Augustine Tours, an African touring company based in Rwanda, has noted significant growth from the European market, in particular Germany, with the company recently opening a new office in the country.
Augustine Tours-Europe UG, registered in Germany, will operate as a door for both EU and non-EU tourists planning a holiday to Africa.
With offices in Rwanda, Burundi and now Lüneburg, Germany, the company operates tours throughout East Africa, including Ethiopia, Zanzibar, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi.
According to Augustin Ndikuriyo, Managing Director of Augustine Tours, Germany is a European powerhouse in terms of business. “Speaking of the travel industry, Germany has seen in the last two years an increase of outbound travel of 4%, beside significant growth from other European countries like The Netherlands, Denmark, Spain, Poland and the UK, according to ITB World Travel Trends 2016/2017.”
Since the beginning of Augustine Tours’ operations in 2010, Ndikuriyo says: “We have attended many business meetings in international trade fairs, often hosted by Germany. A significant number of deals have been obtained, which has marked out business growth in the last years.”
According to Ndikuriyo, as 60% of Augustine Tours clients come from Europe, having an office in Germany will further increase booking volumes.
When booking trips to East Africa in particular, European clients, especially those from Germany tend to book Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, says Ndikuriyo. “The nice thing about this region is that the five East African countries can be travelled all together, with a trip starting in Kenya continuing in Tanzania, and with an excellent combined tour programme that can start in Uganda going through Rwanda, ending in Burundi. Basically four weeks are good enough to explore the beauty of East Africa, a region with a lot of similarities in terms of culture, history and landscapes.”
Guests can combine the Serengeti wildebeest migration between Kenya’s Maasai Mara and Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, with mountain gorilla and chimpanzee trekking in Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, whilst taking in the various rich cultures and beaches.
The majority of the German market tend to book three- to four-star hotels and lodges, according to Ndikuriyo, who says since the opening of the new office this month, Augustine Tours has booked an additional five confirmed tours for next year, each ranging between 15 and 20 days. The booked tours will include Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. “The tourists are from Italy, the UK and Germany. In addition, we are currently working on new requests that we hope will be confirmed as well.”
Talking of the new office opening, Ndikuriyo said: “This is part of the company’s plan to establish itself as a significant contributor to the African travel market. Strong improvements in marketing and co-operation between other travel companies and ours will help ensure the success of tourism in East Africa and the African continent at large.”