The Rwandan government is planning to grow the potential of golf as a new tourism product.
Kigali Golf Club is organising a meeting with stakeholders from the travel industry with the aim of exploring ways of developing golf as a way of supplementing existing tourism products.
There is only one nine-hole course in the capital, but stakeholders believe that the number of tourists coming to Rwanda for golf can increase, especially by developing courses outside the capital.
Kigali Golf Club has been organising monthly tournaments but international participants have been few. The annual MTN Golf Open, which took place two weeks ago attracted 90 players but was dominated by local players.
“We want to promote golf as a tourism product,” said Davis Kashaka Karegeya, the captain of Kigali Golf Club.
The first stakeholder meeting is scheduled for early February.
“I don’t want to preempt what will be decided because it is a work in progress,” Dr Karegeya told Rwanda Today.
However, he talked about plans to construct a club house-hotel at Kigali Golf Club and develop a high standard championship golf course. Recently opened luxurious hotels and other tourism attractions will help in marketing golf tourism opportunities.
In recent years, the Rwanda Development Board has been marketing investment opportunities along the ‘Kivu Belt,’ a strip of territory along the scenic Lake Kivu, which connects key attractions to the north of the country and the conservation areas in the south.
The $50 million to $152 million projects target high-end tourism.
Regional manager of Satguru Travel, Mukesh Sahu, said golf tourism complemented business travel and could be a lucrative add-on for Rwanda tourism. He said golf tourism would enable business travellers to combine business with leisure.