Archive for February 2nd, 2017

Uganda Tourism releases POATE2017 programme


(Posted 02nd February 2017)

Hosted buyers and international travel media are starting to arrive this week in Uganda ahead of the third edition of the annual ‘Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo‘ due to be staged at the Sheraton Kampala Grounds between the 17th and 19th of this month.

Special arrangements are being made by staff of the Uganda Tourism Board to welcome their guests at the Entebbe International Airport on arrival before transferring them to nearby hotels within the municipality.
On the evening of the 06th of February will UTB then host a cocktail function at the Best Western Premier Hotel before the following morning those signed up for fam trips across the country will depart to the various national parks. Three different routings have been designed by UTB to showcase Uganda’s best known and most popular national parks, before all hosted buyers and travel media personnel then together explore Jinja, East Africa’s adventure capital. There will a wide range of activities await the guests, from white water rafting to bungee jumping, from horse riding to quad biking and more.

Earlier today did UTB make available the detailed programme for the event and also confirmed that the venue has been moved from the Kololo Independence Grounds to the Sheraton Kampala Hotel.

Events Schedule POATE 2017

Event Date Time Venue
Hosted Buyers/media Arrival 4, 5 & 6 February Protea Entebbe, Best Western Premier & Lake Heights hotels
Hosted Buyers/Media welcome cocktail 6 February 7:30 PM Best Western Premier Hotel
FAM trips: 1 & 2 7 – 12 February Uganda’s National Parks
Fun day activities by the R.Nile 13- 15 February Jinja
Site Inspection + Cultural night 15 – 16 February Kampala hotels/Ndere cultural Centre
POATE 2017 Business Days 17 – 19 February 09:00 – 1700hrs Sheraton Kampala Hotel
POATE Press Engagement+ launch of East African Tourism Portal 17 February 09:00 – 11:00hrs Sheraton Hotel: Victoria Ball Room
Tourism is Everybody’s business Workshop 17 February 14:00 – 16:00hrs Sheraton Hotel: Victoria Ball Room
Official Opening POATE 2017 17 February 18:00 – 22:00hrs Sheraton Hotel: Victoria Ball Room
Ministers Roundtable meeting 18 February 10:00 – 12:00hrs Sheraton Hotel: Meeting Room 1 (Forest Room)
Tourism & MICE 18 February 10:00 – 12:00hrs Sheraton Hotel: Victoria Ball Room
L. Victoria Sun downer Cruise 18 February 17:00 – 21:00hrs L. Victoria
Best Stand and Tweet Warrior Awards ceremony 19 February 15:00 – 16:00hrs Sheraton Hotel: POATE grounds
Pearl of Africa Tourism Awards Dinner & Performances 19 February 18:00 – 22:00hrs Sheraton Hotel: Victoria Ball Room

Guests are warmly welcomed to Uganda for the duration of their stay and it is hoped they will all enjoy their time in the country and become tourism ambassadors for the Pearl of Africa.

For added information about Destination Uganda click on while details on Uganda’s national parks and game reserves can be found via

News updates from the East African Tourism Platform

EATP News Highlights

EATP Highlights, New Perspectives and more…
Welcome to the 3rd issue of EATP e-Newsletter.
This publication focuses on lessons drawn from the single tourist visa, battle for East Africa’s skies, on-line visa application; fruits gathered from our advocacy agenda.
The gist of these initiatives is to spur the growth of intra-regional tourism within the East African Community. For a very long time, East Africa has been dependant on international tourism, which unfortunately is synonymous with seasonality. We can’t have sustainable tourism; if we don’t grow tourist travel within our region.
This is East Africa Year of Travel. Let’s design packages that will capture the spirit and help spread the benefits of tourism to every corner of the region.
I wish you an informative reading.

Bonifence Byamukama
EATP – Chairman


East Africa Tourism Platform (EATP) is the private sector body for tourism in East Africa established to foster private sector interest and participation in the East African Community (EAC) integration process. We work closely with EAC state Ministries, EAC secretariat, East African Business Council and tourism sector organizations in all the member states.


A vibrant and diverse single tourism destination providing exceptional experiences and services.


To promote intra and inter-regional tourism through advocacy, marketing, skills development and information sharing.


  • Since its inception, East Africa Tourism Platform has significantly lobbied EAC partner states to address competitiveness. This resulted in the creation of a single shared tourist visa.
  • Learning from the experience of EATV, the Governments of Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana have adopted Kaza Uni-Visa. By paying for only one visa, visitors to Zambia and Zimbabwe are able to travel between the two countries, and even take day-trips to Botswana, without any additional charges.
  • Covering 65 countries, the visa is valid for 30 days as long as visitors remain within Zambia and Zimbabwe and restrict themselves to park visits in Botswana.
  • Plans are underway for electronic visa application and even to extend the visa to Angola and Namibia to further encourage regional tourism.
  • Public and private sector driven solutions like this, are as a result of strategic advocacy and lobbying.
  • EATP has always been at the forefront in advocating for the curbing of visa-restrictions and talks with partners across Africa, which are finally bearing fruit.
  • We are delighted to see other regional blocs follow our example of a Single Tourist Visa. However, visa-restriction is still a major constraint in many countries in the continent. As a remedy, African Union Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma argues that freedom of movement of African citizens on the continent would be more advantageous than detrimental. We should never rest in our laurels. We need to continuously lobby for adoption of shared visas to enhance the competitiveness of our region and by extension our continent.

  • Air connectivity and affordability has been a major challenge throughout the region. The region is grappling with high fares, limited connectivity and poor quality of services.
  • Air travel within the region accounts for approximately 45 % of the total cost of a tour package. This has been attributed to high taxes and charges caused by a restricted aviation policy; that limits routes and frequencies and therefore the supply of aircraft seats.
  • Notwithstanding, all EAC member states are signatories to the Yamoussoukro Decision; the Decision’s implementation, in the region, has been slow and stunted by protectionism as partner states protect their national airlines from competition.
  • As East Africa Tourism Platform we have put up a spirited campaign for open sky policy to liberalize our region’s airspace.
  • Protectionism, poor safety standards, high cost of tickets, mismanagement, poor maintenance and planning have been blamed for dismal performance of some regional carriers. We have witnessed flights being delayed, passengers stranded and expensive fares.
  • Policy makers should take decisive and proactive actions to steer regional airlines to greater heights. Besides, innovative strategies are required to restructure the airlines and enable them to operate competitively.
  • This is an era for open sky policy. It is estimated that liberalization among the five EAC partner states will result in 46,320 additional jobs and annual revenue of US$ 202.1 million. Regional governments should act with speed and liberalize the airspace to let their citizens enjoy the benefits enshrined in Yamoussoukro Decision and AU Vision 2063.
  • Affordable air travel is not an option. Taxes should be reduced. Low-cost carriers supported. Connectivity enhanced. And the region operate as a single aviation market.

  • Online visa application being implemented in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda is one of the hallmarks of simplified visa acquisition regimes in the region. It is a game-changer that is expected to stimulate the growth of tourism in respective countries.
  • Some of its key highlights are:
  • Saves time that can otherwise be spent visiting embassies.
  • E-Visa can be obtained anywhere and everywhere; provided there is internet connection.
  • Travelers are spared the anxiety can comes with long-waiting periods that approval of visa applications takes in embassies.
  • Tour operators and travel agents are in a position to apply visas for their clients.
  • So far, Rwanda’s visa system is working effectively. However, incidents of system delays have been reported in Kenyan and Ugandan systems.
  • In this regard, we urge Kenyan and Ugandan immigration authorities to take necessary measures to safeguard the effectiveness of their systems while for Rwanda they should keep being innovative and adaptive to latest technological developments.
In Other News…
1) Upcoming Events:

  • Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo (POATE) 2017; event organized by Uganda Tourism Board will be hosted at the Kololo Independence grounds in Kampala, Uganda (17th -19th February, 2017). EATP will take this opportunity to launch the Destination East Africa Web Portal, TV Commercial and Documentary
  • ASTA destination expo; Kenya will be hosting the American’s Society of Travel Agents annual Expo (ASTA) from 24th to 26th February 2017 at KICC, Nairobi.
  • KILIFAIR; taking place on the grounds of Moshi Golf Club sports in Tanzania from 2nd to 4th of June 2017.
  • The Africa Travel Association (ATA); the 41st Annual World Tourism Conference in Kigali, Rwanda (dates to be confirmed).
  • Kwita Izina; the 13th edition of the annual Mountain Gorilla naming ceremony will take place in September (date to be confirmed) at the Volcanoes National Park of Musanze in Rwanda .
  • Magical Kenya Travel Expo; the seventh edition of MKTE organized by the Kenya Tourism Board will be held at KICC, Nairobi in October between 03rd and 05th.

Corporate Council on Africa News Updates


Trump’s Africa policy: Unclear and uncertainty African Arguments
From trade to human rights, what will Trump’s policies towards Africa look like? Obama’s former US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs highlights some likely changes…. Read more>>


No-frills hotel chain looking to woo business travellers in east Africa How We Made It In Africa
International hotel chain Tune has introduced the no-frills hospitality concept in Kenya’s capital Nairobi. Launched in July, the 280-room property is the company’s first foray into Africa…. Read more>>

Unleashing Zimbabwe’s tourism potential How We Made It In Africa
The Victoria Falls and the Zambezi river account as the most sought-after sightseeing places by the tourists visiting the country….. Read more>>

2016 Highlights from the Mount Kenya Trust

Updates from the Mount Kenya Trust

As we march into the year ahead with our expanding programmes, we wanted to share with you some of our highlights from 2016. With strange, unsettling times around the world, we wanted to send out a message of peace and solidarity to all and a reminder that we are all reliant on a healthy environment for our survival.

The non-existent short rains and very dry, windy conditions meant fires as early as Christmas Eve and the first few days of January. We have been on high alert for fires since the start of 2017. Cattle have been moving up on to the mountain in large numbers and putting greater pressure on the environment with herders posing an even greater fire risk. A little rain towards the end of last week was welcome but likely to be short-lived.

However, we are braced and ready for action as always! Thank you for your continual support.

The Mount Kenya Trust Team

The first climb enabled us to employ two new team members and construct of a horse patrol satellite camp out in the forest. Matching funding from The Rufford Foundation means we can build another! The 2017 climb start on the 16th March. Join us – check out the Facebook page ‘Mount Kenya Three Peaks’ for more details.

The Fly54010to4 Mountain Bike race raised a record 6.6 million KSh! We are very greatful for the continual support of all competitors and sponsors with top team sponsorship going to Twende Sukuma!


We were visited by a Tibetian monk for a two-week trip. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgön Thinle Lhundup, the UN Mountain Partnership’s Global Ambassador recognized these worldwide issues facing all mountain communities. His message below:

‘Changing climates, urbanising populations, and young people’s disrespect for traditional cultures and practices are among reasons why mountains and their vital ecosystems are struggling. Our future lies in the mountains. How we treat the mountains now will determine what our future will look like. Mountains are part of our home and they are the water towers of the world. Therefore, they are important for humanity and we are all tied to their future.’

A survey team crosses a river in the picture above.

The Mount Kenya Elephant Survey

Research on the elephant density of Mount Kenya found that there are an estimated 2600 elephants currently living on the mountain. The study, undertaken by Hilde VanLeeuwe of the World Conservation Society, was a repeat of similar work in 2001.
In conclusion, it was found that the elephant population over the past 15 years has remained stable, a fantastic result in an era of dwindling elephant numbers!

In other news…

*Two new VEHICLES*

With help from the Tusk Trust and CHASE Africa, we purchased a new community health and support vehicle at the start of the year. In addition, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust donated a Land Rover which gives the Northern Sector Teams much greater support and a far wider patrol base.


Our new tree nursery grew over 40,000 trees and we planted over 60,000 back onto the mountain, with the help of our women tree nursery groups!


Four industrial sized energy saving jikos around team raising KSh100,000! These funds are absolutely crucial for the ongoing functioning of the Trust and its projects.

Mount Kenya forest and has continually relied on the forest for the supply of firewood to cook for the pupils. Lunch is cooked for 120-day pupils and supper for the 60 pupils who board. The school administration built a small extension onto the kitchen to accommodate the newMarania Day secondary school borders the Ntirimiti situation for the school and environment! One case study involved win win use. With little smoke emitted and a cleaner working environment, this is a firwood were installed saving over 70 per cent of the school energy bills by over halving Kenya.


It is satisfying at the end of the day to know that you have made a step ahead to better people’s futures’.
Delphin Mukira, CHSP Officer.

So far the project has reached over 20,000 women with family planning services and even more with basic health care, HIV testing and counseling and cancer and diabetic screening in Embu and Meru counties. says:


KWS Senior Warden Simon Gitau, JWPT Senior Community Wildlife Officer Edwin Kinjanjui and MKT Executive Officer attended the World Ranger Congress in Colorado with help from the LalaSalama Project and USAID. The Congress was a unique opportunity to meet professionals from parks and conservancies across the world and to join the network of rangers across the globe. Rangers put their lives on the line every day, away from their families and without the most basic equipment.


Elephants across the continent have suffered their greatest losses in the past 25 years in the name of ornamental status symbols.

Human lives, elephant lives and economic losses to the country are tied up in the brutal pursuit of tusks.

Last year’s ivory burn was another reminder of Kenya’s commitment to the protection of our elephant and a message to those
dealing with this heartless trafficking.

Thank you for your support in 2016!

Batian Level Donors
The US Fish and Wildlife Service

Nelion Level Donors & Fundraising Events
SAX 10to4 Sponsors: Fly540

Lenana Level Donors
Safaricom Marathon via Tusk Trust
The Thin Green Line
CHASE Africa

Coryndon Level Donors
Eden Wildlife Trust, The Woodcock Family, Tusk Trust, Zurich Zoo
Fly 540 10to4 Sponsors: BATUK, Tropic Air

Point Piggot Level Donors & Event sponsors
The International Elephant Foundation, Jim Butterfield, Bunson Travel

Point Dutton Level Donors & Event Sponsors
Safarilink, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Kisima Farm, Marania Farm, Ol Donyo Farm, Steve Strong

Fly540 10to4Sponsors: Highlands Water, Braeburn Schools, Remote Medical, The Born Free Foundation (Kenya), Flamingo, Timaflor, Commercial Bank of Africa, Mascor, Xado EA, Browns Cheese, Dormans, CMS, Express Automation, Gras Savoye, Kenya Treks, Kongoni Camp, Rift Valley Adventures, Trout Tree, Mt Kenya Bicycles, Bikes & Outdoor Adventures, Tropical Heat, Kitengela, Matbronze, Shimano, Equinox Flowers, Huduma Services Limited, Laikipia Wildlife Forum, Laikipia Wilderness, Ligent, One Stop, Saab, African Ascents, Azimuth, Gundua, Kisima Flowers, Kisima Flour, Marania Farm, Ol Donyo Farm, Mawingu Networks, Raka Cheese, Savage Wilderness, Sirai House, Tambuzi, Uhuru Flowers.

Thanks to our regular contributors for their assistance so far this year: The Mountain Club of Kenya.

Our partners: We wouldn’t be able to keep up the good work without our most important supporting & operational partners. These include The Kenya Wildlife Service, The Kenya Forest Service, Rhino Ark, Kisima Farm, Marania Farm, Tropic Air, Borana Conservancy, African Ascents and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and One Stop.

To all our friends and supporters who took part and / or contributed to the 3 peaks climb for the horse patrol team, many many thanks.

Thank you to Nancy Balfour, Charlie Morison and Morten Jensen for your time and assistance

Donate to the cause via Tusk Trust
Copyright © 2014 Mount Kenya Trust. All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
PO Box 690
Nanyuki 10400

Physical Address:
We are located on Turaco Farm between Nanyuki and Timau. Please click here to request a map to our new offices

Directors: Jeremy Block; Martin Dyer; Martin Forster; Levi Wendo Miheso; Susannah Rouse; Tarsem Sembhi; Don Smith; Maj Gen Peter Waweru; William (Bongo) Woodley


IATA predicts another year of strong travel demand


(Posted 02nd February 2017)


The International Air Transport Association announced full-year global passenger traffic results for 2016 showing demand (revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) rose 6.3% compared to 2015 (or 6.0% if adjusted for the leap year). This strong performance was well ahead of the ten-year average annual growth rate of 5.5%. Capacity rose 6.2% (unadjusted) compared to 2015, pushing the load factor up 0.1 percentage points to a record full-year average high of 80.5%.

A particularly strong performance was reported for December with an 8.8% rise in demand outstripping 6.6% capacity growth.

Air travel was a good news story in 2016. Connectivity increased with the establishment of more than 700 new routes. And a $44 fall in average return fares helped to make air travel even more accessible. As a result, a record 3.7 billion passengers flew safely to their destination. Demand for air travel is still expanding. The challenge for governments is to work with the industry to meet that demand with infrastructure that can accommodate the growth, regulation that facilitates growth and taxes that don’t choke growth. If we can achieve that, there is plenty of potential for a safe, secure and sustainable aviation industry to create more jobs and increase prosperity‘ said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

December 2016
(% year-on-year)
World share¹ RPK ASK PLF
Total Market 100.0% 8.8% 6.6% 1.6% 80.6%
Africa 2.2% 5.8% 5.3% 0.3% 71.6%
Asia Pacific 32.9% 11.2% 8.0% 2.3% 80.8%
Europe 26.4% 10.7% 7.2% 2.5% 80.6%
Latin America 5.2% 5.0% 2.8% 1.7% 81.2%
Middle East 9.6% 12.9% 11.6% 0.9% 77.4%
North America 23.6% 3.1% 3.0% 0.1% 83.0%

¹% of industry RPKs in 2016 ²Year-on-year change in load factor ³Load factor level

International Passenger Markets

International passenger traffic rose 6.7% in 2016 compared to 2015. Capacity rose 6.9% and load factor fell 0.2 percentage points to 79.6%. All regions recorded year-over-year increases in demand.

  • Asia Pacific carriers recorded a demand increase of 8.3% compared to 2015, which was the second-fastest increase among the regions. This pace is considerably ahead of the five-year growth average of 6.9%. Capacity rose 7.7%, pushing up the load factor 0.4 percentage points to 78.6%.
  • European carriers’ international traffic climbed 4.8% in 2016. Capacity rose 5.0% and despite a decline of 0.1 percentage points to 82.8%, the load factor remains the highest among the regions. European carriers particularly benefitted from an improvement in the second half of the year—passenger volumes have been increasing at an average of 15% year-over-year since June, easily compensating for a slight decline over the first six months of 2016.
  • North American airlines saw demand rise 2.6% in 2016. Most of the growth occurred in the second quarter, and traffic has been strongest on Pacific routes. The North Atlantic, by contrast, has been fairly flat. Capacity rose 3.3%, reducing the load factor by 0.5 percentage points to 81.3%.
  • Middle East carriers had the strongest regional annual traffic growth for the fifth year in a row. RPKs expanded 11.8%, consolidating the region’s position as the third-largest market for international passengers. Capacity growth (13.7%) continued to outstrip demand, with the result that the load factor fell 1.3 percentage points to 74.7%.
  • Latin American airlines’ traffic rose 7.4% in 2016. Capacity rose 4.8% and load factor strengthened by 1.9 percentage points to 81.3%. International traffic from Latin America remains very healthy despite some economic and political uncertainty in the region’s largest market, Brazil.
  • African airlines had their best growth performance since 2012, up 7.4%. Growth is being underpinned by strong demand on routes to/from Asia and the Middle East. Capacity exactly matched demand, with the result that the load factor remained flat at 67.7%.

Domestic Passenger Markets

Domestic air travel rose 5.7% in 2016. Capacity rose 5.1% and load factor was 82.2%, up 0.5 percentage points over 2015. All major markets except Brazil showed growth, but India and China, with RPK expansion of 23.3% and 11.7% respectively, were the stand-out performers. These markets have been underpinned by additional routes and increasing flight frequencies, with the latter looking set to continue in 2017.

December 2016
(% year-on-year)
World share¹ RPK ASK PLF
Domestic 36.3% 7.1% 5.8% 1.0% 81.5%
Australia 1.0% 0.9% 0.2% 0.5% 78.6%
Brazil 1.2% -1.9% -4.3% 1.9% 81.7%
China P.R 8.7% 16.9% 13.1% 2.7% 81.4%
Indian 1.3% 23.7% 21.4% 1.7% 88.6%
Japan 1.1% 4.7% -1.6% 4.1% 67.6%
Russia Fed. 1.3% 13.4% 11.2% 1.5% 75.0%
US 14.9% 2.4% 2.7% -0.3% 83.9%

¹% of industry RPKs in 2016 ²Year-on-year change in load factor ³Load factor level *Note: the seven domestic passenger markets for which broken-down data are available account for 30% of global total RPKs and approximately 82% of total domestic RPKs

  • Brazil’s domestic air travel was the only market to show a decline in 2016 (-5.5%), reflecting the country’s economic situation. Carriers did, however, succeed in improving the load factor to 80.1%, the highest since IATA began tracking this metric in 1990.

The Bottom Line:

Our freedom to connect through air travel drives prosperity and enriches societies. That freedom can only be given its fullest expression when governments facilitate the movement of people and goods. Security and competitiveness, of course, must always be top of mind for governments. And the four billion people who will travel by air this year are an opportunity to build an even better world through the positive impacts of globalization—mutual understanding, innovation and business opportunities among them. Aviation is the business of freedom. And we must defend its social and economic benefits from barriers to travel and protectionist agendas‘ said de Juniac when presenting the results and forecasts.

Dates for the 07th edition of the Magical Kenya Travel Expo announced


(Posted 02nd February 2017)

The Kenya Tourism Board earlier this morning announced the dates for the 07th edition of the Magical Kenya Travel Expo, to be held once again at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi.
October 03rd to 05th have been set for Eastern Africa’s most important tourism trade exhibition. It is understood that the event website will be updated shortly following which companies intending to exhibit can begin to register and book their stand space.
KTB and the Ministry of Tourism will once again host scores of international buyers for the event, as well as international travel media, registration for which will also be possible when the website registration links have been updated.

Present at the launch was KTB CEO Betty Radier, KTB’s Director of Marketing Jacinta Nzioka and other officials from the tourism board and the company selected to organize the event.

Collaboration is key for ibtm africa


Collaboration is key for ibtm africa

According to the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) regions in 2015, it was reported that African meetings’ bureaus had a collective 338 meetings across the continent. While a significantly smaller number than other regions reported in 2015, this indicated around 9% in meetings growth in Africa for the year.

The hugely promising growth in Africa within the meetings sector, coupled with the sheer potential of a continent as diverse and large as ours, is certainly attainable in this thriving and lucrative sector, but it will require consistent effort moving forward.

Image: ibtm africa 2016 collage
In order to ensure this continued success, ibtm africa has announced a collaboration with both the Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI), as well as Meetings magazine. The latter will aim to provide better quality information on the industry and how to improve your business dealing within it, while a new Career Progression Programme will aim to better skill those working in the meetings sector.

Both partnerships strive to enhance awareness around ibtm africa as an educational programme, but also further collaboration between industry bodies to facilitate growth within the meetings industry within, and outside of, the African continent.

Chardonnay Marchesi, General Manager of African Travel Week says: “We’re very excited to announced our partnerships with SAACI and Meetings ahead of ibtm africa 2017. We are determined to present the best possible programme to the meetings and events planners that will be in attendance, and with the aid of these two partners, we certainly will.”

About ibtm africa
A key highlight of Africa Travel Week, ibtm africa has evolved from a table top event to a high quality content driven education programme which focuses on content that includes technology, future trends, procurement and consolidation, expert thought leadership, leveraging off the benefit of Foreign Exchange and the convergence of the travel and meetings industry.


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