(eTN) – Hot on the heels of growing demands by the private sector stakeholders that Rwanda needs more training for staff working in the hospitality industry, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) for Tourism and Conservation has responded with a dedicated campaign launched yesterday in Kigali, promoting quality services at all levels.
Clare Akamanzi, COO of the RDB, was on stage with Rica Rwigamba, Head of Tourism and Conservation, at the launch of the initiative called “Na Yombi” or loosely translated into English – to receive clients with courtesy.
RDB has been at the forefront to support and facilitate more training in the tourism industry, not just for hotel personnel but also for guides, and has also acknowledged that capacity constraints must be overcome and more training opportunities be made available for more newcomers to the sector, as well as for those already in the workplace. Towards that end, RDB is working hand in hand with the private sector, the Workplace Development Authority, and the Ministry of Labor to adequately address the growing need for qualified and well-trained staff deployed in positions where they encounter local and foreign customers.
“Better service levels translate into better yields for the sector. The country has plenty of top rate attractions, and while we develop more under diversification plans, we also have to train competent and well-spoken staff. Then we can fully exploit the earning potential from tourism, because foreign visitors expect good services and are ready to pay for them,” a leading stakeholder said on condition of anonymity, not apparently wanting to take the attention and spotlight away from the two lead ladies from RDB.
Only last week did Ms. Rwigamba say to this correspondent during a lengthy meeting on the future of tourism to Rwanda: “We work with the private sector associations on all issues, which can improve performance. We encouraged the private sector to get organized, speak through an association, because it makes dialogue easier. In fact, we meet with many of them several times a month when needed to resolve matters arising before they become problems.”
In the same conversation, Ms. Rwigamba also stressed the board’s commitment to support training and use monitoring mechanisms to establish, maintain, and improve quality standards in Kigali and upcountry at the key tourism destinations of Volcanoes, Nyungwe, and Akagera national parks and also along the birding trails outside the parks and along the Congo Nile Trail,which was launched in December last year.