Archive for May 11th, 2017

Seychelles Tourism holds consultations with private sector


(Posted 11th May 2017)

Vote For Miss Seychelles

Members of the Seychelles’ tourism trade met representatives of the business community and of the government during the second multi-sectoral meeting held recently. The aim of the multi-sectoral meeting is to pave the way forward in overcoming challenges that the tourism industry faces and to touch base on what has been achieved so far in regards to the challenges aired during the previous meetings.

The meeting took place at the National House, Victoria and was chaired by the Vice President Vincent Meriton. Also representing the government were the Minister for Tourism , Civil Aviation Ports and Marine Maurice Loustau-Lalanne and the Minister for Environment, Energy and Climate Change Didier Dogley.

Several points of concern were raised during the meeting such as noise pollution especially on beaches and other public places.

Minister Loustau-Lalanne and the Principal Secretary for Environment Alain Decommarmond agreed that an education process should be put in place to sensitise the population about the issue. The police department has been called on to enforce disciplinary measures.

The concern of stray dogs and their welfare was also among the points discussed during the meeting. Minister Dogley said programmes have already been set for the year to further deal with this pressing issue.

An education process is among tasks to be carried out in schools. This will be done in partnership with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to help counter the problem on the main islands.

Speeding at Cote D’or was also part of the discussions. The lack of speed bumps on that stretch of road is encouraging speeding and hence noise pollution in this vicinity. Other points of discussion were in relation to the general safety of the roads on Praslin.

Vice President Vincent Meriton agreed that as means to protect the pedestrians and directly the tourists on Praslin more lighting and safer pavements should be placed to help lower risks of accidents.

Additionally, the principal secretary for land transport Patrick Andre said they are coming up with new ideas to share with the general public in regards to driving on Praslin. The use and placement of speed cameras are among the other proposed solutions being considered.

Availability of rooms and hotel capacity were also discussed. Minister Loustau-Lalanne said there are peak periods where there is a lack of available rooms in hotels at certain given periods. He added that this issue is not throughout the year.

The meeting also deliberated lengthily on the planned tourism infrastructures whereby the focus was on the state of the various nature trail. Minister Dogley gave an account of the work that the Seychelles National Park Authority (SNPA) is doing to upgrade the trails, such as erecting proper signboard, the setup of a bin site and the general upkeep.

On the same subject, the Chief Executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) Mrs. Sherin Francis said in parallel to what SNPA is doing, STB is working on a comprehensive hiking guide where 13 national trails has been mapped out, labeled in terms of level of difficulties and would match the various signage which will be erected by SNPA.

Mrs Francis said STB is undertaking this project in collaboration with two of its partners from Reunion Island.

She also explained since the mapping of all these nature trails has been done electronically, the data would be made available to STB. She added that STB intends to develop a hiking smartphone application which could be used offline once downloaded.

Another point of concern raised during the meeting was about yield versus tourist arrival numbers. Minister Loustau-Lalanne said while the visitors arrival numbers have gone up by 18% for the first quarter of the year, statistics has shown that the yield has not gone up but rather it has stayed at par to 2016 figures.

He added that the 18% is a remarkable increase and should directly contribute more towards the economy of Seychelles. He said the country should be collecting more in terms of revenue and believe we are most probably earning more from this sector.

Minister Loustau-Lalanne said the tourism satellite accounting system that the tourism department is working on should hopefully help to obtain better statistics for the future.

Air India eyes Nairobi again after 7 year absence


(Posted 11th May 2017)

Air India, a Star Alliance member, is once again on the expansion drive with more long haul destinations being launched this year.
New services to Washington, Stockholm and Los Angeles will be followed by Tel Aviv, Dallas and notably Nairobi later this year.
While no date has been set is there speculation that Air India will commence flights to the Kenyan capital with the start of the traditional winter season airlines observe.
The Indian flag carrier withdrew from Kenya in 2010 leaving the route entirely to Kenya Airways but has now apparently decided that there is enough traffic between the two countries – India is now in the top five of Kenya’s visitor source countries – to justify resuming daily flights.

Uganda aims to become Africa’s number one birdwatching destination


(Posted 11th May 2017)

(Uganda, besides being Africa’s top ranked birding destination is also the most affordable gorilla destination in Eastern Africa)

Home to more than half of Africa’s bird species, Uganda is the continent’s richest birding destination. Birders from around the world flock to Uganda hoping to get a glimpse of 1,072 species, including several found nowhere else on earth. These birding enthusiasts are in luck as, with the right itinerary, it is possible to identify as many as 200 species in a single day.

Much of Uganda’s premier birdwatching takes place in the Albertine Rift, one of the most biodiverse regions in Africa and home to 24 endemic bird species. In this strip of mountains and volcanoes in the west that borders Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the black-rumped buttonquail, African skimmer, Chapin’s flycatcher, black bee-eater, and handsome francolin are just a few species birders are likely to encounter. The area is also home to more than half of the world’s population of endangered mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and a large population of chimpanzees in Kibale National Park and Budongo Forest. Four of the “Big Five” – lion, leopard, elephant, and Cape buffalo – can be found in Queen Elizabeth National Park, which is also a designated Important Birding Area by Birding International. Many tour companies pair birding with gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking, and game drives for an unforgettable wildlife adventure.

There are many birds to be spotted in this relatively small country, but a few stand out as top attractions. Birders seeking to significantly grow their life list in Uganda can begin planning their trip with the following species in their sights:


These large, slow-moving birds are found only in the wetlands of tropical East Africa. Shoebills are widely considered one of the most desirable bird sightings in all of Africa, and their prehistorical appearance makes them unmistakable for any other creature. One of the best spots for sighting these giants are Mabamba Swamp on Lake Victoria. Its location less than an hour from Entebbe International Airport makes it an ideal starting point before heading deeper into Uganda.


The green-breasted pitta is a fairly common bird, though it is often difficult to spot because it camouflages well with the lowland tropical forests where it lives. The best location to find these small, colorful birds is in Kibale National Park.


This eye catching bird can only been seen two places in the world – the Itombwe Mountains in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Sightings are rare as the African green broadbill’s numbers are declining due to deforestation and habitat loss.


The black bee-eater can grow to be eight inches long and is predominantly black, with a scarlet chin and throat, a streaked breast, a pale blue eyebrow, and blue belly. One of the most intriguing places to spot this species is on a boat safari down the Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park, where passengers also get up close and personal to some of the park’s more than 1,600 hippopotamuses.


Undoubtedly one of the world’s rarest birds, the Shelley’s crimsonwing can be found on most bird bucket lists. Its population is vulnerable, and only a few photos of this bird exist. This elusive finch species makes its home in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Kibale National Park.

Known as the ‘Pearl of Africa‘ is Uganda located across equatorial East Africa. The country offers some of the continent’s most diverse wildlife viewing, dramatic landscapes including the fabled Mountains of the Moon, the Source of the Nile and one of Africa’s widest cultural experiences.
Uganda is home to more than half the world’s population of endangered mountain gorillas, and trekking to observe these gentle giants in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is one of the world’s top “bucket list” travel activities, besides being the most affordable place to track these gentle giants.
Uganda is also the only country where two gorilla national parks are found as Mt. Mgahinga NP is also open for gorilla tracking too besides Bwindi Impenetrable Forest NP.
Safari opportunities abound in savanna, forest, and wetland settings throughout 10 national parks, 12 game reserves and a dedicated rhino sanctuary at Ziwa – located enroute to or from Murchison Falls NP. This makes Uganda a “The Big Five” country – lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and buffalo – as well as cheetahs, Rothschild giraffes, zebra, chimpanzee – Uganda is home to 14 primate species overall – hippopotamus, the infamous Nile crocodile and more than half of all bird species found in Africa.
Among Uganda’s extraordinary natural attractions are Lake Victoria, the world’s second largest freshwater lake and rainforests like Maramagambo in Queen Elizabeth NP, the Mabira Forest and Kidepo Forest, all of them home to endemic bird species.

Daily or multiple weekly connections to Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport are available on carriers including Brussels Airlines, KLM, Qatar Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Turkish Airlines, Kenya Airways, South African Airways, Egypt Air and RwandAir among others.

For more information, please visit or else check out

Corporate Council on Africa News Updates


Cape Town Brings In Over $112 Million In Six Years As Africa’s Best Business Tourism Destination AFK Insider
Cape Town has been named the best business tourism destination on the African continent once again, a ranking produced by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) revealed…. Read more>>

Tanzania-Rwanda rail development to boost East African train links African Business Magazine
Work has begun on building the first stage of the new Tanzania-Rwanda railway, making it likely that the project as a whole will be developed….. Read more>>

Emirates defies global trends to show another profitable year


(Posted 11th May 2017)

Emirates Group Announces 2016-17 results

  • Group records 29th consecutive year of profit of AED 2.5 billion (US$ 670 million)
  • Steady business growth in line with capacity increases, results show business resilience in a competitive climate and turbulent year
  • Significant investment in the business at AED 13.7 billion (US$ 3.7 billion)
  • Emirates reports a profit of AED 1.3 billion (US$ 340 million)
  • Airline capacity crosses 60 billion ATKM. 35 new aircraft delivered, and 27 older aircraft retired during the year
  • Stable revenue at AED 85.1 billion (US$ 23.2 billion), after a AED 2.1 billion (US$ 572 million) hit due to unfavourable currency exchange
  • dnata makes highest profit ever, at AED 1.2 billion (US$ 330 million)
  • Record revenue of AED 12.2 billion (US$ 3.3 billion) reflects further business expansion, with international business now accounting for 66% of revenue
  • Expands global footprint with ground handling acquisitions in the Americas, adds new facilities and service capabilities across its airport, cargo, catering, and travel services divisions

The Emirates Group earlier today announced its 29th consecutive year of profit and steady business expansion, despite a turbulent year for aviation and travel.

This is in stark contrast to the fortunes of the American legacy carriers, American, Delta and United, which, apart from complaining about the globe’s growing attraction to the service rich Gulf airlines have otherwise excelled in abusing their passengers as recent cases on all three of these so called airlines confirmed.

Released today in its 2016-17 Annual Report, the Emirates Group posted an AED 2.5 billion (US$ 670 million) profit for the financial year ending 31 March 2017, down 70% from last year’s record profit. The Group’s revenue reached AED 94.7 billion (US$ 25.8 billion), an increase of 2% over last year’s results, and the Group’s cash balance decreased by 19% to AED 19.1 billion (US$ 5.2 billion) mainly due to the repayment of two bonds on maturity and ongoing high investments into its fleet and aircraft related assets.

In line with the current business climate and to support the future investment plans of the Group, no dividend payment will be made to the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) for 2016-17.

His Highness (H.H.) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, said: ‘Emirates and dnata have continued to deliver profits and grow the business, despite 2016-17 having been one of our most challenging years to date. Over the years, we have invested to build our business capabilities and brand reputation. We now reap the benefits as these strong foundations have helped us to weather the destabilising events which have impacted travel demand during the year – from the Brexit vote to Europe’s immigration challenges and terror attacks, from the new policies impacting air travel into the US, to currency devaluation and funds repatriation issues in parts of Africa, and the continued knock-on effect of a sluggish oil and gas industry on business confidence and travel demand‘.

In 2016-17, the Group collectively invested AED 13.7 billion (US$ 3.7 billion) in new aircraft and equipment, the acquisition of companies, modern facilities, the latest technologies, and staff initiatives.

Sheikh Ahmed said: ‘These investments will further strengthen our resilience, even as we extend our competitive edge, and adapt our businesses to the volatile business climate and fast changing consumer expectations. We remain optimistic for the future of our industry, although we expect the year ahead to remain challenging with hyper competition squeezing airline yields, and volatility in many markets impacting travel flows and demand. Emirates and dnata will stay attuned to the events and trends that impact our business, so that we can respond quickly to opportunities and challenges. We will also progress on our digital transformation journey. We are redesigning every aspect of how we do business, powered by an entirely new suite of technologies. Our aim is to deliver more personalised customer experiences, and seamless customer journeys, and make our operations and back-office functions even more efficient‘.

Across its more than 80 subsidiaries and companies, the Group increased its total workforce by 11% to over 105,000-strong, representing over 160 different nationalities.

Emirates performance

Emirates’ total passenger and cargo capacity crossed the 60 billion mark, to 60.5 billion ATKMs at the end of 2016-17, cementing its position as the world’s largest international carrier. The airline increased capacity during the year by 4.1 billion Available Tonne Kilometres (ATKMs), or 7% over 2015-16.

Emirates received 35 new aircraft, its highest number during a financial year, comprising of 19 A380s and 16 Boeing 777-300ERs. At the same time 27 older aircraft were phased out, bringing its total fleet count to 259 at the end of March. This fleet roll-over involving 62 aircraft was the largest programme it has ever managed in a year, and it brought Emirates’ average fleet age down significantly to 63 months, compared with 74 months last year, and the industry average of 140 months.

It underscores Emirates’ strategy to operate a young and modern fleet which is better for the environment, better for operations, and better for customers. The airline remains the world’s largest operator of the Boeing 777 and A380 – both aircraft being amongst the most modern and efficient wide-bodied jets in the sky today.

During the year, Emirates launched six new passenger destinations: Fort Lauderdale, Hanoi, Newark, Yangon, Yinchuan and Zhengzhou; and one new additional freighter destination: Phnom Penh. It also added services and capacity to nine cities on its existing route network across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North America, offering customers even greater choice and connectivity.

Against significant currency devaluations against the US dollar and fare adjustments due to a highly competitive business environment, Emirates managed to keep its revenue stable at AED 85.1 billion (US$ 23.2 billion). The relentless rise of the US dollar against currencies in most of Emirates’ key markets had an AED 2.1 billion (US$ 572 million) impact on airline revenue, and to the airline’s bottom line. It was the 2nd largest measured in a financial year after last year.

Total operating costs increased by 8% over the 2015-16 financial year. The average price of jet fuel fell slightly during the financial year. But due to an 8% higher uplift in line with capacity increase, the airline’s fuel bill increased by 6% over last year to AED 21.0 billion (US$ 5.7 billion). Fuel is now 25% of operating costs, compared to 26% in 2015-16, but it remained the biggest cost component for the airline.

The airline successfully managed increased competitive pressure across all markets to remain profitable with AED 1.3 billion (US$ 340 million), a decrease of 82% over last year’s record results, and a profit margin of 1.5%.

Overall passenger traffic growth continues to demonstrate the consumer desire to fly on Emirates’ state-of-the-art aircraft, and via efficient routings through its Dubai hub.

Emirates carried a record 56.1 million passengers (up 8%), and achieved a Passenger Seat Factor of 75.1%. The decline in passenger seat factor compared to last year’s 76.5%, is relative to the strong 10% increase in seat capacity by Available Seat Kilometres (ASKMs), and also in part due to lingering economic uncertainty and strong competition in many markets.

Under pressure from the weakening of all major currencies against the USD, passenger yield dropped to 24.7 fils (6.7 US cents) per Revenue Passenger Kilometre (RPKM).

To fund its fleet growth in a year of record aircraft deliveries, Emirates raised AED 29.1 billion (US$ 7.9 billion), using a variety of financing structures.

Emirates continued to tap the Japanese market for the Japanese Operating Lease (JOL) structure and Japanese Operating Lease with a Call Option (JOLCO) on both A380-800 and Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, while further accessing a diverse institutional investor and bank market base including Korea, the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain. Further and owing to the suspended Export Credit Agency (ECA) support, Emirates successfully structured an innovative AED 4.4 billion (US$ 1.2 billion) commercial bridge facility with US and Chinese institutions.

These deals align with Emirates’ strategy to seek diverse financing sources, and underscore its sound financials and the strong investor confidence in the airline’s business model.

Emirates closed the financial year with a healthy AED 15.7 billion (US$ 4.3 billion) of cash assets.

Revenue generated from across Emirates’ six regions continues to be well balanced, with no region contributing more than 30% of overall revenues. Europe was the highest revenue contributing region with AED 23.9 billion (US$ 6.5 billion), unchanged from 2015-16. East Asia and Australasia follows closely with AED 22.6 billion (US$ 6.2 billion), up 1%. The Americas region recorded revenue growth at AED 12.4 billion (US$ 3.4 billion), up 3%. Gulf and Middle East revenue increased by 4% to AED 8.7 billion (US$ 2.4 billion) whereas revenue for Africa declined by 4% to AED 8.7 billion (US$ 2.4 billion). West Asia and Indian Ocean revenue decreased by 3% to AED 7.4 billion (US$ 2.0 billion).

Emirates continued to invest in refreshing its product and services in line with changing customer needs. The airline revealed its enhanced A380 Onboard Lounge which will enter service in July 2017, and announced a significant, multi-million dollar deal with Thales to equip its future Boeing 777X fleet with Thales’ AVANT inflight entertainment system.

Other key initiatives in 2016-17 include: a US$11 million makeover of its Business Class Lounge at Concourse B in Dubai International Airport; the opening of a new Emirates Lounge in Cape Town, and the introduction of new onboard amenities for passengers in all classes, including sustainable blankets in Economy Class made from 100% recycled plastic bottles and using ecoTHREAD™ patented technology.

For 2017-18, Emirates has announced new routes to Phnom Penh in Cambodia and Zagreb in Croatia, aside from capacity upgrades to existing destinations.

Emirates SkyCargo continues to play an integral role in the company’s expanding operations, contributing 13% of the airline’s total transport revenue.

In an airfreight market that remained challenging with fast-changing demand patterns, Emirates’ cargo division reported a revenue of AED 10.6 billion (US$ 2.9 billion), a decline of 5% over last year, while tonnage carried slightly increased by 3% to reach 2.6 million tonnes.

This year, freight yield per Freight Tonne Kilometre (FTKM) decreased by 8%, reflecting the strong downward trend across the industry, and the weakening of major currencies against the US dollar.

Emirates’ SkyCargo’s total freighter fleet remained unchanged, with 15 aircraft: 13 Boeing 777Fs, and two Boeing 747-400Fs. In addition to belly-hold capacity to Emirates’ new passenger destinations, Emirates SkyCargo launched new freighter services to Phnom Penh (Cambodia), as well as new links between Dubai-Oslo and Delhi-Hong Kong.

During 2016-17, Emirates SkyCargo inaugurated Emirates SkyPharma, a 4,000 square metre, purpose-built facility dedicated to the timely and secure transport of temperature sensitive pharmaceutical shipments at Dubai International Airport; and launched White Cover Advanced, a protection solution designed for temperature-sensitive cargo.

Emirates’ hotels recorded revenue of AED 738 million (US$ 201 million), an increase of 5% over last year in a highly competitive market mainly in the UAE.

dnata performance

In its 58 years of operation, 2016-17 has been dnata’s most profitable yet, crossing AED 1.2 billion (US$ 330 million) profit for the first time. Building on its strong results in the previous year, dnata’s revenue grew to AED 12.2 billion (US$ 3.3 billion), up 15%. dnata’s international business now accounts for 66% of its revenue.

This substantial revenue increase was achieved through organic growth, and bolstered by its new acquisitions of dnata Aviation Services in the US in April 2016 and Air Dispatch in the Czech Republic in July 2016, in addition to an increase in its shareholding of Oman United Agencies Travel in Oman, and the full year impact of dnata Brazil acquired during the previous year.

Building on last year’s record levels of investment, dnata continued to lay the foundations for future growth by investing more than AED 1 billion (US$ 272 million) into developing its people, facilities, technology and new acquisitions.

In 2016-17, dnata’s operating costs increased accordingly by 15% to AED 11.0 billion (US$ 3.0 billion), reflecting the impact of integrating the newly acquired companies mainly across its international airport operations.

dnata’s cash balance remains very solid at AED 3.4 billion (US$ 926 million) and close to last year’s record high. The business delivered an AED 1.3 billion (US$ 350 million) cash flow from operating activities in 2016-17, which is similar to last year’s company record.

dnata’s employee strength increased to over 40,000, a 20% substantial growth which includes employees from its newly acquired companies. With the business’ growing international footprint, dnata’s staff ratio based outside the UAE has further increased to 56%.

Revenue from dnata’s UAE Airport Operations, including aircraft and cargo handling increased by 6% to reach AED 3.0 billion (US$ 823 million).

In line with revenue growth, the number of aircraft handled by dnata in the UAE increased 2% to 216,000, and Cargo handling by 4% to 714,000 tonnes showing a first turnaround sign of the cargo industry’s ongoing malaise.

During the year, dnata also inaugurated its new AED 25 million export customer service centre and cargo integrated control centre in the Dubai Airport Free Zone, enhancing its overall product offering for airlines, freight forwarders and shippers.

dnata’s International Airport Operations division grew revenue substantially by 59% to AED 3.3 billion (US$ 906 million), on account of increasing business volumes and newly acquired businesses in the US, as well as the full year impact of dnata Brazil and dnata BV (Netherlands).

International airport operations now represent the largest business segment in dnata by revenue contribution. The number of aircraft handled by the division more than doubled within a year by 129% to 408,000, and Cargo noted a substantial growth of 56% to 2.1 million tonnes of handled goods, mainly driven by the full year consideration of dnata BV which was acquired in the last financial year.

Revenue from dnata’s Travel Services division has seen a slight decline of 5% to AED 3.1 billion (US$ 854 million). The underlying total transaction value (TTV) of travel services sold decreased by 9% to AED 10.7 billion (US$ 2.9 billion). These trends are the reflection of lower travel demand mainly from Corporates and Government entities in the Gulf region as well as the decline in value of the British pound against the US dollar after the Brexit decision.

dnata’s Catering business accounted for AED 2.0 billion (US$ 547 million) of its total revenue, up 7%. The inflight catering business uplifted more than 60 million meals during the year, an increase of 7% on account of higher volumes in a number of markets and in line with revenue growth. During the year, it opened a new purpose-built facility in Cairns, extending dnata’s network of kitchens in Australia to 11, and completed the build of a new Melbourne facility which will commence operations in mid-2017.

The full 2016-17 Annual Report of the Emirates Group – comprising Emirates, dnata and their subsidiaries – is available at:

[US$ figures were converted at 1US$ = 3.67AED and are based on the full AED figures before rounding]

Tourism Tattler’s latest edition is ready for you to read …


ISSUE 05 – MAY 2017

May’s front cover features three prime examples of sustainable tourism in Africa. If you haven’t already identified these renowned eco-friendly properties, they are Karongwe Portfolio, Hotel Verde and Jaci’s Lodges.

Hotel rates come under the spotlight this month with many South African properties having hiked 2018 room rates by 20%, while some have posted increases as high as 45%. What’s your view on this contentious topic?

From this month, the Tattler magazine is also hosted on Magzter – a digital magazine reading platform that reaches 31 million registered users! Last month we joined Yumpu (click on the cover link above to view) and PressReader’s 300 million subscribers who now have access to Tattler during their travels at thousands of hotels, libraries, airports, cruise ships and cafes around the world.

Happy reading. Meet me at #Indaba2017

Des Langkilde. editor


02 The Hotel Show Africa 25-27 June 2017
05 Pan-African Health Tourism Congress 08-09 June 2017
Fair Trade Tourism Joins IYSTD17 initiative
Commenting on the partnership, FTT’s Marketing Manager said, “Fair Trade Tourism is proud to play a leading role in certifying sustainable tourism programmes in South Africa, Mozambique and Madagascar.”
Continue reading…
07 Eco-Friendly Sustainable Tourism Icons
Tourism Tattler has partnered with Eco Atlas – an award-winning directory website with a host of eco-travel choice icons, which make it easy to find places to eat, shop, stay and play the green way.
Continue reading…
08 Tips on Greening your Tourism Business
Ecotourists seek out businesses that have “green” practices in place, and even indifferent tourists prefer a sustainable establishment over one that is not. Here are some quick and easy tips to going green.​
Continue reading…
09 Hotel Verde Cape Town – Africa’s Greenest Hotel
| Jaci’s Lodges
Jaci’s Lodges is the epitome of eco-friendly luxury safaris in South Africa’s Big-5 Madikwe Game Reserve. Jaci’s promises an authentic, friendly and welcoming safari experience for eco-conscious guests.​​
Continue reading…
11 | Hotel Verde – Africa’s greenest hotel
Hotel Verde has recently been certified by Fair Trade Tourism – a prestigious accolade for both Hotel Verde and tourism in South Africa, showing leadership in the rapidly growing ‘green experience’ tourism market.​
Continue reading…
12 | Karongwe Portfolio
What sets Karongwe Portfolio’s six luxury lodges apart from similar properties in the Limpopo province is its commitment to working hand in hand in uplifting surrounding communities both in terms of employment and wildlife conservation.​
Continue reading…
14 7 Steps to Successful Route Tourism Development
Route Tourism or ‘route development’ has been described as the world’s best hope to secure sustainability in travel and tourism, writes Marlien Lourens in this extract from her Master of Tourism degree dissertation.
Continue reading…
16 The Vertical Potential Of Airport Transfers
It’s time we started rethinking the ways in which travellers are getting to and from airports, and the ways in which travel merchants can integrate these into their services writes Carey Finn in this thought provoking article.
Continue reading…
17 SA Tourism Stats: May 2017
Get the latest Overseas and African Tourist Arrivals, Hotel RevPar, and Airport Passenger Arrival statistics for 2017.
Continue reading…

To download and save this report as a PDF file click HERE.

18 Are South Africa’s Room Rates Sustainable?
That’s the big question being asked by tour operators and booking agents, so I turned to Grant Thornton, TravelSmartCrew and Lalibela Game Reserve for their expert opinion.
Continue reading…
20 Reunion Island: Tropical Incentive with a French Touch
In the meetings industry, no other destination has such an apt name as Île de la Réunion (The meeting Island). This tropical island is a popular destination for exotic incentives with quality guaranteed.
Continue reading…
22 Network with ATA in Rwanda from 28-31 August
If your tourism business focusses on selling Africa to the world, then Remarkable Rwanda is where you need to be to meet new business partners and network with influential Africa Travel Association members from the USA.
Continue reading…
23 Medical Tourism Certification – Added Value or Waste of Money?
Medical tourism is an increasing but challenging market. Patients have particular needs when undergoing treatment abroad and high quality and cost-effective medical care needs to be managed, writes Angeliki Katsapi.
Continue reading…
24 Protecting the Female Traveller
Since the inception of modern tourism, women have played a significant role in developing the world’s largest industry. Here are some ideas to improve security for the ‘single’ female traveller, writes Dr Peter Tarlow.
Continue reading…
25 The Hidden Power of Ritual in Tourism
Anita Mendiratta describes some powerful rituals that must be taken into account when marketing tourism experiences to gain a personal connection with travellers.
Continue reading…
26 Email Marketing 101 for Tourism Business
Email Marketing is one of the best advertising sales tools around. You could say that it is the pipeline through which sales reach your business, easily returning R500 to every R12.50 you spend.​
Continue reading…
30 | A Guide to Cultural Tourism
Cultural tourism provides a glimpse into people’s lives in terms of art, architecture, religion, food, clothing and anything else that may have contributed to shaping their culture, writes Yvonne Nhuta.
Continue reading…


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Lalibela Game Reserve
Jaci’s Lodges
Hotel Verde
Karongwe Portfolio
Réunion Island Tourism Board
The Hotel Show Africa
Pan-African Health Tourism Congress 2017


Smile appoints Ahmad Farroukh as new in charge of Operations


(Posted 11th May 2017)

Smile Telecoms Holdings Ltd

Smile Telecoms Holdings Ltd, in short known as Smile, (, a Pan-African telecommunications group with operations in Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is announcing the appointment of Ahmad Farroukh to its Board as Executive Director, Operations, effective 01st of May 2017.

Ahmad is an experienced telecoms executive with a distinguished record of commercial success, extensive experience working in Africa and an impressive ability to drive strategy and profitability in accordance with international standards. He has held executive management positions at Investcom Holdings and the MTN Group, including being CEO of MTN Nigeria for five years, CEO of MTN South Africa and MTN Group Chief Operating Executive (responsible for 19 countries). Most recently, he served as CEO of Mobily, Saudi Arabia’s second largest telecommunications operator. Given the extent of the opportunity and the significance to Smile, Ahmad will spend the majority of his executive time in Nigeria.

The Africa telecoms market is as dynamic as it is challenging, and Ahmad Farroukh is perfectly suited to lead Smile’s next exciting phase of growth, as we have transitioned from a spectrum rich start-up to the most reliable data gigabyte factory in Sub-Sahara Africa‘ said Irene Charnley, Smile Group’s Chief Executive Officer.

Africa is experiencing explosive data growth, and I am honoured to have the opportunity to lead the operations of the continent’s best 4G LTE network at this exciting time. It has also been a revelation after over 20 years in the industry to witness the power and versatility of Smile’s proprietary technology applications and billing platform, which was developed in-house and provides a huge competitive and cost advantage‘ said Ahmad.

Ahmad holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and Accounting from the Lebanese American University and is a Certified Public Accountant (New York, USA).

This blog is powered by Smile and has a nearly 100 percent record of being on line since starting to use the 4GLTE technology four years ago.

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