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Visit Rwanda

How an integrated consumer PR & trade relations campaign raised the profile of Rwanda and increased UK visits and sales.

The Brief

The PC Agency was appointed by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) in May 2017 to challenge perceptions of Rwanda in the UK media, to increase visitor numbers from the UK and to increase the average length of stays in the destination. We were tasked with delivering a series of campaign activations, in addition to an always-on press office throughout 2017 and 2018.

Our Approach

The PC Agency developed an extensive PR and marketing plan to promote Rwanda’s stunning natural landscapes, safari experiences, and new premium accommodation. Our campaign to increase visibility for the brand across the travel trade network kicked off with a trade media event in conjunction with RwandAir’s launch of direct flights to Kigali from London Gatwick. We then rolled out the following legs of the campaign:

Market intelligence report

We commissioned a respected independent analyst to produce a bespoke marketing intelligence report on the current media perspective of Rwanda, providing the client with in-depth insights into the UK markets. We also raised the profile of the RDB at prestigious travel and tourism events, including PURE Marrakech, ILTM and WTM.

Individual media trips

The PC Agency hosted top-tier media on bespoke trips created in partnership with accommodation providers and tour operators – implementing trips under the one Rwanda voice while minimising cost to the tourism board. Media included The Sunday Times, Condé Nast Traveller, Press Association, House & Garden, Tatler, Financial Times – How to Spend It and National Geographic Traveller.

Sport in Rwanda

To showcase how sport has been used as a vehicle for change over the past two decades, The PC Agency worked with the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation and international cricketers to promote the launch of the new stadium in Gahanga. We secured national and regional coverage, including Sky News, Mail Online, Yorkshire Post, Sky Sports, The Daily Telegraph and The Independent.

Trade roadshow

We planned, hosted and executed a trade roadshow with the RDB around the UK and Ireland. Visiting key tour operators, agents and trade media, fostered closer relationships, as well as updating them on the latest news and announcements on Rwanda.

Social media & content marketing

The team commenced work on a new social media strategy and content for Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook in May 2018. We also designed a new branded newsletter which we regularly update and distribute to agents, tour operators and trade media.

Business Results

Under our tenure, Rwanda has seen a substantial increase in tourism numbers - up 21% from 2016 to 2017 and continuing to rise in 2018. The PC Agency has created new relationships and partnerships with Rwanda and the UK media and travel trade to help sustain an increase in visitor numbers as well as change perceptions of this remarkable country.

As a direct result of our bespoke tour operator FAM trip, Wexas Travels has reported booking enquiries have increased by a third. This is a result of additional coverage across their owned channels such as online blogs and greater understanding of the Rwanda product. Steppes Travel has also seen an increase in the length of stay and value of the bookings since the FAM trip.

Impact: | PR coverage reach: 1.6 Billion | UK tourism up 21% in 2017 – stats for 2018 coming soon.