NOMINATED FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN BUSINESS AND BUSINESS
INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR
My keen interest in China began as far back as 2009. Back then, very
little explicatory data was available by way of book publications,
e-forums, or even blogging sites online. And so, in a bid to unearth
more market intelligence I decided to enroll for evening language
classes at the Confucius Institute in Nairobi, Kenya.
In 2011, I went into partnership with Kenya Utalli College as a
lecturer on a course series titled:
Chinese Outbound Tourism, Conferencing and Service Delivery
This 3-month certificate course is still unparalleled anywhere on the
In recognition of my pioneering efforts, China Outbound Travel &
Tourism Market (COTTM) rewarded me with the prestigious Chinese
Tourist Welcoming (CTW) Award in Beijing. I won the 2012 Silver Prize
for Product Innovation.
I also lived in Xiamen and Hong Kong from 2012–2014. This first-hand
experience witnessing Asian consumer culture brought my years worth of
research full circle.
Why do I deserve to win this award category? Because I have over the
past eight years demonstrated leadership in the field of outbound
Chinese tourism to Africa and beyond. I am presently the Director of
Gulu and Hirst (G&H). We offer research and advisory services on
marketing to Chinese customers and tourists alike. We rebrand
companies looking to expand into the China market by boosting their
digital presence, helping them recruit bilingual staff, and sales
training programs to polish their retailing skills.
G&H is the only consultancy of its kind in East Africa. Our key
strength lies in strategy development. We design workable strategies
that serve as corporate blueprints for market expansion into Chinese
business circles. Our paying clients include a leading corporate law
firm, wine distribution outlet, organic farm estate, and an ecotourism
company. May 2017, we are due to go into contract with Brand South
Africa who require our assistance sourcing Chinese OTAs (online travel
agencies) to grow the nation’s tourism sector.
Furthermore, I have managed to secure prominent interviews with
international media such as China Daily (USA), ChinAfrica Magazine,
Beijing Review, and even Shanghai Daily. I also appear on live TV
sharing advice on China to service-oriented companies. Our most recent
TV broadcast was 19 March, 2017.
Sandra Rwese – Pride of Africa 2/2
• NTV Uganda: Taxes Compliance for Chinese Companies Launching in Uganda.
When invited, I also give public lectures to university faculty and
tourism associations; focusing mainly on the role of digital
advertising and Chinese e-payment platforms. This is part of our
community outreach to get audiences engaged with Chinese social media
– leading to greater tourism prospects. Some past public lectures
• January 2017 – The China Africa Project (SoundCloud), Berkeley,
California. Chinese Tourist Arrivals in Africa are up, so why aren’t
African Travel Companies More Excited.
• April 2016 – Makerere University Business School (MUBS). Chinese
Tourism in Uganda.
• February 2016 – NatureUganda (NU). Non-Traditional Markets for
Tourism in Uganda and Engagement of Tour Operators.