leading light for women in leadership and sustainability, themes that have been key to my year as SITE President. I’m thrilled to see how the Business Events sector in Rwanda is being led by young women pursuing a vision for the country as a sustainable tourism destination powered by meetings, conferences and incentive travel experiences.”
SITE CEO Didier Scaillet, CIS, CITP added, “The country’s visionary development board understands how MICE / Business Events are cross-sectoral, bringing benefits to the country way beyond mere tourism revenue. The local leadership is undoubtedly committed to incentive travel and our 5 days in Rwanda have left us in no doubt as to the country’s credentials as an incentive travel destination. We look forward to helping Rwanda position itself as the unique destination that it is.”
SITE Executive Summit brings global expertise, experience and know-how in the area of incentive travel to destinations all over the world interested in refining their incentive travel products and services. Recent Executive Summits have taken place in Dubai, Slovenia and Ireland. For more information on hosting an Executive Summit in your destination, please contact Estefani Aguirre at Sponsorship@siteglobal.com.