Wednesday 30 November 2016

KENYA: Taxi Battle Expected Between Kenya Based Little Cab And Uber

Little Cab, a taxi-hailing app owned by Nairobi-based technology firms, Craft Silicon, and East Africa’s biggest telecommunication provider, Safaricom, plans to expand its operations to Uganda and Nigeria as it intensifies its market battle against the dominant U.S.-based taxi-haling firm, Uber.

The decision is likely to change the app’s fortunes, whose increase in customers in Kenya has not led to a rise in its earnings, unlike Uber that is already operating in 15 cities across eight African countries.

“We plan to go by the first quarter of next year. Most probably it will either be Nigeria or Uganda. We are thinking of one of the two countries,” Kamal Budhabhati, chief executive of Craft Silicon said.

Nigeria is the most populous nation on the continent and currently has six taxi-hailing companies battling for over 86 million people who have access to the internet.

Uber is the leading taxi-hailing app in the country, and has recorded more than one million trips since it launched in March, last year.

Uber entered the Ugandan market in June, but the market remains largely under-exploited.

Little, launched in July as Little Cabs is considered Uber’s biggest competitor locally, due to its low prices.

The taxi-hailing app is banking on its low prices to grow its customer numbers and improve on its 3,500 trips recorded.

In July, Uber reduced its price per kilometer from $ 0.59 to $0.34, in efforts to maintain its customer numbers after Little Cabs introduced a $0.54 per kilometer fare.

The expansion plan announcement came just days after Little Cab reduced its price per kilometer to $ 0.29, making it the cheapest cab services provider in East Africa’s biggest economy.

The reduction is likely to push Uber into lowering its prices in other African markets as the price battle between the two leading taxi-hailing apps in Kenya intensifies.

Little will also launch motorbike rides in the Kenyan capital and Thika town. It currently offers Lady Bug, a service which is only offered by women operators to female clients.

UAE: Thousands Of Visitors Expected In Dubai In A Few Weeks To Come

Thousands of tourists from the GCC, Europe and other major markets are expected to flock to Dubai over the next few weeks, as the city has just unveiled a number of mega attractions and the emirate’s social events calendar is fast filling up.

Dubai has recently launched several key projects, including the 1.5-million-square-foot IMG Worlds of Adventure and the much bigger leisure destination, the 25-million-square-foot Dubai Parks and Resorts, which is home to three theme parks and one water park.

Just more than a week earlier, Dubai witnessed the grand opening of the 3.2-kilometre Dubai Water Canal, which links the Dubai Creek to the Arabian Gulf.

With so many exciting things now on offer, hotels in the city are seeing a growing number of tourist arrivals, with occupancy levels rising to as much as 80 per cent. Towards the end of the year, many hoteliers are expecting higher or full occupancy.

Industry sources said the huge influx of visitors will surely give a much-needed boost to the tourism industry after a slow summer and sluggish demand from key markets. Visitor numbers from big-spending markets like Russia had earlier declined, owing to the decline in oil prices and strengthening of the US dollar, but this trend is starting to change.

“With new developments on the tourism front, where Dubai has seen three new attractions opening in a span of just three months, Dubai is sure to win hearts of tourists and it is going to pull in a huge number probably exceeding earlier years,” said Moussa El Hayek, COO of Al Bustan Centre and Residence.

“This is the best season for the travellers to visit Dubai, hence the excitement surely is in the air,” he added.

El Hayek said they’re expecting a huge number of guests from Russia and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

“This year, we have seen a steady flow of tourists from Russia. Currently, we are enjoying a decent share of 80 per cent occupancy level. We plan to increase it by at least 20 per cent over the next few weeks.”

“The trends surely are positive and we see an upward booking curve.”

Dubai’s hotel occupancy had earlier dropped, averaging 84.7 per cent in the first three months of the year, down from 85.6 per cent in the same period of 2015. The decline was partly due to the size of new hotel supply, which outpaced demand growth for the same period. As of October this year, Dubai recorded more than 19,000 rooms in 67 hotels still under construction, according to STR data.

A spokesperson for Millennium Plaza Hotel in Dubai said that over the next few weeks, they are expecting to see a “good mix” of travellers from the GCC, Far East and Europe. “We have also seen a rise of travellers from the Americas. Our occupancy level fluctuates between the high 80s to the high 90s, with a few days at 100 per cent,” the hotel said.

“This trend will continue toward the end of the year. Hopefully, we expect to be in line or a bit higher in occupancy compared to 2015.”

“A lot of factors will boost visitor numbers- meetings, exhibitions, short breaks, the opening of various theme parks and various air connection routes via Dubai.”

SOUTH AFRICA: Mandarin Tourism Students Off To China

The first 20 tourism practitioners to be taught how to speak Mandarin in a recently launched Department of Tourism programme passed with an average mark of 88%.

Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom presented them with certificates on Tuesday before they head off to China for three weeks.

The Dept of Tourism ‏@Tourism_gov_za tweeted: “The simple language exchanges will go a long way in making sure that we receive more Chinese tourists in this country: Min @Derek_Hanekom”.

Hanekom posted on Twitter: “They have just completed 12 weeks of Mandarin learning. Average mark was 88%! You should hear them speak Chinese!”

Department media liaison Praveen Naidoo also tweeted a photo of his boss congratulating them: “@Derek_Hanekom thanks the Mandarin teachers for training frontline tourism staff in language and culture of China.”

The programme was officially launched in September‚ but has its roots in 2013‚ when the South African government signed an agreement to cooperate with the People's Republic of China in the tourism sector.

This gave rise to the partnership to train locals in Mandarin in order to improve the service provided to Chinese tourists to South Africa.

According to the Chinese Embassy‚ 58 000 tourists from the Asian nation visited South Africa in the first half of 2016.

Addressing the launch in September‚ Chinese deputy ambassador Li Song said the relationship with South Africa was growing and at its best levels ever. Song congratulated the trainees on their journey and said it would have value in their live going into the future.

"You will not regret all the time and energy that you put in the learning of the Chinese language. Your language skills will pave a way for a lot of opportunities in the future."

Song added that there were other language partnerships with the departments in police‚ international relations‚ and basic education.

UAE: Sharjah Commerce And Tourism Development Authority Expecting 200,0000 Chinese Tourists

Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) is preparing to welcome 200,000 Chinese visitors to the emirate of Sharjah by 2021, according to a statement.

Hotels welcomed over 75,000 Chinese visitors during the first three quarters of 2016, showing a 75 per cent year on year growth.

The number of Chinese visitors to Sharjah increased by a staggering 75.2 per cent in the first nine months of 2016, when compared with the same period in 2015.

The increased initiative to attract visitors from China has been boosted with the new Chinese visa on arrival regulation as well as the many new initiatives by the Authority and stakeholders to attract further visitors.

UAE: UAE Hotel Occupancy Rates Down

By any measure, there aren’t enough tourists to fill all the hotel rooms in the UAE.

The latest data released by research firm STR showed that due to a slow influx of holidaymakers, coupled with a huge supply of new hotels, occupancy numbers, as well as revenues and room rates in UAE, continued to drop in October compared to a year earlier. The average cost of hotel stay, in particular, slumped to an 11-year low.

Occupancy rates at hotels in Dubai dropped by 2 per cent to 78 per cent, while the revenue per available room (RevPAR), a key indicator of hotel profitability, was also down 11.6 per cent to Dh596.16. The price of hotel rooms, or average daily rate (ADR), dipped by 9.8 per cent to Dh764.63.

STR analysts attributed the performance to a decline in visitors from certain markets, owing to the drop in oil prices. The oil's decline, as well as the rise of the US dollar, to which the UAE dirham is pegged, has somewhat dampened the purchasing power of tourists from places like Russia and China.

The UAE's hospitality sector is one of the industries experiencing a slowdown in employment, with the number of online job postings within the industry registering a 66 per cent year-on-year decline in September, according to the Monster Employment Index.

This doesn’t mean that hotels are seriously low on guest numbers. In fact, STR recorded a "year-to-date demand increase" of 5.6 per cent, but this is not strong enough to fill the huge supply of hotel rooms coming on stream recently.

“Strong supply growth of hotel rooms has slightly outpaced a year-to-date demand increase in the market,” STR said in a statement.

Across the UAE, hotels reported that occupancy dropped by 2.9 per cent to 75.6 per cent. The average room rates (ADR) fell 9.6 per cent to Dh668.05, the lowest for an October since 2005.

As a result, RevPAR declined 12.3 per cent to Dh505.34. “October was the 22nd consecutive month of year-over-year ADR decreases in the UAE, due in part to consistent and significant supply growth (+5.1 per cent year to date),” STR said. At the same time, demand has remained strong, up 5 per cent year to date.

Hoteliers said that things are still looking good, with some of them expecting this year’s performance to surpass that of 2015.

“We are facing a higher rate compared to 2015. November and December are primarily busy months with a lot of business to capture in the market. The launch of several attractions and airlines dropping their prices are playing a big role for this increase,” a spokesperson for Millennium Plaza Hotel Dubai said.

Dubai has recently unveiled key projects, including the 1.5-million-square-foot IMG Worlds of Adventure and the 25-million-square-foot Dubai Parks and Resorts—home to three theme parks and one water park.

“With new developments on the tourism front, where Dubai has seen three new attractions opening in a span of just three months, Dubai is sure to win hearts of tourists and it is going to pull in a huge number probably exceeding earlier years,” said Moussa El Hayek, COO of Al Bustan Centre and Residence.

UGANDA: Targeting 100,000 Birders Who Will Bring $700 million A Year In Next 10 Years

Uganda, home to more than half of Africa’s bird population, seeks to earn over $700 million from its rich birding variety over the next decade, government officials said during the Africa Birding Expo held in Entebbe from 18-21 November.

The East African nation hosted the event for the first time at Botanical Gardens in Entebbe and hopes to use the show to increase its tourism revenue. Tourism currently contributes about 10 percent of the country’s GDP.

“We have more birds than U.S. and Europe combined but they earn more than us. We are targeting 100,000 birders who will bring in $700 million a year in the next 10 years,” New Vision quoted Stephen Asiimwe, the chief executive officer of Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), saying.

The event which attracted over 100 exhibitors from Africa and across the world, is organized by UTB and Uganda Safari Guides and funded by the World Bank in efforts to showcase the country’s vast bird heritage.

Uganda has over 1,000 bird species but its tourism numbers are about 500 visitors every year, paltry figures compared to other nations like the U.S., which attracts about 17 million bird watchers every year despite its paltry number of species.

The East African nation has about 10 percent of the world’s bird population.

Some of the most sought-after birds in Africa that are found in Uganda include Shoebill, Fox’s weaver, Black bee-eater, Rwenzori Turaco and the Green-breasted pitta, which are mainly found in the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Ichuya Forest and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.

Queen Elizabeth National Park, found in the western region of East Africa’s second biggest economy has over 600 species, the highest for any protected area across the continent.

TURKEY: Turkey Tourism Falls By 25% in Oct, 2.45 MillionTourists Visited Turkey in October,

Tourism, which adds about $30 billion to the country’s GDP each year, has been hammered after a spate of bombings this year.

Visitors to Turkey fell by a quarter in October, official data showed on Tuesday, the smallest contraction in seven months as arrivals from Russia showed a marked recovery after Ankara restored ties with Moscow.

Tourism, which adds about $30 billion to gross domestic product each year, has been hammered after a spate of bombings this year, including an attack on Istanbul’s main airport, and a failed coup in July, scared away Western European tourists.

But the drop-off in Russian tourists, who traditionally flock to Turkey’s Mediterranean beaches and make pilgrimages to its Byzantium-era Orthodox churches, had been particularly painful.

Relations soured after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane over Syria last year. Ties were formally restored in August, sparking hopes for an improvement in tourism.

“With the lifting of Russian sanctions it appears that side has to a large extent returned to normal,” said Deniz Cicek, an economist at QNB Finansbank.

Still, a full recovery in tourism would require bigger changes.

“It is necessary for security worries to lessen and that is dependent on geopolitical developments,” he told Reuters.

A total of 2.45 million tourists visited Turkey in October, the data from the Tourism Ministry showed, representing a 25.79 per cent drop from the previous year.

The number of tourists from Russia dropped 2.8 per cent year-on-year. In the previous month they had fallen by more than 60 per cent.

The numbers from Western Europe remain grim, with the number British and German visitors, two traditionally big sources of tourism, both down by more than 30 per cent.

GERMANY: Lufthansa Group To Receive First A350-900,The Most Modern Long-haul Aircraft Worldwide

On December 19, 2016, the Lufthansa Group will receive its first A350-900, which is the most modern long-haul aircraft worldwide and which will be based at Lufthansa’s Munich Hub.

The first regular commercial flight will be from Munich to Delhi, starting on February 10, 2017. Tickets are available now.

“We are looking forward to welcoming our first A350-900 shortly before Christmas. And as early as February, our passengers will be able to enjoy a higher level of comfort on their flights to Delhi as we have made further improvements to key components of the A350-900’s cabin interior. This includes a newly designed self-service area in Business Class, new seats with ergonomically designed cushions in Economy Class, larger screens in all classes and improved broadband internet services”, said Thomas Winkelmann, CEO of the Munich Hub.

Once Lufthansa has taken ownership of the aircraft on December 19, the A350-900 will be transferred to Munich during the week leading up to Christmas.

In addition to other features, Lufthansa Technik in Munich will also install the cabin interior for the new Premium Economy Class so that the new flagship aircraft will be ready to be presented to the public at the beginning of February.

From February 2017 onwards, Lufthansa will station the first ten Airbus A350-900 aircraft in Munich. The first flight destinations are Delhi and Boston. The aircraft will have space for 293 passengers – 48 in Business Class, 21 in Premium Economy and 224 in the regular Economy Class section. The A350-900 is the most modern and environmentally friendly long-haul aircraft worldwide and uses 25 percent less kerosene and produces 25 percent fewer emissions. The A350-900’s noise “footprint” is up to 50 percent lower than that of comparable aircraft types.

TAIWAN: TransAsia Airways To Close Down

Board members of TransAsia Airways reached a decision to dissolve the company and to halt all its flights.

The decision will be discussed in a shareholder’s meeting and implemented after its approval. The carrier said it couldn’t bring its business back to previous level after the two plane crashes despite the staff’s hard work and the company’s reform measures.

As its financial woes deepened due to sluggish regional industry trend, it had run up losses of more than NT$2.2 bn in the first three quarters of 2016 and did not see optimistic prospects. After a long time consideration and several discussions, its board of directors decided to dissolve the company.

Chairman Vincent Lin said, “It was a painful decision to dissolve the company. We kept trying to find domestic and international professional bodies, partners, or even a new operational team to help TransAsia. It’s a pity that the hope was not fulfilled.”

“We choose to dissolve the airline at this point of time because the company still has more asset than liability, so we’re capable of providing necessary protection to the interests of passengers, employees and partners,” said Lin. “Before exiting Taiwan’s civil aviation industry, the 65-year-old airline will do everything we could to shoulder our last responsibilities.”

GERMANY: airberlin Needs More Than 500 New Cabin Attendants

airberlin wants to reinforce its cabin crews and is organising casting calls for future flight attendants in Berlin, Dusseldorf and Munich. More than 500 new jobs in airberlin’s cabins are to be filled.

Due to the long-haul expansion planned for next year, airberlin needs more than 500 new cabin attendants.

The desired profile is outgoing people with strong communication skills who have finished their schooling, are at least 18 years old, and who are passionate about on-board hospitality as well as passenger safety and satisfaction. A high degree of self-initiative, autonomy, flexibility and ability to work under pressure are just as important as good German- and English-language skills. A friendly and well-groomed appearance completes the desired applicant profile.

Successful applicants will be prepared for working on board the aircraft during an approximately eight-week training course in Berlin, Dusseldorf or Munich. This will entail, among other things, learning the on-board safety procedures as well as first aid training.

Special training courses in service and sales, communication and intercultural competence will also be part of the training. After the training has been successfully completed, the flight attendants will be deployed on short- and medium-haul routes. After working for the company for eight months, the flight attendants will have the possibility of obtaining additional qualifications to work on long-haul routes.

At the open casting calls, the candidates can expect an interview in English, a short general knowledge test and then a personal interview. Applicants should bring a valid photo ID or passport to the casting calls.

Overview of the casting calls; from 9 am to 6 pm on each date, last entry at 5 pm:

11/22 Landshut, Michel Hotel Landshut, Papiererstrasse 2, 84034 Landshut
12/08 München, Hilton Munich Airport, Terminalstraße Mitte 20, 85356 München
12/16 Berlin, RIU Plaza Hotel, Martin-Luther-Str. 1, 10777 Berlin
01/11 Berlin, RIU Plaza Hotel, Martin-Luther-Str. 1, 10777 Berlin
01/13 Düsseldorf, Maritim Airport, Maritim-Platz 1, 40474 Düsseldorf
01/20 München, Hilton Munich Airport, Terminalstraße Mitte 20, 85356 München

INDIA: Kerala Tourism Sets Up Help Desks

Exempting tourism sector from the dawn-to-dusk hartal called by the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in the State on Monday came as a relief to tourism stakeholders who have been trying to overcome the slump in tourist arrivals and the effects of demonetisation.

The help desks set up by Kerala Tourism at its headquarters here and the information centres in the districts came in handy when vehicles ferrying tourists were blocked by hartal supporters. Over 50 calls seeking help were received at the headquarters.

The police acted swiftly to facilitate the journey of Australian tourist Kenneth Horton who was held up at Vizhinjam by LDF activists while he was proceeding from Muloor to Alappuzha in a cab around 10.30 a.m.

The tourism officials and the police swung into action at many places, including Munnar, when tourists were trapped in roads and in Alappuzha when houseboats did not operate.

The disembarking of 1,000-odd tourists from the Italian cruise liner AIDAbella in Kochi and their journey to the Nedumbassery airport to Germany and Britain went off smoothly. The shifting of another group who came by flight to the Cochin Port Trust terminal to board AIDAbella for a 20-day cruise also went without hitches.

The inconvenience to tourists was despite the directions given by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to all concerned, including the police, to ensure that the tourism sector was not affected by the hartal.

The intervention by him and Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran was in response to an ‘SOS’ by Tourism Principal Secretary V. Venu on the likely inconvenience to tourists, loss of business, and the likely erosion of brand equity of Kerala Tourism.

Director of Tourism U.V. Jose told The Hindu that the department could intervene in cases where assistance was sought. “Drivers were willing to ferry tourists as security was assured,” Association of Tourism Trade Organisations, India, president Anish Kumar P.K. said.

Chairman, Tourism Industry Kerala, E.M. Najeeb said it was a great step forward for the survival of the industry and hoped the exemption would continue during future hartals as well.

UAE: 6.4 Million Passengers Went Through Dubai International In October 2016

Dubai International has welcomed 6.4 million passengers in October, according to the monthly traffic report issued by operator Dubai Airports.

Passenger traffic at DXB reached 6,420,208 passengers compared to 6,250,810 recorded in the corresponding month last year, an increase of 2.7 per cent. Year to date, passenger numbers at DXB have risen 6.8 per cent to 69,366,094 compared to 64,947,684 recorded during the first ten months of 2015.

Eastern Europe led the pack again as the fastest-growing market in October (+25.2 per cent) thanks to additional capacity and new services launched by a number of airlines, followed by South America (9.9 per cent), Asia (8.2 per cent) and the Indian Subcontinent (6.7 per cent). India remained the top destination country (901,958 passengers), followed by the UK (493,181 passengers) and Saudi Arabia (349,198 passengers).

London continued to be the top destination city out of Dubai with 301,024 passengers followed by Doha (230,561 passengers) and Mumbai (177,590 passengers). Baku (+108.7 per cent) topped the list of cities in terms of percentage growth, followed by Amritsar (80.9 per cent), Calicut (56.8 per cent) and Cape Town (49.3 per cent) due to increased capacity.

A total of 35,294 flights operated at DXB during the month under review compared to 34,921 movements recorded in October 2015 representing an increase of 1.1 per cent. Year to date 347,463 flights operated at DXB, up 3 per cent compared to 337,426 recorded during the same period in 2015. The average number of passengers per flight during the month was 191 up from 187 during October of last year.

October’s freight volumes totalled 236,169 tonnes, up 9.5 per cent compared to the 215,714 tonnes handled during the same month last year. Year to date cargo volumes reached 2,127,589 tonnes, up 2.8 per cent compared to 2,069,360 tonnes recorded during the same period last year.

Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports said: “Cargo numbers impressed during October with the biggest monthly increase we’ve seen all year. On the passenger side, we remain on track to achieve our forecast for 83 million passengers by year-end. Accordingly, DXB is sure to retain its status as the leading airport worldwide for international passenger traffic.”

Analyst Saj Ahmad commented: “The push for growth, new markets and expanding fleets dominated by the two big incumbents in Emirates and flydubai, Dubai International has cemented it’s position as the true global travel hub, despite the pressures of congestion and delays.

“With almost 70m passengers handled thus far in 2016, and with figures yet to come in for November and December, its status as the world’s busiest international airport remains as robust as it was a year ago.

“The sharp rise in cargo traffic too speaks to the better integration and bonded transport links from Jebel Ali to both Dubai International and Dubai World Central as well as the traditional boost to freight traffic coinciding with the soon to arrive festive period.

Ahmad added: “Dubai International has reaped the rewards of its runway improvements as well has enhanced runway operations between aircraft to allow speedier landings and take-offs. Going forward, the pressure to expand DWC becomes ever more greater.”

Airbus Group To Cut 934 Jobs And Creat 230 New Jobs

European planemaker Airbus is to cut a net total of 934 jobs as part of a previously announced restructuring aimed at stripping out bureaucracy and simplifying its brand.

Airbus Group said it would be cutting 1,164 jobs while also creating around 230 positions in other areas – confirming details released earlier by a French trade union. The company added it was in “constructive” talks with trade union partners.

Trade unions had previously expressed fears about job cuts after Airbus Group outlined plans in September for an internal merger with its planemaking arm.

The restructuring is part of a plan to allow Airbus to move away from its complex corporate roots as it prepares for tougher expected competition.

Airbus added on Tuesday that the restructuring would also conclude the company’s moving of its headquarters from Paris and Munich to Toulouse in southern France.

“With these leaner structures, we will improve performance and teamwork across Airbus. Therefore, the integration will ultimately strengthen Airbus in its ability to ensure future competitiveness and to remain a global leader in the aerospace industry,” Airbus Group chief executive Tom Enders said in a statement.

Airbus shares were up 0.4 percent in mid-session trading. The stock is down around 3 percent since the start of 2016, roughly in line with a 2 percent decline on France’s benchmark CAC-40 index over the same period.

IVORY COAST: Air Côte d’Ivoire Expands Fleet

Air Côte d’Ivoire placed an order with Airbus for three A320neos and two A320s, the Ivorian national airline becoming the first African airline to order the A320neo.

CEO, René Décurey, explained that this demonstrated the airline’s commitment to accelerate its growth in western and central Africa, which has already resulted in it tripling passenger numbers over the past three years.

The airline’s fleet now comprises four A319s, one A320 and four leased Bombardier Q400s. The first A320neo is scheduled for delivery in July 2017.

Air Côte d’Ivoire was established in 2012 and Swiss-born Décurey has headed the company ever since. He has considerable experience of working in Africa as he was involved with the ‘Aviation in Africa’ project, part of Aga Khan’s Fund for Economic Development.

According to Décurey, the A320neo is economic and ideal for operating airline’s routes. Air Côte d’Ivoire has, thus, attempted to solve two major constraints of flying around Africa – maintenance and fuel prices. He also said maintenance is a major issue as spare parts can take at least 24 hours to arrive, meaning that even a relatively simple technical problem can result in an aircraft-on-ground (AOG) situation.

The carrier has a partnership with Air France for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO). The French company also holds a 10% stake in the airline.

Air France flies daily to the capital, Abidjan, where aviation fuel costs are, on average, two-and-a-half times less than at some other network locations.

These new aircraft will strengthen the company’s network that comprises 19 regional destinations located in west and central Africa – Abuja, Accra, Bamako, Brazzaville, Conakry, Cotonou, Dakar, Douala, Freetown, Kinshasa, Lagos, Libreville, Lome, Monrovia, N’Djamena Niamey, Ouagadougou, Pointe Noire and Yaoundé – and domestic routes including Abidjan, San Pedro, Man, Bouake, Korongo, and Odienne.

The Abidjan/Abuja route opened earlier this year with three weekly flights.

Décurey confirmed that the airline would open two new routes, to Bangui and Rwanda, before the end of 2016.

Air Côte d’Ivoire also considers network flexibility to be vital, setting-up two daily transit waves at its Abidjan hub – the first to west Africa and a second to central Africa – making it practically the only airline in west Africa to offer passengers a return trip in the same day.

To support this growth, Air Côte d’Ivoire plans to finance the acquisition of the new aircraft through its own, and its shareholders’, funds.

Once the airline receives its International Air Transport Association operational safety audit (IOSA) certification, hopefully this autumn, it is intended to pursue codeshare arrangements both in the region and elsewhere in the continent through its links with the SkyTeam Alliance through its partner and shareholder, Air France.

AUSTRIA: Aviation Taxes Cause Negative Impact On Tourism

Introduced in 2011, aviation taxes in Austria have become a burden for the Austrian aviation industry and are understood to have had a substantial negative impact on tourist numbers.

This situation will now be partially rectified through two 25% reductions in these taxes in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Currently, passengers boarding a plane in Austria are being charged a fee of €7.00 for short-haul flights, €15.00 for medium-haul flights and €35.00 for long-haul flights.

In 2015, contributions of €107 million were collectively made to the Austrian government by airlines operating both incoming and outgoing flights based on figures obtained from the Austrian ministry of the treasury.

According to Peter Their, a spokesperson for Austrian Airlines, We would welcome such a move, which we see as a positive sign. Our competitive disadvantage will be then reduced,” adding that: “Austrian Airlines itself delivered €32.5 million, about 30% of this aviation tax.

The Lufthansa Group paid €50.7 million, 47% of the €107 million.

It is anticipated that this reduction in the local aviation tax will increase Austria’s competitiveness in Europe while improving tourism. It had been pointed out in an analysis by Vienna Airport that without this tax an additional 1 million passengers could be generated on an annual basis.

TURKEY: Turkish Airlines Grounds 30 Aircraft

Turkish Airlines will store 30 aircraft due to weaker economic demand, recent terror attacks and a failed coup attempt.

A total of 15 Turkish Airlines aircraft will be stored at Antalya Airport (THY). 13 Airbus A330 and 2 Boeing 737-800. 4 Airbus A320 are currently parked at Ankara airport.

Furthermore Turkish Airlines will cancel 22 destinations (17 of them International): Batna and Tlemcen (Algeria), Alborg (Denmark), Bordeaux (France), Karlsruhe-Baden, Freidrichshafen and Münster (Germany), Kermanshah in Iran, Genoa and Pisa (Italy), Aqaba in Jordan, Osh in Kyrgyzstan, Rotterdam in the Netherlands, Kano in Nigeria, al-Qassim in Saudi Arabia, Khujand in Tajikistan and Ivano-Frankivsk in Ukraine.

FINLAND: Finnair To Cancel Flights Due To Working Restrictions Set By Finnish Pilots’ Association

Finnair is preparing for possible individual flight cancellations due to working restrictions set by the Finnish Pilots’ Association.

In unforeseen cases, Finnair might not have enough pilots to operate certain flights due to the restrictions placed by the Finnish Pilots’ Association. These restrictions include a ban on pilots working additional flights and pilot roster changes to cover for last-minute illnesses.

Collective labor agreement negotiations are still ongoing between Finnair and the pilot union. The collective labor agreement expired on November 15, 2016.

Finnair may need to cancel a flight for example if a pilot becomes ill and there aren’t enough standby and management pilots to fill the position.

Currently, Finnair has fewer pilots available for duty than usual as the company is training pilots for new aircraft types and positions as part of its growth strategy.

Finnair plans to wet lease an aircraft to cover for potential cancellations on the European routes.

Pilots’ Union, Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) Called On Members To Strike Again

Pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) has called on its members to strike again. The next walkouts have been announced, this time with a duration of two days.

This Tuesday, on 29 November, there will be strikes affecting all short-haul flights from 00:01 to 23:59. And for the following day, Wednesday, 30 November, strikes affecting all Lufthansa flights departing Germany have been announced from 00:01 to 23:59.

Lufthansa’s representatives are very disappointed that VC does not want to continue talks, but is rather seeking another escalation and calling for additional strikes.

VC has continued to insist on demands that are far beyond what other professions have demanded, for instance. This is unacceptable.

Lufthansa will prepare a special flight schedule for Tuesday and Wednesday as quickly as possible. So far, over 345,000 passengers have been affected by 2,755 flight cancellations during the four days of strikes in the past week. The Group airlines Eurowings, Germanwings, SWISS, Austrian Airlines, Air Dolomiti and Brussels Airlines are not affected by the strike. The pilots of Lufthansa Cargo have also not been called on to strike. Flights to and from Germany that are operated by Group airlines are flying as scheduled.

Lufthansa asks all its customers to take the precaution of checking the status of their flight on before travelling to the airport.

Demand For 5000 New Airplanes in Asia-Pacific

Boeing presented its Current Market Outlook for the Southeast Asia and Oceania regions during the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines’ 60th annual Assembly of Presidents meeting in Manila.

Over the next 20 years, the company forecasts a demand for 3,860 new airplanes, valued at $565 billion, in Southeast Asia; while an investment of $160 billion for 1,020 new airplanes is expected in the Oceania region.

“Southeast Asia and Oceania remain important markets for Boeing as airlines continue to add capacity, modernize their fleets and shift their business models to adapt to this competitive market,” said Dinesh Keskar, senior vice president of Asia Pacific and India Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

“While we see the majority of the demand being for single-aisle airplanes such as the 737 MAX, fuel-efficient twin-aisle airplanes such as the 787 Dreamliner and the 777X will also be needed, enabling airlines to profitably open new routes, never before possible.”

The annual report projects that more than 75 percent of the airplanes needed in both regions will be for single-aisle airplanes, as they continue to see a rise in the number of low cost carriers as well as strong annual traffic, with growth rates of 6.4 percent and 4.7 percent, for Southeast Asia and Oceania, respectively.

Worldwide, Boeing projects a demand for 39,620 new airplanes, over the next two decades. Boeing’s Current Market Outlook is the longest running jet forecast and regarded as the most comprehensive analysis of the aviation industry.

HondaJet Display In The Middle East.

The appearance at the Dubai World Central – Al Maktoum International Airport will mark the first time a HondaJet will be on public display in the Middle East.

“We are excited to display the HondaJet at MEBAA for the first time where its high speed, quiet and comfortable cabin, sporty styling and handling have appealed especially to savvy Middle East prospects and aircraft enthusiasts,” said Honda Aircraft President and CEO Michimasa Fujino.

“With a range that connects the entire Arabian Peninsula, this region could benefit from this high performance aircraft and our show presence will help us determine the best timing of Honda Aircraft’s entrance in the Middle East market.”

With a maximum cruise speed of 422 knots (486 mph) the HondaJet is the fastest jet in its class; it soars highest in its class with a maximum altitude of 43,000 feet; and it is the most fuel-efficient light jet in its class by up to 17 percent. It has an NBAA IFR range of 1,223 nautical miles (1,408 miles).

A red and silver HondaJet will be on public display during the event. The HondaJet is the world’s most advanced light jet, and its distinctive design incorporates advanced technologies and concepts.

The HondaJet patented Over-The-Wing Engine Mount configuration, natural laminar flow wing and fuselage nose, and composite fuselage were developed from long-term research activities.

These innovations combine to make the HondaJet the fastest, most spacious and most fuel-efficient jet in its class. The aircraft is certified for single pilot operation.

The HondaJet is currently offered for sale in North America, South America and Europe through the HondaJet dealer network. Honda Aircraft Company began customer deliveries in 2015 following receipt of HondaJet type certification by the United States Federal Aviation Administration.

Tuesday 29 November 2016

INDONESIA: Rubbish Mountain Hurting Tourism

Bali’s booming tourism industry is proving a mixed blessing for the Indonesian island as the rubbish from holidaymakers reach alarming levels.

Only 6.4km from the popular tourist strip of Kuta is the Suwung waste disposal centre which contains a mountain of noxious smelling garbage that grows daily. It is 20m high in places and covers 30 hectares.

Much of it comes from the hotels and restaurants frequented by Australian tourists and the Bali government fears it could cause pollution and hazardous run off into water systems.

Bali’s Deputy Governor, Ketut Sudikerta, says the amount of rubbish has reached alarming levels.

“More tourists means more rubbish from the hotels. It makes me worried and it makes me concerned about how to handle this,” Mr Sudikerta said.

Rubbish is a problem in all parts of Indonesia as this photo taken at Tambaklorok Beach in Semarang shows.

He is concerned that if it continues to grow it may threaten the prized tourist industry.

“We must have a position on that, if now we will have a problem for the future and maybe tourists won’t want to come to Bali,” he said.

“At the moment we need the tourists, most of our income comes from tourists but as a tourist destination we have to take care of the culture and the environment,” he added.

Mr Sudikerta says the Government is looking at private companies manage the garbage dump and possibly convert the garbage to renewable energy, natural gas and bricks.

THAILAND: Tourism Tax Deduction

The cabinet just approved tax measures to support domestic tourism during the last month of 2016. They have said that up to THB15,000 spent on domestic tourism per person this year can be used as a deduction from taxable income.

Adviser to the Minister of Commerce Nuttaporn Jatusripitak explained that the cabinet approved tourism tax exemptions of up to THB15,000. The measure was taken in light of state assistance to other sectors as well as in acknowledgement of the “high season” of increased domestic tourism, which starts in December.

Nuttaporn pointed out that Thailand’s tourism sector was somewhat depressed and the Commerce Ministry suggested tax waivers to spur spending and travel. The incentives will last from December 1 to 31 and will allow for personal tax exemptions for tourism of up to THB15,000.

Combined with other previously approved measures, citizens now can potentially receive tax deductions of up to THB30,000 for engaging in domestic tourism, since the previously announced THB15,000 tax deduction meant to spur end-of-year shopping can be applied to some travel-related expenses such as a new travel wardrobe, awesome camera or lobster by the seaside.

OMAN: Oman Tourism And Convention Bureau

Oman should set up a tourism and convention bureau to market itself as a tourism hub, Tanfeedh has said.

“The bureau should handle digital marketing, and market-based representation, and also establish an e-concierge platform which will be funded by tourism tax,” it observed.

Tanfeedh also felt that there was a need to activate the tourism development fund. “This initiative aims to activate the tourism development fund that is stipulated in the tourism law. It will have various sources of funding, primarily tourism tax, and will be utilised for tourism development and promotion activities,” it said.

According to Tanfeedh, private management companies should be hired to take over heritage sites and protected areas to develop a year-round calendar of events, create iconic tourism projects, and facilitate delivery of ITCs, hotels, and themed attractions.

Tanfeedh also said cluster plans for Musandam, Nizwa, Muscat and Sur should be brought online as quickly as possible.

Other measures suggested by the Tanfeedh labs are introducing labour solution packages, extending lease options, introducing easier visa processes for new target markets, establishing a centralised infrastructure board, and activating a tourism development fund.

The most challenging issues in the tourism sector, Tanfeedh stated,were the complex and lengthy processes of approvals, applications, and licences for new and existing projects. “Also, there is a paucity of innovative tourism products, services and activities capable of attracting more tourists,” it said.

It also pointed out that there was limited co-ordination between government bodies, especially with regard to tourism planning and land allocation for tourism investment.

“There is also limited interest from Omani youth in being employed in the tourism sector,” Tanfeedh believed.

Travel agents and hoteliers welcomed Tanfeedh’s proposals. “We need more tourists from abroad especially when oil prices are plummeting,” Lohithakshan Kizhakkayil, an official at New Star International Travel and Tours LLC, said.

Others commented that expanding the visa-on-arrival scheme to more countries would be a goodidea to attract tourists.

“The visa system has to be simplified and relaxed to woo tourists from abroad,” Sudhakar Rao, a travel consultant, said.

One leading hotelier, who did not wish to be named, however, injected a note a caution. “We would like to wait and see the proposals in detail before we comment,” he said.


QATAR: Qatar Airways To Fly To New Destinations 2017

Qatar Airways earlier today announced eight more destinations for 2017-18, in addition to seven previously announced new cities for a total of 15 new gateways.

Joining the Qatar Airways’ route network, which spans more than 150 destinations on six continents around the world, will be Canberra, the airline’s fifth destination in Australia; Dublin, Ireland; Las Vegas, the airline’s 11th destination in the United States; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; Medan, Kualanamu International Airport, the airline’s third destination in Indonesia; and Tabuk and Yanbu, the 9th and 10th destinations in Saudi Arabia.

These newly announced destinations join the already published list of new destinations to start in 2017: Auckland, New Zealand will start on 05th of February 2017 and will be the world’s longest commercial flight; Sarajevo, Bosnia; Skopje, Macedonia; Nice, France; Chiang Mai, the airline’s fourth destination in Thailand; Libreville, Gabon and Douala, Cameroon to add yet more African destinations to the airline's global network.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: 'Qatar Airways offers the world the best network, the best on board experience and the best connecting experience at Hamad International Airport. We operate the world’s youngest fleet, averaging just five years old, and we fly the most technologically advanced aircraft that provide our passengers with an award-winning experience while also ensuring the most efficient and environmentally friendly operations.

Our intention is to ensure our passengers can choose Qatar Airways for all of their travel needs – whether they are flying on business, for pleasure, or a combination of both. With today’s network announcement, we will be able to connect more people to more places than any other Gulf airline, and we will ensure our passengers will delight in the journey. At Qatar Airways, we are going places together with our passengers, and we look forward to welcoming these new destinations in 2017-18

Qatar Airways has opened 12 new destinations in 2016 so far, with two more cities set to join the network in December. The new cities added this year are Atlanta, Boston and Los Angeles in the United States; Birmingham, U.K.; Helsinki, Finland; Pisa, the fourth destination in Italy; Yerevan, Armenia; Marrakech, the second destination in Morocco; Ras Al Khaimah, UAE; Windhoek, Namibia; and Sydney and Adelaide in Australia. Qatar Airways will begin service to Krabi, its third destination in Thailand on 06th of December and returns to the Seychelles on 12th of December with daily flights from Doha.

Travelers from East Africa can then enjoy travel on the award winning airline to yet more global destinations, in North and South America, Europe, Australia and Asia. Qatar Airways serves Entebbe and Kigali, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar in East Africa and in the wider region also flies to Djibouti, Asmara and Addis Ababa.

ZANZIBAR: Coastal Aviation Will Launch Continuous Shuttle With 13 Daily Flights

In demand destination Zanzibar can now enjoy even better connectivity by air with Dar es Salaam, when Coastal Aviation will launch their new 'Continuous Shuttle' with 13 daily flights effective 01st of December.

The first flight is set to leave Dar es Salaam at 07.30 hrs (a.m.) with the last flight taking off at 18.00 hrs (6 p.m.) while from Zanzibar the first flight leaves at 08.00 hrs (a.m.) with onward connections into the national park network across the country.

11 of those flights to Zanzibar will return nonstop to Dar es Salaam, a flight of just over 20 minutes, while one will route via Tanga with the remaining service traversing key destinations like Saadani, Pangani, Moshi and Dolly for KiliGolf before terminating in Arusha.

As a result of the earlier start of the service along the Swahili Coast linking to the Kilimanjaro region - take off is now at 08.00 hrs (a.m.) will several connection flights see slight adjustments in timings

It is understood that the link between Tanga and Pemba however will be discontinued under the new schedule effective 01st December.

Coastal Aviation is the largest airline, in terms of number of aircraft operated, in Tanzania if not East Africa and plays a key role in offering air services into many of the country's national parks.

BOTSWANA: Tourism Prospects Very High In Botswana

Traditionally reliant on mineral revenues especially from diamond sales, the country is banking on the seemingly fast improving tourism sector to become a central plank of its economic strategy.

Spurred by positive growth figures, blue-collar workers are busy building high scrapping hotels and convention centres, in a push to boost tourism as the government reduces its reliance on diamond revenues.

For the past five years, the government has been upgrading airports to international standards – a development that has given hope and confidence in the private investors in the tourism sector.

Ongoing construction of world-class hotels and resorts, infrastructure projects in the aviation, road and rail sectors is expected to successfully position Botswana in the right frame of receiving international tourists in the country.

When presenting a draft National Development Plan (NDP) 11 in parliament a couple of weeks ago, Finance and Economic Development Minister Kenneth Matambo said there are signs that economic diversification occurred during the NDP 10.

Matambo singled out the hotels and restaurants, which fall under the tourism sector, as the main player in driving the growth of the economy at a time when the country’s mainstay being the mining sector declined.

“The mining sector contracted by an average of 3.4percent per annum during the entire NDP 10 period while the non-mining sector grew by 5.6percent per annum thanks to good performance by the tourism sector,” said Matambo.

Matambo further explained that the increased contribution of non-mining sectors especially the tourism sector saved the economy from experiencing a full-blown recession in the past decade following the world credit crunch.

“This underscores the significance of continued vigorous efforts to diversify the economy and support of the non-mining sectors,” Matambo recently told a tense parliament, adding that the government will now focus on growing the tourism sector.

According to Matambo, non-mining sectors are expected to grow modestly by 4.6percent mainly driven by hotels and restaurants sector, which is projected to grow by a whopping 6.8percent followed by a tourism related sector of transport and communications at 6.0percent.

On an annual basis, total revenues at the onset of the NDP 11 are estimated to be P52.76 billion and will grow by an average of 6.7percent, reaching P70.78 billion in the 2022/23 financial year with the tourism sector expected to be the main driver.

Meanwhile, prospects remain positive for Africa in the remaining last quarter of 2016 and beyond, according to the latest United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) World Tourism Barometer released last week.

International tourist arrivals in Africa increased by 8 percent between January and September 2016 over the comparable prior year with at least 956 million global tourists travelled around during the period, representing a 4percent increase from the similar period in 2015.


Kabo Air is an airline headquartered in Kano, Kano State, Nigeria. It originally operated special charter services for corporate bodies, executives and government officials. However, in 2009 the airline received approval to start international scheduled services. The airline operated scheduled flights from Kano to Abuja, Dubai and Jeddah for a short period. Its main base is Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport.

The airline was established in February 1980 by Dr. Alhaji Muhammadu Adamu Dankabo and started operations in April 1981.It is wholly owned by Kabo Holdings. The company stopped operating domestic services in 2001. They focus solely on Hajj flights and international charters. Traffic rights were given to Kabo Air for operating scheduled services to Rome, Nairobi and N'Djamena, but have not been used. For some time there were flights to Cairo. EI-ASJ and EI-ASI, two Aer Lingus 747-100, were bought by the airline.

Kabo Air met the requirements set by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for re-capitalization in May 2007.

Kabo Air operates no scheduled operations as of November 2011.

The Kabo Air fleet consists of the following aircraft :

- Boeing 747–200 2

- Boeing 747–400 2

Kabo Air has had the following incidents and accidents:

- On 6 August 1986, a Sud Aviation SE-210 Caravelle III overran the runway at Calabar Airport, Nigeria. Passengers and crew survived but the aircraft was written off.

- On 16 September 1991, a BAC 1-11 landed at Port Harcourt Airport, Nigeria without lowering its gear. All passengers and crew survived but the aircraft was written off.

- In 1992, a 707 made an emergency landing in Istres Air Base following a fire caused by overloading.
- On 23 August 1992, a BAC 1–11 overran the runway at Sokoto Airport, Nigeria. None of the 53 passengers and 4 crew were killed but the aircraft was written off.

- On 12 January 2010, a Middle East Airlines Airbus A330 collided with a parked Kabo Air Boeing 747 while taxiing to its arrival gate at Kano International Airport, Nigeria; none of the passengers or crew were injured. The Boeing 747 left wing and main fuel tank were badly damaged and the right wing of the Airbus A330 was damaged. Officials believe the accident could have been avoided if there was more ground lighting to help the pilots of the Airbus A330 to see.

- On 4 October 2013, a Boeing 747-200 registration 5N-JRM performing Hajj flight NR-1245 from Kano to Sokoto (Nigeria) and on to Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) with 494 passengers and 18 crew, was cleared to land on Sokoto's runway 08 but landed on the opposite runway 26 at about 21:00L. The aircraft hit the localizer antenna for runway 08, touched down and rolled out coming to a stop with a number of body gear tires burst. No injuries occurred, the aircraft sustained minor damage.

OMAN: Swissport International Ltd. For Ground Handling At Muscat International Airport

During an intense four month selection process carried out by Oman Airport Management Company (OAMC) Swissport not only demonstrated its commitment to establish a presence in Oman, but also displayed its professional approach to improve passenger services at Muscat Airport in the Sultanate of Oman.

With the new Muscat airport terminal opening, there is likely to be a passenger growth between five and ten per cent with people travelling from Russia and other European countries. They now can rely on the services Swissport will be offering.

Sheikh Aimen al Hosni, Chief Executive Officer at Oman Airport Management Company (OAMC), is convinced: “The Muscat Airport will position the Sultanate as a modern and attractive hub for travelers transiting through the region”.

And Mark Skinner, Senior Vice President Ground Handling Middle East and Africa, says: “Swissport is particularly proud of being selected to contribute to the further development at Muscat International Airport with Oman being the second GCC country in which Swissport will operate following the start-up in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in May 2016”.

Swissport International Ltd. provides ground services for around 230 million passengers and handles 4.1 million tonnes of cargo a year on behalf of some 835 client-companies in the aviation sector.

With a workforce of around 61,000 personnel, Swissport is active at more than 280 stations in 48 countries across five continents, and generates consolidated operating revenue of CHF 3.0 billion.

COLOMBIA: Plane Carrying 81 Crashes Several Dead Including A Brazilian Football Team

A plane carrying 81 people, including members of a Brazilian football team, crashed late Monday near the Colombian city of Medellin, after reporting "electrical failures," officials said.

Six people were reported to have survived the crash, including a 25-year-old player, the mayor of a town near the crash site said, without identifying him.

Members of Chapecoense Real, a Brazilian football club that was supposed to play against Colombia's Atletico Nacional Wednesday in the South American Cup finals, were among the 72 passengers and nine crew on board, officials said.

"National police have arrived on the scene and all possible aid is being mobilized because six survivors are being reported," the Jose Maria Cordova de Rionegro airport said in a statement.

The mayor of the nearby town of La Ceja told Blu Radio, "A 25-year-old player was rescued."

The LAMIA airlines flight originated in Brazil and had made a stop in Santa Cruz, Bolivia before continuing on to Colombia.

The airport statement said the plane reported an emergency at 10 pm local time (0300 GMT). "It declared it had electrical failures."

It went down about 50 kilometers from Medellin, Colombia's second largest city, in an area called Cerro Gordo.

Ospina, the La Ceja mayor, said. "It appears that the plane ran out of fuel."

He said authorities were on the scene and hospitals and medical centers were preparing to receive the injured.

On its Twitter account, the Medellin airport said the crash site could only be reached overland because of bad weather in the area.

Colombia's civil aeronautics agency said it had a team at the airport in response to the crash.

Conmebol, the South American football confederation, meanwhile officially called off the South American Cup final that was to be played between Chapecoense and Atletico Nacional.

"All activities of the confederation are suspended until further notice," Conmebol said.

Atletico Nacional said on its Twitter account it "profoundly laments and expresses solidarity with @chapelcoensereal for the accident that occurred."

TANZANIA: Paramilitary To Combat Poaching

In a bid to combat poaching in the country, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism has announced the establishment of a paramilitary force system that will directly protect animals from being attacked and killed by poachers.

The ministry's Permanent Secretary (PS), Major Gen. Gaudence Milanzi, said on Thursday evening that the government is prepared to stop poaching and that the new strategy is set to end the problem once and for all.

Major Gen. Milanzi was speaking on his ministry's performance in a period of one year during an interview on a local TV station. He said members of the paramilitary unit will receive tough military training and will be equipped with modern weapons to face and fight poachers.

"We are going to establish a special unit that will be able to face poachers, these will be following military system and they will be equipped with modern weapons," he said. According to the PS, the new unit is expected to directly face poachers on the ground.

"We are looking forward to improving officials' working environment including their benefits, this will also improve their performance," he said.

However, the PS said so far the situation is improving and a number of poachers have been arrested. He said the tourism sector contributes 17.5 per cent to the GDP and thus the government is forced to apply all means to protect the sector.

"This is one of the very important sectors for the country's economic growth, we are therefore supposed to do everything in our powers to protect the sector so that it could continue attracting more tourists in the country," he said.

He said the number of elephants is increasing in some areas except in Selous game reserve. However, he said his office is making sure the number is not going down anymore. "We had a serious problem in Selous game reserve, the number of elephants dropped from 100,000 to around 40,000.

At the moment we have managed to control the situation," he noted.

He said his office is continuing to resolve some of challenges, which include invasion of pastoralists to the reserved areas and grazing animals in the hunting blocks. "I am asking my fellow Tanzanians to understand what we are doing, politicians must stop politicising issues related to the protection of our game reserves by shielding some pastoralists who invade reserved areas," he noted.

On seized tusks, the PS said the government neither plans to sell them nor destroy them. On tourism, Major Gen. Milanzi said his office is doing everything in its power to promote tourism in the country. He said the ministry is also focusing at promoting beach, conference and culture tourism.

"We are now venturing on the other side in order to attract more tourists, we are now promoting our beaches, culture as well as conference tourism, our aim is to increase the number of tourists who come to our country from 1.1 million to a bigger number," he said.

He added that his office is also promoting other parts of the country so that tourists could visit them. So far 80 per cent of tourists visit Northern regions of Tanzania. The ministry is also preparing special advertisement that will be aired on both international and local media outlets. Major Gen. Milanzi said CNN and BBC are among international TV stations that air Tanzania tourism adverts.

Recently, Tanzania aired tourism adverts in London during the World Tourism Forum (WTF). He added that those who advertise that Mt Kilimanjaro belongs to them instead of telling the truth that it is in Tanzania will not affect tourism business in the country anymore, since the ministry has already designed an advert that clearly states why tourists must come to Tanzania to climb Mt Kilimanjaro.

"Our advert tells that you can see Mt Kilimanjaro from any angle, but you can only climb Mt Kilimanjaro from its home, which is Tanzania," he noted. On the revival of Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL), the PS said the company is expected to promote tourism in the country by flying tourists to various destinations across the country. He said there will be advertisement and various articles will be published in newsletters and magazines that are found onboard ATCL's bombardier planes.

On Value-Added Tax (VAT) on tourism, Major Gen. Milanzi said so far there is no negative impact from the government decisions.

He said the Tanzania National Parks (Tanapa) statistics and Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) show that the number of tourists has been increasing.

Fastjet Airline To Show Profit Sooner Than Later

First came the news that the company headquarters will be moved from London Gatwick to Johannesburg to save cost, which according to reliable information will see some key individuals leave the airline at that time.

That was followed by a review on fleet requirements and the decision to gradually phase out the Airbus A319, in principle a perfectly good aircraft but arguably too large to profitably operate on a number of routes in Tanzania as well as regional and international routes.

A leased Embraer E190 has already joined the fleet and aviation pundits are closing monitoring when additional such smaller aircraft will join the fleet, all of course subject to regulatory approvals and amendments in operating licenses.

Now, late yesterday, was confirmation received that Fastjet in Tanzania will effective 05th of December halt flights between Dar es Salaam and Entebbe and on the same day will also halt flights between Dar es Salaam and Nairobi.

It is not clear at this time if these flights will resume when the new and more cost effective smaller aircraft have joined the Fastjet fleet, not vis a vis any timeframe for such changes nor vis a vis a principle decision on operating the routes in the future.

In Zimbabwe will, also effective 05th December, the route from Victoria Falls to Johannesburg be suspended, compelling tourist visitors from South Africa to fly either via Harare or else via Livingstone across the border in Zambia.

In a related development was Fastjet also once again hit with a birdstrike, rendering one of their aircraft in Tanzania unserviceable and leading to the cancellation of several flights. Updates on a return to full scheduled services will be available on the Fastjet

OMAN: Swissport International Ltd. Signs Joint Venture Agreement With Al Jarwani Group

On 18th October 2016, Swissport International Ltd. and the renowned Al Jarwani Group signed their Joint Venture agreement in Muscat. With this new engagement, Swissport International Ltd. demonstrates not only its commitment to the Gulf Region, but also to Oman as a main regional hub. Oman is the second GCC country in which Swissport International Ltd. operates after having established its business in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in May 2016.

Al Jarwani Group will contribute largely through its long-standing and successful experience and expertise in managing businesses in the Sultanate of Oman. Both companies are excited about the partnership and are looking forward to build and grow a successful venture by providing best-in-class Ground Handling Services to airlines in Muscat.

With the entirely new and state-of-the-art Muscat Airport Terminal under construction, Oman is likely to become a significant hub for both travellers transiting through the region as well as the growing tourism industry.

Al Jarwani Group (AJG) is a privately owned company established by Sheikh Mahmood Al Jarwani that was formed to take over and to head the diverse divisions of the organization. AJG has been proactively positioning itself to be a prominent contributor to the Sultanate’s Commercial, Warehouse, Residential, Health Care and Hospitality sector’s growth. AJG has significantly grown over the past years and shows a great amount of passion in each stage of its prestigious and ground breaking projects.

Swissport International Ltd. provides ground services for around 230 million passengers and handles 4.1 million tonnes of cargo a year on behalf of some 835 client-companies in the aviation sector. With a workforce of around 61,000 personnel, Swissport is active at more than 280 stations in 48 countries across five continents, and generates consolidated operating revenue of CHF 3.0 billion.

ETHIOPIA: State Of Emergency Affects Tourism

The Addis Abeba Hotel Trade Sectoral Association (AHA) and Ethiopian Tourism Organization have announced that they will partner to use new methods to minimize the effect of the state of emergency on tourism.

At the first annual Tourism Industry Day event organized by Jumia Travel on November 17, the General Manager of AHA, Ruth Luda, announced that a request has been presented to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Culture and Tourism and other organizations. She explained that even though travel warnings for Ethiopia were issued in some countries, this advice does not include Addis Abeba. (The AHA was formed in 2005, with the aim of voicing the concerns of the Addis Ababa hotel industry).

"The main issue currently raised by foreigners is that international insurances are not willing to cover their costs" said Meron Tiruneh, the marketing manager at the Ethiopian Tourism Organization.

In order to solve this and other problems, the ETO has changed the logo, '13 Months of Sunshine' which served as the tourism Slogan for over 40 years into 'Land of Origins'. It is also planning to launch a campaign on November 30, under the name 'Tena Yestelene', by formulating a five year strategy of raising awareness and image building.

"We still believe that Ethiopia is a great destination to tourists with high security levels", said Alexander Burtenshaw, Jumia country manager.

Even though it has been only a year since it started operating in Ethiopia, Jumia is a well-known online booking platform in Kenya and South Africa.

SAUDI ARABIA: Gulf Air And Swissport Saudi Arabia Sign Ground Handling Services Contract

Swissport Saudi Arabia provides Gulf Air with comprehensive ground handling services including passenger and ramp handling, baggage services, operations coordination and load control. The agreement with Gulf Air followed a rigorous selection process and was effective from June 1st, 2016, making Bahrain’s national carrier the second Gulf carrier to appoint Swissport Saudi Arabia for its ground handling services in the Kingdom.

Gulf Air operates one of the largest networks in the Middle East, with double daily flights or more to 10 regional cities, in addition to select destinations in the Indian Subcontinent and Europe, from its hub at Bahrain International Airport. Bahrain’s national carrier offers over 90 weekly flights to 5 destinations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in addition to regularly providing seasonal frequency and schedule enhancements that cater to greater passenger movement to and from the Kingdom.

Swissport Saudi Arabia’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Thomas Bommer stated "We are proud to be able to assist Gulf Air with professional ground handling services. A key feature of the collaboration with Gulf Air will be a high degree of customer focus and innovation that we intend to bring to the operation. We see a great potential for continuing to expand this partnership in the future as well.” To ready the organization across the Kingdom Swissport Saudi Arabia has brought in a sizeable number of Ground support equipment and recruited additional 250 experienced aviation staff, besides strengthening the current set-up with a number of key position appointments.

Swissport International Ltd. provides ground services for around 230 million passengers and handles 4.1 million tonnes of cargo a year on behalf of some 835 client-companies in the aviation sector. With a workforce of around 61,000 personnel, Swissport is active at more than 280 stations in 48 countries across five continents, and generates consolidated operating revenue of CHF 3.0 billion.

About Gulf Air The national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, commenced operations in 1950, becoming one of the first commercial airlines established in the Middle East. Today, Gulf Air is a major international carrier serving 40 cities in 23 countries spanning three continents. The airline operates one of the largest networks in the Middle East, with double daily flights or more to 10 regional cities, in addition to select destinations in the Indian Subcontinent and Europe, from its hub at Bahrain International Airport. Gulf Air serves all its destinations with a combination wide and narrow body fleet totalling 28 modern aircraft. Renowned for its traditional Arabian hospitality, evidenced by the airline’s signature family and business friendly products, Gulf Air is committed to being an industry leader and developing products and services that reflect the evolving needs and aspirations of its passengers.

Gulf Air connects Bahrain to the world and, as such, is a key national infrastructure asset, serving as a powerful driver for the economy and supporting the Kingdom’s on-going economic growth.

NIGERIA: Poor Communication A Nightmare To Pilots And Air Controllers, Embarrassment To Nigeria

Air traffic controllers in the country are currently finding it difficult using some of the outdated navigational aids at airports nationwide.

The equipment, some of which were installed in the 1980s, have either completely gone bad or are malfunctioning at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja and others.

The Guardian learnt that the country is constantly at the risk of air disasters due to poor communication between air traffic controllers and pilots flying both domestic and international aircraft into the airports.

A navigational aid (navaid) or Aid to Navigation (ATON) is any device external to a vessel or aircraft specifically intended to assist navigators in determining their position or safe course, or to warn them of dangers or obstructions to navigation.

The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) says the situation persists, not for lack of new navigational aids to replace the old ones, but lack of funds to install modern tools purchased more than one year ago.

A peep into NAMA's warehouse at its headquarters in Lagos showed there were in stock new equipment, including Instrument Landing System (ILS), for the four major airports that were acquired over a year ago and were already downgrading for lack of use. An ILS enables aircraft to land if the pilots are unable to establish visual contact with the runway. It does this by way of transmitted radio signals.

The Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation, Capt. Bala Na'allah, recently complained about the poor navigational aids and challenges the pilots are facing trying to establish effective communication with the control towers, especially for landing.

Na'allah, who flew his colleagues in the Senate to Lagos for a crucial meeting with the aviation regulators, lamented the poor radio network and the fact that it had dragged on for too long.

The lawmaker, who noted that so much money had been invested in radio network in the last couple of years, said it was unacceptable that communications were still ineffective, compared to similar services in Lome, Niamey, Accra and other African airports.

The President of the Nigeria Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), Victor Eyaru, said his members had lately been creating awareness on the bad state of infrastructure, but were yet to get the attention of the authorities concerned.

According to him, the poor communication has remained a nightmare to both pilots and air controllers, and its resolution will save the country the embarrassment the current epileptic system is causing.

Eyaru said that though the nation was passing through recession, the provision of certain critical infrastructure that would aid the delivery of compact services must not be treated with levity.

The Acting Managing Director of NAMA, Emma Anasi, explained that the radio network in question was designed in 1980s. It was actually a donation by the European Union to Nigeria commissioned in eight locations in 1994. It was to help establish Very High Frequency (VHF) coverage on the routes that were operational in the 1980s and 1990s.

Anasi said: "The Abuja and Port Harcourt routes were not in operation at that time. Since then, we have not been able to establish new routes, except one. With the increasing number of flights and the new routes, the VHF system is not able to give us the kind of coverage we should have.

"Subsequently, during the airport remodeling by the last administration the remote station in Jos was decommissioned and still remains so till date. So, when we say we have problems, there are reasons."

He added that NAMA, in 2002, developed a project to take care of these gaps. It planned to have the network expanded in 2006 to accommodate more airports but the contract was not approved until 2009. When it was approved, it was not funded until last year.

Anasi said the agency was not unaware of the problems with navaids, and had already taken the delivery of new tools for the international airports, with extended coverage of Minna and Jos routes.

"If we are able to deploy the equipment, we will withdraw the current ones for use in other airports where we either have issues or don't have any at all.

"The (65 million Euros worth of) Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria system (TRACON) is working well. Our engineers have been maintaining it so effectively in the last two years. But the issue we are having is that it is a technology that is changing with time and we still have to lean on the manufacturers to get the spares."

NIGERIA: Overland Airways Now Flying To Asaba From Abuja

Overland Airways, Nigeria's frontline carrier has announced the commencement of its flight services from Abuja to Asaba, Delta State.

The flight services will be operated with Overland Airways globally renowned ATR turboprop aircraft with superior technological design for unmatched performance on short-distance flights in terms of economic reliability, safety and comfort.

It said the airline is Nigeria's longest-serving most consistent scheduled commercial airline providing uninterrupted flight services in Nigeria over the past 14 years.

With expanding routes including Lagos, Asaba, Abuja, Dutse, Minna, Bauchi, Jalingo, Akure, Overland Airways looks to begin regional flights in West African in the first quarter of 2017.

According to Capt. Edward Boyo, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Overland Airways, the accelerated development of the economy of Delta State is strategic to the development of the economies of various regions in the country especially the South-East and South-South regions, which makes air transport an important element in the efforts to develop Delta State.

"Delta State is endowed with great human and sundry resources which should be carefully harnessed by relentless efforts of both the government and the private sector. Overland Airways is dedicated to creating new high-value for the indigenes and visitors to Delta State by providing our trademark excellent, reliable, safe and comfortable air services to Asaba.

"We understand the value of investments and easy access into hinterland economies like Delta State. And we are confident of driving sustainable social and economic development in Delta State as Overland Airways supports the easy movement of investors, tourists, traders and business people to and from Delta State and the adjoining regions such as Onitsha across the Niger. We are in partnership with the people of Delta State. And this is a partnership that works" Boyo said.

TANZANIA: Swissport Gets New CEO, Mr. Mrisho Yassin

Long serving CEO Mr. Gaudence Temu, who oversaw the transition of the company into what it is today over the past 22 years, is retiring at the end of November and an internal succession was put into place.

Swissport Tanzania, a publicly quoted company at the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange, is the largest ground handling company offering services at Tanzania's key airports.

Mr. Mrisho Yassin, until now Chief Finance Officer, was appointed by the Board of Directors to become the company's new CEO.

Swissport, inspite of growing competition, has been profitable for a number of years and has invested heavily in the recent past in new equipment and storage facilities to cater for the growing number of airlines flying into Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam.

All of the main international airlines are handled by Swissport while some locally incorporated airlines have been granted the status of self handling.

At JNIA is a new terminal building nearing completion, finally allowing international passenger traffic to move from the overcrowded arrival and departure facility to a state of the art terminal, allowing for further growth.

Monday 28 November 2016

KENYA: Aviators Fly Over Kenya Game Park And Loose One Aircraft

Aviators flying vintage planes the length of Africa were showing them off in the skies over a Kenyan game park on Sunday, a day after one of the aircraft was wrecked in a forced landing.

The Vintage Air Rally, including biplanes built in the 1920s and 1930s, has flown from Europe past Egypt's pyramids and through Sudan and Ethiopia, where participants were briefly detained because of a dispute over whether they had proper authorization.

"They are tough conditions for the aeroplanes. It’s hot, it’s high and in the afternoons we get the thunderstorms," rally organizer Sam Rutherford told reporters as the planes flew over a game park on the outskirts of Nairobi.

"We did lose an aircraft," he said of Saturday's incident, when a vintage Boeing Stearman suffered an engine failure and made a forced landing northwest of Nairobi. The plane was "written off" but the crew were fine, Rutherford said.

The rally also briefly lost track of veteran pilot Maurice Kirk and his plane after the stop in Ethiopia last week. He was located on Saturday after landing in South Sudan, but not on a airfield, the organizers said.

Kirk and his plane are no longer part of the rally.

The remaining planes and support aircraft will continue their journey south on Monday, heading to Tanzania. They aim to reach Cape Town, South Africa, in about two weeks.

The rally began in Greece with several teams flying 24 aircraft, including support planes. The organizers did not say how many planes were still involved, but said it was not a surprise some would not complete the journey.

KENYA: Plane Makes Emergency Landing At Jomo Kenyatta International Airport

A plane from Somalia landed on its belly and veered off the runway at Nairobi's international airport on Sunday, causing no casualties but prompting the authorities to temporarily close the runway.

Kenya Airports Authority said that the plane had four people on board when it made the emergency landing at 4.55 p.m. (1355 GMT) at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

"As a result the runway is temporarily closed to evacuate aircraft," the authority said, without giving any details about the flight or type of plane.

It was not immediately clear when flights would resume. Officials said flights were being diverted to other airports.

IRAN: Iran Train Crash, Deputy Minister For Transport Resigns, 4 Arrested

The head of Iranian Railways has resigned after four of his employees were arrested following a collision between two trains that left at least 44 people dead.

Mohsen Poor-Seyed Aghaie, a deputy minister in the transport ministry and head of the state-owned railway company, appeared on state television late Saturday and announced his resignation "as a social responsibility and out of sympathy for the survivors of this accident".

Two trains collided and one caught fire in the northern province of Semnan on Friday, killing 44 people and injuring dozens more, in one of the country's worst ever rail disasters.

The crash took place on the main line between Tehran and Iran's second city Mashhad.

One of the trains had stopped between the towns of Semnan and Damghan after an apparent mechanical failure, forcing officials to halt others on the line.

But when a new shift started at the control centre in Shahroud, the second train was allowed to resume its journey.

The accident happened due to "human error", Aghaie said, explaining that the official at the control centre had told the train driver to manually disable an automated system that was preventing it from moving toward the broken train.

Three in the control centre and the train driver were detained over the resulting crash.

The train driver "who had fled to a hideout" was arrested on Sunday, a local judge in Seman province said.

"During the investigation, three people in charge of the northeast train control centre based in the city of Shahroud were arrested," provincial prosecutor general Heydar Asiabi said.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei offered his condolences on Saturday for the "painful incident", which came just a day after more than 60 Iranian pilgrims were killed in a suicide attack in Iraq.

Saturday 26 November 2016

TAIWAN: Financial Woes Forced Shut Down Of TransAsia

Troubled Taiwanese airline TransAsia says financial woes have forced it to shut down following two deadly crashes in the space of two years.

TransAsia Chairman Vincent Lin announced on Tuesday that the company will be dissolved, leaving thousands of customers in the lurch.

The airline said it is setting up an emergency task force to refund passengers.

TransAsia made headlines around the world early last year when one of its planes was caught on camera clipping a bridge and plunging into a river in Taipei. The crash killed 43 people and prompted aviation authorities to come down hard on the company.

An investigation found that the captain of the aircraft mistakenly switched off the plane's working engine after the other lost power shortly after takeoff.

"It was a very serious black eye for the airline," said Geoffrey Thomas editor-in-chief at "It really cast a pall over their technical expertise."

The airline was already struggling financially and its losses have deepened since the crash. It lost $36 million in 2015 and $69 million in the first nine months of this year.

After the Taipei crash, regulators investigated the company's safety practices and even grounded TransAsia pilots after they failed to pass key tests.

TransAsia was also the subject of an investigation following a fatal crash in July 2014. Flight GE222 crashed while attempting to land in Penghu Islands, killing 48 people.

TransAsia shares slumped 7% in Taiwan on Monday as reports emerged of the plans to suspend operations. The stock was halted from trading on Tuesday.

Shortly after TransAsia announced late Monday that it was canceling flights for the following day, government officials launched an investigation into insider trading of the company's shares.

Company employees were found to be selling TranAsia shares Monday, acting on rumors that the airline would soon suspend operations, Taiwan Stock Exchange chairman Shih Jun-Ji told CNA.

The airline didn't say how many jobs would be lost as a result of its closure.

GERMANY: Lufthansa Cancels 2,755 Flights

A bitter pay dispute at Lufthansa will disrupt flights for a fourth consecutive day after pilots extended their strike through Saturday.

The strike began Wednesday and was originally planned for 24 hours. Over the four strike days, Lufthansa has been forced to cancel 2,755 flights, affecting 345,000 passengers.

Saturday's strike will affect all long-haul flights operated by Lufthansa. The airline said there may also be a few cancellations on short and medium-haul routes as a result of the previous days' strike. Other Lufthansa Group carriers -- which include Eurowings, Germanwings, SWISS and Austrian Airlines -- have not been affected.

The airline is encouraging customers to check the status of their flight online, saying most will operate as usual. It has also apologized to customers and said that passengers will not be charged a fee to rebook.

Meanwhile, it is trying to cope with stranded passengers. The airline has booked thousands of hotel rooms in Frankfurt and Munich, and set up folding cots at Frankfurt airport for passengers who can't leave its terminals due to visa restrictions.

Frustrated customers have taken their complaints to social media.

"Seriously @lufthansa? Canceled flight home for Thanksgiving canceled without any explanation?" complained one Twitter user.

Seriously @lufthansa? Canceled flight home for Thanksgiving canceled without any explanation?

Lufthansa's pilots say they have gone without a pay rise for more than five years. They are asking for an average annual increase of 3.7%.

In support of their case, they point to record profits at the airline. They also claim that top company executives have seen their pay rise by as much as 30% in recent years, while board members have received even bigger hikes.

Lufthansa (DLAKY) said it had offered to enter arbitration with the union in an attempt to resolve the dispute. It said it pays pilots more than its competitors, and claimed the future of the airline was at stake,

"As members of the executive board, we are responsible for more than 120,000 employees and want to keep Lufthansa viable for the future," said Harry Hohmeister, a senior Lufthansa executive. "That will not be possible with a demand for a 20% increase in pay."

Shares in the airline have fallen by just over 2% this week.

Last year, a strike by flight attendants forced Lufthansa to cancel about 4,700 flights over seven days. The airline said about 550,000 passengers were affected by the strike, which was the longest in its history.

Friday 25 November 2016

TANZANIA: Tourism Needs To Evolve In Order For Tanzania To Benefit Better

Economists predict that tourism will remain a top foreign exchange earner for Tanzania in the foreseeable future, holding significant sustainable employment opportunities. However, to fully capitalise on tourism's potential to accelerate Tanzania's economic development and reduce donor dependence, the sector needs to evolve.

To claim a larger slice of the global tourism cake, government, industry bodies and private investors must collaborate to diversify tourism offerings. Endowed with abundant natural assets and diverse, rich cultures, Tanzania can advertise more than just wildlife, and tourism policies should reflect this.

Tanzania's coastline, distinct regions and landscapes suitable for numerous outdoor and sightseeing activities are underutilised. Tourism should embrace Tanzania's unique cultural multiplicity, its laid-back Swahili friendliness and its educated youngsters - potential entrepreneurs, if given affordable loans and guidance while establishing leisure industry businesses.

As Ebola anxieties fade, the time is right for increased publicity to promote regional areas, enticing visitors to explore Tanzania beyond the typical Safari plus Zanzibar trip and introduce the world to spectacular places like Mwanza, a rare gem. Who would not love "Rock City"? Wider marketing is desirable to balance negative media coverage of insufficiencies - inviting tourists to experience Tanzania's unique regions and preserve its image of a peace-loving, respectful, welcoming nation.

Tourism products not yet provided by large operators could sustain a significant number of entrepreneurs and employees in small businesses. Widening the scope of activities offered would encourage travellers to visit more destinations, stay longer and return to Tanzania more often.

Europeans based in Tanzania have traditionally spearheaded tourism. Their initiative, capital and overseas contacts have benefited Tanzania's economy and developed the Safari sector. However, through foreign operators' economic power, tourism reflects and reinforces Tanzania's dependency on developed and neighbouring nations. Kenya remains many visitors' gateway to Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Kilimanjaro, resulting in tourism dollars bypassing Tanzania.

Therefore, alternative activities to safaris are required to facilitate local start-ups, especially in cultural tourism outside luxury accommodation, globally one of the fastest growing segments. Many visitors are curious about Tanzania's tribal diversity, fascinated by traditional customs, foods and folk arts. Small-scale diversification exists here, but potential operators lack the required capital. Local entrepreneurs need technical and financial support to realise tourism potential. Reluctant lenders should note that money earned by small domestic ventures trickles down through the local economy to benefit many.

The purchasing power of diaspora tourists is also worth targeting. Middle-income visitors of Tanzanian origin are ready to spend in their ancestors' regions, if offered the right goods and services. The diaspora can also help fund, thus increase domestic ownership and management of, tourism ventures - given the right investment climate.

Such rural tourism diversification also encourages adventure travellers who prefer Tanzania's raw, authentic beauty to overdeveloped cities. The rolling hills of the Kagera Region and the Lake Victoria ferries please travellers who shun the wastefulness of 5-star luxury and embrace the simplicity of natural environments, where diversification in ecotourism helps preserve nature and historically and archaeologically significant sites. Affluent domestic tourists are also prepared to pay for new leisure experiences across the country, in turn creating jobs in communities lacking the economic growth of urban areas.

Tanzania's coastal climate is ideal for snorkelling, diving, kitesurfing and recreational fishing - activities rarely offered outside the tourism hubs. Tanzanian citizens' artistic skills are also marketable assets.

Ingenious minds already have many ideas for hikers, mountain bike riders, families, festival fans and music tourists. Young Tanzanians' visions include sports tourism and health and wellness tours. What they lack is support and access to capital.

Diversified, sustainable tourism creates skilled and unskilled employment. However, its potential can only be realized when the public and private sector cooperate, when plans and policies support Tanzanians in establishing themselves in diversified tourism.