By Alvin Noël Matanda - Immofamilia
The tourism industry in DR Congo requires several factors for its development, among which we can count real estate. A country’s real estate infrastructure, when adequate, can add real value to the tourism sector.
But what kind of real estate infrastructure would it really take to develop the tourism sector? Attempt at an explanation with Pamela Landreville, professor of international hotel management at the Vatel Institute in Kinshasa.
Hello Mrs. Landreville could you briefly introduce yourself?
Hello and thank you Mr. Alvin. I am Pamela, Canadian of origin, graduated with a doctorate in international business management with more than 10 years of professional experience in the fields of tourism, hotels and restaurants around the world. In Kinshasa for several years, I am a hotel manager and entrepreneur. I am also a professor at the Vatel Institute in Kinshasa where I teach international hotel management. I therefore take up the challenges to promote and develop the tourism industry in the DRC.
Can you give us an inventory of the tourism sector in the DRC?
A return plane ticket between Kinshasa and Goma, located completely in the east of the country, costs around 700 USD. And for foreign visitors, the tourist visa is very complex to obtain and is expensive. It is easier and cheaper for Congolese to go to South Africa, Dubai or even Europe, than to travel to their own country! Measures to facilitate the tourist industry are not yet in place, and transport infrastructure needs to be reviewed. Fortunately, some companies such as 243 Congo Entreprise and Africa Tourism Consultants facilitate stays in the DRCongo by accompanying travellers in their steps; obtaining the visa, travel agency, car rental with driver, hotel accommodation and apartments, visiting tourist places, etc. We are therefore working tirelessly to develop various tourism and hotel projects across the DRC in order to stimulate the economy and welcome local and foreign tourists.
In your opinion, what type of real estate infrastructure would be needed to boost the tourism sector in the DRC?
Boosting the tourism sector involves several factors in addition to real estate infrastructure! In short, with regard to construction, judicious entrepreneurs call on my services or we form a partnership so that their hotel, tourist or restaurant projects are operational and up to standard. The objective is of course to have infrastructures and an organization that give a good return on investment.
Can you tell us more about the services you offer to entrepreneurs?
Africa Tourism Consultants offers:
- Sales & Marketing
- Operations management
- Business Development
- Training and Internships
- Representation & Public Relations
What image does the DRC refer to abroad in terms of tourism?
Foreigners do not know or know little about the DRC, all sectors combined! I love promoting the DR Congo destination to local and international customers, there is so much to see, develop and discover.
Finally, can you tell us what you like the most in the DRC?
I love the DRC, my host country, the people are genuine and warm. The cuisine is delicious and generous. A country of challenges, of course, but also of many and varied opportunities. Even after twenty years, I will always be with you in the land of the Leopards!
Interview by Alvin Noël Matanda