Rwanda is on the radar of travel trade - Bruce Miller

By Karirima Aimable Ngarambe
On 7 December 2023 at 03:33

Simon Bruce Miller, the Business Director at Uberlux Safaris, has shared captivating insights into the significance of participation in the International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) and the transformative impact it has on the global perception of Rwanda as a premier travel destination.

Uber Luxe Safaris is among other travel companies that represented Rwanda at the ILTM held in Cannes from December 4th to 7th, 2023.

Speaking to IGIHE, Miller expressed heartfelt appreciation for the indispensable support rendered by Visit Rwanda, acknowledging that as a private sector entity, their participation in such a prestigious show would be unattainable without this crucial backing

He also reflected on the evolving landscape of Rwanda’s recognition within the travel trade community and noted a significant shift, remarking that, "For the first time in about eight years, there’s a genuine knowledge of Rwanda."

As he said, this newfound awareness has propelled Rwanda onto the international travel radar, with industry professionals now asking more in-depth questions about the country’s unique offerings.

Miller emphasized the growing recognition of Rwanda’s gorilla tourism and the diminishing queries about price disparities between Rwanda and Uganda.

The travel trade community is now not only acknowledging these distinctions but also delving into the profound human story of Rwanda, from the shadows of genocide against the Tutsi to the vibrant tapestry of modern Rwanda.

The ILTM Cannes event holds a special place in the calendar, occurring just before Christmas and attracting high-profile attendees at both the buyer and exhibitor levels. Miller described the unique environment, where industry leaders gather not only for networking and business discussions but also to celebrate the collective achievements of the year.

Reflecting on the expenses associated with participating in such a prestigious show, Miller underscored the vital role of Visit Rwanda’s support, expressing, "We simply wouldn’t be here. We wouldn’t be able to justify it. So it’s thanks to the Visit Rwanda support that we can do that."

As Rwanda continues its trajectory of growth and strength, Miller highlighted the exclusive nature of ILTM as a Business-to-Business (B2B) platform. Here, serious travel trade professionals convene, presenting a rare opportunity for Uber Luxe Safaris to engage with established luxury sellers and tour operators on a global scale.

The efficacy of ILTM’s matching system for appointments was evident, with a high percentage of meetings being highly relevant, particularly concerning the African market. Miller praised ILTM Cannes for attracting buyers who understand and sell luxury globally.

Uber Luxe Safaris, functioning as a destination management company (DMC), strategically positions itself not merely as a facilitator for the Rwanda trip but as an ambassador for Rwanda as a destination. Miller stressed the importance of presenting Rwanda as a compelling option in quotes alongside other renowned destinations like Australia, Argentina, Costa Rica, and Sri Lanka.

Highlighting the intangible element that sets Rwanda apart, Miller emphasized the critical role of human connection and the captivating human story of Rwanda. He noted Rwanda’s unique approach, offering an immersive itinerary that goes beyond traditional observation, allowing guests to deeply engage with the culture and human narrative.

From a DMC perspective, Uber Luxe Safaris adopts a soft sell approach, understanding that building trust with buyers is a long-term endeavor.

Miller shared, "It’s a soft trust relationship that is built. And when the timing’s right, they will give you a go, and they’ll move over." This long-term vision ensures that relationships established over the years can endure for decades, provided that exceptional experiences are consistently delivered.

Apart from Uber Luxe Safari, other travel operators that represented Rwanda, include Primate Safaris, Makario Safaris, Jambo Tours, Luxury Africa Tours, Africa Journeys, Volcanoes Safari, Wilderness Safari, Rwanda Eco Company and Safaris, and Akagera Aviation.

The 22nd edition of ILTM featured 2,100 exhibitors, 330 brands, 21,000 buyers from 83 countries, and over 82,000 pre-programmed appointments.

The event served as a unique opportunity to connect with potential business partners and explore new experiences within the realm of luxury travel.

Simon Bruce Miller, the Business Director at Uberlux Safaris, has shared captivating insights into the significance of participation in the International Luxury Travel Market.