Last weekend saw nearly 900 students from the Rwanda Tourism University College graduate and receive their certificates, diplomas and degrees after successfully completing their respective courses last year.
This is generally seen as a shot in the arm of Rwanda’s sustained efforts to professionalize the workforce in the tourism and hospitality industry across the country, aimed at uplifting the standards of service delivery.
The Rwandan government, through the Rwanda Development Board’s Tourism and Conservation Department, has over the past years moved to promote vocational and tertiary training for the sector to improve performance levels, customer satisfaction and the quality of staff working in the sector. Rating and grading of hotels, resorts and lodges and the introduction of award schemes, annually selecting the best hotels and lodges, has subsequently shown upwards trends, providing the fundamentals for the continued growth in visitor arrivals in Rwanda.
The private sector in Rwanda has played a key role in this effort and a number of privately owned institutes and colleges have opened in Rwanda in recent years, offering basic and advanced courses for hands on training for the hospitality professions as well as for tourism management.
Leading companies like Serena Hotels, which operate the Kigali Serena and the Lake Kivu Serena hotels in Rwanda, but also Marriott International, which will be opening the first Marriott Hotel in East Africa in Kigali later this year, have provided staff with a range of in-house training opportunities. Marriott has, ahead of starting operations, taken a significant number of Rwandans to learn their trade in some of Marriott’s Gulf based properties while Serena Hotels is using regular on the job training besides staff rotations to some of their 24 hotels, resorts and lodges across Eastern Africa to improve skills. For information about Rwanda’s tourism attractions visit http://www.rwandatourism.com
Source: Wolfgang H Thome