Forget Unai Emery. There is another key signing

By | Category: Travel news

the new armbands. Image © Arsenal

As the new Arsenal football manager, Unai Emery, gave his first press conference at the Emirates stadium yesterday afternoon, the big scoreboard behind him said Welcome Unai.

It didn’t say “Welcome Rwanda” although it should have done since Visit Rwanda has become the sleeve sponsor.

Not both sleeves just the left one!

In a three-year deal Visit Rwanda is now Arsenal’s official Tourism Partner. Emery was shown sitting in front of two players from the club both wearing the new sleeve sponsorship so Visit Rwanda couldn’t have timed their decision much better. With 13.8 million followers to their Twitter account, the name Visit Rwanda was spread around the world. Apparently, the club says, the Arsenal shirt is seen 35 million times a day globally! Visit Rwanda should have done well for the first day of their contract with Arsenal.

The new manager and the new logo. Image © Arsenal

But apart from the publicity what does Rwanda get for the money it has paid to the club? The ‘Visit Rwanda’ logo will feature on the left sleeve of all Arsenal teams next season, both men and women’s.Players from the men’s and women’s teams will visit Rwanda and club coaches will host coaching camps to support the development of the game for boys and girls in Rwanda. the country’s name will also appear on matchday LED boards at Emirates Stadium, all the interview backdrops.

Rwanda will be hoping that, through the lifetime of the contract, supporters will holiday in the country but what will holidaymakers see? The country’s national parks are attracting a record number of tourists (1.2 million last year) due to growing numbers of wildlife including black rhinos, lions, zebra, chimpanzees and the famous mountain gorillas.

one of the main attractions of Rwanda – the chance to see mountain gorillas. Image © Rwanda Development Board

Due to the success of the country’s conservation efforts, Rwanda has increased the population of endangered mountain gorillas by over 20% in the last decade making it now home to 480 mountain gorillas, the largest number in the world.

Many readers – or Arsenal supporters – may not realise that there are direct flights between Gatwick and the Rwandan capital, Kigali, on the national airline – RwandAir. The roughly eleven hour flight leaves in the early evening and arrives first thing the next morning after a brief stopver in Brussels.  A thirty day visa will cost £20 and you can obtain one before you fly or when you arrive but make sure your passport has 6 months validity in it before you visit Rwanda.


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