Chinese tourists are now able to directly book tour packages to Rwanda following the launch of the ‘Visit Rwanda’ online pavilion on Fliggy, Alibaba’s travel platform that is accessed by over 500 million users in China.
This follows the 31st October official launch of the first of its kind in Africa, eWTP (Electronic World Trade Platform) by President Paul Kagame and Jack Ma, founder and Chairman of Alibaba Group.
The eWTP has an objective of supporting the development of the digital economy in Rwanda by making it easier for Rwandan companies to participate in global trade.
The Fliggy platform allows Rwandan tour operators and hotels to aggressively create awareness and sell Rwandan tourism products and services to the Chinese outbound tourists.
Chief Executive Officer, RDB, Clare Akamanzi said China is the largest source of the global outbound tourist traffic and Chinese tourists spend the most in the world.
The 131 million outbound Chinese tourists last year each spent an average of US$ 726 per person on retail shopping while non-Chinese tourists spent an average of US$486 per person,”.
Tourism expenditure from China stood at US$ 261 billion in 2016, accounting for 21% of the world’s international tourism spending. Sadly, Africa accounted for only 2% of it.
“We believe that the Visit Rwanda pavilion on Fliggy is one of the avenues that will lead to an increase in tourism traffic to Rwanda from China.” Akamanzi said.
Aimable Rutagarama, Chairman of the Rwanda Chamber of Tourism said there is confidence that trading tourism products on Fliggy provides an opportunity for the industry to efficiently penetrate the Chinese market.
“We will also earn more profits as intermediaries will be bypassed and commissions reduced. I urge all tourism businesses to embrace this platform and package their services and products in a unique and innovative way to keep the destination attractive and competitive.”