This is a roundup of the some of the more interesting tourism, vacation and entertainment news from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zambia and Zanzibar.
Zanzibar: Pemba’s refurbished airport to boost tourism
Image Source: Daily News
Karume Airport on Pemba Island now boasts night landing lights, which are expected to boost tourism and assist in emergency medical evacuations. Fixing of the lights was part of the first phase activities. The second phase will involve extension of the runway from the current 1.5 kilometers to 2.5 kilometers.
“Renovation of the airport…will attract more tourists to visit the island,” President Ali Mohamed Shein said. “The new development further underlines government’s commitment to bring development to the people of Zanzibar by improving infrastructure,” he added.
The TZS 1.4bn (US$650,000) project was funded by the government in collaboration with development partners.
Kenya: The State of Kenya's Domestic Tourism
Nairobi — The last two years have seen the #TembeaKenya and #MagicalKenya hashtags frequently rock social media.
Initiated by the Kenya Tourism Board, the hashtags were started to encourage Kenyans to tour the country's famous destinations, and they seem to be working. Weekends, especially, have seen the hashtags trend, which means that Kenyans are touring Kenya more.
Marketing initiatives such as Tembea Kenya were launched to get more Kenyans to tour the beaches after they were left almost empty with some resorts and hotels attempting to close shop.
Just recently, the Ministry of Tourism announced the launch of a Sh30million SMS campaign in a bid to woo domestic travelers. In the campaign, couples and individuals stand to win prizes which include two nights and three days to various attractions.
Kenya: #Travel - Kenya Announces Incentives for Tourists
Speaking at the opening of Kenya's first luxury yachting marina (English Point Marina) in Mombasa recently, H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta unveiled an unprecedented tourism incentive package to attract world travelers back to Kenya:
- Visa fees for children under 16 will be scrapped indefinitely from 1st Feb 2016.
- VAT charges on National Park fees will be removed and KWS Park fees will be capped at $60 (down from $90) for the 2016/17 financial year.
- The Ksh1.2bn Charter Incentive Scheme continues until 30 June 2018. This waives landing fees at Mombasa and Malindi airports for all Charter Aircraft and provides at $30.00 (thirty dollar) rebate for all disembarking tourists.
- Expansion of JKIA and Malindi airports to handle greater numbers of visitors.
- Construction of the Port - Reitz Mombasa Road and the Dongo - Kundu Bypass that will allow tourists to travel to the South Coast (Diani) without using the ferry.
- Kenya Ferry Service to buy and operate two new ferries for the Likoni Channel crossing.
Uganda: Prime Minister Rugunda urges Uganda’s diplomats to promote trade, tourism
Image Source: New Vision
The Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, has urged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and diplomatic missions to play an increased role in trade and tourism promotion.
He also noted that Uganda’s strong regional and international profile place a huge responsibility on the Ministry, especially in handling issues that are steadily expanding in terms of reach and complexity.
Rwanda: Activities to Spice Up CHAN Unveiled
The biggest sports event ever to be held on Rwandan soil kicked off on January 16th
The CHAN football extravaganza saw 16 teams, including host Rwanda, battle it out on the field for three weeks to determine the winner of the ultimate prize.
As part of activities to make the event memorable, HOBE agency, in partnership with Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and Ministry of Sports and Culture, joined hands to ensure that visitors get a feel of what Rwanda has to offer in terms of its vibrant culture, attractions and entertainment.
Rwanda is the fourth country to host Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) after Cote d'Ivoire in 2009, Sudan in 2011 and South Africa 2014.
Tanzania: Tourism to Get Bigger Budget, Says Govt
Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Prof. Jumanne Maghembe, has announced that the government will increase the budget for tourism with the aim of devising ways of attracting more tourists.
The funding, he said, would empower the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) to design new products that would increase the number of tourists visiting the country.
Prof. Maghembe stressed that the aim of increasing the next budget is to enable the sector to double its contribution to the GDP from $2 billion (TZS 4.4 trillion) to $4 billion (TZS 8.8 trillion) in the next two years.
Zambia: Livingstone Targets 10, 000 local and Foreign Tourists for LICAF 2016
Image Source: Lusakatimes.com
Livingstone is aiming to attract 10,000 local and international tourists during the third Livingstone International Cultural and Arts Festival (LICAF) to be held in Zambia’s tourist capital in March this year, according to Zambia Tourism Agency (ZTA) managing director, Felix Chaila.
Mr. Chaila said the 2016 LICAF, which would be held during the Easter Holiday from March 25 to March 27, was expected to attract more domestic tourists. This year’s gathering is expected to attract 10 countries out of which five had already confirmed their participation. These include South Africa, Angola, Mozambique, Seychelles, Zimbabwe and Namibia.