President Paul Kagame emphasizes quality service to tourism operators

Rwanda’s tourism experience will continue to be characterized by quality service and excellence as the nation works  to boost the importance of tourism, President Paul Kagame said.

Kagame spoke yesterday in Musanze District at the inauguration of Singita Kwitonda Lodge and Kataza House, a high-end tourism facility on the edge of Volcanoes National Park.

The facility, which is Rwanda’s first tourism establishment under the high- end tourism brand, Singita, cost about $25 million in building works that took over five years.

Speaking at the inauguration, Kagame said Rwanda is working to give tourists the greatest standard of service, with quality being a characteristic of the experience.

“Like Singita, Rwanda is trying to offer visitors the highest level of service, and quality must be the hallmark of the Visit Rwanda experience. This is what we want to work towards.”

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Kagame said this would generate a win – win situation for all interested parties ; visitors, investors, and local  community.

He encouraged Musanze inhabitants to work hard to satisfy the requirements of the services and products provided by the plant.

“You should make that money by providing secure and comfortable hospitality that our people are expected to provide. I urge the people of this area to work hard to meet the demand that the lodge has created,” he said.

The facility is located on 178 acres (72 hectares) on the edge of Volcanoes National Park, allowing guests to interact  closely with nature.

The facility includes Kwitonda Lodge with eight luxurious suites, while Kataza House, an exclusive- use villa, features four spacious suites

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During construction, the investors say, they have sought to ensure that the facility is designed and built in a manner  that responds to the natural geology of the site on which it stands.

For example, as opposed to the traditional concrete foundation that often affects water permeability, the facility used a steel foundation to ensure minimal environmental interruption

During construction, the facility supplied local materials and inputs, as well as local labor supply, thus improving the region’s community.

According to Luke Bailes, the founder of the Singita Group, about $7 million was spent within the Musanze region of the $25 million.

He said the facility is hoping to make the most of Sub- Saharan Africa’s growing interest in tourism, which attracts about 33 percent of global traffic.

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Clare Akamanzi, Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Board, said the project was in line with the  country’s ambition to grow tourism receipts through the low-density high-value model through world-class facilities.

She called on the neighboring community to work closely with the facility to provide products and services as well as preserve nature.

There are currently 100 employees in Singita, while more than 600 were employed during the construction phase.

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