Rwanda is noted for being one of Africa’s most accessible places to do business, and now, it is climbing the ladder to be the continent’s top tourism destination in the next three years.
The East African country recorded 1.3 million visitors of its tourist sites in 2017 and it seeks to receive more as tourism is the largest foreign exchange earner.
To achieve this, the Rwanda Development Board has signed a three-year tourism partnership agreement with top-flight English Premier League football club Arsenal.
The deal means a new “Visit Rwanda” campaign logo will be featured on the left sleeve of all the Arsenal team players including the first team, under-23 and Arsenal Women during matches from the new season in August.
The players will also visit Rwanda while coaches will host coaching camps for Rwandan boys and girls to support the development of the game.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Arsenal and showcasing the vibrancy and beauty of our country. Rwanda is a country pulsing with energy, creativity and innovation,” said the CEO of Rwanda Development Board, Clare Akamanzi.
“Visit Rwanda” will also be screened on all Arsenal’s matchday LED boards, interview backdrops and the club’s stadium tour which attracts more than 250,000 visitors each year.
“The Arsenal shirt is seen 35 million times a day around the world and we are one of the most viewed teams around the world. We look forward to working with the Visit Rwanda team to further establish the country as a tourist destination,” said Arsenal’s Chief Commercial Officer, Vinal Venkatesham.
This partnership is expected to draw more people to Rwanda to see the National Parks which have growing numbers of wildlife including black rhino, lions, zebra, chimpanzees and the famous mountain gorillas.
It will also bring investment opportunities in the country which has been ranked as the third easiest place to do business in Africa by the World Bank.
Morocco is currently Africa’s top tourist destination with over 10 million visitors annually. It is followed by Egypt and South Africa.