The past few months have seen some exciting travel news make its way to East Africa. And, as usual, we're going to bring you the best of it right here. There's always something good in East Africa tourism news to boast about - and this time we've got news from the ground all the way up into the friendly skies. Read on to learn all the good news that's happening right now.
Kenya – A Winner in More Ways Than One
It seems like just a few short weeks ago, we were telling you about the 20th World Travel Awards Africa Gala Ceremony. In a not-surprising twist, Kenya picked up more than ten awards at the event. The Kenya Tourism Board once again won the title of Africa's Best Tourism board, while Kenya Airways won the award for Africa's best airline. Maasai Mara National Reserve was awarded with as Africa's leading national park. Phyllis Kandie, cabinet secretary for East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism, said "Africa is our next frontier and this is the time for us as a continent to leverage on each other's strengths, synergize on our varied expertise so as to grow our tourism sector to greater heights." We couldn't agree more. Congratulations to all winners and nominees.
African Aircraft Shortages – Look to Growth in The Skies
Looking up into the African sky, you might not notice it, but there's a looming lack of aircraft in the continent. According to the Airbus Global Market Forecast, Africa will require 970 new passenger aircraft by 2032. The forecast prediction includes the need for 729 single-aisle aircraft and 213 double-aisle models. The need for additional aircraft isn't necessarily a bad thing since the need is being caused by economic growth, rising affordability of air travel, urbanisation and the growing trend of migration within Africa. Airbus predicts an average annual air passenger growth rate of 5.7 percent - an entire percentage point above the aircraft giant's global prediction of 4.7 percent.
Kenya Airways’ Fleet Growth is Good for Africa
Keeping with the theme of the friendly skies, there's more good news going on - once again in Kenya. The popular airline Kenya Airways has taken delivery of its first Boeing 777-300ER. Kenya Airways has been looking for ways to expand its network to include long-range markets and new routes. The 777 is the world's most successful twin-engine, long-haul aircraft. The ER (Extended Range) model is configured with 400 seats and can fly up to 7,825 nautical miles. The next ten years for Kenya Airways includes taking on two more 777-300ERs and an increase of it's fleet size from 44 to 107 by 2021. The airline's current long-haul aircraft is all-Boeing and includes four 777-200ERs and six 767-300ERs. Delivery of the first aircraft will include special cargo: 10,000lbs of supplies from the Alaskan Sudan Medical Project (ASMP) destined for South Sudan.
Hyatt Hotels Expand in East Africa
On the ground, there's still more good news. Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced that it plans to open two new hotels in Tanzania. Park Hyatt Zanzibar will offer 72 guest rooms and will be built on a UNESCO heritage site in the Stone Town area of Zanzibar City. Guests of the hotel will have unrestricted beachfront access and is scheduled to be completed in January 2014. The Hyatt Regency Arusha will be a 144-room hotel on a 29-acre site in central Arusha. It's scheduled to open sometime in 2016. Strong growth in business and leisure travel to Tanzania has supported the new construction and more announcements like this from other big names in the hotel industry are sure to follow.
There’s always plenty going on the ground and in the skies when it comes to the world of East Africa tourism. As always, we’ll keep on top of the best of it for you.
Eran Feinstein is the founder of Direct Pay Online. Direct Pay Online provides global e-commerce and online payments solutions for the travel and related industries He is a leading authority in the fields of e-commerce, travel and payments, having acquired extensive experience from various parts of the world.