President Paul Kagame has invited investors into the high-end tourism, promising that their ventures will be handled and treated with an aim to ensure that it benefits both the country and the shareholders.
Kagame was speaking at the foothills of Volcanoes National Park where he officially launched the One & Only Gorilla’s Nest alongside First Lady Jeannette Kagame and Chair of Kerzner International, Mohammed Al Shaibani and the board.
One & Only Gorilla’s Nest is a multi-luxurious lodge on the foothills of the National Park. It targets high-end tourists.
The facility has 21 cottages with prices ranging from $3,600 (Rwf3.6 million) to $10,500 (About Rwf10 million) per night.
The facility is owned by Kerzner International, a leading international developer and operator of destination resorts, ultra-luxury hotels and residences and innovative entertainment and gaming experiences.
The Dubai-based firm invested over $65 million in the facility to create luxurious experiences for the top end of the market.
This is their second facility after One & Only Nyungwe House, a luxury facility located amidst Nyungwe Forest.
Speaking at the opening, Kagame pledged continuous support to investments as well as value addition in many ways.
“Thank you, we appreciate what you have invested in and with us. We have an obligation to make sure that we both benefit from this kind of investment… know that you are at home, away from home and this is how this investment is going to be treated, like our own and we will always keep trying to add value to it in many ways,” he said.
He termed the partnership with the Dubai firm and other such investors as a convergence of like minds aiming high and creating high-end products.
Mohammed Al Shaibani, the Chair of Kerzner International, said that in the process of setting up the Rwandan facility, they had received interest by clients from across the world indicative of the attraction and curiosity about Rwanda.
In the process of building the facility, he said that they made sure to preserve the environment and ecosystem such as waterways.
The Rwanda Development Board Chief Executive Clare Akamanzi said that the investment was a sign of confidence in the local market.
Going forward, she said that the government will maintain a conducive business environment.
She said that the move by the company to establish a second facility in Rwanda will among other things serve to expand the diversity of the high-end tourism in Rwanda as it will increase the length of stay of clients and consequent consumption.
The new lodge is expected to have an impact on the local community by sourcing most of the consumables from the surrounding region consequently improving their livelihoods.
Over 130 people work at the facility with over 100 of them being Rwandan.