Brussels Airlines continues partnership with Club Med

BRUSSELS AIRLINES REMAINS THE AIRLINE OF CHOICE FOR CLUB MED

(Posted 25th May 2017)

Brussels Airlines and Club Med have decided to extend their partnership for the next two years. Brussels Airlines thereby continues to be Club Med’s favourite airline partner on the Belgian market.

The extension of the contract was signed by Christina Foerster, Chief Commercial Officer at Brussels Airlines and Eric Georges, Managing Director at Club Med. Brussels Airlines has been the preferred airline partner of Club Med since 2010. Thanks to the partnership, the holidaymakers of Club Med fly in comfort with Brussels Airlines to several Mediterranean destinations. Club Med customers are according to feedback very satisfied with the flights and the service of Brussels Airlines. This high satisfaction rate played an important role in the decision of the extension the partnership.

Brussels Airlines and Club Med also worked out the successful “Fly & Ski”-formula with which passengers can fly to the 20 Club Med resorts in the French, Italian and Swiss Alps. Furthermore both partners promote the Meetings, Events & Incentives offer of Club Med.

In Eastern Africa does Brussels Airlines fly five times a week to Entebbe / Uganda while serving Kigali / Rwanda six times a week, once in conjunction with Bujumbura / Burundi.

Kenya Airways’ to release annual results in the morning

ALL EYES ON KENYA AIRWAYS AS MBUVI NGUNZE PRESENTS HIS LAST ANNUAL RESULTS

(Posted 25th May 2017)

The announcement of the annual results of Kenya Airways’ financial year 2016/17, which ended on the 31st of March, will be outgoing CEO Mbuvi Ngunze’s swansong as he prepares to hand over to his successor just a few days afterwards.
Mbuvi, who was Chief Operating Officer before he took over from Titus Naikuni as CEO three years ago, had inherited a company facing the stark reality of technical insolvency after posting continued losses.
Forensic audits, special audits and a major austerity programme were launched under his stewardship and ‘Operation Pride‘ then unfolded as cost savings began to show results.
However, having to deal with rabid unions unable to see beyond their own noses, incapable to recognize the financial challenges the company was faced with, did several elements of the cost savings programme, namely cuts in staff numbers, not fully materialise.
Mbuvi however did manage to progressively phase out the airline’s Boeing B777 fleet while at the same time also leasing out two of the new Boeing B787 Dreamliners to Oman Air as routes too were rationalised.
Concentrating on its core business, Africa, did Kenya Airways eventually fly out of operational losses but investors and pundits will now have to wait until the morning when the airline will reveal just how far the turnaround has gone.
Details will follow here tomorrow evening only, due to continuing travel across Uganda.

Best wishes to Mbuvi Ngunze on his last major activity as the airline’s CEO and Group Managing Director and fingers crossed that the Pride of Africa will have returned to the financial straight and narrow after years of financial turbulences.

Meanwhile will Sebastian Mikosz officially take over on the 01st of June from Mbuvi, inheriting a long agenda list of further action to return the once very profitable airline from deep red balance sheets to black figures, something he accomplished in particular at the Polish national airline LOT, where he served twice as CEO and initiated major restructuring plans.

https://wolfganghthome.wordpress.com/2017/05/04/kenya-airways-new-ceo-to-take-office-in-june/

Kenya’s Tourism Professionals finally unite to help protect their industry

NEW DAWN FOR TOURISM PROFESSIONALS IN KENYA

(Posted 25th May 2017)

The need for tourism professionals to come together and to not just advance their sector’s agenda but also to protect and defend it, has gained a new urgency.
In Tanzania it is TANAPA which through unilateral fee hikes threatens the very survival of the safari industry while in Rwanda the equally unilateral hike of gorilla permit fees to a whopping US Dollars 1.500 has also set the private sector on a collision course with wildlife managers and tourism public sector at large.
Public sector organizations, which do not consult with their respective private sector stakeholders and key organizations about decision which impact doing business in such a massive way, are failing in their public duty and must not wonder when they are condemned in the sharpest possible terms on both institutional as well as personal levels.

Already in March last year were details of TPA’s mission and vision revealed here, available for review by simply clicking on the link below:

https://wolfganghthome.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/kenyas-tourism-professional-association-getting-ready-for-take-off/

Now has Mr. Sam Ikwaye, Interim Secretary of Kenya’s Tourism Professional Association outlined the organization’s present status and activities it is involved in to share not just with professionals in Kenya but the wider Eastern Africa region where unity of private sector stakeholders is today more important than ever before:

Start quote:

There is a new dawn, a revolution of sorts that is taking shape on the tourism scene in Kenya. The idea of having a professional’s organization in the sector was received with lots of mixed reactions. Most investors thought and have always believed they are the professionals because the vacuum that existed gave room for over 50 years for everyone to apply whatever standards they thought fit for their investments. Government put a lot of emphasis on owners rather than growing the professionals in all key decisions and engagements. This worked very well then because earlier, investors had good respect for professionals and had their investments as their core activities. Today, we have a new crop of investors who are looking at quick returns from tourism investments. The definition as adopted by TPA is giving new meaning to a profession: A profession is something a little more than a job, it is a career for someone that wants to be part of society, who becomes competent in their chosen sector through training; maintains their skills through continuing professional development (CPD); and commits to behaving ethically, to protect the interests of the public.

Recent happenings where different circuits are faced with unique challenges have pushed many more players to take more seriously the idea of belonging to some professional body in their own sector. Today’s job adverts including internal promotions demand that you show proof of belonging to a professional body with good standing. Most have filled in unrelated professional qualifications but now TPA is offering this essence of belonging for professionals practicing in Kenya.

Issuance of TPA membership certificates has finally begun. Fully paid up members are subscribing to TPA and are ready to take charge of this profession. This is very exiting that finally, the association is taking a professional shape and form and ready to offer services to its members, indeed, our Journey of a thousand miles is past the initial single step. An executive decision was taken to have ALL members joining the Association to start at Affiliate category so that ALL have a chance to experience professional growth within the Association.

Why do we need TPA … if you want …

  • · an occupation which will help you to build your skills and develop your expertise in a field which interests you;
  • · to keep learning, be challenged and stay up to date with the latest developments in your chosen area;
  • · to solve problems, do good work, and be involved in making decisions which help to improve people’s lives.
  • · to earn more money. Professionalism pays: people with professional body membership will earn more than those without.

Like most professional bodies, and unlike trade associations such as those represented under KTF, TPA is an organization whose members are individual professionals. In some professions it is compulsory to be a member of the professional body, in others, such as TPA it is not. This usually depends on whether or not the profession requires the professional to have a ‘license to practice’, or to be on a professional register, in order to do their job. This is related to how the profession is regulated i.e. who is responsible for making sure that professionals are doing their jobs properly.

The executive Committee led by a veteran hotelier Killian Lugwe and deputized by a scholar Joy Goopio from the Strathmore University led the team to carry out courtesy calls onto different government agencies and private sector players as well as other internationally recognized professional organization in Kenya and the goodwill and support was over whelming. For example the accounting body has always had challenges because hospitality accounting is quite different from conventional principles of accounting. Very few managers and investors especially those employing expatriates are not aware for example of the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry (USALI) and the subsequent editions to apply.

We have urged ALL professionals to stand up and be counted. Many things are not right. After the establishment of a new Tourism Act, and setting up of many parastatals, some with duplicating roles, the sector still moves as though on auto pilot and really influenced by politics of the day, in fact, this may be worse in the coming days as county governments begin to take charge of tourism resources within their counties.

The next focus being pursed is the student membership category because we believe the future of the profession can be secured through the mentorship program. TPA is in negotiations with HOSCO, the leading hospitality network for jobs, news & connections (www.hosco.com) to benefit the many students aspiring to join TPA as professionals.

TPA is enjoying support across the board and we extend invitation to all professionals in Kenya as well as those in international practice to up at www.tpa.co.ke

Sam Ikwaye

Interim Secretary-TPA

End quote

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Diani Rules return for June 01st to 04th event

DIANI RULES‘ RULE THE DIANI BEACHES NEXT WEEK

(Posted 25th May 2017)

One of Kenya’s best known beach sports competitions, Diani Rules returns for action next week over the long Madaraka Day weekend.
A fun event for all ages held every year in Diani for the past 26 years aims to help raise money for their charity of choice, the Kwale Eye Centre,

Diani Rules in Aid of Kwale District Eye Centre

For the past twenty six years this fun charity sports event on Diani Beach has raised money to battle blindness. The sports involve football with a rugby ball, volley ball, Frisbee, target and many others. There is always immense support from local hotels, national companies and businesses and people come from as far away as UK to join in.
The Diani Rules title is taken literally, as the rules of the games are made up by the judges.

Basically 16 teams of eight (at least 3 of whom MUST be girls) compete in team sports such as beach volleyball, tug of war, rugby, Frisbee etc. The games are changed so that everyone is brought up or down to one level e.g. football is played with a rugby ball on the beach.
Teams representing companies from both Kenya and abroad, from different business backgrounds, come to take part, help with the organization or simply to watch and be part of the fun.
Many other organizations, individuals, businessmen and hotels come together to give prizes for the teams and grand raffle.

Because of twenty six years of fundraising,thousands of poor Kenyan people and their families have literally been given the Gift of Sight. The most common cause of blindness in Kenya is a cataract, which however can be surgically removed so the patient can see again!

All the best to the competitors and on behalf of the Kwale District Eye Centre a great many thanks to all the sponsors and supporters of the event.

Wakanow scores big at Nigeria’s ICT Awards

NIGERIA’S ICT AWARDS 2017 HONOUR WAKANOW

(Posted 25th May 2017)

Nigeria’s first online travel company, Wakanow, has again reaffirmed its position as Nigeria’s most preferred booking portal following its recent recognition as Travelers’ Portal of the Year during the Beacon of ICT Awards held in Lagos.

According to Nigeria Communications Week, organizers of the annual awards, Wakanow was voted the travel portal of choice by over 1.3 million readers through an online poll conducted by the magazine, spanning over a period of five months. By virtue of the win, Wakanow also made history by becoming the first online travel company to win the award for the second year in a row.

Communications Week noted that Wakanow won the award on the basis of its innovative utilization and application of cutting-edge technology for making travel booking seamless, transparent and more affordable.

It added that Wakanow emerged the Travelers’ Portal of the Year owing largely to its highly sophisticated technology that complements her robust product offerings and customer-centric solutions, which continue to endear the brand to its teeming customers.

As one of the fastest growing online travel companies in Africa, the magazine said, ‘The votes are testament to your talents, innovations, contributions and commitment to the growth of the information and communication technology in Nigeria, and we are happy that Nigerians have recognized your hard work and dedication towards the development of the sector‘.

Speaking on the award, Chief Marketing Officer of Wakanow, Mrs. Victoria Onwubiko, said: ‘For us, the award not only demonstrates our leadership position in the Nigerian technology space, it also shows that we are an organization with an eye for the future. We will continue to leverage on technology to change the face of travel across Africa. For the past few months, we have been driving our global expansion rollout that has seen us establish firm footings in the UK, Kenya and other African countries slated to go live soon. We knew that we needed world-class technology to compete favorably in these new markets, and that is what we have done‘.

Wakanow is Africa’s leading online travel management portal with physical presence in the Nigeria, UAE, UK, the US and Ghana while also eying a presence in Eastern Africa where Ms. Fifi Rurangwa is presently heading the expansion drive. Leveraging heavily on technology and accelerated customer service models, Wakanow is rapidly changing the face of travel in Africa with bespoke solutions.

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