Archive for March 2nd, 2017

Sustainability – a key agenda point for UNWTO at ITB Berlin


(Posted 02nd March 2017)

UNWTO activities at the 51th edition of ITB, taking place from 08th to 12th of March in Berlin, include the 07th UNWTO Silk Road Ministers Meeting, events on the New Platform Tourism Services (or the so- called sharing economy), Child Protection and Indigenous Tourism.

Expected to gather around 20 Ministers of Tourism, the Silk Road Ministerial Meeting on 08th of March will address the contribution of tourism to Sustainable Tourism and Local Communities.

On the 09th March, UNWTO will debate the New Platform Tourism Services (or the so-called sharing economy) with a focus on how it impacts on destinations and how are destinations addressing these new services.

In addition, also on the 09th March, UNWTO organizes the 32nd Meeting of the World Tourism Network on Child Protection and a Panel on Indigenous Tourism, underlining the relevance of inclusive practices to approach local communities in order to achieve a more sustainable tourism sector.

The World Tourism Network on Child Protection serves as a platform for tourism stakeholders to exchange good practices and discuss the most pressing challenges in curbing child and youth exploitation in the tourism sector, including sexual exploitation, child labor and trafficking. The Network draws together governments, the tourism industry, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and media associations.

ITB is always vibrant and interesting, but this year it acquires a higher relevance as we are celebrating the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017 and this highly prominent fair provides one of the best platform to advocate responsible tourism worldwide‘ said UNWTO Secretary General, Dr.Taleb Rifai.

Additional information:

Calendar of UNWTO events at ITB 2017

The Monthly Trumpet

Save the Elephants News Updates

Save the Elephants The Monthly Trumpet
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Building Momentum on Ivory Trade Bans
As China’s legal ivory trade draws to a close in 2017, pressure is increasing on other markets to follow suit. Vietnam (whose rampant illegal trade we exposed last year) has pledged a clamp down, the European Union looks set to ban ivory exports from July, and the UK government continues to edge towards a stronger commitment. Even Japan, the sole remaining nation to insist on continued trade during last year’s CITES convention, has pledged to tighten up regulations. Critical to all bans is that work to reduce demand for ivory continues alongside effective enforcement of the law.

// Vietnam // EU // UK // Japan

Big Win for the War Against Ivory Trafficking
When four men from one of Kenya’s most notorious crime families arrived in the US at the end of January it marked the biggest win to date in the war against the trafficking of ivory. Although the Akasha brothers were extradited primarily for drug smuggling, their network was also linked to around 30 tons of seized ivory. Feisal Ali Mohammed, finally jailed in Kenya in July 2016, was a mere supplier to their operation. The arrests should put a dent in the transport of ivory out of Mombasa, as well as serve as a warning to all those who seek to profit from the killing of elephants.

// read more

Arrests in Congo
Ten government officials and shipping executives behind attempts to smuggle 3.6 tons of ivory from DRC to the Asian markets have been arrested. Save the Elephants joined the US government in support of the Lusaka Agreement Task Force and a range of partners in the investigations and subsequent arrests.

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Mayhem in Mwakoma
When crops begin to sprout, farmers living near elephants live in fear. In recent months in Tsavo, Southern Kenya, up to 100 hungry elephants went on a crop-raiding rampage. Not one of the farms protected by beehive fences were affected. This success echoes a new review of 3.5 yearsof data of our beehive fence project, showing an 80% success rate.

// read more // read paper

Uganda’s Ivory Seizure
A recent seizure of more than a ton of ivory in Uganda’s capital and the arrest of three suspects was a triumph of collaboration between police, government and private sector. This is now a significant force to disrupt the trafficking networks across East, West and Central Africa. We are proud to be involved through the Elephant Crisis Fund.

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The Human Footprint
People increasingly determine elephant behaviour. Our Human Footprint project maps the growth of settlements in the previously nomadic north of Kenya. Thanks to Google Earth our team can easily extract data that will help us preserve elephant paths and encourage peaceful coexistence between elephants and people.

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Our Mission: To secure a future for elephants and sustain the beauty and ecological integrity of the places they live, to promote man’s delight in their intelligence and the diversity of their world, and to develop a tolerant relationship between the two species.

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Corporate Council on Africa News Update


Ethiopia: Ethiopian Airlines Wins African Cargo Airline of the Year Award Nazret
Ethiopian Airlines- Ethiopian Airlines, the largest cargo operator in Africa, has been awarded the African Cargo Airline of the Year Award during the 2017 Air Cargo Africa Conference held in Johannesburg from 21st to 23rd February 2017… Read more>>


KTB boosting tourism through conferencing and Nairobi’s positioning as regional hub ITCM
Last year, conference tourism generated 14% of total tourist arrivals to the country, and with the number of international high profile conferences the country bids for and successfully hosts year-on –year, KTB hopes to make this segment more vibrant. …Read more>>

Morocco: Tourism Takes Spotlight in Several Reports – Casablanca Shines – and Allianz Launches New Offices AllAfrica
It is understandable that tourism is so important to the country, as it is the third or fourth largest component of GDP. … Read more>>

Attacking Dr. Rifai’s UNWTO legacy only the latest faux pas in a campaign losing its lustre


(Posted 02nd March 2017)

An already emotionally charged campaign for the office of Secretary General of UNWTO has now taken yet another turn to the worse when the legacy of outgoing SG Dr. Taleb Rifai was attacked by comments recently reaching the public domain to the effect that ‘surrender the UNWTO Secretary-Generalship to yet another bureaucratic succession will be to condemn the Organisation to further peripheralization and irrelevance within the global system‘.
To describe Dr. Taleb Rifai, well known to this correspondent, as a bureaucrat is a baseless allegation aimed to belittle his work and the work of his administration, in particular given his extraordinary efforts to give the African continent greater visibility, support and say within the UNWTO framework.
Dozens of regular commentators for ATC News East Africa and hundreds of readers have sent in comments and mails, asking for the rationale of one candidate to bring the word racism in to the campaign, something most felt was inappropriate for a candidate running for such high office and a disservice and discredit to Africa. Most questions also demanded to know the position of the candidate versus global groups like LGBT among other minority groups, something which cannot be answered here even though certain countries in Africa have for long been on record over their official opposition to some of those groups and have various draconian laws on their statute books.
When the Seychelles candidate for the post of Secretary General was contacted by the members of the global press on the negativity surrounding the coming elections where he himself was targeted by racist attacks, the former Seychelles Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine Alain St. Ange simply said that he was concentrating on telling the world of tourism what he would do if elected Secretary General. He reiterated what he said in an interview with this correspondent recently in Kampala where he went on record: ‘We do not speak about other candidates. The UN is a democratic body and we need to respect the rights of countries to be candidates. It is the world of tourism which needs to decide who they will elect. On the work by Dr. Taleb Rifai, the outgoing Secretary General of the UNWTO the Seychelles Candidate, every Member State has recognised the good work done by Taleb and it is sad for anyone to try to belittle his achievements‘. Watch again his key note address given at the Ugandan POATE2017 Tourism Expo and the launch of the East Africa Tourism Platform’s ‘Destination East Africa Web Portal‘ and his direct interview with this correspondent just minutes before his departure from Uganda.

South African roadshows in overdrive as Seychelles courts top African market


(Posted 02nd March 2017)


Led by the Vice-Director General of the tourism administration of Guangdong Province Zhang Zhenlin, did a delegation visit the Seychelles a few days ago. The group consisted of the governors from the Tourism Administration of Guangdong Province, representatives from travel agencies, tourism attractions and hotel businesses there.

A workshop was hosted on Monday at the Kempinski Seychelles Resort whereby the trade were given an overview of the Guangdong Province and how Seychelles can get its fair share from this market.

Mr. Zhang also introduced the 2017 Guangdong International Tourism Industry EXPO, which takes place in September in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province.

He extended an invitation to the Seychelles tourism trade partners to take part in the 2017 Guangdong International Tourism Industry EXPO.

Attending the workshop were the Seychelles Tourism Board’s deputy chief executive Jenifer Sinon and senior marketing executive Stephanie Lablache.

The delegation then met the Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, and the principal secretary for tourism Anne Lafortune.

Also attending the meeting were the chief executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board Mrs. Sherin Francis and the Principal of the Seychelles Tourism Academy Mr. Flavien Joubert.

The partnership with Guangdong tourism is set to be consolidated after the meeting.

Both the Gross domestic product (GDP) and capita GDP of Guangdong Province are ranked the first place in China for nearly 30 years. Hence, Guangdong becomes the biggest outbound source market in China with eight million outbound tourists in 2016 exclusive travelers to Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau.

Guangdong Province also plays a very important role in Seychelles’ tourism roadmap on the Chinese market since the STB office was established six years ago in China.

The delegation also visited the Seychelles Tourism Academy and had a discussion with the institution’s principal Flavien Joubert. STA already has a partnership agreement with a tourism and hospitality training institution in Shanghai but is reportedly keen to expand such cooperation

Meanwhile has the Seychelles Tourism Board embarked on a series of roadshows and sales missions in South Africa, Seychelles’ largest market in Africa.
A team of STB attended the Oakfield Bridal Expo before moving on to the Travel Expo and the World Leisure Holiday fair.
Earlier in the year was Durban the focus of both STB and Air Seychelles, which will launch twice weekly flights to this important port city in the Kwa Zulu Natal Province which with Seychelles has a close tourism cooperation.
Hundreds of travel agents were met by the STB team and participated in short seminars about Destination Seychelles while thousands of trade show visitors at the various venues were also able to find out about Seychelles’ growing attraction for vacationers from around the world.

More information about Seychelles can be accessed via

Rhino sale bombshell hidden in new draft regulations

Conservation Action Trust decries the pathetic attitude of the South African government

Conservation Action Trust
Rhino sale bombshell hidden in new draft regulations

27 February 2017 | Daily Maverick | Don Pinnock | Free to publish credit CAT

Photo by Steve Evans via Flickr. The public has until March 10 to respond to draft regulations by the South African Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) which seek to make widespread sale of rhino horn legal and could undermine attempts by CITES to save rhinos. Speaking in a Parliamentary portfolio committee on Tuesday February 21, Minister … Full Story →

ANALYSIS: Lies, damned lies and rhino statistics

28 February 2017 | Business Day | Tony Carnie |

A 10% fall in poaching last year is not the good news it appears to be — especially considering SA plans to resume its horn trade, writes Tony Carnie Picture: REUTERS The latest 10% drop in the national rhino poaching statistics may sound like good news, but it masks the fact that the decade-long bloodbath … Full Story →


Something’s not right in the DoEA

24 February 2017 | politicsweb | Ian Cox |

On 8 February the government announced new draft regulations permitting the internal trade in rhino horn. This follows a decision in November 2015 when the North Gauteng High Court, Pretoria overturned the previous moratorium on the trade in rhino horn. Author, investigative journalist and environmental activist, Don Pinnock, suggests in articles published in the Daily … Full Story →


Minister Molewa highlights progress on Integrated Strategic Management of Rhinoceros

27 February 2017 | DEA | Department of Environmental Affairs |

This statement covers the period January through December 2016, which is inclusive of the period September to December 2016.   As you will all know, rhino poaching is a National Priority Crime, and we as government continue to work as a team in the implementation of the Integrated Strategic Management of Rhinoceros. This is our … Full Story →


EU set to ban raw ivory exports from July

22 February 2017 | The Guardian | Arthur Neslen |

The EU is set to ban raw ivory exports from 1 July as it struggles to deal with what was almost certainly another record year of ivory seizures across the continent in 2016. Europe sells more raw and carved ivory to the world than anywhere else, feeding a seemingly insatiable appetite for elephant tusks in … Full Story →

Best Western seeks to rapidly expand their Kenyan footprint


(Posted 02nd March 2017)

For the hospitality industry’s global players has Nairobi become a hotspot of hotel developments in recent years. Kenya’s MICE sector has been growing in leaps and bounds and in a way became the backbone of the increase in visitor arrivals in Nairobi over the past 18 months. New brands are pushing into East Africa’s most vibrant economy with Carlson Rezidor leading the pack with a Radisson Blu already open and two more of their brands opening soon, a Park Inn in Westlands and Radisson Residences near State House.
Marriott’s Nairobi flagship hotel construction, after some downtime, is gathering momentum again as is one of their Starwood brands, Four Point, coming up near the international airport. Hilton is keeping fingers crossed that the construction of their new Hilton Garden Inn, also near the airport, will be ready on schedule, unlike the Moevenpick in Westlands which, like other hotels, is suffering from opening delays.
Now has Best Western made their intention known to add at least 6 more of their brands in Nairobi and the wider environs of Kenya’s capital city metropolitan area.
A new Best Western Premier is due to open in May this year, followed later this year by the GrandWest Best Western Plus in Westlands – a new business district in Nairobi where over the next years some 3.500 beds are expected to be added.
The Alba Hotel Best Western Premier in the suburb of Lavington expects to open its doors before the end of the year too.
Athi River, a fast rising part of the greater metropolitan area of Nairobi, is due to see a standard Best Western open for guests next year if all goes to schedule.
And finally will along the Thika superhighway two Best Western open to the public in 2019, the Vantage Square Executive Residence by Best Western and the Vantage Square Best Western Plus, both located at the Garden estate just off the highway.
All this will be good for the global positioning of Kenya, not just as a MICE destination but a major tourism destination for safaris and beach vacations as each new hotel will have to pull out all stops to sell sell sell in large scale marketing blitzes.

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