Onboard advertising the latest craze


(Posted 30th August 2016)

It may cost passengers less to fly – as long as they book early enough that is or wait for special deals – but from next month onwards this will come with an added price.
Jambojet has reportedly signed a deal with ‘Global Onboard Partners‘ to roll out advertising in the cabins of their aircraft, subjecting passengers to visual images on service trays, perhaps headrest covers, the seatback and maybe even the overhead bins among other locations on the aircraft which can be plastered with advertising images without endangering safety.
Like it or not, there is hardly a chance to look away from this latest craze, which, while bringing in much needed cash into the airline’s coffers, may well cause negative reactions from passengers forced to eat a visual meal they did not order.
While Jambojet CEO hailed the initiative which in his words will give advertisers a ‘captive audience‘ others have responded to this correspondent’s question by saying it is holding passengers ‘captive‘ by subjecting them to advertising they did not ask to see nor can switch off, unlike on TV or in the print media – like inflight magazines – where one can flip the page of fast forward to get rid of unwanted commercials.
Time will tell how this is received by passengers, if they will approve, or perhaps silently suffer the visual intrusion or if they will revolt and chose other airline where a calmer, non advertising cabin environment is provided.
One thing for sure has emerged, that innovation and out of the box thinking rules when it comes to adding non ticket revenues. Pole position for this clearly goes to Jambojet of Kenya which has jumped the bandwagon as Africa’s first airline to do so and where the bean counters will no doubt smile as the cash begins to roll in.

Skytrax pegs Kenya Airways as fifth best in Africa and part of the global top 100


(Posted 30th August 2016)

Skytrax, the world’s leading aviation services rating organization, has in their latest release of global rankings put Kenya Airways into fifth position for Africa and number 85, up one place from last year, on a global scale.
This affirms regular contention by this correspondent that the Pride of Africa indeed offers superior ground and inflight services compared to many competitors, including some ranked higher by Skytrax but failing in a direct one on one comparison from experiences of travel on various airlines in Africa.
This follows the World Travel Awards of 2016, held in Zanzibar earlier in the year, where Kenya Airways for the forth time running became Africa’s leading business class airline plus Africa’s leading airline overall.
The lounges of Kenya Airways in their new home, Terminal 1A at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, too have gained global recognition with in particular SkyTeam partner airline passengers giving these facilities the thumbs up.
Royal Air Maroc, now also flying to Nairobi, came in 9th in Africa while Air Austral of Reunion Island, though carrying a French registry, came in 10th among African airlines.

In the African skies over the Indian Ocean has Air Seychelles again topped the Skytrax ratings ahead of rival Air Mauritius, a sign of how much progress the airline has made over the past few years since entering a strategic partnership with Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways, which notably came in sixth overall on a global scale.

The Best Airlines in Africa
1 South African Airways
2 Air Seychelles
3 Air Mauritius
4 Ethiopian Airlines
5 Kenya Airways
6 TAAG Angola Airlines
7 Kulula
8 Mango
9 Royal Air Maroc
10 Air Austral

Kenya finalizes position paper for CITES COP17


(Posted 30th August 2016)

The Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources Prof. Judi Wakhungu yesterday morning presided over the final national CITES stakeholders’ briefing session as Kenya entered the homestretch of her preparations for the CITES CoP17 to be held next month in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The preparations process started with the commissioning of a National CITES Technical Committee earlier in the year and included representation from CITES experts, from the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Kenya Wildlife Service, the National Museums of Kenya, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the State Department of Fisheries and Blue Economy, the Kenya Forest Service, the Kenya Forestry Research Institute and representation from the Conservation Alliance of Kenya.

The first retreat of the National CITES Committee was held in April 2016 in Kilaguni Lodge in Tsavo West National Park to prepare country submissions to CoP17.

A second retreat of the Committee to review proposals submitted by other countries and prepare country interventions and positions on each was held two weeks ago.

The national stakeholders briefing is the final stage in Kenya’s consultative preparation through a national multi-agency CITES Technical committee.

In total, Kenya has submitted fourteen proposals covering a wide range of wild species, including the African elephant, African Pangolins, species of snakes endemic to Kenya, the thresher Sharks, species of chameleons, plant species and others on measures to combat illegal wildlife trafficking.

These proposals, together with others submitted by other Parties to the Convention, have since been uploaded on the CITES website www.cites.org in readiness for discussion as agenda items of the triennial World Wildlife Conference.

Over 180 proposals are lined up for discussion, as agenda items of the Conference that will bring together 183 States that are Parties to the Convention. The Parties will take critical decisions on wildlife trade policy and the scope of regulatory control over international trade in specific wild species.

The CITES Convention is an international framework for regulation of trade in certain endangered species of wild animals and plants to ensure use of such species is sustainable and not detrimental to their survival in the wild.

The provisions of the Convention are binding to the signatory States; Kenya being one of them since 1978.

CITES is about regulation through permitting, of international trade and about certain species that are subject to the listing in the Appendices of the Convention: Appendix I, II and III.

The purpose of yesterday’s session was to brief national stakeholders on the proposals the Government has prepared and submitted to the CITES CoP17 and some of the provisional positions that will be articulated at CoP17.

Kenya remains committed to playing its rightful role in ensuring that international trade in endangered species of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival in the wild.

That is why Kenya has been lobbying Parties to the CITES Convention to ensure discussions of the proposals bear this intention in mind.

Prof. Wakhungu reiterated that Kenya’s proposals, especially on listing the African Elephant on Appendix I is further informed by the call made by President Uhuru Kenyatta during the burning of country’s ivory stockpile in April. The proposals are supported by 28 other African States and Sri Lanka and are meant to offer the highest level of protection of the species under CITES framework.

The listing proposal is accompanied by four other complimentary proposals also supported by the 28 other African States: closure of domestic ivory markets, management of stockpiles, suspension of decision-making mechanism process and control of trade in live elephants.

Prof. Wakhungu called on all delegates to the Johannesburg conference, both the Government and Observer delegates, to familiarise themselves with the country proposals and, as much as possible, seek any clarification from her as the Head of Government delegation or her designated alternate heads of delegate (s) on any issue regarding the country position.

Notably has the Kenyan proposal met with fierce resistance by some Southern African countries, among them South Africa which has suffered a massive rhino poaching crisis in recent years with little visible counteraction by their government and where presently the number of poaching incidents of elephants is rising at an alarming rate.

It is in fact South Africa which is broadly blamed on the elephant poaching crisis after luring CITES members to allowing what was then termed a one off sale of so called legal ivory, which in the opinion of many leading conservation experts around the world however opened the door for growing demand, most of it originating in China and satisfied by and large through the poaching of tens of thousands of elephant in Africa in recent years.

Qatar Airways launches new ‘Travel Festival’


(Posted 29th August 2016)

From the 30th of August until the 05th of September can travelers take advantage of a massive promotional drive by 5 star airline Qatar Airways, also available in the airline’s East Africa destinations Entebbe, Kigali, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar.
The Qatar Airways Travel Festival will take travellers to some of the world’s favourite holiday destinations, with companion promotions offering two-for-one fares, discounts of up to 50 per cent, all available on travel between 15th of September 2016 and 30th of June 2017.
The Festival also includes special deals for hotels, as well as discounted holiday extras such as car rentals.

Qatar Airways Privilege Club Members can also earn triple Qmiles for bookings made during the Travel Festival.

As well as benefiting from the Travel Festival’s phenomenal fares, travellers will have the chance to win special prizes throughout the eight-day event. More than 600 prizes will be given away throughout the Festival, with highlights including a pair of ‘around the world’ air travel tickets in collaboration with Qatar Airways and oneworld, and the chance to win a pair of tickets to attend Qatar Airways-sponsored FC Barcelona matches, as well as signed football jerseys. Complimentary upgrades will be awarded, giving travellers the opportunity to experience the World’s Best Business Class service. Free Economy Class flights for travel on the airline’s global network will also be up for grabs, as well as five Qatar Airways Holiday packages as will shopping vouchers which can be used in Qatar Duty Free in Doha and much more.

Qatar Airways Chief Commercial Officer, Dr. Hugh Dunleavy, said when making the announcement: ‘The Qatar Airways Travel Festival first launched in January this year gave our customers a unique platform through which to enjoy some of the very best deals available. This time throughout the Travel Festival, our passengers will be able to choose from some even more incredible packages and travel deals , empowering them to explore the world, and offering them the chance of winning some incredible prizes too. We want to inspire people to not only dream about travelling, but to make those dreams a reality‘.

Offers available throughout the Travel Festival will be applicable on Economy and Business Class return airfares to the more than 150 destinations worldwide that Qatar Airways flies to, including in the Americas, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Europe but also Africa.

Moroni will be Ethiopian’s next African destination


(Posted 29th August 2016)

Just days after announcing that the Namibian capital of Windhoek will be added to their growing African network has Ethiopian earlier today confirmed that come 02nd of November will Moroni / Comoros also join the ranks of Ethiopian Airlines’ destinations.
The service, using a Boeing B737-800NG, will route three times a week via Dar es Salaam and traffic days will be Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.
The Comoros are part of the Vanilla Island organization which brings together key Indian Ocean islands like Reunion, Mauritius, Madagascar, Mayotte but also the Seychelles and the Maldives. The Comoros are among the least served of these islands when it comes to air connections and the fledgling tourism industry will no doubt welcome the announcement.
When operational will this bring the overall number of African destinations served by Ethiopian to 54 after earlier this year already adding Cape Town, Durban and Gaborone in Southern Africa, Yaounde in West Africa and Goma in the East of the Congo.
In Eastern Africa does Ethiopian now fly three times a day to and from Entebbe but also serves Kigali, Bujumbura, Nairobi, Mombasa, Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar.

Rwanda hosts first Conservation and Tourism Exhibition in new Convention Centre


(Posted 28th August 2016)

The 1st Kwita Izina Conservation and Tourism exhibition organized alongside the 12th Kwita Izina/ Gorilla naming ceremony is taking place at the new Kigali Conference and Exhibition Village. Local, regional and international exhibitors from the tourism and conservation sector participated by attending and showcasing their products and services in this inaugural event. Both private and public sectors and development partners from Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and Zimbabwe represented their countries as a symbol of the shared passion in conservation that helps all to come together to achieve both individual as well as countries’ goals.
The tourism and conservation exhibition is the second event preceding the highly anticipated Kwita Izina baby gorilla naming ceremony which will take place on Friday 02nd September in Kinigi near the town of Musanze outside the Volcanoes National Park. The three day event, which commenced yesterday, will be open until August 29, i.e. end of Monday and the general public was able to attend and participate all of today. The aim of this event is to create a platform to raise awareness about our countries’ conservation efforts and also promote the different destinations.
The Rwanda Development Board’s Chief Executive Officer Francis Gatare said when opening the event: ‘We are delighted to offer all guests the most hospitable welcome to Rwanda, you have all chosen to be part of this very important exhibition because of our mutual interest in sustainable tourism development. This is the first edition of the Rwanda Conservation and tourism exhibition but we will continue to organize it and grow with it, we therefore urge conservationists, exhibitors and tour operators from all over the world to participate‘.
The Chief Tourism Officer at the Rwanda Development Board Ms. Belise Kariza also thanked the exhibitors and added that, ‘the Gorilla naming ceremony is the most important annual national conservation and tourism event on the Rwandan calendar, it is not only a celebration of our conservation success story but a hybrid platform of events and a series of activities focused on conservation and sustainable tourism‘.

The tourism and conservation exhibition platform intends to renew and enhance contacts for sales and partnerships, get more exposure for countries as tourism destinations, meet and network with various local, regional and international operators and learn and share the most current trends in promoting sustainable tourism.

For added information about Destination Rwanda click on www.rwandatourism.com

From solar eclipse to golfing – Reunion has something for everyone


(Posted 28th August 2016)

It is now just a few days before on 01st of September between 14.09 hrs and 14.15 hrs Reunion will be plunged into darkness during the completion of a total solar eclipse. The event is due to commence at 12.22 hrs when the moon begins to push itself between the sun and the earth and the spectacle will then last until 15.43 hrs when the moon has traversed the course of the sun completely.
It is understood that hotel accommodation on Reunion will be hard to come by as thousands of extra visitors have begun to stream onto the island to witness the event.
The last time this was seen on the island was reportedly in 1901 and the next total solar eclipse is only projected to be seen here in 2267 with a partial eclipse visible in 2200, both arguably beyond the lifespan of ordinary mortals. For added information click on the link below.


Mercedes Open The Island Golf Meeting

Meanwhile has Reunion Tourism also just announced that the Mercedes Open Golf Championship will be played on the island between the 20th and 26th of November at the Golf de Bassin Bleu course near St. Gilles les Bains.
This is one of three championship golf courses on the island where visitors to Reunion can play during their visits and details about all three of them are shown below.

· Golf du Bassin Bleu (GBB)

Located on the west coast between Saint-Gilles-les Bains and the Hauts de Saint-Gilles, the 18-hole Golf Bassin Bleu is nestled between impressive ravines and forests of eucalyptus. The 5,923 meters of the course combine vast panoramas of the Indian Ocean and play in the forest. Restaurant, gym, wellness center, swimming pool, reception and cocktail service are available daily.

· The Golf Club de Bourbon (GCB)

The history of this island course, the Golf Club de Bourbon which was established in 1969, is initially a 9 hole before being converted to 18 holes in 1991. Located in the heart of the forest of Etang Salé, this golf course offers a course of 6,225 meters on relatively flat terrain. He has the reputation of being very technical and therefore delights experienced players.

· The Golf Club of Colorado (GCC)

Perched at 660 meters altitude in Colorado leisure park on the heights of The Mountain, the 2,317 meters of the course of the Colorado Golf Club is extremely hilly and therefore technically demanding! This golf course is only 9 holes of the island. In a context of Tops, trees, flowers and tonic, it offers magnificent views of St. Mary northeast to St. Paul in the west.

For added information about Reunion click on www.reunion.fr


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