With the global tourism sector beginning to open up for activities, destinations and major players have been unveiling guidelines and protocols which will guide a phased and cautious opening of the sector.
Our editorial captures the news blitz you missed during the week.
Cabo Verde opens to international tourists in July
The West African Island of Cabo Verde will from July, open its borders to international visitors and tourists. The country depends heavily on tourism as a catalyst for economic growth and has been badly hit as it has had to close its borders to visitors in the wake of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
A statement issued by the country’s Ministry of Transport added that Cabo Verde is currently preparing to safely receive visitors. This is being carefully planned and the reopening will be gradual so that the success in combating COVID-19, in the main tourist islands, continues to be consolidated, generating confidence and credibility for operators, tourists, employees and the general public
STTA & University of Brighton inks partnership
Kenya’s Sustainable Tourism and Travel Agenda has signed a partnership deal with University of Brighton UK to address the challenges faced by the tourism Small and Medium Scale (SMEs) enterprises in East Africa during the coronavirus pandemic.
The initiative championed by Judy Kepher-Gona and Prof Marina Novelli of STTA and University Brighton respectively include research to fully assess best practices in addressing the covid19 induced tourism crisis.
African Destinations turns to Virtual Campaigns to drive tourism
Some African destinations have turned to digital marketing campaigns to promote their respective countries. This has come as a result of the novel coronavirus which has left the DMOs with the limited choice. South Africa’s Limpopo Tourism Agency embarked on a virtual Familiarization trip to N-71 route with stakeholders a week ago and the Kenya Tourism Board this week launched their 6-weeks virtual expedition as part of their ongoing #MagicAWait campaign.
A number of African Destinations including Seychelles, South Africa, Ghana, Ethiopia, Cabo Verde, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda have rolled out online campaigns to be a top of mind destination.
Ghana Caps off events at 100
The Government of Ghana has announced a maximum of hundred persons will be allowed to attend events such as conferences and workshops from June 5 as it begins the first phase towards easing Coronavirus restrictions.
President Akufo-Addo announced the new directives in his tenth address to the nation earlier in the week on measures being taken to deal with the virus spread.
Rwanda allocates US$ 3.7million for Post Covid-19 marketing
The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has earmarked Rwf3.5 billion (US$3.7Million) for the marketing of the country’s tourism sector post the coronavirus pandemic.
The Head of RDB Clare Akamanzi confirmed this during a Parliamentary budget hearing of the Standing Committee on National Budget and Patrimony.
She detailed out RDB’s proposed spending for the 2020/2021 financial year.
“Tourism marketing after Covid-19 will mainly help ensure that people have trust again in visiting Rwanda. It will also help us to look for clients from both Rwanda and abroad for local (hospitality and tourism) companies,” she said.
63RD UNWTO CAF Meeting goes virtual
The 63rd UNWTO Commission for Africa (CAF) Meeting will be held online. This has become necessary because of the covid-19 making face to face interaction difficult.
The Seychelles Island was originally scheduled to host the session after it was confirmed at the 23rd General Assembly in St Petersburg, Russia.
The UNWTO Regional Commission for Africa is the major institutional platform where ministers of tourism discuss the latest trends of the sector at the continental and global level and the implementation of their program of work.
Time to restart Tourism!
With the tourism sector experiencing its worst performance in decades as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the industry is walking a very precarious line if nothing is done to get it going again.
The 70-80% decline in international tourist arrivals culminating into a staggering $1.45 trillion receipt loss is the financial stress the sector finds it self.
The Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Zurab Pololikashvili in his latest article is calling for an urgent start of the sector. His call is premised on the weeks of hard-work and commitment the tourism industry has shown during this unprecedented time.
Air Mauritius Administrators Say Running Out of Options
Air Mauritius administrators are running out of time to save the airline as recurrent expenses pile up, costs of servicing leases for new aircraft accumulate and unions fail to give constructive proposals on job cuts.
Cumulative losses for the three fiscal years through March 2021 could reach 9.5 billion rupees ($237 million) if costs are not cut in the short term. At the current rate, the airline will require a cash injection of 10.3 billion rupees to meet its financial commitments, according to a document seen by Bloomberg.
Kenya Airways to begin Passenger flight
Kenya Airways plans to resume passenger flights from June 8.
While domestic airlines in Kenya like Safarilink, Air Kenya and even Kenya Airways’s subsidiary Jambojet will remain on the ground until the movement restrictions in and out of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi counties remain in place, according to transport cabinet secretary James Macharia.
Kenya Airways has since the Covid-19 outbreak operated a series of repatriation flights using modified wide body passenger aircraft to uplift cargo.
The airline has yet to give an indication which regional and continental destinations will be first out of the starting blocks and when long haul operations might resume and information is expected later this week.
Kenya turns to virtual Safari campaign to showcase wildlife offering
Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife Najib Balala during the week officially launched a virtual Safari live stream campaign to showcase game safaris in some of the parks and reserves across the country.
The six-week expedition across the country will be part of the ongoing #MagicAwaits campaign led by the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) that is aimed at ensuring that the world and travelers remain connected to destination Kenya even during the current Covid-19 lock down period when there is restricted movement globally.
South Africa: TEDA initiates Tshwane webinars towards Post Covid-19 Tourism future
Following an update from the Minister of Tourism on the COVID-19 alert level 3 riskadjusted strategy tourism sector response measures and directions, the Tshwane Economic Development Agency (TEDA) has held its first webinar on 2 June 2020 with Tshwane tourism industry stakeholders to start mapping a way forward as the sector gradually opens.