Marriott opens first Africa hotel in Rwanda
Highlighting the importance of hospitality’s role in Rwanda, the World Travel & Tourism Council says Rwanda’s travel and tourism industry generated 7.1 percent of the country’s GDP in 2015 and predicts it to rise at 4.1 percent annually through 2025.
Known as the Land of a Thousand Hills, Rwanda is becoming a popular destination for meetings and tourism.
The 254-room Marriott in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city, is creating approximately 500 jobs and will be among the country’s biggest and most luxurious properties, further enhancing Kigali’s reputation as a hub for conferences and conventions.
The hotel will offer world-class meeting spaces with modern amenities to cater to the demands of this rapidly growing market.
Marriott has been working with community-based organizations to help staff the hotel and supply it with locally produced goods, underscoring Rwanda’s goal of building up its core industries including tourism and agriculture.
The hotel, for instance, has partnered with the Akilah Institute for Women to recruit and train Rwandan women for supervisory positions at its Kigali location.
The Akilah Institute is an academy that enables young women from Rwanda and other East African countries to achieve economic independence with market-relevant education and training.
Marriott International has invited nearly 40 Akilah graduates to work and train in Marriott hotels in Africa and the Middle East.
After receiving on-the-job skills and leadership training, the first wave of graduates have returned to Rwanda to join the management team at the Kigali Marriott where they will help welcome guests from the around the world. ■