One & Only Resorts Enters Rwanda Market

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The number of international hotel chains in the country has grown further this week as One & Only Resorts, a global hospitality brand entered the local market.

One & Only Resorts, a global hospitality brand that mainly invests in beach resorts, residences and luxury hotels, has added Rwanda’s Nyungwe Forest Lodge and Gorilla’s Nest to its portfolio.

The properties, one located in the Nyungwe Forest and the other in the Volcanoes National Park in Kinigi, Northern Province have been rebranded as One & Only Nyungwe House and One & Only Gorilla’s Nest.

One & Only Nyungwe House, which was previously managed by Dubai World, opens its doors in July while the Gorilla’s Nest will open in 2018.

“I am thrilled we are able to continue to evolve the One & Only experience, providing once-in-a-lifetime experiences for our guests,” said Philippe Zuber, president and chief operating officer of One & Only Resorts.

Rwanda becomes the third African market for One & Only Resorts after South Africa and Mauritius.

The global hotel brand plans to capitalise on nature and adventure tourism with One & Only Nyungwe House and One & Only Gorilla’s Nest.

Frank Mustaff, the country director of Horwath HTL, a hospitality consulting group believes these new One & Only resorts could bring in new visitors and create tourism opportunities for the country.

“They will market these new properties and raise awareness about Rwanda with their global clients,” Mr Mustaff told Rwanda Today.

One & Only Gorilla’s Nest will offer the gorilla tracking experience and views of local hills in Northern Province and slopes of Volcanoes National Park among others.

“Rwanda is an incredible destination that offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences. We look forward to enabling our guests to explore the country and its culture and provide them with the ultimate connection to nature,” a statement from the group said.

The Nyungwe National Park received 11,000 visitors in 2016, up from 9,000 the previous year.

According to Mr Mustaff, mountain gorilla tourism can be marketed as luxury experience in the country.

“On average, gorilla trekking can cost a couple $5,000, so I would consider this to be luxury tourism,” he said.

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