Rwanda Marketing to the East African Community

Developing and implementing a marketing strategy for Rwanda tourism targeting the East Africa Community (EAC) Region

  • Client: Rwanda Development Board (RDB)
  • Partners: The Government of Rwanda, World Bank
  • Project Duration: November 2013 – April 2015

Project Description 

Rwanda’s tourism is known for their Gorillas; however, the country has much more to offer in terms of tourist attractions—including an incredibly rich culture with a mix of history, art, cuisine, and landscapes. Some of these tourism products are lesser known to the international market and there is a need for increased awareness about Rwanda as a tourism destination in order to attract more international visitors. Rwanda aims to become a leader in African ecotourism and should be marketed as a must-see destination for those traveling through East Africa. Through this program, the Rwanda Development Board focused on targeted tourism promotion activities specifically within the EAC region to help increase Rwandan tourism visibility thus increasing the number of visitors.

Solimar recognizes the diverse potential that Rwanda’s tourism has to offer and worked to help the RDB in conveying their richness to the EAC travel market. Through an EAC Tourism Marketing Campaign, a multi-layered process was implemented that delivers engaging messages and targeted information to potential travelers—compelling them to act and helping to guide them through booking Rwanda as their next travel destination.

Major Activities

The tourism development plan of this tourism project was implemented through the following activities:

  • Developed a tourism marketing strategy for the EAC region that differentiates the country, collects baseline data, sets realistic targets, while creating excitement and a strategic network of tourism stakeholders in the EAC region to support the strategy’s implementation
  • Developed a travel trade-marketing component that introduces travel trade to Rwanda’s tourism offer through familiarization tours, road shows, trade shows, and creation of sales tools while also incentivizing industry partners to market and sell Rwanda
  • Generated positive earned media in print, broadcast, and online through a strategic public relations campaign that includes press trips, media kits, media releases, direct pitching, use of social media, and relationship nurturing. Monitored and responded to any EAC travel advisories
  • Utilized the newest technologies and online tools available to target consumers directly through hyper-targeted online advertising, content marketing, and social media engagement to create consumer demand for visiting Rwanda
  • Attracted tourism investment for EAC through the development and distribution of tourism investment opportunities
  • Provided regular reports, communication, and dashboards to executive management and industry partners that communicate all up-coming activities and results of the strategy implementation

Results

  • Increased number of international visitors from EAC measured in arrivals and average length of stay in Rwanda
  • Increased Rwanda’s share in EAC market, compared to other EAC countries
  • Increased the number of EAC tour operators selling Rwanda
  • Increased tourism revenues from EAC visitors
  • Rwanda visibility increased through print and online media in EAC
  • Familiarizations trips organized for EAC Tour Operators, other tourism stakeholders and the Media
  • Key Tourism Fairs in EAC (especially Karibu fair) successfully organized in collaboration with RDB
  • For under $1,000, the “Discover Rwanda” online marketing Campaign reached 850,000 people, tripled the Facebook community size, and generated 300 destination leads

 

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