In Brief


Mövenpick to manage Zanzibar resort
IFA Hotels and Resorts and Kingdom Hotel Investments have appointed Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts, to manage its new upscale resort on Zanzibar, located off the East Coast of Africa, to be named the Mövenpick Resort and Spa-Zanzibar.

IFA Hotels and Resorts and Kingdom Hotel Investments are jointly developing the resort, which consists of 109 keys, made up of double rooms, twin rooms, single rooms and suites in Phase one, but on completion will have 220 keys.

Zambia targets one million
Zambia aims for one million tourists by 2010, according to media quoting Errol Hickey, chairman of Zambia National Tourist Board (ZNTB). The country posted arrivals of 42,000 visitors in the first quarter of 2006, a 12 per cent growth over the same period in 2005. To achieve that goal, the ZNTB plans an aggressive marketing campaign, mostly on the Chinese market. Chinese lucrative potential market is expected to make significant rise in tourist arrivals over the coming years if good marketing techniques are applied.

Libya to buy Airbus jets for $1.7bn
LIBYA has returned to the global aviation market on a significant scale in almost 30 years with a move to buy European jets on behalf of Afriqiyah Airways. It  is among the most significant non-oil deals since the lifting of UN sanctions in 2003 and Libya's first major plane order since 1978. The US has extended a diplomatic thaw by authorising aircraft exports to the country but the first hard business went to Europe’s Airbus, which said Afriqiyah plans to buy planes from its A320 series, including six A320s and three A319s, with options on a further five A319s. Afriqiyah also plans to buy three A330-200 planes and has an option to buy three more, Airbus said. The jets are potentially worth up to $1.9 billion at list prices but Airbus put a tag of $1.7 billion on the deal. Deliveries start next year.

Uganda wildlife body offers incentives
THE Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), the premier tourist body in the country has announced new tariffs. The key highlight of the tariffs targeting wildlife protected areas (National Parks and Wildlife Reserves), is a $10 incentive that has been included in the price of gorilla-tracking permits and given to members of the Association of Tour Operators of Uganda (AUTO). UWA traditionally revises tariffs every after two years. The gorilla tracking permit price has been increased from $360 to $375 for foreign tourists, and from $340 to $355 for East African residents. UWA's executive director Moses Mapesa said out of $375 that will be generated from the foreign tourists, a $10 commission will be awarded to permits bought by AUTO members.

Kenya Airways expands fleet
KENYA Airways has increased its fleet size in an effort to boost passenger and cargo capacity. The new Boeing 767-300 is expected to reduce travel times between Nairobi and the Far East. The company has said it will expand its fleet further with four Boeing 737-800 aircraft expected before the end of this financial year as part of its fleet modernisation programme. The airline is to launch flights to Brazzaville, Congo and Cotonou, Benin by September.

Africa’s share of e-tickets only 10pc
AFRICA’S share of e-tickets is 10 per cent of total world issue, according to an IATA study published in Paris. Most African airlines have integrated into their strategy the processing of e-tickets, said the study. The experts noted that several African countries will be able to achieve 100 per cent e-ticketing by 31 December 2007, the date IATA set for all world airlines. Some 35 millions passengers out of the 2.3 trillions who had travelled in 2003 around the world had passed through African airports. Johannesburg represents the highest platform, with 11 millions passengers per year, followed by Cairo (Egypt) and Casablanca, respectively, with eight and three million passengers each per year.

South Africa transit visas scrapped
PASSENGERS transiting South Africa will no longer be required to obtain transit visas. Nosiviwe Mapisa-Ngcakula, the home affairs minister, announced last month that the cabinet has approved the suspension of the transit visa for all countries with immediate effect. Transit visas are issued to people passing through South Africa en-route to another country. Introduced in December last year, the visas are cumbersome at best, taking a minimum of 10 days in some instances for them to be issued at a cost of ZR300 ($42.76).

Namibia launches tourism roadmap
Namibia has launched the Namibia Tourism Investor Roadmap that will address administration, employment and finance barriers before the country's full growth potential in the tourism sector can be realized. Although the country is reasonably competitive in the region, it needs to improve its regulatory environment. Tourism is ranked as the fourth pillar of Namibia's economy and according to the Vision 2030 blueprint, tourism has more potential as a sustainable industry than any other form of economic development in Namibia. WTTC estimates are that in 2006, the sector will account for N$6.2 million ($0.82 million) in revenue, representing 10.7 percent of the GDP.