When Rwanda emerged from the lockdown era a very intense debate raged within the media platforms. The question was; how investors who had ploughed in millions of dollars in the local tourism sector would get back to business a.s.a.p.
The government of Rwanda through the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) counseled that local tourism offered the best alternative to the dire situation.
However, the issue of how to practically do that remained lingering in the minds of many.
Taarifa Ltd not being the one to be left out of the current affairs debate threw itself into the ring. Yes, it was possible to practically get something going.
The question was how so? Answer; Why not develop a unique product through an event around an existing tourism facility probably out of Kigali city. Muhazi in Rwamagana district provided the ideal location.
Next Taarifa Ltd had on different occasions been approached by Rwamagana based Falcon Golf & Country Club for Taarifa Ltd to carry out publicity for its 9 hole facility. When we went to Falcon Muhazi we took note of the COVID-19 guidelines that management of Falcon was developing as its own way of escaping the lockdown.
It was a perfect fit. The next question was: Why not design a post lockdown era golfing tournament for more than 150 players and more than 350 spectators? Falcon was already doing a combined 150 spectators and players.
Taarifa Ltd quickly reached out to RDB for technical support and endorsement. The event Taarifa Ltd proposed to RDB was to host 500 people combined and was to be built around the COVID-19 guidelines currently in place. Consensus reached was that yes indeed it was possible to host such an event.
It is instrumental to note that the current crop of event managers in Rwanda are still groping in the darkness as to how to come up with credible post lockdown solutions.
The timing was just right as RDB was unveiling its post lockdown agenda for the sector. RDB was looking for like-minded operatives who were capable of offering sustainable solutions for the revival of the sector.
So we said the best would be to look at a structured 2-day sports tourism event at Falcon Muhazi incorporating social distancing, an online payment system, structured logistics, and an element of more than golf has thrown in.
That is how Rwanda Golf Union comes into the picture with the possibility of hosting a tournament with an African perspective. Along the way, Taarifa Ltd went in search of more corporate partners something that matured into something exciting.
Along the way, Horwath HTL tourism, hotel, and leisure firm came in. It threw in a community-based circling tournament to be executed right within the community of Muhazi along a 10 km trail and rowing of boats along the shores of the pristine Lake Muhazi.
It is a perfect fit for us as we know that golf is a niche sport. Diversity is key to include more events such as circling and rowing. Done that way this will draw in more crowds and more attention and value for money.
As for cuisine, the “mchoma” concept is ideal. The menu will be food sourced principally from the surrounding community and event managers are looking to Jambo Beach Hotel as a local service provider to offer the perfect “mchoma” experience of fresh fish, goat meat, chicken, and beef.
Pods will be erected as from 12.00 pm over the entire course to host revelers after a good round of golf.
The pods will respect the social distancing rules and will be fully self-contained with their own sanitation booths. A cashless system of payment will be the order of the day. A planned #Falcon silent disco to be hosted over a 2-day duration designed as the party of the year promises to take revelers back to the good old days of reggae, soul music, jazz, and R&B along with elements of new school vibes.
A truly COVID-19 complaint arrival experience complete with a sanitizing booth and temperature testing awaits both players and revelers during the duration of the event.
That; in a nutshell is how the proposed “Rwanda Summer-Golf 2020” is taking shape.
Something much bigger and hence much more concrete than we originally anticipated.