This new School will be directed by Nicole Bamukunde, a young Rwandese entrepreneur who studied at Vatel in France fifteen or so years ago, before working in high-profile jobs in local industries. She will be supported in her duties by the Vatel Mauritius team and in particular, Renaud Azema, the School’s Director.
Stakes are high for Rwanda, as one of its economic development strategies is increasing tourism. Hotels are growing by leaps and bounds, not just in Kigali, with business-based tourism, but also in Rubavu, on the border of the Republic of the Congo, in Karongi and Musanze, which are tourist resorts being built on the banks of Lake Kivu, where many private stakeholders are requesting the support of high-quality training initiatives.
And Rwanda, just like many other countries in Eastern and Southern Africa, suffers from the lack of domestic schools that are able to train managers and executives in tourism management, as well as in hotel management. As do Vatel Mauritius and Madagascar, the goal of Vatel Kigali is to correctly train local students to become operational managers, and in the future, senior executives.
Nonetheless, the analysis that Nicole Bamukunde recently carried out showed that local hotels, in order to attract international guests, must not only recruit new operational managers who comply with international standards, but also train these professionals to use these standards. But the program the Rwandese government put in place to improve customer care is merely made up of a few sessions showing trainees how to work on welcoming guests, and is far from satisfying visitors who are used to traveling in other touristic areas, where the welcome and service provided to guests are always top class.
As of September, Vatel Kigali will be the first Business School in International Hotel Management able to provide the appropriate response to Rwanda’s needs. Training is needed not just in schools, but also to train hotel employees, starting with their managers, so that they will be able to better support their team members in ramping up their skills.
Renaud Azema has been in charge of expanding Vatel’s network in Africa since July, 2014. This new function was awarded to him because of the success of Vatel Mauritius, which, in April 2015, will have 330 students on the Pierrefonds Campus, in Quatre Bornes.
Vatel Kigali is the first School to be launched in Eastern Africa, and the second one after Madagascar, under Renaud Azema’s responsibility. He clearly explains Vatel Group’s ambitions: “Wherever this is possible, we want to give students the possibility of studying locally, while taking advantage of an internationally recognized degree and curriculum that complies with French standards (a certified degree registered at the National Directory of Professional Certification (RNCP)) by a French ministerial by-law, and we want this to be cost-effective for our students.”
Vatel’s expansion in Africa will not stop there. Already countries such as Tanzania and Kenya have shown interest in hosting a Vatel Campus in their country. Renaud Azema is also exploring destinations such as Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.
They’ll tell you about their African experiences:
A Vatel Paris 2002 alumnus, Solene Le Blevenec began her career in Hyatt Hotels & Resorts before joining the Meurice Hotel. Turning encounters into opportunities, she made the audacious choice to become independent. A bet that paid off!Read more
What do Vatel students do when they are not training or in class? Some, like Maxime Culosse, decide to beef up their resumes.Read more
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A 2010 alumnus, Francois Perraud is now a Financial Controller at the Nantes Radisson Blu. Coming September, he’ll also be a Vatel Nantes faculty member!Read more
Vatel Bordeaux Academic Director Ludovic Glorieux presents his missions and a complete overview of the strengths and challenges for the Vatel Group entity in Gironde.Read more
Who is Isabelle Cassini, a Vatel Nantes professor?Read more
Seven Romanian high school students spent two weeks at Vatel Nimes, where they shared the daily lives of the 800 students on this Campus.Read more
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Line Laffond, a French professor in international classes in Vatel Nimes, has won the CirVath* Research Award for her study about the “uberization of the hospitality industry and tourism”Read more
Armelle Auguste worked in the hospitality industry for 20 years before being appointed as Director of the 5th Vatel School in France.Vatel Nantes will open in 2018. Her portrait and message to her future students.Read more
Vatel Gourmet Grand Hotel Dieu, located right in this historical and majestic monument, teaches students how a catering boutique is run.Read more