While Burundi won the first place as the best African exhibitor at the International Show at Berlin for three consecutive years, it has recently been ranked second this year. The reason: the objective has changed-by Diane Uwimana
Four private operators in tourism represented Burundi during the last International Show at Berlin in Germany. Avry Mbonicuye, the Director of Intore Tours, a Tourism Agency, is one of them. He highlights how they were marked in their stands. “The evaluation team looked into the stand originality, the kind of material we used, the stand decoration, the type of exhibitors’ clothes, hospitality, contact with customers in the “be-to-be” style and the movement in the stand”, says Mbonicuye.
He also indicates that another considered criterion was the way they informed and attracted customers.
For three years gaining the first prize, the Director of Intore Tours notes that the objective of this last show has changed. “We have sufficiently exhibited our culture through social activities in the stands, it was time to attract investors in Burundi”, adds Mbonicuye. Rwanda won that prize, continues Mbonicuye, for its hospitality because they had an objective which wasn’t similar to Burundi’s one. “Regarding the way we have run our marketing, the number of tourists will certainly increase without any doubt”, ensures the Director of Intore Tours. Even if Burundi is ranked at the second place, Mbonicuye states that they have gained a lot because they have achieved their objective.
“A great opportunity to exchange worldwide”
Salvator Ntahomenyereye, the Director of Marketing and Communication at the National Office of Tourism in the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Posts and Tourism, notes that the Ministry has the main objective of promoting the private sector and attracting investors and tourists. “During the whole stay, the Burundian delegation has got a good opportunity to welcome visitors and get contacts from different people. Then, they have distributed promotion tools and welcomed investors in Burundi”, points out the Director.
He indicates that Burundi has lost its first prize because the country has changed its objective and strategies during the exhibition.
While the country has won the second place, Ntahomenyereye indicates that the National Office of Tourism has suggested some recommendations to boost the sector and gain once more the first prize during the next exhibition: “the Burundian delegation should arrive at the International show two days before the exhibition, diversify the traditional dances and dress the national colours (and not of their own choice) and respect timing in the stand”, concludes the Director of Marketing and Communication.