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Year: 2014

Safari business in east Africa and south Africa has dried up, plunging an estimated 20% to 70% since the Ebola virus hit west Africa. Operators have seen cancellations galore even though the part of Africa hit by Ebola is nowhere near safari country.

“My business is down 50%,” says William Cowger, a Troy photographer who runs photo safaris to Tanzania, traveling there 28 times since 2005. “People are nervous. A lot of Americans don’t really recognize the geography. People think Africa is a country, not a continent.”

Don’t be one of those people.

While the confused and the scaredy-cats wimp out, now’s the best time to book a safari.

3,400 miles away

First, take a look at a map. Arusha, Tanzania, where many safaris and treks to Mt. Kilimanjaro begin, is 3,400 miles from Monrovia, Liberia, scene of the Ebola outbreak.

That is the same distance as Anchorage to Atlanta, except without a single road between them. There is no Ebola in east Africa.

(Similarly, it’s 3,300 miles from Liberia to Nairobi, Kenya, and 3,500 miles to Johannesburg, South Africa, two other safari starting points.)

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Article Source: DetroitFreePress

Africa is in the midst of great change. The quickly developing continent I seeing travel soar, with RevPAR up 4.3 percent this year. But it’s not the type of travel many think of, which seems to be a rather traditional and myopic point of view regarding the continent. Most of the incredible rise in African travel seems to be between countries rather than folks coming from another region to visit.

And that bodes well for the future of this region, which has 54 recognized countries and another 10 territories. Yet most of the world considers this vast area a single market and to do that belies the truth about the amazing opportunities availing themselves to hotel investors.

Even with that Ebola scare, Africa is on a roll. And that shouldn’t be surprising either. It’s like lumping a crisis happening in Northern California to with Florida, which is 2,500 miles away. People are not cancelling their trips any time soon to Disney World, for example, because something is happening on the other side of the continent. But too many myopic people just lump it all together. And taking that myopic approach to understanding this continent could translate to leaving opportunity on the table.

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Article Source: Hotel Interactive

Part 3: Africa and Global Tourism

How are things changing recently?

One of the things that have happened with the players is they are jostling for position. Since the World Cup has come and gone (in November 2013, with qualifying rounds) we have seen consolidation in the marketplace. The local guys are taking over and changing to their brands.

What is your present day customer mix?

Our customer is like any other destination and we divide it into the business and leisure tourist. The business tourist we have we have seen since 1994. One of the windfalls of being a democracy is seeing more tourists come to visit and see the Miracle. The Curious Tourist wanted to know what does [South Africa] look like as a democracy.

We have moved from less than one million tourists to about four million international tourists coming from off continent. That is still small, but for leisure travelers it is difficult because this is long haul destination and there are lots of choices around the world that are closer to their homes. To get that tourist here they have to really save and want to come.
However, the total tourist has changed from less than two million in 1994 to more than 11 million visiting South Africa every year from other African countries. Kenya is a big source of ex pat tourists because there is a UN office of Africa based there.

What is your top tourist?

Business tourism is the number one draw. The UK is a major source because the old political ties means a lot of business is connected. So that is a large supply base followed by Germany, which is along the lines of the UK. Then France and then USA as primary for business and leisure.

We also see many guests from Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya as well as members of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) community, which is a major source of business for us.

They are growing exponentially, except Russia, which is lagging because of air connectivity. One of the major driving forces is direct air to those markets. We have direct flights to Angola [which is northwest of South Africa], for example, who can connect to Russia from there.

What we have found is we are finding the numbers of tourists are easier to get that way. Russia has a large number of potential tourists but connectivity is an issue.

What are your other challenges you have to develop the leisure tourist base?

We don’t have Hollywood doing the marketing for you like in the United States.
It is natural though for leisure travelers to follow business travelers. Before the World Cup the numbers of people coming to Africa from the USA was negligible. But the USA was one of top countries sending spectators and supporters ever since. That’s because more Americans returned home and told people ‘You have to go and visit.’

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Article Source: EIN News Desk

MTN has emerged as the Most Admired and the Most Valuable Brand in Africa, with a value of $5.4 billion.

This was announced at the official launch of the 2014 Brand Africa 100® ranking of the most admired and most valuable brands in Sub-Saharan Africa, which held at the Nairobi Securities Exchange on Monday.

MTN is the only African brand whose value surpassed a billion dollars, according to the ranking.

“While it is nice to again be acknowledged as Africa’s most valuable brand, it is even nicer to be ranked the most admired African brand. It means that MTN doesn’t just have a spot in our customers’ pocket book, but in their hearts and minds as well,” ITNewsAfrica quoted Jennifer Forrester, Executive for Marketing, MTN Group, as saying.

South Africa was ranked as the most branding nation, with the country accounting for 11 of the 23 African companies on the Brand Africa 100®. The country also holds 91 percent of the total value of the top African brands. Kenya and Nigeria followed at 5 percent and 3 percent respectively.

Non-African brands continue to dominate, holding 77 out of the 100 ranking spots. Apple topped the list at $105 billion, to replace Samsung as the most valuable non-African brand, while Coca Cola retained its position as the most admired non-African brand in Africa. Overall, Coca Cola was ranked as the most admired brand in Africa.

“While non-African brands understandably dominate African brands in value because of their sheer volumes, historical admiration and investment, that African brands remain competitive among the most admired brands bodes well for the future of African brands,” says Thebe Ikalafeng, founder and chairman of Brand Africa and chairman of Brand Finance Africa.

He however noted that the demand for indigenous brands or non-African brands that are built on African insights will grow, as Africans become wealthier and grow their brand building capacity.

The 2014 Brand Africa 100® is based on a survey among a representative sample of eight countries, covering the major sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) regions to establish the base top 100 most admired brands. It was developed by Brand Africa.

Article Source: Ventures Africa

Different concepts of maritime hotels have been floated around the world for decades. Some have ended up dead in the water, but others seem to flourish, indicating that a lucrative niche can be carved, hospitality experts said.

Existing floating hotel accommodations anchored on the water have their place in the market, but they are far and few in between and usually either converted or boutique.

A moveable hybrid yacht-hotel concept has emerged at the dawn of the millennium with enough success to encourage developer Sunborn Hotels to expand its existing fleet of three to more than 10 within five years.

“The financial crisis put a stop to expansion, but today is the right time to look for new partners, private and government, to invest together in what up to now has been a family business drawing on some bank finance,” said Hans Niemi, executive director at Sunborn Hotels.

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Article Source: Hotel News Now