TravelBites

South Africa

More Indian tourists for SA – tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane


Pretoria
– South Africa is set for an increase in arrivals of tourists from India, according to Tourism  Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane. The minister hailed as a resounding success her two-day market roadshow to Mumbai in India from January 14 to 16, the tourism department said in a statement. The roadshow was characterised by “robust engagement” with tour operators, destination management companies, film producers, and potential investors, as South Africa increased its efforts to unlock market opportunities for the realisation of the country’s target of doubling international tourist arrivals from 10.5 million to 21 million by 2030.

Source: IOL.co.za. Travel New

Coronavirus: How will drop in Chinese tourist numbers affect CT industry?

Cape Town – “Every single tourist matters,” says Cape Town Tourism CEO Enver Duminy on the  outlook for the peak international tourism season. At the time of going to press, the World Health Organization (WHO) was meeting to decide whether to declare the coronavirus outbreak an international public health emergency. Chinese officials said at the time 170 people have died and the virus has now reached every region of the mainland. Travel bans are in place and some Chinese cities are on virtual lockdown. CapeTalk’s John Maytham asks Cape Town Tourism CEO Enver Duminy how big of an effect this will have on the local tourism season. Duminy pointed out that tourists from China (14,000 in 2019) make up less than 1% of tourist arrivals in the Mother City. He acknowledged that despite representing a small (but growing) slice of the pie, a drop in Chinese visitors will still make a difference. “If you look at tourism in general, in Cape Town and in South Africa, every single tourist matters,” said Duminy. “What we’ve already seen  is that some agents have already started doing the cancellations. If I look at forward booking, it’s already down 65% from February to the end of March and we hope that doesn’t kind of go on for too long… Hopefully we’ll still be able to recoup some of that business for a later time in the year.”

Source: CapeTalk Radio

Coronavirus: How will drop in Chinese tourist numbers affect CT industry?

Cape Town – “Every single tourist matters,” says Cape Town Tourism CEO Enver Duminy on the  outlook for the peak international tourism season. At the time of going to press, the World Health Organization (WHO) was meeting to decide whether to declare the coronavirus outbreak an international public health emergency. Chinese officials said at the time 170 people have died and the virus has now reached every region of the mainland. Travel bans are in place and some Chinese cities are on virtual lockdown. CapeTalk’s John Maytham asks Cape Town Tourism CEO Enver Duminy how big of an effect this will have on the local tourism season. Duminy pointed out that tourists from China (14,000 in 2019) make up less than 1% of tourist arrivals in the Mother City. He acknowledged that despite representing a small (but growing) slice of the pie, a drop in Chinese visitors will still make a difference. “If you look at tourism in general, in Cape Town and in South Africa, every single tourist matters,” said Duminy. “What we’ve already seen  is that some agents have already started doing the cancellations. If I look at forward booking, it’s already down 65% from February to the end of March and we hope that doesn’t kind of go on for too long… Hopefully we’ll still be able to recoup some of that business for a later time in the year.”

Source: CapeTalk Radio

Tintswalo Lapalala takes up the spekboom challenge

Waterberg, Limpopo – Tintswalo Lapalala  has taken up the #SpekboomChallenge to champion the planting of spekboom (Portulacaria afra) within the pristine Lapalala Wilderness Reserve in the Waterberg (Limpopo). The luxury tented lodge already operates off the grid, but to offset the carbon footprint of its safari vehicles and emergency generators, it has now started cultivating seedlings of these ‘super’ plants. Information on the #SpekboomChallenge is shared with guests who are encouraged to participate in the conservation initiative. On check-out, each person receives a cutting with the invitation to plant their own spekboom. Guests have the choice to plant their spekboom around the lodge, or elsewhere within the expansive reserve that stretches across 44 500 hectares of untouched wilderness. The spekboom is indigenous to the Eastern Cape but is also found throughout the drier parts of South Africa.  One hectare of spekboom can sequester between four and ten tonnes of carbon per year.  This makes it a powerful tool in the fight against climate change and the move towards a zero-carbon world.  The spekboom can live up to 200 years and can grow up to five metres tall.  They are equipped with a unique mechanism to adapt to their surroundings and during drought periods the water-wise plant is able to conserve and prevent water loss during the heat of the day.  Spekboom is very high in nutritional value with a delicious, juicy lemon taste that is a favourite food for black rhinos, kudus and elephants.

Source: FiveStarPR   

Regional travellers top November tourism figures

Pretoria – A total of 3.5 million people passed through the borders of South Africa in November, and most of the tourists were from African countries, according to figures released by Statistics South Africa. A comparison between November 2018 and November 2019 also indicated that the number of arrivals and departures increased for South African residents, while foreign travellers decreased. The data is collected by the Department of Home Affairs immigration at the country’s ports of entry and exit. It does not include the purpose of travel and the number of days South African residents intend to spend abroad, the agency said. It showed that the volume of South African residents arrivals increased by 1.9%, from 436 946 in November 2018 to 445 039 in November 2019. Departures increased by 2.0%, from 455 068 in November 2018 to 464 103 in November 2019. Given that the majority of visitors were from Southern African Development Community (SADC) states, most of them arrived by road transport, mainly from Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Mozambique. India and Brazil, which – along with China, South Africa and Russia, make up the BRICS economic bloc – accounted for the lowest number of visitors. India added 7 249 visitors and Brazil only 6 495. Tourism is one of the key drivers of economic activity, and President Cyril Ramaphosa has set a plan to double international tourist arrivals from 10.5 million to 21 million by 2030. India has been identified as one of the countries that could stimulate the country’s tourism arrivals.

Source: Fin24.com

4 things to expect from the SA tourism and technology industry in 2020

Will 2020 herald in the decade of flying cars, AI concierges and holograph meetings with clients and  colleagues across the world? This month, taxi service Uber presented a full-scale model of a flying car. The vehicle will form part of a fleet of Uber Air Taxis that will be flown by a pilot and accommodate four passengers each. Robots have become prevalent in some of the bigger hotel chains around the world, as well as in selected airports, and we can expect more robots to appear in 2020. Jurni chief executive, Dr Nomvuselelo Songelwa, believes that tourism has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to innovation. “Tourism was one of the first sectors to digitalise business processes on a global scale. The tourism industry brought flight and hotel bookings online, and the sector became a digital pioneer.” Dr Songelwa said the South African travel industry will see more far-reaching changes in 2020. Here are some of them.

  • Facial recognition enables a frictionless travel experience.
  • Tech connects travellers with more – and often unexpected – experiences.
  • Data-driven intelligence will help uncover new destinations
  • New and innovative jobs for an ambitious Gen Z

Source: iol.co.za

Africa

Kenya Urged to Take Advantage of Its Health Assets in Medical Tourism

Nairobi – Kenya needs to take advantage of its existing assets it the medical sector to attract other  nationals seeking specialised treatment services abroad, experts have urged. A recent report by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency noted that the private health sector in Kenya is one of the most developed and dynamic in Sub-Saharan Africa. “Kenya holds leadership in the region for technology and education with matured democracy,” Mediheal’s Vice President- International Patient Service Mr Gokul Prem Kumar said. In 2017, Kenya was named among the top six destinations where African nationals visit seeking high-end specialised medical services. The report, dubbed Tourism for Transformative and Inclusive Growth, noted that Medical tourism — cross-border travel for medical purposes, including for medical services and elective procedures — is an emerging market segment that has expanded in recent years in several African countries, notably Egypt, Kenya, Mauritius, Morocco, South Africa and Tunisia. According to Mr Prem, Kenya is strategically placed given its accessibility from various parts of the continent as well as the world. According to data from the ministry of health, approximately 10,000 Kenyans travel abroad annually, in search of medical treatment and end up spending at least Sh10 billion in the same period. The government is now working to provide quality healthcare in the country in a bid to reverse the current trends in medical tourism by Kenyans seeking health services abroad.

Source: AllAfrica

African Tourism Board advice on coronavirus

Addis Ababa – Should you still travel to Africa? The Executive Committee of the African Tourism Board (ATB) had an emergency meeting to discuss the impact of coronavirus on travel and tourism to Africa. ATB’s answer in short: Africa is beautiful, amazing, and ready to welcome you with open arms. Cuthbert Ncube, Chairman of the African Tourism Board, echoed Juergen Steinmetz, CMCO and founding chair of the NGO, together with CEO Doris Woerfel and COO Simba Mandinyenya with this comment. The ATB Executive Committee said we need to point out there is a lot being said about coronavirus. It’s a very hot issue, and it’s making headlines. The traveling public is on edge. To ease this tension, the African Tourism Board is urging travelers and governments as well as travel and tourism stakeholders to read and follow the Emergency Explanation issued today by the World Health Organization. After you read the emergency explanation, you will understand that there is no reason to shut down tourism. We at ATB are telling travelers to consider Africa as a holiday and vacation destination more than ever. “One isolated case of the coronavirus has been detected in the Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Mauritius and Kenya each. The virus is well under control in Africa, and all stakeholders and governments must work together to continue for Africa to be a safe, desirable, and healthy destination for visitors. We at ATB will do everything in our power to engage and encourage the conversation, participate in training, and spread awareness to the world,” they said in a statement. he WHO Committee does not recommend any travel or trade restriction based on the current information available. The WHO Committee believes that it is still possible to interrupt virus spread, provided that countries put in place strong measures to detect disease early, isolate and treat cases, trace contacts, and promote social distancing measures commensurate with the risk. It is important to note that as the situation continues to evolve, so will the strategic goals and measures to prevent and reduce the spread of the infection. The Committee agreed that the outbreak now meets the criteria for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and proposed the following advice to be issued as Temporary Recommendations.

Source: eTurboNews

WiT Africa 2020 aims to link Asian and African travel markets

Cape Town – Following its success in Asia and the Middle East, WiT (Web in Travel) will host its debut WiT Africa conference in Cape Town, drawing focus on the growth and potential of the African travel market and its connection with Asia. The first WiT Africa, to be held on May 28 at the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, will explore the opportunities in the region. According to the Jumia Hospitality Report Africa 2019, Africa is the second-fastest growing tourism region in the world after APAC. Inbound travel grew 5.6% in 2018 with 67m international arrivals that same year, an increase of 7% from 2017. Ethiopia is ranked as Africa’s fastest growing travel market, growing by 48.6% in 2018, and worth $7.4bn. Meanwhile, South Africa plans to double tourist arrivals to 21 million by 2030. Outbound travel is also growing at scale with a population that is young, urban, and highly mobile and social. The mobile industry is estimated to contribute $185bn to Africa’s economy (9.1% of total GDP) by 2023. Africa is the second largest internet population after China, with smartphone adoption predicted to rise from 36% in 2018 to 66% by 2025.

Source: Fin24

Avani Hotels & Resorts to debut in Kenya

Nairobi – Avani Hotels & Resorts said it is expanding into East Africa with the signing of the first Avani property in Kenya. The Avani Nairobi Suites is currently under development by Fedha Group, one of Kenya’s leading real estate developers. Scheduled to open by the end of 2020, the new-build 15-storey property will further strengthen the Avani brand’s presence in Africa, alongside its existing properties in Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Mozambique, and Lesotho. The all-suite property will be located in the heart of Westlands, a prime business and leisure district of Nairobi, with direct access to an array of multi-national corporations, restaurants, and bars all just a 40-minute drive from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Avani Nairobi Suites will offer 120 keys, comprising of 90 one-bedroom, 20 two-bedroom, and ten three-bedroom serviced apartments. Designed by Beglin Woods Architects, the suites will offer floor-to-ceiling windows and private terraces boasting cityscape views. Sizes will range from 100 sq m for the one-bedroom, up to 200 sq m for the duplex three-bedroom units and will perfectly cater to a mix of leisure, corporate, and extended stay guests.

Source: TTN /  TradeArabia News Service

Zimbabwe eyeing lucrative sports tourism

Harare – The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has stepped up efforts to tap into the lucrative sport  tourism market by targeting the on-going cricket Test series between Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka, which is taking place at the Harare Sports Club.  They have also targeted the Afro-Basket basket qualifiers, which will see Zimbabwe host Zambia and Madagascar. The sports tourism sector is seen as one of the  fastest growing sectors in the travel industry, mooted at around to $7.68 billion (R111bn). The tourism agency is using the two sports events to  encourage sport tourism as the primary reason for travel in the country. It hopes it will soon be tying down various memo with the country’s sports associations. This comes in the backdrop of the Zimbabwean national cricket team playing its first Test match in over a year. The team is led by the newly appointed Test captain,  Sean Williams. It is the African team’s first international assignment since being expelled by the International Cricket Council (ICC) last year for government interference, a ban which was later lifted after the country fulfilled conditions for reinstatement. Godfrey Koti, the head of corporate affairs at the tourism agency, said: “Sport tourism is a fast-growing sector of the global travel industry and equates to $7.68 billion, which is no small feat and we are doing all we can to garner the numbers that we can get”.

Source: iol.co.za