Rwanda Convention Bureau racks up Rwf122 billion in revenue for 2023

By Wycliffe Nyamasege
On 19 April 2024 at 09:00

The Rwanda Convention Bureau (RCB) has reported that the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) sector generated more than $95 million (RWF 121.5 billion) in revenue in 2023, marking a 48 percent growth compared to 2022.

RCB, in a report unveiled on Thursday, April 18, 2024, said this is the highest revenue earned since the inception of the Bureau in 2014.

The institution hosted over 160 events and an estimated 65,000 delegates in 2023. 45 of these events are projected to generate revenues of $32 million (RWF 40.9 billion) over the upcoming years.

Among the notable events successfully bided and hosted by RCB in 2023 were the International Congress on Conservation Biology in July, the Women Deliver Conference, the Basketball Africa League held in May, IRON MAN 70.3 Rubavu race and the 18th edition of the Peace Marathon hosted in June 2023 among others.

In the entertainment and showbiz scene, Rwanda hosted two major events: the Trace Africa Music Awards and Festival, which brought together music, fashion, and arts, giving young and creative talents a global stage to showcase their skills; and The Move Afrika by Global Citizen, which was headlined by the globally renowned artist Kendrick Lamar.

RCB Board Chairman Fred Swaniker expressed his confidence that the sector will continue to thrive in 2024 due to continued unwavering support from the Rwandan government and stakeholders.

“In a very dynamic business landscape, it is important to stay ahead of the trend, and I am confident that the MICE sector will further increase its contribution to Rwanda’s economy through innovation. By investing in talent, infrastructure, and strategic initiatives, we aim to maintain our growth in the global MICE sector,” Swaniker stated.

On her part, Janet Karemera, the Bureau CEO, noted that as part of its growth strategy this year, RCB is focused on enhancing delegates’ experience, strengthening collaboration with key stakeholders, exploring new partnerships, and attracting more business to Rwanda.

The remarks come at a time when the tourism sector is projected to fully recover from the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, having made a significant rebound in 2023.

According to a survey UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, the sector achieved 88 per cent growth of pre-pandemic levels last year.

Total export revenues from tourism, encompassing passenger transport, reached approximately $1.6 trillion in 2023, nearly 95 per cent of the $1.7 trillion recorded in 2019. Projections suggest a continuation of this positive trend, with estimates indicating a 2 per cent growth in international tourist arrivals above 2019 levels.

Rwanda Convention Bureau (RCB) hosted over 160 events and an estimated 65,000 delegates in 2023, earning the country $95 million (RWF 121.5 billion) in revenue