Archive for May, 2016

UNWTO News for May 2016

Exports from international tourism rise 4% in 2015

International tourism receipts in destinations around the world grew by 3.6% in 2015, in line with the 4.4% increase in international arrivals. For the fourth consecutive year, international tourism grew faster than world merchandise trade, raising tourism’s share in world’s exports to 7% in 2015. The total export value from international tourism amounted to US$ 1.4 trillion.

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Security, travel facilitation, sustainability and new technologies among priorities addressed by UNWTO Executive Council

With the attendance by more than 300 representatives from 50 countries, including 17 ministers and secretaries of tourism, the 103rd session of the UNWTO Executive Council concluded on Wednesday. The session took place during a key time for the sector as it continues on its upward growth trend, already accounting for 7 per cent of total world exports (9-11 May, Malaga, Spain)

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UNWTO Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism: Call for Applications is now open

The call for applications for the 13th UNWTO Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism is now open. The deadline for applications is 30 September 2016. The UNWTO Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism distinguish innovative tourism initiatives with outstanding achievements in the following four categories: Public Policy and Governance, Enterprises, Non-Governmental Organizations and Research and Technology.

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First World Conference on Tourism for Development: Premier Li of China calls for higher financing for development in tourism

The role of tourism in fighting poverty and building peace were the key focus of the First World Conference on Tourism for Development. Opening the conference, Premier Li Keqiang underlined the role of tourism in lifting people out of poverty and the importance of stepping up international cooperation in tourism. The event, organized by UNWTO and the Government of the People’s Republic of China, gathered in Beijing 1000 participants from over 100 countries (18-21 May, Bejing, China).

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UNWTO Europe Meeting discusses digitalization and new business models

Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania, this week hosted representatives of 34 countries for the 60th Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for Europe. Discussions focused on major tourism trends and the priorities and agenda of the Organization for the region. The meeting was followed by a seminar on new business models (26-27 May 2016, Vilnius, Lithuania)

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UNWTO Annual Report 2016

In 2015, tourism continued to be a key driver of the global economic recovery, and a vital contributor to job creation, poverty alleviation, environmental protection and multicultural peace and understanding across the globe.
International tourist arrivals grew by 4.4% to reach a total of 1,184 million. Some 50 million more tourists travelled to international destinations around the world last year as compared to 2014.

Download your own copy here.

Meeting of the Committee for Tourism Ethics

The 17th meeting of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics, held at the UNWTO Headquarters in Madrid, Spain on 26-27 April 2016 discussed the advances in the process of conversion of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism into an international convention and reiterated the importance of transforming the Code into legally binding international law.

The process of transformation is led by a group of UNWTO Member States which is currently drafting the text of the convention to be presented to the 22nd UNWTO General Assembly to be held in China in 2017.

Learn more about UNWTO’s Ethics Programme here

KILIFair is almost upon us


(Posted 31st May 2016)

KILIFAIR is 4 days ahead of us and we want to inform you on the Steps for you from Registering to successfully attending and writing about KILIFAIR 2016.

We provided special Press wristbands and Press Passes for all of our pre-registered Press Represantives to have a free access to the Fair Ground and enjoy special Press Specials.

STEP 1 – Get your Press Passes & Bands:

– Whoever does not have his/her Press pass yet, please make sure you get your Passes at the KILIFAIR Entrance (Cashier 4)
– All pre-registered Press Representatives are listed and their Packages are ready for Pick Up
– NOTE: Don’t forget to bring your ID for identification, we won’t make any exception on the name you registered with!

STEP 2 – Access to KILIFAIR :

– Once you received your Passes and Wristbands please write your Name on your Pass and apply your Wristband around your Arm
– VERY IMPORTANT: the Wristband is water-resistant and can NOT be taken off!! Once it is off, you can NOT put it back on again!!
– Your Press Pass is ONLY valid in combination with your wristband – vise versa: your wristband is ONLY valid in combination with your Pass
– NOTE: We won’t make any acceptation on a lost Band or pass – we will be very strict !!

STEP 3 – Writing about KILIFAIR :

– With your Press Pass you can access almost every area of the Fair-ground – starting from Friday
– Whoever received his/her Pass already: You can access the Fair-ground from Thursday already. NO ONE ELSE !
– NOTE: Whatever you publish (Online, Newspaper or TV) please keep a copy for us to read afterwards

STEP 4 – Losing your KILIFAIR Press-Pass:

– Again: Once you received your Press-Package you have no chance to receive another Pass OR Wristband
– make sure you do not lose any of your items nor take your wristband of before Sunday to avoid any problems
– NOTE: Only the registered Press People can get access to the KILIFAIR Press Special;
If you can not come and have to send a colleague, or you know already you won’t come alone: Make sure your colleague registers online before Wednesday!!

Fastjet passengers can win big today


(Posted 31st May 2016)

As an initiative to boost even more Africans flying, Fastjet earlier today announced that any passengers purchasing tickets on Tuesday, 31st May 2016 will be entered into the first ever Fastjet Big 10 Lottery to win 10 free return flights on any Fastjet route on the airline’s African network.

Scooping the lottery for the 10 return flights will give the winning passenger the power to go on a dream holiday or a once-in-a-lifetime shopping trip with friends and family that they have always dreamed of.

For African entrepreneurs travelling the flights could be used to give their business the boost it needs by saving on travel costs for the next 10 times they need to travel.

Very simply, Fastjet’s goal is to make it possible for more Africans to fly across the continent, whether it be for business, visits to their friends and family, or enjoying leisure travel‘ said Richard Bodin, Chief Operating Officer at Fastjet.

Qualifying routes include all flights on its domestic routes connecting Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Kilimanjaro, Mbeya and Zanzibar in Tanzania, and its international routes to Johannesburg in South Africa, Lusaka in Zambia, Harare and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, Entebbe in Uganda and Nairobi in Kenya.

Flights purchased on Tuesday, 31 May 2016 for all domestic and international routes will qualify passengers for entries into the Big 10 Lottery. Winners will be announced in June and the 10 free flights must be used before 11th December 2016.

Recognised as Africa’s Leading Low-Cost Airline, fastjet now connects 11 African destinations for business people, tourists and families who have welcomed its low fares and the convenience of air travel.

Air travel is the key to the continued stimulation and growth of a country’s economy by making it easier for families, business people, and tourists to travel. We are launching these discounted flights so that even more Africans can experience the convenience of air travel, whether they are traveling for business or leisure‘ added Richard Bodin.

Seychelles Supreme Court validates President James Alix Michel’s election


(Posted 31st May 2016)

President James Alix Michel was today finally confirmed as duly elected President of the Seychelles, after the country’s Supreme Court handed down its verdict, after the opposition had filed a case soon after election day, challenging the validity of the election process.
Parti Lepep supporters promptly broke into a celebration mood while the opposition, which lost both at the polls as well as at the court, went back to the drawing board, trying to figure out what to do next.
Later this year will parliamentary elections take place where, unlike at the last general election, the opposition is expected to field candidates again, promising another bruising contest between the ruling party and the opposition.
Meanwhile did President Michel comment on the Supreme Court ruling, saying it was a ‘landmark victory for the rule of law and democracy in Seychelles and a powerful affirmation of judicial independence and impartiality in the country‘.
He then went on to add: ‘I may have been disappointed by the results but I never had any intention of challenging them. I accepted them, in good faith, as the manifestation of the sovereign will and right of the people of Seychelles‘.
This ends a prolonged waiting period for all Seychellois who had keenly awaited this landmark ruling. Unlike in Uganda, where a similar challenge was disposed of, as required under Ugandan law, within 30 days, did the Seychelles Supreme Court set the date for the delivery of their rule for 31st of May.
From this correspondent it is hearty congratulations to President James Alix Michel who can now go on to govern the country without any further legal challenge hanging over the election results.

Uganda’s tourism sector reeling from renewed road closures


(Posted 31st May 2016)

Visa fees at one hundred US Dollars, the most expensive in the whole of East Africa and those who still come to visit they then get stuck for endless hours before they can reach their hotels in Kampala? Meanwhile others missed flights home, that cannot continue if tourism is to prosper‘ ranted a regular Kampala based tourism source when sharing his anger over the renewed closure of the main road to Entebbe.

The visiting South Korean President Park has meanwhile flown to Kenya for a State Visit, where notably no roads were closed for her arrival in Nairobi. ‘Of course traffic in Nairobi is always a big challenge but even with this State Visit it was not much worse than usual. The motorcades zap by, the road just temporarily cleared by police to let them pass and that is that. I pity you guys for all the troubles you had with these road closures of late. Whoever invented those should consider that my company for instance, instead of sending people to track gorillas in Uganda, I send them to Rwanda. I cannot risk people to get stuck in traffic or miss their flights, so the decision is really a simple one. I opt for the least risk and I know many other Kenyan safari operators think along the same lines. The silence from your tourism associations and tourist board is also telling its own story because if they do not stand up and tell what bad publicity that gives you, who else will‘ added a regular Nairobi based tourism stakeholder when asked to comment.

More road closures are now in effect for the State Visit of the Turkish President Erdogan, causing yet more havoc with traffic to and from Uganda’s only international airport.

According to media reports from the Monitor, a leading daily newspaper in Uganda, has the business community taken a serious hit as a result of road closures. Business sources quoted there decried the lack of alternative tarmac roads, while on social media pictures airline passengers were seen pulling their own luggage along closed roads or riding on the back of so called ‘Boda Boda’s‘, a description of moped or motorbike transport, in a desperate effort to reach the airport and avoid missing their flights.
Airline staff at Entebbe International Airport, without giving specific figures, confirmed that they had many no-shows with passengers turning up after the flights had been closed for check in or left.

Added another Ugandan tourism stakeholder, again on condition of not being named: ‘Only last week did Uganda spend a lot of money to pay for PR consultants who are supposed to help us promote Uganda. Now with such problems like just reaching the airport in time, or get to a hotel after a long flight, they will first have to fight this negative impression the international media is painting. Why do we have to create our own problems, problems we do not need. We have enough challenges with low occupancies as a result of the VAT on lodges and safari camps. The election cycle cost us a lot of visitors already and now this. If at least the big business associations could seek audience with the President and explain what big damage this does to their members businesses, but they all just keep quiet. And believe you me, our neighbours are using such issues to siphon our business to themselves, claiming they do not have such problems and their roads are always open‘.

Admittedly, when President Obama visited Kenya in July last year, were sections of Nairobi out of bounds for regular traffic but detours were clearly advertised in the local media. In fact did some Kenyan officials blame the road closures then on demands by the Secret Service and making it clear that this was a one off case due to the special circumstances.

To access the full article by the Monitor click on the following link:

RwandAir’s ‘Ubumwe’ now on the Airbus assembly line


(Posted 31st May 2016)

September cannot come soon enough for the RwandAir team in Kigali, when their first wide body aircraft, an Airbus A330-200 is due for delivery to Rwanda’s national airline.
The airline, according to information from Kigali, is now working flat out, together with the Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority, to put all regulatory requirements into place, which will include a full type approval by the RCAA as this aircraft type has never before been registered in Rwanda, nor in fact anywhere in East Africa for that matter.

(All pictures courtesy of RwandAir)

The assembly of this aircraft with the manufacturer’s serial number MSN1741, is moving ahead on schedule. It is due to receive the RwandAir livery in the Airbus paint shop over the coming months before the final cabin outfitting will be completed. At that stage will the aircraft be put through both ground and airborne tests before the delivery ferry flight to Kigali in September.

Next will then be the assembly of RwandAir’s second Airbus, a larger A330-300 variant, which is due for delivery in December this year.
In the meantime does the airline also expect another Boeing B737-800NG SkyInterior to be delivered, very likely by July this year, boosting their medium haul fleet to allow for new destinations across Africa to be launched. This will bring the B737 fleet to five aircraft overall – three B737-800NG and two B737-700NG – before yet another such jet will join in 2017.

Akagera lions heed call to ‘go forth and multiply’


(Posted 31st May 2016)

The efforts last year by African Parks, joint venture partner with the Rwanda Development Board in managing the Akagera National Park, to bring the Lion King back to Rwanda’s only savannah national park, are paying off handsomely.
When initially thwarted by some misguided Kenyan conservationists, which managed to scuttle a ready to go deal to send a breeding stock of lions to Rwanda, did African Parks do the right thing and pursued their vision regardless.
Two South African private game reserves came on board and a total of nine lions, two males and five females, were flown to Kigali before being introduced to Akagera. Prior to that relocation were the perimeter fences around the park strengthened and made predator proof to ensure the lions could not escape.
Only weeks ago did news then emerge that one of the females had given birth to three cubs while it was mentioned that at least two more of the lionesses were also in the family way.
Now has a source from Akagera confirmed that another four newborn cubs were spotted, which effectively has doubled the lion population in the space of just under a year from the initial 7 to now 14.
All eyes are now watching for yet another birth from the third pregnant female, leaving the other two to still show signs they too will be having babies in the not too distant future.
In a related development was is also confirmed that efforts are now in high gear to relocate rhinos back to Akagera, filling another gap of a previously extinct species. When that relocation goes underway, some say perhaps even before the end of the year, will Akagera’s attraction as a safari destination in Rwanda grow even further, as all the big five can then be seen again in this park.
For additional information on Rwanda and Akagera click on and also check out

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