News

28 February 2017

New Atta Members this month

It gives us a great pleasure to announce new members who joined us in February:   Tim Best Direct – United Kingdom - www.timbestdirect.co.uk Mama Tours – Italy - www.mamatours.it JoyCo' – Italy - www.enjoythetourism.com The Ocean SPA Lodge – Kenya - www.saruniocean.com Five Forty Aviation (re-joined) – Kenya - www.fly540.com HTMS – Italy - www.htmsinternational.com Exceptional Travel – United Kingdom - www.exceptional-travel.com Tamà…

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27 February 2017

Tourism On Transfer of Tourism Grading Support Programme

Tourism establishments can save up to 90% on the cost of grading from February 2017, which has been made possible through the integration of the Tourism Grading Support Programme under the broader Tourism Incentive Programme of the Department of Tourism into the systems and processes of the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA). This will alleviate some of the cost burden on small enterprises and ensure a single point for enterprises to access all the benefits of being star graded. T…

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27 February 2017

Category One status at last for Kenya’s largest airport

Following years of failed audits and months of delay after the last audit finally put Jomo Kenyatta International Airport into the pass section, have news emerged overnight that Jomo Kenyatta International Airport has at last been cleared by the Federal Aviation Administration for the coveted Category 1 status. While it may take some time before actual direct flights will be launched, most likely by Kenya Airways and their SkyTeam alliance partner Delta, is the legal foundation now taken care …

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24 February 2017

Zambia Tourism Agency set to start nationwide grading and classification

The Zambia Tourism Agency has announced that it will soon start grading all hotels operating in Zambia. Chief Executive Officer Mr. Felix Chaila told journalists during a news briefing in Lusaka that the agency will devise standards in partnership with the Zambia Bureau of Standards to rate hotels. Mr Chaila said the exercise is important especially that hotels, lodges and resorts operating in Zambia have not been graded for a long time. He said the grading system will also offer an opportunit…

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24 February 2017

South African Budget Speech focus on tourism promotion bodes well for inbound tourism

The Board of Airline Representatives South Africa (BARSA) says that Minister Pravin Gordhan's focus on tourism promotion in the annual Budget Speech bodes well for inbound tourism which has seen a 13% increase in tourist arrivals over the past year. According to Statistics South Africa, a total of 10,044,163 international tourist arrivals were recorded in South Africa in 2016, representing an additional 1.1 million international tourists in 2016 vs 2015. The United Kingdom remained the le…

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23 February 2017

Mozambique Government announces 30-day tourist visas now available at borders for all visitors

Accommodation providers and tour operators throughout Mozambique are hailing the government’s announcement that all visitors to Mozambique are now eligible for visas at borders equipped with the equipment necessary to issue biometric visas. 26 border posts have been issuing these visas since 2005 but there has been considerable confusion regarding which country’s nationals were eligible with many Mozambican Embassies telling travellers that must get them before travelling to Mozamb…

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23 February 2017

Is South Africa's significant tourism growth sustainable?

Although South Africa saw a 12.8% increase in the number of overnight tourists recorded during 2016 compared to 2015, further analysis of data indicates that there is still significant work to be done to ensure long-term, sustainable and successful tourism growth, according to Lee-Anne Bac, Director: Advisory Services at Grant Thornton South Africa. This following Statistics South Africa's release of Tourism and Migration findings for December 2016, on Monday 20 February 2017. “The …

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22 February 2017

Atta Financial Update

Executive summary for the week of 14-Feb-17 to 21-Feb-17 (week 8) Djibouti - the pene-exclave superpower paradise. Anyone familiar with the board game 'Risk' will understand the importance of foothold. The quiet stability of Djibouti within the volatile Horn of Africa has made the country of just 875,000 people a hub for the world’s superpowers. Camp Lemmonier, America’s only permanent military base in Afr…

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22 February 2017

Air Seychelles touches down for first time in Durban

The Indian Ocean island of Seychelles has the potential to become a strategic springboard for KwaZulu-Natal, particularly for Durban as a premier east-coast commercial and logistics hub of three million people, when Air Seychelles touches down for the first time later next month, writes Marlan Padayachy, a South Africa journalist, writes. He continues: Seychelles’ foray into this geo-political region earmarked for massive economic overhaul and growth is likely to push back the frontiers …

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21 February 2017

Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda launch tourism portal

Three countries can now jointly market their tourism products online with the launch of the first joint East African destination portal, visiteastafrica.org. Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) CEO Betty Radier joined top tourism officials from Uganda and Rwanda in unveiling the platform at the Pearl of Africa Trade Expo held in Uganda at the weekend, a KTB statement issued on Sunday said. “The portal will be a shared platform for tourism trade operators to place their multi-country packages promo…

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21 February 2017

SANParks announces tourism investment summit

An inaugural tourism investment summit for national parks, to be hosted by South African National Parks (SANParks), will be held in Sandton, Johannesburg, on 27 March, SANParks announceed on Saturday. The inaugural summit organised by SANParks would strive to present new investment opportunities, attract developers and financiers, and profile national parks in South Africa as viable investment hubs, SANParks CEO Fundisile Mketeni said. “National parks offer potential investors an unparal…

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20 February 2017

The socio-economic case for tourism in Kruger Lowveld/Ehlanzeni

The CEO of South African Tourism, Sisa Ntshona, stated in an article in the Beeld newspaper on 4 December 2016, that tourism hasn't realised a fraction of its potential in South Africa because the government still doesn't believe in it. He said that government’s prevailing view of tourism is that it is still regarded as a largely white industry, affecting and largely benefiting white people; that the case for tourism has not been made in South Africa and that most people still p…

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20 February 2017

New immigration office to ease Mara-Serengeti crossings

Plans are under way for the Kenyan government to establish a customs and immigration office at the Sand River Gate on its border with Tanzania to ease the movement of tourists. Kenya’s Tourism Cabinet Secretary, Najib Balala, said the construction of the immigration office at a cost of $1 million would start soon to serve tourists travelling between the Maasai Mara National Reserve and Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. Balala added that the immigration office would clear tourists from…

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17 February 2017

Tourism Business Council unpacks SONA highlights

A more dynamic, competitive and inclusive economy, as envisaged by the 2017 State of the Nation Adress (SONA), could benefit the tourism and travel industry according to the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA). However, this will, especially in the case of the travel and tourism industry, require a greater level of collaboration between all the social partners to boost economic growth beyond the projected 1.3%, more effort to bolster trade investment and a real commitment to addre…

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17 February 2017

Tourism corporation, UN agency in drive for eco-friendly hotels

The Tourism Finance Corporation (TFC) has entered a partnership with a United Nations agency to teach local hoteliers how to build and maintain eco-friendly facilities. UN-Habitat and TFC will run workshops on how to build energy and resource efficient facilities in a bid to help the sector take advantage of a growing ecotourism niche business while helping mitigate the effects of climate change. “Investors in the tourism sector must factor environmental and social considerations into ev…

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16 February 2017

Google street view adds new #AfriTravel desitinations

Google Street View has added new destinations to its roster, allowing travelers to delve into some of Africa’s remarkable landmarks and sites in Uganda, Senegal, and Ghana from the comfort of their homes. The new addition also takes viewers through natural and cultural sites in each destination, including sites like the UNESO World Heritage village of Nzulezo, which sits over a glistening lake and is made completely out of stilts and platforms. Making its first foray into Uganda's ca…

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16 February 2017

Tropical Cyclone Dineo

A powerful cyclone is set to hit the southern coast of Mozambique in the early hours of Thursday 16 February bringing flooding, storm serges and high winds meteorologists have warned. Read More As such the Foreign and Commonwealth have updated the travel advice for Mozambique, Swaziland and South Africa. Mozambique travel advice 14-02-2017 15:38 PM GMT Latest update: Summary – Tropical Cyclone Dineo is forecast to bring hazardous sea and weather conditions to parts of Mozambique from aro…

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16 February 2017

Fastjet suspends Vic Falls-Johannesburg flights, seeks lighter aircraft to contain costs

Fastjet Zimbabwe has pulled out of the Victoria Falls-Johannesburg route citing high operational costs. The airline is now exploring the possibility of replacing the Airbus A319 aircraft that it has been operating on the route with a smaller jetliner, according to chief executive officer (CEO), Nico Bezuidenhout, who issued a comprehensive statement on the Pan African airline’s Zimbabwean operations on Friday. The report, which has been obtained by The Source, covers the 2016 fiscal year…

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15 February 2017

Media Request: Uganda

Freelance travel writer, Petra Shepherd will be writing a piece on Uganda for Selling Travel If you have any news relating to Uganda including: New Itineraries New Activities Tours Hotels or Hotel Refurbishments Future plans Please email Petra directly at shepherdpetra@hotmail.com

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15 February 2017

Atta Financial Update

Executive summary for the week of 07-Feb-17 to 14-Feb-17 (week 7) If history is anything to go by, the Trump policy towards Africa will not be clear for several months at least. While it is apparent that the president-elect has had very little contact with the continent, the same was true for Presidents Clinton and Bush. Similarly, President Obama—who later emerged as a champion of African-U.S. private sector investment—did not de…

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15 February 2017

Zimbabwe Tourism set to train local exhibitors ahead of Sanganai

The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority will be conducting exhibitor training workshops on exhibitor participation ahead of the Sanganai/Hlanganani 2017 World Tourism Expo in Harare, Bulawayo, Victoria Falls and Nyanga at the end of February 2017. The training programmes are meant to assist exhibitors on how they can maximise value out of their business exchange and interactions with international buyers during Sanganai/Hlanganani. The training which will cover, marketing (exhibition planning, exhibiti…

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14 February 2017

Legal SA: The CPA: Non-Refundable Deposits & Cancellation Fees (Part 7)

This is the 7th insert of 8 dealing with the captioned matter – a topic that is regularly entertained by the CPA Commissioner of late CPA PROVISIONS RE NON-REFUNDABLE DEPOSITS & CANCELLATION FEES – SECTION 48: UNFAIR TERMS & SECTION 49: NOTICE RE T&C SECTION 48 UNFAIR, UNREASONABLE OR UNJUST CONTRACT TERMS ·                     This section not only addresses the c…

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14 February 2017

New South African visa application centres to make life easier for Aucklanders

New Zealanders needing a visa to visit South Africa could face a quicker, less costly process with the opening of two new visa application centres - provided they live in Auckland or Wellington. Changes effected on January 16 mean all Kiwis now need a three-month holiday visa to visit South Africa, ending a 20-year visa-free travel arrangement between the two countries. While visas initially had to be obtained in person at the South African High Commission in Wellington, the two new centres in…

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14 February 2017

The Daily Telegraph's best 50 safari holidays

Members will be interested to read Brian Jackman’s selection of the 50 best safari holidays in last Saturday’s  Daily Telegraph of which 48 are in Africa. Atta is proud that our members are represented in 75% of his best safari holidays in  Africa. The full article can be read here

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13 February 2017

Zuma pegs tourism as key job driver for year ahead

South African President Jacob Zuma delivered his 10th State of the Nation Address (SONA), with chaotic scenes of opposition parties being physically removed by security guards underlining the many issues the country has to overcome in order to turn around its economy - See News24’s full coverage of the dramatic events here. In 2016 SA faced a number of threats of rating downgrades, with Zuma’s SONA aiming to convince the nation that the economy will improve in 2017. The South Afric…

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13 February 2017

Rwanda set to host major aviation event again

The Aviation Africa 2017 conference, organized by Times Aerospace Ltd, and hosted by the Rwandan government will be held in Kigali, Rwanda from 22nd to 23rd of February at Kigali Convention Center and Radisson Blu. RwandAir and the Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority have sponsored the conference in partnership with the Rwandan Ministry of Infrastructure, the Rwanda Development Board and Akagera Aviation. This is the second time this two-day conference is being held. The first one was held in May …

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10 February 2017

South African Rand: Still below Fair-Value, Should Rise in 2017

The South African Rand is looking poised for further gains in 2017 as the latest analysis from one of the world's largest foreign exchange dealers confirms the currency is undervalued and should catch up to its fair value. Analysts at Deutsche Bank’s argues that after being one of the most vulnerable emerging market currencies to external shocks - such as higher interest rates in the United States - the Rand has become more resilient. According to analyst Gautam Kalani, the factors c…

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10 February 2017

Ethiopian Airlines increases Johannesburg flights

Ethiopian Airlines will fly double daily from Johannesburg from March 28. Currently the airline operates 11 flights a week from OR Tambo. The current schedule has daily midday flights and four late-night flights departing from Johannesburg on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. With the new schedule, Ethiopian Airlines will add three more late-night flights departing Johannesburg on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Flight ET 848 will depart Johannesburg at 23h50 and arrive in Addis Aba…

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09 February 2017

Turkish Airlines, Air Namibia join forces to open Africa travel

African air travel is on the up and up, and a newly announced codeshare agreement between Turkish Airlines and Air Namibia serves as a reminder of the growing potential on the continent. The agreement, signed on Monday, 6 February, will come into effect from 1 March 2017. It covers routes between Turkey and Namibia, and is "set to expand the travel opportunities for the passengers of the two airlines," Turkish Airlines says. Under the terms of the agreement, Air Namibia and Turkish A…

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09 February 2017

SA strengthens tourism ties with Islamic republic of Iran

The US's loss might be South Africa's gain. As immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries in the Middle East and Africa have been blocked by the US's new President Donald Trump, South African Tourism is working to increase travel between our country and the Islamic republic of Iran in the Persian Gulf, one of the US banned Muslim countries. South Africa's Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom is currently in Iran on a working visit at the invitation of his counterpart in Ir…

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08 February 2017

Warning! The need to advise customers regarding safety

From Atta Legal Advisor - Alan Bowen As UK members are no doubt aware, there is currently a seven week inquest into the deaths of 30 UK tourists in Tunisia in 2015. It has become clear, if it wasn’t already, that lawyers representing the families affected are seeking to impose liability upon the tour operator, (all the passengers were travelling with TUI who also had links to the management of the hotel) and allege the deaths, although caused by a terrorist, were directly or indirectly t…

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08 February 2017

Pearl of Africa Expo ready

Now in its third edition, The Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo (POATE) has become one of the most anticipated tourism event that brings together all tourism stakeholders and service providers with in the tourism value chain.  “POATE is a must-attend for industry players who want to better understand tourism and key industry issues that can fundamentally impact their business and that can help position them more competitively in their own market,” said Safie Ali, UTB’s market…

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08 February 2017

Atta Financial Update

Executive summary for the week of 31-Jan-17 to 07-Feb-17 (week 6) Cape Town: SA's e-commerce hub. Although South Africa may attribute a small proportion of total retail sales to e-commerce, the industry is growing quickly and Cape Town can increasingly lay claim to being the e-commerce hub of the country. Factors that underpinned Cape Town’s attractiveness to e-commerce companies included an appealing lifestyle; an extensive network of supporting companies and institutions, including…

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07 February 2017

Emirates deploys wildlife-branded A380 double-decker on Johannesburg route

United Arab Emirates' flag carrier on Wednesday, 1 February, reintroduced the Airbus A380 Superjumbo on to its Dubai-Johannesburg route, to meet growing passenger demand. The double-decker Emirates passenger plane was last operated on the  Johannesburg route for a few months in 2011/2012, but due to a lack of booked seats, it was decided to downgrade the size of the airline to a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. “This time," Emirates senior vice president for commercial operations…

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07 February 2017

Cars, tea and tourism: Germany's relationship with East Africa

Political leaders from Germany and East Africa are set to attend the second German-African Economic Summit in Nairobi this week. But how friendly or cordial are Berlin's ties with Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania? East Africa, Germany and their political leaders Relations between Germany and East Africa are generally good. West Germany was the first country to recognize Kenya after it gained independence from Britain. German President Joachim Gauck visited Tanzania in 2015. Germany and Tanzania …

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06 February 2017

The time is now for remote Africa to take advantage of global travel trends

The global perception of Africa is changing, and this change in perception is led by destinations previously not thought of or avoided altogether. Countries like the Congo, Rwanda, and Malawi is making an impression for all the right reasons. The number of international visitors travelling to these historically avoided or forgotten destinations in Africa has seen a steady increase since 2000. Malawi, for instance, has had their tourism numbers increase “by an average of 12 percent a year…

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06 February 2017

Africa air travel on the rise, showing massive 7.4% growth

As the African Union puts a unified content higher up on the agenda with the aim for an African Union passport, the continent's airlines have reported their best performance since 2012, with passenger demand up 7.4%. This is according to the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) full-year global passenger traffic results for 2016 - which also showed a particularly strong performance was reported for December with an 8.8% rise in demand outstripping 6.6% capacity growth. IATA…

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06 February 2017

British Airways/Atta Partnership

  British Airways have renewed their partnership with Atta for another two years from February 1st, 2017. CEO Nigel Vere Nicoll commented “BA flies direct two of the main African hubs Johannesburg and Nairobi giving direct access to East and Southern Africa from the UK. Atta represents the buyers and suppliers of African tourism and this partnership strengthens the relationship between our national carriers and our members in UK and Africa”

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03 February 2017

Travel Megatrends 2017: The Fifties Are the New Target Demographic for Travel Brands

As with any demographic group, the Fifties are as much about a mindset as an age group. In this case, they’re the consumer group that has the technological savvy of the millennials, with the realities (read: employment, children in or out of the nest, and divorce) of the Baby Boomer generation. These 52 or 59-year-olds seem much “younger” than their parents were at this stage because of medical advances, job hopping, and starting families later in life. A maturity with lots o…

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03 February 2017

Kenya’s 2017 Events Calendar - Nine Great Reasons to Visit Kenya This Year

From cultural festivals and wildlife spectacles to bush marathons and camel races, Kenya’s colourful 2017 events calendar provides plenty of reasons to visit Kenya this year… 1. Lake Turkana Festival: 4th to 6th May 2017 With direct flights into nearby Lodwar, Kenya’s northern Turkana region is opening up to tourism and for visitors to the region the annual Lake Turkana Cultural Festival is an event not to be missed! The festival was proposed by the local community of Loiyan…

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03 February 2017

Magical Kenya Travel Expo (MKTE)

MKTE - Magical Kenya Travel Expo  The 7th addition of MKTE will be held at KICC Nairobi on the 3rd to the 5th of October 2017, one week earlier in the calendar than last year. Atta is delighted that our road show partners On Show Solutions of South Africa have been appointed to manage the exhibition. Atta will be exhibiting and look forward to working closely with the new event managers. MKTE 2017  

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02 February 2017

Malawian Airlines Schedule New Routes

Malawian Airlines in Northern summer 2017 season plans to introduce 3 new destinations to its network, including Harare, Nairobi and Zanzibar. Planned operation as follow. eff 29MAR17 Lilongwe – Nairobi 4 weekly ET050 LLW1745 – 2100NBO 737 x127 ET051 NBO0615 – 0730LLW 737 x123 eff 05APR17 Lilongwe – Dar es Salaam Increase from 3 to 4 weekly, and extends to Zanzibar Operational schedule for Lilongwe – Dar es Salaam will also change to late-afternoon from Lilongwe, …

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02 February 2017

Atta Financial Update

Executive summary for the week of 24-Jan-17 to 31-Jan-17 (week 5) Development efforts in Africa have historically been the role of foreign aid agencies, local and international NGOs and publicly-funded multilateral finance institutions. African governmental spending has also played a central role. Private-sector funded economic development, while existent, has been much less present and visible. Over the past decade and a half, the growing Africa-focused private equity community has had a uniq…

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02 February 2017

Joint statement from Kenya Tourism Board & Kenya Tourism Federation - Update on Laikipia

UPDATE ON LAIKIPIA Parts of Kenya are currently suffering from drought, causing pastoralist groups to make difficult decisions on where to graze.  In many cases, grazing assistance is being provided by large-scale ranches and Conservancies. In some pockets of Laikipia, desperate pastoralists have driven their livestock onto private land.  As a consequence there have been some incidents of violence. These incidents have not been directly targeted at tourists. The Kenya Tourism Board (…

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01 February 2017

Kenya Wildlife Service makes all entry fees 'non cash'

The Kenya Wildlife Service over the weekend changed their payment policy and will, with immediate effect, only permit payment with a VISA Card, MPesa, a mobile money service or by bank deposit, the latter however only possible at two specific branches of two banks, Kenya Commercial Bank and Standard Chartered Bank. How this will work out for tourists who find themselves with time at hand and may wish to visit the Nairobi National Park or the Nairobi Safari Walk at the spur of the moment remain…

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01 February 2017

South Africa sees growth in wedding tourism thanks to big fat Indian weddings

South Africa is witnessing a rise in wedding tourism involving overseas Indian families. It recorded a 27% increase in the number of Indian tourists last year thanks to weddings. Nearly 81,500 Indian nationals visited South Africa till October 2016, of which around 5,000 were from Chennai. Briefing reporters at a press conference here on Monday, Hanneli Slabber, country head, South African Tourism - India, said there is a huge upsurge from the south, particularly, for smaller marriages. "…

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01 February 2017

FCO Travel Advice: Kenya

Kenya travel advice 31-01-2017 16:40 PM GMT Latest update: Safety and security section (Local travel) - following an extended period of drought, there’s been an increase in armed incursions on to private farms and wildlife conservation areas in the county of Laikipia in central Kenya, which some foreign visitors have been caught up in 

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