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NEW YORK–()–New data from 6.5 billion user sessions shows new glimmer of hope for travel companies
Jamaica Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett has indicated that J$ 1Billion was generated at the just concluded Reggae Sumfest music festival held at Catherine Hall in Montego Bay.
“This year was arguably the largest Reggae Sumfest in terms of attendance from both local and overseas guests. On the visitor arrival side, we saw approximately 10,000 people coming to the island for the festival which is an increase of 3000 over last year.
More importantly we estimate the revenue impact from the festival to be $J1 Billion based on average room nights stay of locals and visitors and taxes,” said Minister Bartlett.
Reggae Sumfest, which began in 1993, has been described as the largest music festival in Jamaica and the Caribbean, taking place each year in mid-July in Montego Bay. It attracts crowds of all ages from all over the world and locally and has featured a variety of Jamaican reggae artists as well as international acts.
Minister Bartlett added that, “The success of entertainment festivals such as Sumfest augurs well for tourism as it boosts arrivals and has a major economic impact in and around Montego Bay.
Through these types of events, hotels both large and small, attractions and smaller players in the sector get to truly benefit from the extensive value chain of tourism.”
The weeklong festival usually kicks off with the Sumfest Beach Party which is followed with a series of events including a free Street Dance. Then there are two nights of the main festival with live performances featuring some of the best Dancehall and Reggae Artists in the world.
Ministry of Tourism
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Airlines that are adding tracking at more points of the baggage journey are enjoying a huge improvement in bag delivery globally. The SITA 2019 Baggage IT Insights – officially launched at an event in Abu Dhabi International Airport today – shows that where tracking is done at check-in and loading onto the aircraft, the rate of improvement is as high as 66%.
These results come as the record drop in the baggage mishandling rate achieved globally over the past decade plateaus, with the rate steady at around 5.7 bags per thousand passengers over the past three years. In 2018, the rate was 5.69 per thousand passengers.
Over the past year, an increasing number of airlines and airports have started to introduce tracking at key points in the journey – check-in, loading onto the aircraft, transfers and arrival – to improve baggage management and further reduce the chances of a bag being mishandled. SITA’s research provides the first glimpse of the success of this tracking. It reveals that where bags were being tracked when loaded onto the aircraft, the rate of improvement ranged between 38% and 66% depending on the level of tracking introduced.
Peter Drummond, Director of Baggage at SITA, said: “While the mishandling rate has started to plateau over the past few years, this comes against a continued growth in passenger numbers and their bags. In 2018, 4.36 billion travelers checked in more than 4.27 billion bags. More bags makes things more challenging. Everyone across the industry needs to look beyond the process and technology improvements made in the past decade and adopt the latest technology such as tracking to make the next big cut in the rate of mishandled bags.”
Ahmed Juma Al Shamsi, Acting Chief Operations Officer at Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “For our passengers the timely delivery of baggage is key to ensuring a seamless passenger experience and therefore an area in which we continue to make further improvements. Looking forward, baggage tracking is fundamental to driving more accurate bag delivery not only at Abu Dhabi International Airport but across the entire passenger journey. We have led the way with the introduction of tracking on arrival and we have already seen significant improvements.”
Transferring baggage from one aircraft, or airline, to another remains a pinch point in the journey and in 2018 it was again the main reason for bags being mishandled. Transfer bags accounted for 46% of all mishandled bags.
Drummond added: “Transfer is by far the most difficult stage to track a bag as there are multiple airlines and airports involved. However, data from this year’s report shows that tracking at key points in the journey, such as transfers, will go a long way to eliminating mishandling and will allow airlines and their passengers to keep tabs on where their bags are at every step of the way.”
Over the past decade, total number of mishandled bags per annum has plummeted 47% from 46.9 million in 2007 to 24.8 million in 2018, while the annual bill footed by the industry has shrunk 43% to $2.4 billion, down from $4.22 billion in 2007.
World’s biggest aerospace corporation was forced to pull its full financial forecast for the current year due to unresolved issues surrounding Boeing’s once best-selling 737 MAX aircraft.
Boeing also announced plans to pause share buybacks, citing “a challenging time for our customers, stakeholders and the company.”
“Across the company, we are focused on safety, returning the 737 MAX to service, and earning and re-earning the trust and confidence of customers, regulators and the flying public,” Boeing Chairman and CEO Dennis Muilenburg said in a statement.
The manufacturer had previously posted a report on the first-quarter earnings that managed to fall in line with analysts’ expectations, while its revenue was slightly less than projected. Boeing’s earning per share totaled the expected $3.16 from January through March, while the revenue amounted to $22.92 billion against $22.98 billion forecasted by London-based provider of financial markets data Refinitiv.
Boeing stressed that the previous guidance didn’t reflect the impact of two crashes of the company’s flagship planes, leading to the grounding of all 737 MAX 8 jets by global regulators, lawsuits from some air carriers and a decline in market value.
According to the producer, more than 135 test and production flights of updated software for the 737 MAX have been carried out so far.
Boeing’s bestseller crashed on March 10 not far from the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa six minutes after takeoff on the way to Nairobi, Kenya. The tragedy, which killed 157 people, marked the second crash involving the same jet model in less than six months. In October, the same type of aircraft, operated by Indonesia’s Lion Air, crashed in the Java Sea shortly after takeoff, claiming the lives of 189 people.
For the first three months of 2019, Hawaii hotels statewide reported flat average daily rate (ADR) and lower occupancy, which resulted in lower revenue per available room (RevPAR) compared to the first quarter of 2018.
According to the Hawaii Hotel Performance Report published by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), statewide RevPAR declined to $236 (-3.3%), with ADR of $292 and occupancy of 80.8 percent (-2.7 percentage points) in the first quarter of 2019.
HTA’s Tourism Research Division issued the report’s findings utilizing data compiled by STR, Inc., which conducts the largest and most comprehensive survey of hotel properties in the Hawaiian Islands.
For the first quarter, Hawaii hotel room revenues fell by 4.7 percent to $1.13 billion compared to the $1.18 billion earned in the first quarter of 2018. There were more than 74,300 fewer available room nights (-1.5%) in the first quarter and approximately 190,500 fewer occupied room nights (-4.7%) compared to a year ago. Several hotel properties across the state were closed for renovation or had rooms out of service for renovation during the first quarter.
All classes of Hawaii hotel properties statewide reported RevPAR declines in the first quarter of 2019 except Upper Midscale Class properties ($134, +0.6%). Luxury Class properties reported RevPAR of $452 (-5.4%) with ADR of $594 (-1.2%) and occupancy of 76.1 percent (-3.3 percentage points). At the other end of the price scale, Midscale & Economy Class hotels reported RevPAR of $155 (-5.0%) with ADR of $187 (-0.5%) and occupancy of 83.1 percent (-3.9 percentage points).
Comparison to Top U.S. Markets
In comparison to top U.S. markets, the Hawaiian Islands earned the highest RevPAR at $236 in the first quarter, followed by the San Francisco/San Mateo market at $210 (+15.9%) and the Miami/Hialeah market at $208 (-3.5%). Hawaii also led the U.S. markets in ADR at $292 followed by San Francisco/San Mateo and Miami/Hialeah. The Hawaiian Islands ranked fifth for occupancy at 80.8 percent, with Miami/Hialeah topping the list at 83.0 percent (-2.1 percentage points).
Hotel Results for Hawaii’s Four Counties
Hotel properties in Hawaii’s four island counties all reported RevPAR decreases in the first quarter of 2019. Maui County hotels led the state overall in RevPAR at $337 (-2.7%), with ADR at $428 (-0.9%) and occupancy at 78.6 percent (-1.5 percentage points).
Kauai hotels earned RevPAR of $228 (-10.2%), with flat ADR at $305 (+0.2%) and lower occupancy of 74.8 percent (-8.7 percentage points).
Hotels on the island of Hawaii reported a decline in RevPAR to $225 (-9.7%), due to a combination of decreases in both ADR ($285, -2.0%) and occupancy (79.1%, -6.7 percentage points).
Oahu hotels earned slightly lower RevPAR at $196 (-0.9%), with ADR at $236 (+0.8%) and occupancy of 83.0 percent (-1.4 percentage points).
Comparison to International Markets
When compared to international “sun and sea” destinations, Hawaii’s counties were in the middle of the pack for RevPAR in the first quarter of 2019. Hotels in the Maldives ranked highest in RevPAR at $575 (+4.5%) followed by Aruba at $351 (+11.2%). Maui County ranked third, with Kauai, the island of Hawaii, and Oahu ranking sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively.
The Maldives also led in ADR at $737 (+5.2%) in the first quarter, followed by French Polynesia at $497 (-1.1%). Maui County ranked fifth, followed by Kauai and the island of Hawaii. Oahu ranked ninth .
Oahu trailed Phuket (84.5%, -6.3 percentage points) in occupancy for sun and sea destinations in the first quarter. The island of Hawaii, Maui County and Kauai ranked fourth, fifth and ninth, respectively.
March 2019 Hotel Performance
In March 2019, RevPAR for Hawaii hotels statewide declined to $227 (-4.3%), with ADR of $285 (-1.1%) and occupancy of 79.6 percent (-2.7 percentage points).
In March, Hawaii hotel room revenues fell by 5.9 percent to $373.3 million. There were more than 27,200 fewer available room nights (-1.6%) in March and approximately 66,850 fewer occupied room nights (-4.9%) compared to a year ago. Several hotel properties across the state were closed for renovation or had rooms out of service for renovation during March. However, the number of rooms out of service may be under-reported.
All classes of Hawaii hotel properties statewide reported RevPAR declines in March. Luxury Class properties reported RevPAR of $443 (-7.2%) with ADR of $583 (-3.1%) and occupancy of 75.9 percent (-3.4 percentage points). Midscale & Economy Class hotels reported RevPAR of $150 (-2.9%) with ADR of $182 (+0.8%) and occupancy of 82.0 percent (-3.1 percentage points).
Hotel properties in Hawaii’s four island counties all reported lower RevPAR for March. Maui County hotels reported the highest RevPAR in March at $336 (-1.4%) with ADR of $421 (-1.6%) and flat occupancy (79.8%, +0.2 percentage points).
Oahu hotels reported lower occupancy (80.4%, -2.3 percentage points) and flat ADR ($230, -0.2%) for March.
Hotels on the island of Hawaii continued to face challenges in March, with RevPAR dropping 11.2 percent to $216, ADR to $272 (-4.9%) and occupancy to 79.2 percent (-5.7 percentage points).
RevPAR for Kauai hotels fell to $213 (-14.6%) in March, with declines in both ADR to $286 (-4.5%) and occupancy to 74.4 percent (-8.8 percentage points).
The Indian traveler has come of age, spending approximately $94 billion in 2018, on around 2 billion domestic and international trips, helping the Indian travel and tourism industry achieve unprecedented scale.
The momentum is expected to continue and the industry will grow at a 13 percent CAGR to $136 billion by 2021, according to a report, ‘How Does India Travel’. The report outlines how India spends on travel, the influence of online channels in their purchase journey and potential growth opportunities for travel businesses till 2021.
Deep diving into the $136 billion spends, the report cites a 12 percent growth in transportation ($50 billion), 13 percent growth in lodging ($21 billion) and consumption, which includes spends on shopping, recreation and food, to grow at 13 percent ($65 billion) over the next three years. Additionally, as more people come online, smartphone penetration improves and use of digital payments goes up, the report estimates that Indian travelers will spend an additional $24 billion on online travel bookings over the next three years, a growth from 25 percent in 2018 to 35 percent in 2021.
Online is a significant source of research
Elucidating the planning journey of Indian travelers, both for business and leisure, the report calls out five phases of a customer journey – Interest, Research, Booking, Experience and Sharing. The report states that during key research-heavy phase of interest, research and experience, digital plays a pivotal role with over 86 percent of consumers being influenced by online channels. During this phase, travelers spend their maximum time on search, travel tour provider websites, price comparison websites, and travel articles. Online video too plays a significant role with 21 percent of travelers being influenced by this platform. In the booking and sharing phase, the report states that nearly 60 percent of customers book transport and lodging online, and over 50 percent share feedback online with social media being the dominant platform.
Talking about the market opportunities for online travel players, Vikas Agnihotri, Country Director – Sales, Google India said, “New users perceive that online channels are geared towards the more frequent flyers and experience-oriented travellers; and existing travelers research online but the lack of trust in payments and booking experience make them end up booking offline. If travel players tap these online users through personalised marketing, messaging and travel plans, they can further augment online travel bookings. This can be done by adopting digital technologies to influence customers early in the journey and moving from one-time engagement to ongoing relationships to have a positive impact.”
“There is a perception amongst consumers that online channels are geared towards premium customers, along with a marked distrust around payment and pricing terms. It is imperative for businesses to address these concerns in order to effectively tap into the growing base of users.” Arpan Sheth, partner Bain & Company said.
Decoding the Indian travelers
The report further identified the five cohorts of travelers in India, across business and leisure travel, and categorised each against their online research behavior:
Frequent flyers: Nearly 70 percent of them booked online, cumulatively spent $17 billion in 2018. They make their choices based on convenience, availability, brand preference and past experiences.
Budget business traveler: 86 percent of them researched online whereas only 60 percent book online, cumulatively spent $20 billion in 2018. This cohort makes their decisions based on cost of travel, availability and consultation amongst their personal business network.
Experience-oriented traveler: Around 70 percent of their bookings were done online and cumulatively spent $22 billion in 2018. They extensively research both online and offline for ‘authentic’ experiences and convenience of options; display high loyalty towards preferred brand of airlines or hotels and actively share experiences.
Budget group traveler: 90 percent researched online and 55 percent booked online, cumulatively spent $29 billion in 2018. They make multiple decision-makers in the process and take the final decisions based on minimal cost.
Occasional travel visiting friends/relatives: 92 percent researched online but only 60 percent booked online, spent $6 billion in 2018. They maximize family convenience within a budget and believe online terms and conditions are restrictive.
In nature, nothing exists alone is the message for Earth Day 2019. Announcing the public launch of its “SDG17 Partners Program” on Earth Day 2019, Professor Geoffrey Lipman co-founder SUNx, calls and president of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) asks the Travel & Tourism sector to join its “Plan For Our Kids” and take the “Climate Sanity” Pledge.
Professor Lipman, former Executive Director at IATA, President of WTTC and Assistant Secretary-General UNWTO, said:
“I’m confident that Travel & Tourism will play a leadership role in the global shift to a New Climate Economy: we just need a pathway for change and that lies in our faith in the next generation”
SUNx a legacy for Planetary Champion Maurice Strong has created a “Plan For Our Kids”, aiming to recruit 100,000 STRONG Climate Champions to advance its vision of a no Carbon 2050 sector totally compliant with the evolving goals of the Paris Accords.
He added “During the past year we have seen a welcome intensification of the pressures for a new commitment to Climate Sanity, which stops discussing whether climate change is existential and just gets on with solutions. That’s the common message from Greta Thunberg’s Friday’s for Futures and AOC’s Green New Deal: it’s the message from Earth Scientists and Nobel Economists: it’s the plea from Sir David Attenborough.
”Lipman concluded “SDG 17 Partners will share our long-term vision on the fact that Climate Change is eXistential and that we have to act NOW, as if this Earth Day is the first day of the rest of our lives. We all have different starting positions, based on our separate realities: but we have a shared goal of meeting the Paris Agenda and together taking a “No Carbon 2050 moonshot”. We can deliver Climate Friendly Travel ~ measured plans: green growth: 2050 no carbon proof “
Juergen Steinmetz president of the eTN Corporation said “We are proud to become a SUNx SDG 17 Partner and provide preferential support for this great cause. As long as I have known Geoffrey Lipman, he has been drumming home the message that Climate Change is eXistential and that if we don’t fix it now, it will fix us. We are in, and will use all our links, like ICTP and the African Tourism Board to support Climate Friendly Travel. going forward”.
For more on SUNx and its SDG 17 Partnership Program please contact: go to www.thesunprogram.com
What is Earth Day?
The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. The passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other groundbreaking environmental laws soon followed. Twenty years later, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in more than 190 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage.
On April 22, 1970, millions of people took to the streets to protest the negative impacts of 150 years of industrial development.
In the U.S. and around the world, smog was becoming deadly and evidence was growing that pollution led to developmental delays in children. Biodiversity was in decline as a result of the heavy use of pesticides and other pollutants.
The global ecological awareness was growing, and the US Congress and President Nixon responded quickly. In July of the same year, they created the Environmental Protection Agency, and robust environmental laws such as the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act, among many.
One billion people
Earth Day is now a global event each year, and more than 1 billion people in 192 countries now take part in what is the largest civic-focused day of action in the world.
It is a day of political action and civic participation. People march, sign petitions, meet with their elected officials, plant trees, clean up their towns and roads. Corporations and governments use it to make pledges and announce sustainability measures. Faith leaders, including Pope Francis, connect Earth Day with protecting God’s greatest creations, humans, biodiversity and the planet that we all live on.
Earth Day Network, the organization that leads Earth Day worldwide, has chosen as the theme for 2018 to End Plastic Pollution, including creating support for a global effort to eliminate primarily single-use plastics along with global regulation for the disposal of plastics. EDN is educating millions of people about the health and other risks associated with the use and disposal of plastics, including pollution of our oceans, water, and wildlife, and about the growing body of evidence that plastic waste is creating serious global problems.
From poisoning and injuring marine life to the ubiquitous presence of plastics in our food to disrupting human hormones and causing major life-threatening diseases and early puberty, the exponential growth of plastics is threatening our planet’s survival.
Based on US market statistics, the combined hospitality segment produces close to 440 billion pounds of solid waste per year. A great amount of this waste is made up of discarded soap and bottled amenities. However, through Clean the World’s Hospitality Recycling Program, these life-saving hygiene products can skip the landfill and, instead, be sent to one of Clean the World’s five Recycling Operations Centers where the products are sanitized, fully recycled, and given a second-life to help those in need. It’s a win-win for the hospitality industry, helping to reduce waste and transform lives around the world.
In celebration of Earth Day, Clean the World, dedicated to WASH (WAter, Sanitation and Hygiene) and global sustainability, is joining forces with RLH Corporation to collect and recycle gently-used bars of soap and bottled amenities at Hotel RL locations nationwide to help fight the spread of preventable diseases while preserving our planet.
“We are excited to collaborate with Clean the World,” said RLH Corporation SVP of Brand Strategy Amanda Marcello. “At Hotel RL, we are focused on the modern-day traveler, with core hotel elements that allow guests to immerse themselves in local culture while maintaining their connection to the world. We are always searching for opportunities to better our planet, the communities we live in and those around the world. With Clean the World, we will now be able to make a significant improvement in reducing the amount of waste our hotels produce while benefiting communities worldwide by recycling our bath amenities.”
Together, this Earth Day, Clean the World and RLH Corporation are bringing awareness to sustainable practices within the travel and hospitality industry. Eight Hotel RL locations adopting the Hospitality Recycling Program this week will begin recycling all soap and bottled amenities from over 1,600 guestrooms. In just one year, the Hotel RL portfolio of hotels is projected to provide over 6,700 pounds of soap and bottled amenities to Clean the World, resulting in the creation of an estimated 23,000 bars of newly-recycled soap to be distributed to those in need locally and globally.
“We are thrilled to join forces with RLH Corporation this Earth Day to share the importance of implementing new, eco-friendly approaches to daily operations that benefit and help to preserve our planet,” said Shawn Seipler, founder and CEO of Clean the World. “By diverting leftover soap and bottled amenities from landfills, RLH Corporation will not only help Clean the World provide health and hygiene programs to children and families around the world, but also set a great example of CSR and sustainability throughout the hospitality industry, encouraging others to help make a difference.”
Through this joint venture, newly-recycled bars of Clean the World soap will make their way to shelters, food banks and disaster relief initiatives in the United States, in addition to supporting hygiene education internationally through Clean the World Foundation’s WASH Education programming. Our global programming, in places like India, Kenya and Tanzania, has contributed to a 60 percent decrease in the rate of hygiene-related deaths in children under 5, helping to keep children healthy and in school.
Taking its environmental responsibilities seriously and championing wildlife conservation across different corners of the planet, the Emirates Group is playing its part to support and preserve biodiversity.
The Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve and Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley in Australia both illustrate the Group’s long-standing focus on protecting fragile ecosystems and support for sustainable tourism in very different parts of the world. Both conservation reserves protect valuable ecosystems and at the same time provide unique and sustainable experiences for visitors from around the world.
The Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve
The Emirates Group funds the operations of the 225 square kilometre Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR), an inland desert habitat that has been protected by government mandate since 2003. This is the largest piece of land that Dubai has dedicated to a single project and aims to preserve Dubai’s unique desert environment for future generations. The DDCR plays an important role in ecological research, actively collaborating with both local and international universities. The findings and results of the research studies help to enhance knowledge of the desert ecosystem, gather scientific data around rare and endangered desert species, monitor its balance and preserve its natural environment.
The reserve is also a focal point for conservation programmes aimed at restoring populations of some of the UAE’s wildlife, such as the Arabian gazelle, sand gazelle and Arabian oryx. Since their reintroduction into the DDCR, the antelope species have thrived, and their populations have significantly increased, triggering the process of looking into relocating some oryx and gazelle species to other protected areas within the region. Over 250 endangered Macqueen’s bustard (houbara) were also released this year with 25 of them fitted with tracking devices to monitor their movement and breeding progress.
In 2018, the DDCR was visited by more than 285,000 tourists, through Arabian Adventures, various Emirates partner tour operators, and the Al Maha Desert Resort. The DDCR offers low-impact desert experiences in addition to desert clean-up activities in coordination with Arabian Adventures. During 2018 the DDCR was accepted as a candidate for the IUCN Green List for Protected and Conserved Areas, a global standard for the world’s most effectively managed Protected Areas.
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley
Emirates has been supporting the protection of Australia’s extraordinary wildlife and plant life for over 10 years, through the conservation-based Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley in New South Wales. The property was the first luxury resort in the world to receive an internationally-recognised carbon neutral certification from New Zealand based CarboNZero, undergoing a comprehensive greenhouse gas emissions assessment. Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley also conducts regular research to identify opportunities and challenges for endangered species conservation. Efforts have also been underway to help restore vital vegetation and tree planting activities, which have helped to re-establish habitats for vital bird populations, essential for their long term survival.
Emirates and Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley jointly funded the development of the WomSAT app and website in collaboration the University of Western Sydney to help researchers identify opportunities for wombat conservation. Wombats are threatened by sarcoptic mange, an unpleasant and often fatal skin disease that afflicts Australia’s largest burrow builder. The tool is used to record wombat sightings and track population health to help treat wombats afflicted by sarcoptic mange. Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley is also spearheading a number of other conservation projects, such as the Wolgan River Restoration Project, an ongoing weed management programme, and supporting research projects with Western Sydney University.
United for Wildlife and The Buenos Aires Declaration
Since 2015, Emirates has continued its strong support for actions to stem the illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products, which is having devastating consequences for endangered animals and the environment in many parts of the world. In 2018, the Emirates Group also signed the Buenos Aires Declaration on Travel and Tourism and Illegal Wildlife Trade, an effort led by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) to reach a billion travellers with messages to fight the illegal wildlife trade and work with communities to develop sustainable tourism that provides livelihoods and protects wildlife. The WTTC and World Wildlife Fund are developing guidelines to eliminate illegal wildlife trafficking from the travel and tourism supply chains.
The Emirates Group has also adopted a zero-tolerance policy to wildlife trafficking and has set up training for its employees to identify and look out for warning signs of smuggled wildlife products during cargo transportation and screening. Emirates will not carry banned species, hunting trophies or any products associated with illegal wildlife activities.
Using its brand power to raise awareness around the illegal trafficking of endangered wildlife, Emirates emblazoned four of its A380s with special wildlife decals. Since then the aircraft have flown millions of kilometres across 48 cities in 29 countries on close to 6,000 flights taking this important message around the world and spurring conversation around wildlife preservation.
dnata Wildlife Conservation and Nature
dnata recently signed an MOU with the University of Pretoria in South Africa to support their research and rehabilitation projects. Under dnata4good, the partnership aims to safeguard wildlife and the environment by strengthening and enhancing research, veterinary training and awareness, increasing involvement through volunteer opportunities and ensuring needed measures are taken to care for injured animals and rehabilitate them to go back into the wild. The initiative will be partially driven by employee participation to protect fragile biodiversity in South Africa and to maintain balanced ecosystems.
Give a Ghaf
Emirates Group employees living in Meydan Heights (UAE) will be taking part in a Ghaf Tree planting event on 27 April in partnership with Goumbook. The event aims to raise awareness about the importance of conserving the living desert, with a specific focus on the Ghaf tree. The Ghaf is a drought tolerant, evergreen tree which can withstand harsh desert environments, and can be used for greening purposes whilst saving water.
A new Tourism potential is about to be unlocked In Tanzania. All roads and international air routes will in the near future, be leading to the Southern circuit, as the tour operators have major plans to open new tourism revenue streams.
Complimenting the Government’s drive to transform the Southern tourism circuit, the key tourism players are currently scouting for apt partners to invest heavily in accommodations as part of a strategy to open up the area for travel.
It is understood, the Fifth Government under President Dr John Pombe Magufuli is working overtime to put up hardware infrastructures as it seeks to unleash the full economic potential of the area.
Impressed by the government move to designate Iringa as the Southern circuit hub, Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) last week deployed a delegation led by its Vice-Chairman, Mr Henry Kimambo to identify new potential members in its effort to establish a chapter in the area to cater for the entire Southern circuit.
“We want to replicate the best practices from the northern tourism circuit to Southern shred,” Mr Kimambo told the tour operators in Iringa during the engagement meeting.
He revealed that TATO plans to bring its services close to its members in Southern circuit, comprising Morogoro, Iringa, Njombe and Mbeya anytime soon.
This implies that the 36-year-old advocacy agency for a multi-billion dollar industry, with its base in northern safari capital of Arusha, will soon have a liaison office in Iringa to take care its Southern circuit members.
Mr Kimambo said that his association was aware that the Southern circuit based tour operators not only have their own different issues but also need strong ties with their northern tourism circuit peers if the tourism potential is to be unleashed.
Presenting the benefits before the Southern Circuit tour operators, TATO Chief Executive Officer, Mr Sirili Akko said lobbying and advocacy is a core service offered by his association.
“Members enjoy the conducive business environment as TATO represent a collective voice for private tour operators in lobbying and advocate towards the common goal of improving the business climate in Tanzania” Mr Akko explained.
TATO also provides unparalleled networking opportunities for its members, allowing individuals tour operators or company to connect with their peers, mentors, and other industry leaders and policymakers.
As a member, one is in the unique position to attend conventions, seminars, award dinners and other related events with like-minded professionals in the field. These events are attended by the brightest minds and are a hotbed of ideas and collaborative efforts.
“An association’s annual General meeting represents an incredible opportunity for members to meet and network with the largest gathering of their peers during the year” Mr Sirili explained.
TATO also trains its members on key issues such as labour laws, tax compliance, corporate social responsibility, conservation issues, among others, he noted.
As if that was not enough, TATO members also enjoy the service of having a platform where they channel their operational or policy related challenges to the government for a solution.
Members are also bonded together as they advocate for their peers and share their challenges and triumphs with one another, TATO CEO explained.
“Indeed, TATO provides members with a competitive advantage because they become active, informed members of their industry” Mr Sirili said, stressing that his members also get updates on all issues on tourism and related sectors by providing resources, information, and opportunities they might not have had otherwise.
Thanks to USAID PROTECT Project for building the capacity of TATO, an umbrella organization with over 300 members, for it to become an efficient advocacy agency for the tourism sector.
Project coordinator, Mr Jumapili Chenga said the scaling up membership base for TATO is one of his scheme’s components.
Iringa Region Tourism Officer, Ms Hawa Mwichaga was grateful that at the long last a strategy to unlock the Southern tourism circuit has stepped up a gear.
Tour operators from Iringa, Mbeya and other regions namely Ernest Luwala, Nancy Mfugale, Modestus Mdemu, Serafina Lanzi supported the idea of joining TATO as a concrete step to spur tourism in southern circuit.
Natural Resources and Tourism Ministry’s officer-in-charge for Southern Circuit, Ms Tully Kulanya said her zone has a great potential for tourism business.
“The Southern Parks are the perfect destinations for travelers looking for plentiful and rare wildlife in a remote area of Africa” Ms Kulanya noted.
The national parks namely Mikumi, Udzungwa, Kitulo Ruaha, as well as Selous Game Reserve, have fewer visitors and give the feeling of being all-alone. Activities include game drives in open vehicles, boat safaris, and walking safaris. These safaris include flights between the parks.
Tanzania’s earnings from tourism jumped 7.13 percent in 2018, helped by an increase in arrivals from foreign visitors, the government has said.
Tourism is the main source of hard currency in Tanzania, best known for its beaches, wildlife safaris and Mount Kilimanjaro.
Revenues from tourism fetched $2.43 billion for the year, up from $2.19 billion in 2017, Prime Minister, Mr Kassim Majaliwa said in a presentation to parliament.
Tourist arrivals totaled 1.49 million in 2018, compared with 1.33 million a year ago, Majaliwa said.
President John Magufuli’s government said it wants to bring in 2 million visitors a year by 2020.