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More information on the African Tourism Board and to join visit www.africantourismboard.com
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.
Travel is not just about seeing the wonders of the earth but understanding our impact upon it. With increasing frequency, people are looking to make the shift from “tourist” to “conscious traveler” by finding ways to maximize positive impacts on the locations they visit. Making thoughtful choices about how, when, and where you go on a vacation can make a significant difference. So, this Earth Day, travel experts analyzed over eight million traveler reviews from last year to find the key hot spots for eco-travelers.
Delving deep into sentiment, the global data showed the 10 best places to stay around the world, as reviewed by Expedia travelers. From boutiques with beehives and resorts with rainwater recycling, to grand urban retreats with solar cell power, many of these amazing places show that luxury and sustainability are not mutually exclusive.
Additionally, the experts highlighted the top countries with the best reviewed eco-conscious accommodations, with the USA topping the charts.
Top 10 eco-friendly stays
1.Sandos Caracol Eco Resort, Mexico
2.Nomad Hotel Roissy CDG, Paris, France
3.Siloso Beach Resort, Sentosa, Singapore
4.Habitat Suites, Austin, Texas
5.Pakasai Resort, Krabi, Thailand
6.PARKROYAL on Pickering, Singapore
7.The Green House, Bournemouth, UK
8.Listel Hotel, Vancouver, Canada
9.Hotel Verde, Cape Town, South Africa
10.Sherwood Queenstown, Queenstown, New Zealand
Top 10 sustainable countries around the world
Sustainable travel is the perfect opportunity to show Mother Earth and fellow inhabitants how much you care.
1. Sandos Caracol Eco Resort – Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Situated between dense jungle and the blue of the Mexican Caribbean coast, this Rainforest Alliance-certified destination is among the highest-rated by travellers for the multitude of positive impacts it offers.
•Extensive policies governing waste management, resource consumption and natural conservation
•Opportunities for guests to engage in ecologically sustainable practices: eco-tours, cruelty-free animal interactions and beach meditation
•A commitment to the community, reflected in celebrations of local indigenous culture, on-site markets that support local artisans, and local partnerships to improve area schools
2. Nomad Hotel Roissy CDG – Paris, France
Located five minutes by car from Charles de Gaulle airport, the Nomad Hotel Roissy CDG boasts Scandinavian-inspired design, tech-enabled customisable room layouts and a mission to “to reduce the ecological impact of these buildings to a minimum, at every stage of life, from design to operation”—making it the perfect accommodation for digital nomads with green leanings.
•Rigorous standards for creation/loss of heat and a low total annual energy consumption, supported by green (living) exterior cladding, solar panels, air handling units
•Proactive efforts to neutralize water impact through use of rainwater collectors
•Use of sustainable materials, including PEFC wood, carpets made from recycled fishing nets, recycled stone and glass shower units
3. Siloso Beach Resort, Sentosa – Singapore
Just off Singapore’s south coast lies Sentosa Island, a haven whose southwest coast is the home to the Siloso Beach Resort. Steps from the sandy beaches of the South China Sea, this award-winning eco-resort has taken special care to integrate the surrounding habitat into its design by prioritizing open spaces and preserving established natural features like mature trees and flowing springs. The result? A uniquely organic take on a luxurious beach resort experience.
•200 original trees preserved (and 450 planted) on-site; landscape pool fed by underground waters and built according to natural terrain formation
•72% of the resort is open-air—and activities including cycle tours, hikes and other eco-adventures
•Operations keep ecological impacts top-of-mind, emphasizing locally-sourced foods, limited use of plastics, and reduced energy consumption
4. Habitat Suites – Austin, TX, USA
Habitat Suites, a sustainable gem in the heart of Texas’ most progressive city, boasts a 30-year track record of forward-thinking environmental stewardship. Habitat Suites has been a charter member of the Green Hotels Association since 1991—and won an Austin Green Business Leader Gold Award in 2018.
•Widespread use of alternative energy, including solar panels, solar thermal and electric vehicle charging
•On-premises organic fruit and herb gardens; clean, local and organic food options
•Use of plant-based, zero harsh chemical detergents for cleaning; bio-safe guest shampoos and detergents; hypoallergenic suites that include live potted plants and windows that open for access to fresh air
5. Pakasai Resort – Krabi, Thailand
Spa treatments, boxing and cooking classes plus plenty of space for lounging by the pool—the Pakasai Resort delivers on everything you’d expect from a tropical Thai resort, then sweetens the deal with an impressive list of sustainability efforts. “Krabi’s Greenest Resort” was the first in the area to win an ASEAN Green Hotel Award (2014).
•Resource conservation efforts include rainwater capture and greywater recycling, energy efficient lighting, biogas production and reduction of plastic use
•Careful attention given to reducing carbon emissions through waste minimization program and collaboration with the local community and local organizations
•Guests are encouraged to make their stay even greener by joining the #GreeningPakasai campaign, which incentivizes visitors to make low-carbon choices around food, transportation, linen services and local activities
6. PARKROYAL on Pickering – Singapore
With 15,000 square metres of greenery and a cutting-edge design, the PARKROYAL is equally impressive in what it does and doesn’t do. This LEED-certified masterpiece saves 32.5 Olympic-sized swimming pools’ worth of water annually and could power an estimated 680 households with the energy saved by its conservation efforts.
•Highly regulated resource consumption through employment of light, motion, and rain sensors
•Solar cells and rainwater collection mean zero-energy maintenance of the 15,000 m2 sky gardens
•Thoughtful construction processes reduced concrete (and associated waste and energy expenditure) use by more than 80%
7. The Green House – Bournemouth, UK
Equally suitable for weddings, self-care weekends and romantic getaways, every detail of this eco-hotel has been designed to help guests feel great while doing good. That ethos touches every facet of The Green House, from the building’s renewable energy production and Forest Stewardship certified, UK-crafted furnishings to the on-site restaurant’s adherence to local sourcing and high animal welfare standards—the company car even runs on bio-fuel from the kitchen’s old cooking oil!
•The use of earth-friendly cleaning products and efforts toward energy conservation
•Staff are trained in the ethos of sustainability and are encouraged to find new ways to improve the Green House’s efforts
•Environmental efforts extend to the exterior grounds, including bird and bat boxes (to provide a safe place for breeding) and rooftop beehives that produce honey
8. The Listel Hotel Vancouver – Vancouver, BC, Canada
The Listel Hotel dedicates itself to both environmental responsibility and the arts. The hotel provides a location to elevate local and international artists—including a gallery dedicated to First Nations artists from the Northwest Coast—while participating in the city of Vancouver’s “Corporate Climate Leader” program, setting an example for sustainable tourism efforts across the globe.
•Responsible food practices including membership in Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise sustainable seafood program and a commitment to offering local and sustainable food and wine
•Conservation efforts including 20 solar panels, a state-of-the-art heat capture program (reducing the hotel’s natural gas use by 30%) and water reduction and air quality programs
•Adherence to a 100% Zero Waste policy since August 2011
9. Hotel Verde – Cape Town, South Africa
“Sustainable by design, stylish by nature” is the modest motto of Cape Town’s Hotel Verde. The first hotel in Africa to offer 100% carbon-neutral accommodation and conferencing, the Cape Town Verde has earned an extensive list of international accolades (LEED Platinum certification and a 6-star rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa) for its extensive adherence to sustainable practices.
•Restoration of the surrounding wetlands now supports indigenous water-wise vegetation and a healthy population of Cape honeybees—as well as an ecotrail, outdoor gym, and eco-pool for visitor use, plus on-site edible food gardens and aquaponics
•Energy efficiencies include photovoltaic panels on the roof and north-facing facades, wind turbines, energy-generating gym equipment and geothermal heat
•Commitment to social responsibility through sustainable procurement practices, waste management and community involvement
10. Sherwood Queenstown – Queenstown, New Zealand
Sustainability and connection with nature are behind every detail you’ll encounter at the Sherwood Queenstown, a boutique hotel perched on three acres of alpine hillside overlooking Lake Wakatipu. The Sherwood operates based on the belief that “a simple respect for nature lies at the heart of any sustainable practice”. The hotel’s orchards and kitchen garden supply its award-winning restaurant; most rooms offer sweeping mountain or lake views, and all are outfitted with South Island wool blankets and locally-sourced beverages. Mornings start with optional yoga sessions, followed by hiking, mountain biking, skiing or snowboarding.
•A focus on materiality selection that integrates the building with the landscape, while employing upcycled fixtures, fittings and furnishings
•Conscious choices about energy generation—the Sherwood is one of the largest private solar installs in New Zealand and currently generates enough electricity to return surplus to the grid
•Selection of food, wine, beer, spirits, and other consumable products that are local, natural, healthy, ethical, seasonal and sustainable in their production and use
A turbulent year for Surf Air has finally come to an end. Exciting recent updates have already resulted in massive improvements to its scheduled service and membership growth.
A recent lawsuit against Encompass Aviation, its former flight operating partner, has been settled. Under the terms of the settlement, Surf Air has regained full access to its entire fleet of branded Pilatus PC-12s, an unfortunate consequence of negotiations that caused severe disruptions to the company.
“By doubling down on our most popular routes and eliminating non-core flying we have proven route profitability and that the fundamental business model works. Our plan for 2019 is to continue to invest further into these core markets and expand access to Surf Air through new, more flexible membership product offerings,” says Surf Air Chairman & CEO Sudhin Shahani.
Recent Club Updates:
A Robust Core Schedule
Surf Air has rebuilt a core schedule and added more flights across its most important routes: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Lake Tahoe. The company will continue to add flights as it continues to acquire more members.
The company will also add back leisure weekend destinations as it makes sense (Las Vegas, Napa, Monterey, and Palm Springs).
With the help of Advanced Air, the company’s current third-party flight operator and long-time partner, they’ve restored operational reliability to its former best-in-industry levels of over 90% completion factor.
“Advanced Air has been a critical partner during this transitional period. With their proven professional and safety record, they’re the perfect, value-aligned partner to continue to scale our business,” says Sudhin Shahani.
Flexible, Per-Seat Membership
Perhaps Surf Air’s most promising opportunities for scaling membership growth is the new Express membership, allowing flyers to buy and fly on a per-seat basis. Meaning, for the first time, less frequent flyers can enjoy the time-savings benefits of zero hassle air travel.
In a bid to turn the loss making airline into a profitable venture, SriLankan Airlines has come up with a five-year strategic plan. Part of the plan will see them emulating industry leader Emirates, with a new hub and spoke network model.
In a statement SriLankan Airlines said:
“SriLankan Airlines has formulated a new five-year Strategic Business Plan for the period 2019-24 with the objective of transforming itself into a financially viable organization airline group with high brand visibility and a global reputation for excellence,”
They went on to say that the national carrier had an ‘enormous contribution’ to make to the GDP of Sri Lanka, including import, export and tourism.
What is SriLankan Airlines planning?
Their latest five year strategic business plan includes major development of the Colombo hub to make it a key connecting point for a variety of markets. SriLankan are targeting passengers connecting through Africa, Asia and the Middle East, in a bid to grow as big as rival airline Emirates.
As a member of Oneworld, SriLankan are hoping to leverage their membership to develop their network for the future. In contrast to their current point to point model, they plan to work on more of a hub and spoke model to develop new opportunities.
The plan is to be presented to the Government of Sri Lanka for approval shortly.
New routes and fleet
Currently, SriLankan Airlines operate with a fleet of 27 Airbus aircraft. Specifically, these are 13 A320 family aircraft and 14 A330s. As part of the five year plan, the carrier intends to select new fleet inclusions which match the requirement of their developing route network. They have also said they want to reconfigure their existing fleet to offer an enhanced business class service.
Already, the airline has announced a fifth weekly service between Colombo and Tokyo from July onwards, using its Airbus A330-300s. If the plan is formalized by the government, we expect to see many more new route announcements over the coming weeks.
As well as routes and fleet, the plan specifies that it will:
The plan is being headed up by Group Chief Executive Officer Vipula Gunatilleka, who was appointed to the airline in mid-2018. Prior to joining SriLankan, Gunatilleka was a board member and CFO of TAAG Angola. There, he worked closely with Emirates while they were managing TAAG, so no doubt knows his hub and spoke business very well already.
A loss-making airline
The airline is undergoing a major shakeup with a view to turning a profit. Over the last nine months, the carrier’s net loss more than doubled to a total loss of $135m. It is hoped that the five year strategic plan being tabled today will transform the airline by 2024.