October 2015 Regional News Roundup

Regional NewsIt is time again for the monthly roundup of the some of the more interesting travel and vacation-related news from East Africa!

Kenya: Number of UAE Tourists to Kenya Almost Doubles - KTB


Nairobi — The number of tourists visiting Kenya from the UAE rose to 35,000 between January and August 2015 compared to 18,000 visitors from the same period last year.

This is according to Kenya Tourism Board (KTB)'s Marketing Manager, Fatma Bashir, who spoke at the recently-concluded discussions between KTB and the Dubai Cooperation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing held Dubai.

East Africa’s fifth e-tourism conference hosted by Kenya


The e-tourism East Africa Conference aims to underline the impact of digital tools when promoting touristic destinations. This year’s edition will be hosted by Kenya.

East AfricaCredit: AfricanBrains.net

As 69% of travelers now begin the search for holiday destination online, the ongoing event will strongly focus on the importance of social media use for online bookings.

Twitter, Facebook, Google, and YouTube are now considered to be the most reliable tools when it comes to traveling.

Kenya: Fastjet Inches Closer to Flying in Kenya


Fastjet, the Tanzania-based low-cost carrier, has been granted an Air Service License (ASL) by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA), laying to ground a tussle for the airline's entry into Kenya.

The license clears the way for Fastjet to apply for the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) which, once received, will allow the airline to operate domestic flights within Kenya, putting it into direct competition with Fly540 and Kenya Airways' Jambojet.

Kenya: Book a bus trip and end up flying – only in Kenya



JambojetCredit: Jambojet

In a stroke of genius marketing and PR, Jambojet, the LCC subsidiary of Kenya Airways, made 11 bus passengers stare in disbelief, when instead of taking to the road to Kisumu they ended up at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, being checked in for a flight.

These lucky passengers, who turned up at the Tea Room bus stop in the trading district of Nairobi, found out after they boarded their bus for a supposed 6-7 hour journey to Kisumu, that they were being commandeered by Jambojet staff to the airport, where a 45 minute flight on board a Bombardier Q400NextGen awaited them - safe, comfortable, and no doubt a lot faster than having to travel by bus.

Kenya Sees Positive Tourism Growth from China in 2015


Nairobi — The introduction of direct flights to Kenya and the increased marketing of Nairobi as a tourist destination across China is a positive trend for the growth of Chinese tourists to the East Africa nation, tourism markets said recently.

Kenya Tourist Board (KTB) Managing Director, Muriithi Ndegwa, said Kenyan tour marketers based in China and local Chinese tour operators are receiving increased requests from Chinese tourists seeking to visit the world famous Masaai Mara National Park and other attraction sites in the East African nation.

Rwanda: RSwitch Partners With Telecoms to Boost Electronic Money Transfer Services


The Rwanda national payment switch (RSwitch) yesterday facilitated the first electronic -money interoperability between Airtel and Tigo telecommunication companies. This followed a recent deal reached between the two telecom companies to boost mobile money transfer services, last week. The new interoperability platform will facilitate and enable e-money transfers between Rwanda's mobile network operators.

Find out more about online & mobile payments in Rwanda here.

Rwanda:  Rwanda to Host World's First 'Drone Airport'


Rwanda Drone Airport

Credit: New Times

The government has moved to set up a regulatory framework for remotely piloted aircraft, popularly referred to as 'drones,' following investor interest to establish the world's first drone airport (drone port) in the country beginning next year to facilitate transport of urgent medical supplies and electronic parts to remote parts of the region using drones.

Investors have proposed constructing three drone ports, which will take about four years to complete.

Uganda: Tourism – Potential economic miracle cure




Credit: The Compas Blog

Recently published figures suggest that the contributions made by the tourism industry to the Ugandan GDP has risen from 2013 to 2014 by 0.8 trillion Uganda Shillings, reaching 6.3 trillion shillings overall.

This comes on the back of increased arrival numbers, which for 2014 reached 1.266 million visitors, up from the previous year when the country received 1.206 million visitors. [Note visitors are not equated with mainstream tourists].

In percentage terms, the sectoral contribution has reached just under 10 percent of the country’s GDP, making it increasingly important vis-a-vis investments and job creation. As technology picks up in Uganda, and travel industry operators receive a growing exposure online, this is industry is bound to grow.

Zambia: British grandfather raises £15,000 after tackling the Zambezi


Zambezi Rafting

Credit: Zambiatourism.com

A retired policeman named Trevor Broome, 62, from Plymouth, England recently spent 4 days on Zambia’s Zambezi River in order to raise £15,000 for charity. He camped beside his raft on the river bank every night as he, along with an international team, rafted from Victoria Falls and past the Batoka Gorge, totaling in a 126 kilometer journey maneuvering through the river’s mighty rapids.

Broome decided to participate in this charity drive when his eight year old granddaughter, Evie, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, two years ago. All proceeds will be donated to JDRF, a leading funder and supporter of type 1 diabetes research.



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