Rwanda Becomes Arsenal’s Official Tourism Partner

Rwandan President, Paul Kagame   Rwanda has become the official tourism partner of English football club Arsenal FC, whose players will

Rwandan President, Paul Kagame

 

Rwanda has become the official tourism partner of English football club Arsenal FC, whose players will sport a “Visit Rwanda” logo on their sleeves, the club announced Wednesday.

The tiny country’s leader, President Paul Kagame, is an ardent Arsenal fan and often expresses his opinions about the club’s performances during summits and on social media.

The three-year deal with Arsenal is the latest bid by Kigali to draw tourists and investors to the country, burnishing its reputation as a safe, sought-after destination.

Ever since the devastating 1994 genocide in which 800,000 mainly Tutsis were killed, the country has been praised for a swift economic turnaround.

“The country has been transformed in recent years and Arsenal’s huge following will bring Rwanda into people’s minds in a new and dynamic way,” Arsenal’s chief commercial officer, Vinai Venkatesham, said in a statement.

“The Arsenal shirt is seen 35 million times a day around the world and we are one of the most viewed teams around the world.”

As the club’s first-ever sleeve partner, the “Visit Rwanda” logo will appear on the shirt of all first team, under-23 and Arsenal Women’s players from the new season this August, the club has announced.

Rwanda Development Board CEO, Clare Akamanzi, said that the sponsorship deal will highlight the country’s tourism offers, but would not be drawn on how much it had cost.

“While we cannot disclose the amount, the partnership cost is part of our marketing budget to promote Rwanda and attract investors and tourists,” she said.

Rwanda is one of only three countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, where one can see mountain gorillas.

The country has in recent years re-introduced lions and rhino to its Akagera National Park — which had gone extinct due to poor conservation — to become a Big Five safari destination.

“In addition, we are telling investors to Visit Rwanda and discover why we are the second fastest growing economy in Africa, growing at 7.3 percent per annum,” said Akamanzi.

She added that Arsenal players from the men’s and women’s teams will visit Rwandaand club coaches will host coaching camps to support the development of football in the country.

Rwanda received 1.3 million visitor arrivals in 2017 and tourism is Rwanda‘s largest foreign exchange earner, government statistics show.

The country has decided to focus on high-end low-impact tourism, and last year doubled the price of a gorilla permit to $1,500 (1,300 euros).

Kagame is revered in some quarters for stopping Rwanda‘s genocide and engineering what admirers see as an economic miracle, but rights groups accuse him of crushing all opposition and ruling through fear.

The 60-year-old won a third-term in office last year after the constitution was changed to allow him to potentially stay in power for another two decades.

AFP

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DR Congo Park Suspends Tourism Activities After Kidnapping, Murder

In this file photograph taken on November 28, 2008, park rangers enter the thick forest as they set out looking

In this file photograph taken on November 28, 2008, park rangers enter the thick forest as they set out looking for a group of gorillas while conducting a gorilla population census on the slopes of Mount Mikeno, in the Virunga National Park. PHOTO: ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP

 

The management of DR Congo’s Virunga Park announced on Tuesday that it has temporarily halted tourist activities after the murder of a guard and the kidnapping of two British holidaymakers.

“The Virunga National Park has decided to suspend tourist visits until Monday, June 4 because of the security incident that occurred on Friday, May 11, 2018,” a statement said.

On Friday a Congolese park guard was killed in an attack before two British tourists — Robert Jesty and Bethan Davies — and their Congolese driver were kidnapped.

The three were freed after two days. The UK pair were unharmed, while the driver was injured.

Joel Wengamulay, the spokesman for the park, said: “We are strengthening our security measures before resuming tourism activities on June 4, 2018.”

One of the most important conservation sites in the world, Virunga Park covers 7,800 square kilometres (3,000 miles) along a swathe of eastern DR Congo abutting the border with Uganda and Rwanda. It also covers most of Lake Edward and the Ishasha river valley.

Established in 1925, Virunga is home to about a quarter of the world’s population of critically endangered mountain gorillas, as well as to eastern lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, okapis, lions, elephants and hippos.

But it is located in DR Congo’s North Kivu province, where armed groups are fighting for control of territorial and natural resources, and poaching is a major threat.

Eight eco-guards at Virunga Park have died in the line of duty since the beginning of the year.

AFP

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Bob Marley’s Granddaughter Is The Latest #AirbnbWhileBlack Victim

#BlackWhileAirBnBing and #AirbnbWhileBlack still remains an issue, even after the company vowed to address the concerns of many Airbnb renters

airbnb

#BlackWhileAirBnBing and #AirbnbWhileBlack still remains an issue, even after the company vowed to address the concerns of many Airbnb renters and owners who have been discriminated against.

Bob Marley’s granddaughter says she is going to sue the California Police after they mistook her for an Airbnb burglar. Donisha Prendergast and two other friends–who are also Black–say they were racially profiled had actually rented the Airbnb  in Rialto, California, they were accused of burglarizing. Apparently a neighbor, who through the three were breaking into the home, called the police.

Fyffe-Marshall wrote in a Facebook post. “They informed us that there was also a helicopter tracking us. They locked down the neighborhood and had us standing in the street.”

Prendergast, a 33-year-old filmmaker, Kells Fyffe-Marshall, and Komi-Oluwa Olafimihan were packing their luggage when a neighbor called the police, reportedly saying she saw “three Black people stealing stuff.” “The neighbor had also reportedly waved at the group but they didn’t acknowledge her back, which contributed to her calling the police. Both Prendergast and Fyffe-Marshall posted a video of the incident on their social media,” Okay Player reported.

On top of this, the owner of the Airbnb blamed her three guests for the mishap. “If the kids had simply smiled at (my neighbor) and waved back and acknowledged her and said, ‘We’re just Airbnb guests checking out,’ none of this would have ever happened,” she said. “But instead, they were rude, unkind, not polite.”

The three women have served the Rialto Police Department with notice of a pending lawsuit. “They have a right not to smile,” said attorney Jasmine Rand at a news conference in New York. “We don’t want to live in an America where Black people are forced to smile at white people to preserve their lives.”

Airbnb hasn’t gotten a handle of the discrimination countless of Black travelers have complained about. The company hired former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to help it craft an anti-discrimination policy in 2016.

“Airbnb is committed to building a community where everyone can belong, no matter who they are or what they look like. I’m eager to help them craft policies that will be the model for companies who share Airbnb’s commitment to diversity and inclusion,” he said in a statement.

Airbnb also released a 32-page report in 2016 on how it planned to fight discrimination.

Airbnb said that what happened to the guests in Rialto was “unconscionable.” Laura W. Murphy, a senior adviser, and Janaye Ingram, the head of national partnerships, sent a letter to Rialto’s police chief and mayor to request a meeting.

“We are deeply disturbed by the public reports suggesting that the police department’s response was dictated by the guests’ race,” the two wrote. “As African-American women who have seen the inequitable treatment of people of color, we know that these kinds of incidents are often rooted in implicit and explicit bias. They are hurtful, discriminatory, traumatic and must end.”

 

 

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Can Tourism Influence Nigeria’s International Image

One thing that Nigeria as a country has struggled with for decades is her international image. With due regard to

One thing that Nigeria as a country has struggled with for decades is her international image.

With due regard to the many factors that may be affecting our reputation-which needs to be addressed, tourism seems to be the ultimate solution to improve it. Hence, concerted efforts should be invested in by the government to boost and manage our international reputation.

The impact of a not very good image

The media is an agenda setter. It gives us the subjects and things to discuss and talk about. If the content of the media is negative, it rubs off on Nigeria’s international image. The impact is quick and spontaneous because very few people will brave the storm to visit Nigeria for whatever purpose due to our not very good image.

Definitely, it is not the fault of the media. It is what is happening in the country that they are reporting. Hence, every Nigerian from the top to the bottom must be involved in the reputation building of the country by what we say and do.

Flipping the coin

Almost all the country of the world have a reputation problem. It is noteworthy to say that a not too lofty reputation is not exclusive to Nigeria or Africa. However, these countries whose reputation is ‘fantastic’ have found a way to tiptoe these negative image and reverse the situation.

You see Nigerians rushing to Dubai. The fact is, Dubai is not better than Nigeria. Nigeria has lush green vegetation, mind-blowing landscapes, and awesome tourist destinations but we do not sell ourselves. Dubai is in our faces so much that every Nigerian wants to go to Dubai.

We watch international stations like CNN, BBC, and Aljazeera and we watch countries tapping tourism to sell themselves. They show their pristine destinations and what they have to offer tourism-wise to visitors and of course, these encourage people to visit. They also invested heavily in their tourist attractions.

If we can do same, leisure and business travellers will be attracted to the country and a business like Jumia Travel will be able to make money off them through booking of their flights, packages, and hotels. At the same time, if we are hospitable, showcase our culture and take them to check out our destinations, they will return home with their minds reformed. They will pass the message to others that Nigeria is not what either the local or international media portrays it to be.

We have so much to do

Although tourism is a viable tool to invigorate or amplify our image, there are so many other things that we need to work on if we want tourism to transform it. From changing what Nigerians think and say about the country to the actions of government officials across the board and revamping tourism destination, they all combine for tourism to boost our international image.

Adeniyi Ogunfowoke is a PR associate at Jumia Travels.

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Cape Town Loses Airbnb Africa Market Share As Other Destinations Gain Traction

There are more Airbnb properties in Cape Town than any other African city. Photo – HACT Top tourist destination Cape

Airbnb market share

Airbnb market share
There are more Airbnb properties in Cape Town than any other African city. Photo – HACT

Top tourist destination Cape Town is losing Airbnb Africa market share as property owners in other cities on the continent increase the number of vacation rentals that they are listing on the app.

The mobile app-based hospitality booking site is gaining traction in other parts of Africa, with growth in property numbers across the continent accounting for Cape Town’s drop in market share, according to ITNewsAfrica.

The African continent has embraced Airbnb as a concept, and there are now around 100,000 properties available to users for booking across Africa.

South Africa was the first African country to join the Airbnb platform in 2010. It remains the most popular destination for guest arrivals on Airbnb, experiencing a 60 percent increase in inbound guests since a year ago.

Two years ago Cape Town accounted for one in every four African Airbnb properties, or 25 percent of properties on the continent. But Cape Town’s African market share has fallen to 17 percent, according to IOL. Cape Town remains the most popular city on the continent for Airbnb listings, with 17,000 properties listed.

Between September 2016 and September 2017, Cape Town saw 288,100 Airbnb guest arrivals, with hosts in the city earning an average of $3,443 per year from their property. Guests booked for 32 nights on average.

 

Cape Town Airbnb market share and African growth

More than a third of all 2017 Airbnb visitors to the Western Cape region were South Africans vacationing within  their own country. U.S. visitors were second highest with 54,600 guest arrivals closely followed by Great Britain with 54,400 guest arrivals, according to Businesstech.

Cape Town boasts the third-highest guest arrivals of any city in the southern hemisphere, behind only Sydney and Melbourne, Australia.

The fact that Cape Town is losing market share in Africa is a positive thing for Airbnb. It means that other territories on the continent are growing to compete with Cape Town.

Airbnb visits in Lagos, Nigeria, saw a 188 percent increase in 2017. El Gouna, Egypt had a 215 percent growth in guest arrivals in 2017. Accra, Ghana saw an increase of 169 percent, putting Cape Town under pressure as Africa’s leading Airbnb city, ITNewsAfrica reports.

In October 2017, Airbnb made a commitment to invest $1 million in community-led tourism projects across the African continent over the course of the next few years, according to ITWeb.

Airbnb is set to host an Africa Travel Summit in Cape Town this year — an indication of the company’s appreciation for Cape Town as the market leader on the continent. More than 80 thought leaders and other travel stakeholders from across the continent are expected to attend.

The post appeared first on Moguldom.

Airbnb Shows Steady Growth Across Africa With Egypt Leading The Way

Airbnb continues to show steady growth of guest arrivals across Africa. Photo – NPR Airbnb has experienced steady growth in

Airbnb continues to show steady growth of guest arrivals across Africa. Photo - NPR

steady growth - Airbnb
Airbnb continues to show steady growth of guest arrivals across Africa. Photo – NPR

Airbnb has experienced steady growth in user numbers across the African continent as more visitors and tourists use the mobile platform to book places to stay in African destinations.

Airbnb, the mobile app-based hospitality booking site which allows people to make their homes or spare rooms available to visiting guests for a fee, recently released data to prove the growth of their company in terms of use in Africa, according to ITNewsAfrica.

Egypt experienced the most significant growth in guest arrivals by country, with a 134 percent increase, followed by 84 percent in Reunion, 69 percent in Kenya and 60 percent in South Africa.

Airbnb now has more than 100,000 listings across Africa, with the Egyptian regions of Hurghada and El Gouna growing by 220 and 215 percent respectively, while surprisingly Bloemfontein in South Africa saw growth of 190 percent, followed by Lagos, Nigeria with a 188 percent increase in guest arrivals.

Airbnb’s success story in Africa is down to steady growth, with this latest data representing a sixth straight year of strong growth on the platform from an African perspective.

Hosts in Africa welcomed 1.2 million guests to the continent between September 2016 and Sept.1 2017, while earning a combined $139 million in host income, according to Businesstech.

Hosts on Airbnb in South Africa have been welcoming guests into their homes since 2010, as the first African country to be included on the Airbnb platform.

Steady growth and investment

In October last year Airbnb made a commitment to invest $1 million in community-led tourism projects across the African continent over the course of the next few years, according to ITWeb.

The investment from the hospitality booking site will be used to enable a number of initiatives, including an expanded host-training program within South African townships, enabling hosts to use the Airbnb technology and training them in hospitality.

The company is one of a number of tech giants investing in Africa, and with yet another year of strong growth on the continent, Airbnb is being rewarded for its focus on growing its African market.

Their investment will also aim to promote sustainable and inclusive tourism through technology, with Airbnb set to host an Africa Travel Summit in Cape Town this year, with over 80 thought leaders and other travel stakeholders from across the continent descending on the Mother City.

While Airbnb has been growing at a steady rate, some countries have pushed back due to the damage that has been done to their regulated tourism.

Moroccan officials announced plans to tax Airbnb from 2019 in an effort to balance the playing field with regards to the over 3,800 hotels and numerous travel agencies in the country, according to Bloomberg.

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How One Globetrotter Wants To Be The First Black Woman To Travel To Every Country

To say Jessica Nabongo likes to travel would be a major understatement. She’s trying to be the first Black woman

travel

To say Jessica Nabongo likes to travel would be a major understatement. She’s trying to be the first Black woman to visit every country–and she’s well on her way. The former UN employee turned travel blogger isn’t looking so much to get her name in the record books as she wants to promote world travel by women and people of color.

After working as a pharmaceutical executive in Detroit, she realized there had to be more to life. So she hit the road. First, she taught English in Japan, then attended grad school at the London School of Economics. Later she took a job at the United Nations, which led her to Benin and Italy. She even founded a boutique travel agency,  Global Jet Black. But still, the travel itch didn’t go away.

So she decided to travel to the 195 UN member countries and observing states, which includes the Vatican and Palestine. “She has 89 to go, before her self-imposed deadline of May 15, 2019, which is also her 35th birthday,” Forbes reported.

 

Traveling the world doesn’t come cheap.Nabongo will need around $133,500 to visit the next 89 countries on her list, and to raise these funds she aims to land sponsorships from brands. And, she has also created a gofundme page.

But along the way, Nabongo, who was born in Detroit to Ugandan parents and holds two passports, found that traveling while Black still has some disadvantages, especially when traveling on an African passport.

“A lot of people don’t think of Africans as a consumer, they just think charity or baby,” Nabongo told Forbes. “I want immigration to see, ‘hey, Ugandans are tourists [too].'”

She added: “I want to show that Black people travel. I’m representing America and also Uganda.”

Travel while Black can come with baggage. Just think about hashtags as #AirbnbWhileBlack and #TravelingWhileBlack

Black travelers have to face extra scrutiny, from hotels, airlines, and especially the police. “Traffic stops remain an issue. In a multiyear study of more than 60 million traffic stops across 20 states, Stanford University’s Open Policing Project found that black drivers are not only more likely to be stopped than white drivers, but that black and Hispanic motorists are also more likely to be ticketed and have their cars searched for less cause than whites,” the Washington Post reported.

During the Jim Crow-era there was a travel guide written just for Black travelers. The Negro Motorist Green Book was put together in 1936 by Black, New York postal worker Victor Hugo Green. It was a guide for Black travelers to restaurants, gas stations, hotels, pharmacies and other establishments that welcomed Blacks. It also listed places to steer clear off.

Many Black travelers feel the Greek Book is still needed.

Evita Robinson, founder of an online community for travelers called Nomadnesstv.com, told the Washington Post, “Now more than ever, we need each other,” said Robinson, who is black. “We need each other for insights, we need each other for advice on the ground in a community like mine.”

 

 

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Tourism Sector Contributed N800 Billion To Lagos GDP In 2017

Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode revealed at the Lagos Tourism Summit with the theme “Destination Lagos: Towards A Sustainable Tourism

Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode revealed at the Lagos Tourism Summit with the theme “Destination Lagos: Towards A Sustainable Tourism Driven Economy” that in 2017 the tourism sector had contributed about N800 billion ($2.2 billion) to the Lagos Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2017.

He further disclosed that the infrastructure and resources being deployed in the sector, the figure is expected to double or triple in the next five years.

He also stated that the enormous resources being deployed in physical and social infrastructure across the state would begin to crystallise by December into mega structures that would support tourism and market the state as a smart destination.

The governor said the quest to transform the state to a tourism hub made the state to plead for the control of wasting away federal assets like the National Arts Theatre, National Museum and National Stadium and possibly declare the intention to have the Murtala Muhammed International Airport concessioned to the state.

According to him, the tourism master plan is focused on six key sectors: culture and heritage; film, art and entertainment; business tourism; nature and adventure; medical and wellness and then beach and leisure.

Meanwhile, in his keynote address, former President of Ghana, John Mahama, suggested that partnership between Lagos and Accra is capable of making the cities of Lagos in Nigeria and Accra in Ghana choice destinations for tourism in West Africa.

Mahama stated that the partnership among members of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is important because the prosperity or instability of one will rub on other countries within the sub-region.

However, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who reiterated the Federal Government’s desire to make culture and tourism a new oil resource for Nigeria, said the police had been directed to set up an anti-piracy unit in each state of the federation.

In another development, Lagos State Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-governmental Relations, Mr. Oluseye Oladejo, has said that between May 2017 and April 2018, Lagos State Fire Services and other safety responders of the state government had salvaged property worth N76.9 billion from destruction, with N12.82 billion worth of property lost to fire incidents.

Oladejo, who spoke at the ongoing ministerial press briefing to commemorate the third anniversary of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, noted that despite the sizeable number of incidents recorded, the state government was able to respond promptly to emergencies thereby saving lives and property.

The commissioner, who disclosed that there are plans to remove all abandoned vehicles on the roads to complement emergency recovery efforts and prevent mishaps on streets and major highways in the state, said the move was aimed at further addressing traffic decongestion and averting security challenges associated with abandoned vehicles.

 

Lagos state to inaugurate first-ever tourism calendar

Lagos state Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr Steve Ayorinde, has announced the state’s plan to inaugurate its first ever

Lagos state Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr Steve Ayorinde, has announced the state’s plan to inaugurate its first ever tourism calendar. Ayorinde made this announcement in his address at the 2018 Tourism Innovation and Development Advantage (TIDA) held in Lagos on Thursday, February 15th 2018.

Perhaps, this is another strategic move by the commissioner to increase the turnover revenue this year. It would be recalled that last year, a statement from the commissioner revealed that Lagos state generated 50 billion naira from tourism –a very impressive milestone from the Ayorinde-led commission.

Ayorinde, as quoted by The Guardian, disclosed that the state’s plan on the tourism calendar is to showcase various tourism activities planned for the year, on a roll. According to him, the calendar is a complete novel idea which will cater for updates around each and every event on the timeline.  

“This is the first of its kind; the calendar will show plans, venues and dates of festivals, carnivals and conferences. It will also provide guides on how tourists, visitors and the public can enjoy such events,” the commissioner said.

Ayorinde, in the address, further explained that there was serious need for the country to encourage and harness the promising potentials in tourism, as this can serve as another revenue rig. The commissioner emphasized, according to the conference report, that the idea behind the calendar was borne out of the need to encourage the development of the sector.

He also described Nigeria as “a home that can flourish with tourism and entertainment,” criticizing why the country is failing to take responsibility for the business aspect” which according to him –by standards includes provision of necessary facilities in tourist locations.

“There is a lot we can do if we get a lot of mappings and communications right,” he said. “Nigeria is a home of tourism and entertainment, but we are not ready for the business aspect of it, which includes availability of hotels in tourist locations.”

“This is a harsh reality.”

Also, speaking on the relegation of the sector, the Ogun state commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr Muyiwa Oladipo, who was also in attendance, reportedly noted that the current state of tourism in the country is poor –however, reassuring Nigerians, that so much is in the pipeline to grow the sector in years ahead. 

“Tourism is the future of the Nigerian economy and if better harnessed, it will generate more revenue,” he said.

The TIDA conference, which is an initiative of Skyview Communications, is a leading marketing agency in Lagos with a focus on branding, advertising and marketing consultancy. The agency brings stakeholders, young entrepreneurs and representatives of government together to discuss the opportunities that exist in the Nigerian tourism industry and how to leverage on this to transform the economy of the country. 

The 2018 edition of the conference hinged its theme on Tourism and its prospects in a Nigerian landscape under the spotlight: “Impact of Tourism Development on The Nigerian Economy” –attracting a number of dignitaries comprising of tourism stakeholders, art enthusiasts and public icons.

By Ridwan Ola’ Adelaja.

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Tanzania’s New Hi-Tech Passport Should Increase Trade

Tanzania’s move to roll out a high tech passport is a huge step towards boosting trade both at the regional

passport

Tanzania’s move to roll out a high tech passport is a huge step towards boosting trade both at the regional and international levels.

President John Magufuli officially commissioned the new travel document.

The business community has welcomed the new generation passports for their multiple benefits, including easing travel for Tanzanians. More important, the move is part of an ambitious regional plan to ease travel for East African residents.

From allAfrica.

Tanzania now joins Burundi, Kenya and Rwanda in rolling out the electronic passport. Last year, the issuance of the East African Community (EAC) electronic passport was pushed January this year, to give Tanzania and Uganda more time to prepare for the rollout.

Read more at allAfrica.

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