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africa tourism

Seychelles Getting Ready for Upcoming COP Meeting

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Seychelles Getting Ready for Upcoming COP Meeting

Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles, September 17, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / With the environment high now on everyone’s agenda and as climate change is making itself felt in the four corners of the globe the Seychelles is gearing itself for sensitizing the world on safeguarding what the islands have been blessed with in a hope that everyone follows suit. A full series of books all based on what Seychelles has as unique treasures in the area of environment has been issued by Steen N. Hansen, a Dutch National living in Seychelles and he is being assisted by his Seychellois wife Marie France is pushing for recognition of their long and difficult task.

Steen G. Hansen is a Danish national who was born in 1951. It was in 2015 that he moved to Seychelles and got married a year after to a Seychellois, and was granted a permanent residency in the Republic of Seychelles in 2019.

Hansen holds a master in biology and a bachelor in geography and in geology as well (all from the university of Copenhagen) and in German language and culture (from the University of Odense, Denmark). Prior to the arrival in Seychelles, Mr. Hansen served as a consultant biologist and as a senior lecturer at college level. He was particularly interested in environmental conservation, and has written a number of discussion papers, views and feature articles about nature, nature management and even of genetic manipulated foods items.

In the Seychelles he continued his passion for nature and nature management by writing the first illustrated and comprehensive Flora of the Seychelles from 2016 (725 pages) plus a number of smaller and easy-to-read books featuring nature treasures in the Seychelles of which can be mentioned ‘Striking Plants of Aride Island’ (2016); ‘Vallée de Mai – a Primeval Palm Forest, a Nature Reserve and a UNESCO Heritage Site’ (2017); ‘Striking Nature of Curieuse Island (2017); ‘The National Botanical Garden of Seychelles’ (2018); ‘The Tea Factory, its Nature Trail and Morne Blanc’ (2018; ‘Le Jardin du Roi Spice Garden’ (2018); ‘The National Biodiversity Centre of Seychelles’ (2019) and latest ‘Le Ravin de Fond Ferdinand – a Special Reserve on Praslin’ (2021), and where he focuses on nature management and conservation efforts next to presenting a selection of plants and animals.

Mr. Hansen’s dedication for nature and nature management is fueled by the fact that the global environment is under pressure like never before. Scaring three plant or animal species are becoming extinct every hour round the clock, for which reason ‘we are on the edge to be the first species to be able to document our own eradication if no action is taken now’ (Dr. Christiana Pasca Palmer, UN Executive for Biodiversity). And the only way out, following Mr. Hansen, is to sensitize the public and thus the grass roots as much as possible by getting to know about our precious world and its critical state by self-examination, and to which Mr. Hansen’s work – with his own words – is just a small and humble contribution.

COP will bring many influential personalities together to discuss what needs to be done and Hansen is saying start by knowing what exists and then protect what has been seen to exist.

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

Host Cities Make Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit a Truly African Spectacle

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Host Cities Make Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit a Truly African Spectacle - TRAVELINDEXJohannesburg, South Africa, September 14, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / have been confirmed as host cities for the inaugural Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit, taking place from 19-21 September 2021. The Sandton Convention Centre, the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre and the Marriot Lagos Ikeja are the venues that will host the event’s numerous panel discussions, workshops and TED talks.

Centred on the theme of Re-awakening Africa, the Summit calls on all tourism players throughout the continent and all our global tourism friends and partners to reflect, reimagine and reignite the sector in a world still ravaged by COVID-19.

Discover Africa Tourism online at – Connecting Africa to the World

The pandemic might have dented the sector in the last 19 months, but it presents tourism with an opportunity to create something new. In the case of the Summit, South African Tourism has organised a hybrid event, meaning it is held both physically and virtually and can be accessed from anywhere in the world.

The Summit includes an eclectic mix of topics that ranges from how to ease travel across borders on the continent to packaging African travel in a post-COVID world, all with the overarching message that Africa is open for business.

Chief Convention Bureau Officer at South African Tourism, Ms Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, says the Summit presents Africa with the opportunity to create a platform that will demonstrate the continent’s tenacity in rebuilding the tourism sector through knowledge and partnerships. “We must remember that African tourism belongs to all 54 nations on the continent. It means tourism stakeholders from each of those countries can come together to find ways of making travel to our continent easier and more inviting to global tourists.”

Africa’s tourism industry faces numerous challenges in its bid to rebuild. The United Nation’s World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) says the tourism industry is unlikely to return to pre-COVID levels until 2023 or later. Additionally, the World Travel and Tourism Council reported that Africa’s tourism sector experienced an exponential decrease of US$83-billion (R1.2-trillion) and a loss of 7.2-million jobs in 2020.

Despite these setbacks, Kotze-Nhlapo remains upbeat about the sector’s future. “Governments across Africa, as well as the African Union, are ensuring a steady rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations. In South Africa, government is implementing the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan that seeks to restore the tourism economy and recover lost jobs. These are signs that Africa is gearing up for tourism. The Summit will go a long way in showcasing to the world Africa’s readiness to welcome tourists within the continent and abroad.”

Design your own Summit
A novel feature of this hybrid Summit is that you can personalise the sessions you wish to attend in any of the three host cities. Delegates outside of Africa can design their schedules according to their time zone so that they can also be a part of the Summit and benefit from all it has to offer.

Delegates can choose to attend the Summit physically or virtually. However, physical attendance is limited and not guaranteed. All venues will adhere to strict COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Discover Africa Tourism online at – Connecting Africa to the World

You can select sessions using the Business Matchmaking tool. It will also match you with the right delegates for one-on-one sessions based on the information you have provided in your profile, thus creating a great opportunity to connect and share knowledge with fellow industry stakeholders.

Register now for Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit and be a part of a new, reawakened Africa.

About South African Tourism
South African Tourism is the national tourism agency responsible for the marketing of South Africa as a preferred tourist destination. It is headed up by Acting Chief Executive Officer Ms Sthembiso Dlamini.

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First published at – Global Travel News

Tanzania Royal Tour Documentary Program with President Hassan

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Tanzania Royal Tour Documentary Program with President Hassan

Arusha, Tanzania, September 9, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan has launched a tourism documentary program that will give exposure to Tanzania in the global tourism market, targeting to attract more visitors and investments in the country. The just-launched “Royal Tour” documentary program, a production of Peter Greenberg Worldwide, will be recorded in different places in Tanzania and is initiated by Willem Kuipers, founder of Kili Villa, and travel editor Peter Greenberg with support of Hon. Dr. Damas D. Ndumbaro, Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism.

On the tour, the President will join visitors herself then take part to record the tour for global dispatch and circulation. The recording of the documentary that is meant to promote Tanzania internationally started on August 28, 2021 in Zanzibar, where the President is currently on an official visit.

“The President will show visitors different tourism, investments, arts, and cultural attractions available in Tanzania,” reads part of the statement issued by the President’s Office of Tanzania. The Royal Tour program is intended to strengthen relationships, and to inspire tourism and travel cooperation between Tanzania, other nations, and organizations.

The Royal Tour, the iconic and precedent-setting series of global television specials, has been produced for the past two decades, as Heads of States become the ultimate tour guides, showing their country to travel guru Peter Greenberg. Royal Tour programs offer a unique platform to showcase a country and its people and to provide a better – and credible – understanding of its culture and people through the eyes of its leader. Past Royal Tours have been made with the head of states of Jordan, New Zealand, Jamaica, Peru, Mexico, Israel, Ecuador, Rwanda, and Poland.

The production crew includes 40 specialists – including helicopter and drone teams, dive and mountain repelling teams, motorcycle, bicycle, and kayak teams, to name a few. The program utilizes top-notch cinematography equipment filming over a full week, with a large post-production editing team in Los Angeles.

The Royal Tour programs air across the United States in prime time on public television (PBS), and have multiple repeat broadcasts over four to ten years beyond the initial broadcast, reaching millions of Americans. The program is then distributed internationally airing across Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia/Pacific and The Middle East. The content is also distributed via numerous digital platforms, ranging from Amazon Prime to YouTube.

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First published at – Global Travel News

UNWTO Joins Investors, Tourism Leaders at Cabo Verde Forum

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UNWTO Joins Investors, Tourism Leaders at Cabo Verde Forum

Praia, Cabo Verde, September 7, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / UNWTO has celebrated the second edition of the Global Tourism Investment Forum. Joining Ministers of Tourism for the event in Cabo Verde were business leaders, entrepreneurs and investors, with a special focus on innovation and sustainable recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the crisis causing levels of Foreign Direct Investment in tourism to plummet 73%, the Forum provided a platform for diverse stakeholders to support and promote investments in the sector. Panel discussions, led by leading experts from across the tourism and finance sectors, focused on “innovation and investment”. Alongside providing an analysis of the investment climate in African tourism, including in the case of Cabo Verde, the discussions also addressed potential measures for promoting sustainable investments, digitalization and innovations, the future of mobility and sustainable transport, as well as using targeted investments to drive economic recovery, job creation and resilience post COVID-19.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

Unlocking tourism’s potential

UNWTO is committed to promoting and building investments in tourism to unlock the sector’s potential to drive recovery and provide opportunity for all

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “Well targeted investments can stimulate entrepreneurship, create jobs and drive the green transformation of our tourism, in Africa and worldwide. UNWTO is committed to promoting and building investments in tourism to unlock the sector’s potential to drive recovery and provide opportunity for all.”

The event was opened by José Ulisses de Pina Correia e Silva, Primer Minister Cabo Verde, and featured the participation of Tourism Ministers from across Africa as well as from Spain and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as well as of investment bodies, multilateral funds, African regional economic communities, and from the private sector, including travel tech startups. Highlighting the international nature of the Forum, more than ten investors came from Europe to Cabo Verde to explore investment opportunities focused on innovation and infrastructure. They were joined by investors from South Africa, and the USA, with all participants benefitting from unique networking opportunities on the tourism island of Sal. Investors included RIU Group, Plug & Play, Aguaduna, CMC XXI, QEV Tech Electromobility Holdings, TUI Care Foundation, ALESA Group, Grupo Piñero and Fundacion Metropoli.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

Capacity building and branding

Alongside the presentations and panel discussions, the Forum also featured capacity building workshops focused on investments and innovation, alongside an overview of UNWTO’s Brand Africa initiative aimed at helping destinations across the continent harness the power of digital marketing to reach new audiences and attract visitors.

The Little Africa Maio Project was also presented as an effective example of directed foreign investment in tourism with the potential to deliver a wide range of economic, social and ecological benefits.

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First published at – Global Travel News

Africa Tourism Leaders Identify Investments as Key to Sustainable Recovery

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Africa Tourism Leaders Identify Investments as Key to Sustainable Recovery

Praia, Cabo Verde, September 7, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The African Members of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) have met in Cabo Verde to strengthen their cooperation and advance plans for recovery and sustainable growth.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

The 64th meeting of the UNWTO Regional Commission for Africa (CAF) saw 23 countries represented on the island of Sal, with 21 Ministers of Tourism joining five Ambassadors for the high-level event. Opening the Commission meeting, the President of Cabo Verde Jorge Carlos Fonseca offered a warm welcome to UNWTO’s leadership and to all delegates. The President was joined by Cabo Verde’s Minister of Tourism and Transport, Carlos Jorge Duarte Santos, and Prime Minister Dr. Ulisses Correia e Silva in reaffirming support of the highest political level for tourism and recognition of the sector as a driver of recovery and sustainable development.

The continent is united in its determination to use the power of tourism to drive development and opportunity for all.

Chaired by Christine Kaseba Sata, Ambassador of Zambia to Spain and Permanent Representative to UNWTO, delegates addressed the biggest challenges standing in the way of the sector’s safe restart across the continent. Special emphasis was placed on the importance of speeding up vaccine rollouts across the continent, as well as addressing security issues that continue to have an impact on how global travellers perceive Africa as a safe tourism destination. Also on the agenda was the current level of connectivity between destinations, with improved air links the harmonization of travel protocols identified as an effective means for boosting regional tourism.

Tourism’s restart ‘essential’

Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili welcomed delegates to the Commission meeting, providing an overview of UNWTO’s work during the ongoing crisis and how this is driven by the stated priorities of its African Member States. He said. “The continent is united in its determination to use the power of tourism to drive development and opportunity for all. And with coordination and targeted investments, African tourism can finally fulfil its unique potential.”

Rebuilding trust in travel

In Cabo Verde, UNWTO Members were brought up-to-date on the development of the International Code for the Protection of Tourists, a landmark code aimed at helping restore confidence in travel. Members were also presented with an overview of the UNWTO General Programme of Work & Budget for the Period 2022-2023. Additionally, signalling a shared determination to keep moving forward even in challenging times, Members also held elections for key positions within UNWTO decision-making bodies ahead of the 24th General Assembly.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

Building capacity

Running in parallel with the Commission meeting, UNWTO hosted capacity building workshops on innovation, digital marketing and investment These workshops were held ahead of the second edition of the UNWTO Global Tourism Investment Forum, opened by Prime Minister Dr. Ulisses Correia e Silva and featuring the participation of investors from Spain, Germany, Switzerland and the USA as well as public and private sector leaders from across Africa. Backing up the workshop on marketing, UNWTO also launched its new Brand Africa publication. Produced with key African Tourism Partners, the publication aims at helping destinations use effective branding to diversify and attract visitors.

Also in Cabo Verde, tourism leader celebrated the signing and approval of the UNWTO Declaration on the Future of Mobility and Sustainable Transportation, a commitment aimed at the better understanding of how investments can help make the sector greener while also encouraging greater cooperation between tourism authorities and transport providers. Concluding the Regional Commission meeting, UNWTO signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Cabo Verde. The aim of the MoU is to enhance cooperation between UNWTO and the Ministry of Tourism to strengthen the country’s branding, boost tourism education initiatives, and support research into the socio-economic impact of the sustainable development of tourism across Cabo Verde.

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First published at – Global Travel News

Africa Travel and Tourism Summit to Promote Intra-Africa Tourism

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Africa Travel and Tourism Summit to Promote Intra-Africa Tourism - - TRAVELINDEXJohannesburg, South Africa, August 23, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Department of Tourism and South African Tourism will host the first ever Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit, which is set to take place from 19th to 21st September 2021, coinciding with Tourism Month in South Africa.

Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit aims to be a catalyst for engagement on the current state of tourism on the African continent. Taking into account challenges facing the global tourism industry, Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit will, through various engagement sessions, gather the tourism sector to share insights and ideas to explore collaborative efforts that can lead to recovery.

With an array of issues currently facing the sector, Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit aims to attract African community delegates, African Tourism Ministers, industry Associations, Tourism Boards, Destination Marketing Organisations as well as various partners across the tourism value chain.

Some of the major topics for discussion at the Summit include aviation, innovation, technology, the health and safety protocols currently in place, as well as the continent’s positioning post the COVID-19 pandemic for the African continent.

SA Tourism’s Acting CEO, Sthembiso Dlamini, highlighted that the African continent is resilient and that this Summit is important as it will contribute towards picking up the momentum within the sector, as it works towards an inclusive recovery.

“The COVID-19 pandemic may have dealt tourism, both business and leisure tourism, a heavy blow, but we are now in the recovery phase, and a summit of this nature is critical in ensuring that we are aligned as a continent whilst reigniting the tourism industry,” says Dlamini.

The Summit will be hosted in a hybrid format, over a two-day period. Delegates will have the option of attending virtually, or at identified venues across South Africa, or at three additional locations on the rest of the African continent, pending COVID-19 lockdown regulations. All venues will have COVID-19 health and safety protocols in place.

“We have opted for the hybrid format in order for us, as a continent, to lead the way in demonstrating how tourism can be enjoyed safely whilst adhering to health protocols. It is important that we are diligent in reigniting the sector, as it contributes significantly to the African economy,” adds Dlamini.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Tourism as well as South African Tourism were not able to host the MICE-focused Meetings Africa and leisure-focused Africa’s Travel Indaba 2021 editions which usually take place in February and May annually.
While Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit should not be seen as a replacement, it does provide a platform to showcase the African continent’s leisure tourism offerings and business event capabilities.

“In the absence of Africa’s Travel Indaba in 2020 and 2021, Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit is an innovative initiative for promoting intra-Africa tourism and also for sharing insights into the “state of readiness” for South Africa and the rest Africa to welcome the world during and post-COVID-19 pandemic,” says Kwakye Donkor, Chief Executive Officer, Africa Tourism Partners.

“I commend South African Tourism and the South African National Convention Bureau, for once again, showing commitment and leadership in tourism promotion across the continent. It will be so great to meet traditional and emerging trade partners again during the Summit. Well done to Team South Africa Tourism! We look forward to a very fruitful Summit,” concluded Donkor.

The SA Tourism Acting CEO also emphasised that Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit will act as a think tank for the continent, creating a platform for Africa’s tourism leaders to create solutions for Africa and contribute to global solutions for the industry.

Committed to ongoing transformation and development of the South African tourism industry, Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit will feature a dedicated day to empower SMMEs in the sector on 19 September 2021, as a precursor to the two-day conference which takes place on 20th and 21st September 2021.

Open to delegates from all countries, this Summit is an invitation to the world to join in as the African continent not only gears itself for recovery, but also to share in the African story.

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

RwandAir and Qatar Airways Join Forces

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RwandAir and Qatar Airways Join Forces

Kigali, Rwanda, August 19, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / RwandAir customers will be able to explore even more of the world following its new partnership with Qatar Airways via their hubs at Kigali and Doha.

As part of the strategic partnership, the extensive interline agreement will give customers access to the networks of both airlines, providing a seamless travel experience and enhanced customer service the frequent flyers programmes.

Customers can pick and choose from over 160 destinations in the combined networks of both airlines, which are perfectly connected via their home main hubs.

This latest cooperation comes hot on the heels of the airlines’ recent loyalty partnerships announcement, giving RwandAir Dream Miles and Qatar Airways Privilege Club loyalty members access to each other’s destinations with the opportunity to ‘earn and burn’ points across their reciprocal route networks.

Yvonne Makolo, RwandAir CEO, said: “We’re really excited to be opening up more of the world to our customers through the new interline agreement with Qatar Airways.

“Delivering excellent customer experience is key for us and we know that any traveler flying with Qatar Airways or RwandAir, as part of the agreement, will continue to receive the same unrivalled level of service they’re used to from both airlines.”

His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al-Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, said: “This partnership cements our commitment to giving travellers the widest choice of destinations, while providing a seamless, high quality travel experience, which is the goal of both Qatar Airways and RwandAir.

“Africa is a hugely important market for us and this latest partnership will help support the recovery of international air travel and offer unrivalled connectivity to and from a number of new African destinations.”

RwandAir operates services throughout Africa and to long-haul destinations including London Heathrow, from its Kigali based hub.

The airline’s customers will also be able to connect through Hamad International Airport (HIA) in Doha, to access Qatar Airways’ destinations on every continent, from Paris to Washington, Delhi to Hong Kong and many more.

With more frequencies being added to key hubs, Qatar Airways offers unrivalled connectivity to passengers, making it easy for them to change their travel dates or destination if required.

Qatar Airways serves Kigali from Doha five times per week via Entebbe, utilizing its sustainable and fuel efficient Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft. The airline’s customers can transit via Kigali to a diverse range of African destinations including Bujumbura, Brazzaville and Libreville.

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First published at – Global Travel News

Mantis Collection Opens First Migration Camp in Serengeti

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Mantis Collection Opens First Migration Camp in Serengeti

Serengeti, Tanzania, August 19, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Mantis, a leading conservation-focused hotel group with luxury hotels, eco-lodges, waterways and impact experiences located across the globe has opened its newest property in Tanzania and welcomed its first guests on August 6th 2021.

The mobile camp moves every few months to follow the wildebeest herds, zebra, Thomson’s gazelles, and the predators the Great Migration attracts within the Serengeti National Park.

Paul Gardiner, CEO of the Mantis group comments: “The Great Migration is known as one of the greatest shows on earth and is on the wish-list of many international travellers. The Siringit Migration Camp by Mantis returns to the roots of safari: where sustainable, intimate, mobile camps move in symbiosis with wildlife. The unique shape of the tents – octagonal with transparent sides – is designed to dissolve the division between indoors and outdoors, allowing guests to be closer to nature. We look forward to welcoming guests and offering them the chance to witness nature at its best.”

The Siringit Migration Camp by Mantis opens in Kogatende region (Northern Serengeti) where it will remain until November 2021. The camp will then move to the Ndutu region (Southern Serengeti) reopening on 15 December 2021, where it will remain until 31 March 2022 when the herds start their migration north again. Both locations have their own airstrip for guest arrivals and departures. There are daily scheduled flights from Arusha or Seronera to Kogatende, and the airstrip is only a short 10-minute game drive direct to the camp.

The Bedouin-style camp has eight luxury guest tents, positioned on a raised platforms to provide guests with unobstructed views across the  Serengeti wilderness. Each of the guest tents can accommodate up to two guests, while two can be interlinked to form a family tent that can accommodate up to four guests (two adults and two children). All tents have en-suite bathrooms with double vanity. The camp also has a separate dining tent and lounge tent which includes a selection of coffee table books and board games.

For an overview of the camp’s design, facilities and more please see below.


The tents are made in Tanzania using recycled materials. The stretched canvas panels are handstitched, and the hexagonal-shaped shade net dips to the earth with transparent side panels designed to remove the boundaries between nature and man, bringing guests even closer to the Serengeti wilderness. All furnishings are custom-designed and made by Meg Vaun Interiors based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Due to the mobile nature of the camp, most items are designed to fold effortlessly and be transported in bespoke packaging.


Wildlife is most active in the golden hours of the morning and the evening. On game drives guests can encounter leopard and lion prides, impala, gazelle and thousands of wildebeest and zebra walking the plains to the river in search of a safe crossing point. Guests can also spot herds of elephant and many bird species.


During a full-day game drive picnic hampers can be arranged for guests to enjoy out on the plains, under the canopy of an Acacia tree or close to the Mara River. Alternatively,  guests can take breakfast, lunch and dinner in the dining tent which serves contemporary seasonal plates with an African twist.

Body Treatments 

Siringit has partnered with Healing Earth, a premium African spa brand that uses organic products made from natural active ingredients sourced from the continent’s powerful minerals, oceans, flowers, herbs, fruit, seeds and natural oils. Guests can choose from a selection of massage therapies – each of which starts with a traditional African foot cleansing. The treatment menu also includes a ‘Mini Me Treatment’ for children which includes a face mask and a foot soak in a lavender and jasmine bubble bath, followed by a gentle mango orange scrub whilst a relaxing soundtrack, specially created for kids, plays.

Eco Credentials:

Unlike many mobile camps, Siringit Migration Camp by Mantis is built on raised platforms (rather than the more commonly used ground mats) leaving a smaller eco footprint. Solar power is utilised for electricity and heating. All Mantis guests are invited to reduce their carbon footprint using the Mantis and Accor foundation CCFA’s carbon offset calculator.

Insider Tip:

Undoubtedly one of the best-known wildlife sanctuaries in the world, the Serengeti National Park has the greatest concentration of plains game in Africa. The best time to travel is during the crossing season between July and November, and the calving season between January and March. But all year round has benefits to experience the marvellous ecosystem of the region.

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First published at – Global Travel News

Seychelles to Welcome Back Cruise Ships in November 2021

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Seychelles to Welcome Back Cruise Ships in November 2021

Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles, August 17, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Launching the 2021-2022 cruise season on November 14, 2021, will be the MS Island Sky, the first cruise vessel to sail to Seychelles since the closure of the destination to cruise ships in March 2020. As per the decision taken by the country’s authorities in March 2021 relating to the size of the vessels and limiting their carrying passenger capacity, Seychelles will only be welcoming smaller vessels with a maximum of 300 passengers.

Discover the Seychelles with, a World of Magical Islands by Travelindex, go to

Island Sky, operated by London-based Noble Caledonia, is a relatively small cruise ship with a carrying capacity of 118 passengers; a regular sight in the Seychelles waters prior to the pandemic, she will be calling at four of the Seychelles outer islands, namely Aldabra, Assomption, Farquhar and Cosmoledo. MS Island Sky will be followed by other small cruise ships throughout the season.

The Principal Secretary for Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine, Mr Alan Renaud, has said that throughout 2020, working in collaboration with the health authorities, tourism department, the port authority, and the tourism industry, the department, have implemented new procedures to allow the safe resumption of cruise ship visits to Seychelles.

PS Renaud said that to facilitate the restart of cruise ship operations, the Department of Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine has developed a COVID-19 Company and Cruise Ship Checklist for cruise ship operators, and a parallel COVID-19 Port Management Plan for the authorities to be introduced next month. The complementary documents have been based on guidance published jointly by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention Control (ECDC) and endorsed by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), and adopt a goal-based approach, identifying measures to be taken on board ships and ashore to ensure safe operations.

“The documents outline the respective responsibilities of local agencies and the cruise ships in relation to COVID-19 matters, identification of critical resources and personnel, the passenger and terminal arrangements at all ports of call, the contingencies in case of a COVID-19 outbreak, the protection of communities visited by the ship, and, generally, the coordination between cruises and ports in relation to COVID-19,” PS Renaud said.

The department will also be rolling out a maritime version of the present travel authorization system, which will be adapted to the cruise ships and yachts, serving simultaneously as a health protection system as well as an enhanced border control system for incoming vessels. The maritime edition will be integrated with the ships’ systems and make it a seamless, paperless, touchless process for both embarking and disembarking guests and the ships themselves.

PS Renaud said enormous care and rigour were taken with the measures as every cruise ship is a large and extended gathering, bearing the theoretical risk of starting a super-spreading event. He stated that, however, the risk of such an event is now greatly mitigated thanks to developments over the past year, such as the successful vaccination campaigns around the world and new measures implemented by industry, which have dramatically changed the risk calculation, making many countries feel ready to open up to the cruise industry again.

“First, the cruise ship operators must implement rigorous standards, developed in consultation with the ECDC, IMO, and other industry groups, and we require their procedures and evidence of having completed drills, to be externally verified by qualified organizations prior to arrival in Seychelles. Second, because the cruise ships are smaller and have additionally reduced the number of passengers on board, any event on board will be proportional in size to an international flight. Finally, and most importantly, vaccinations are now standard for cruise ship passengers and their operating crew, and the abundant accumulation of evidence of the impact of vaccinations has shown that where vaccinations are prevalent, breakouts are manageable, as relatively few people will require hospitalization. Putting everything in balance, we feel the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, but we must not let our guards down, and the protection of our communities is still paramount and this is addressed in the standards,” PS Renaud said.

On her part, the Principal Secretary for Tourism, Mrs Sherin Francis stated, “The reopening of the cruise ship season is another milestone for our destination. I am happy that all relevant actors have ensured that due precautions have been taken to facilitate this exercise in a safe manner.”

Discover the Seychelles with, a World of Magical Islands by Travelindex, go to

Port Victoria recorded 39 cruise ship calls during the 2019/2020 season, with a total of 63,442 passengers and 18,499 crew (of which 11,375 disembarked and 10,990 embarked). The last vessel to call before the season was forced to close prematurely was the Bougainville, operated by the Compagnie Du Ponant on March 11, 2020.

Since the announcement earlier this year that Seychelles would be reopening its vast ocean territory to cruise liners, cruise shipping lines along with their partners in Seychelles have been hard at work, planning voyages, itineraries and on-shore programmes, with calls scheduled from November 2021 right through to February 2024.

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First published at – Global Travel News

Egyptian Economy Faces Daily Losses Due to UK Red List Status

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Egyptian Economy Faces Daily Losses Due to UK Red List Status

Cairo, Egypt, August 13, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Research conducted by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has revealed that the Egyptian economy could face daily losses of more than EGP 31 million if it stays on the UK’s travel ‘red list’.

Based on 2019 levels, Egypt’s status as a UK’s ‘red list’ country will pose a significant threat to the nation’s struggling Travel & Tourism sector and overall economy warns WTTC.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Updates here.

According to pre-pandemic figures, UK visitors represented five per cent of all international inbound arrivals in 2019.

The UK was also the third biggest source market for Egypt, only just behind Germany and Saudi Arabia.

However, WTTC research shows that ‘red list’ restrictions are deterring UK travellers from visiting Egypt.

The global tourism body says this is due to fears over the additional costs incurred on expensive hotel quarantine for 10 days on arrival back in the UK, and expensive COVID-19 tests.

Egypt’s economy could face a drain of more than EGP 237 million each week, equating to more than EGP 1 billion every month.

Virginia Messina, Senior Vice President and Acting CEO WTTC, said: “Every day Egypt stays on the UK’s ‘red list’, the country’s economy faces losing millions just from the lack of UK visitors alone. This policy is incredibly restrictive and damaging as travellers from Egypt also face mandatory hotel quarantine at a huge cost. 

“The UK’s government decision to add Egypt to its ‘red list’ has a massive impact not only on the nation’s economy, but also the many thousands of ordinary Egyptians who rely upon a thriving Travel & Tourism sector for their livelihoods.

“The UK’s vaccine rollout has proved incredibly successful with more than three quarters of the adult population double jabbed, and 59% of the total population fully vaccinated. The likelihood is that anyone travelling to Egypt would be fully inoculated and therefore pose minor risk. 

“Our data shows just how important Travel & Tourism is to the country, and how critical it is for the Egyptian government to ramp up the vaccination rollout if it is to have any chance of recovering this vital sector, which is fundamental to the country’s economic recovery.”

Read all the latest WTTC News and Updates here.

WTTC research shows the dramatic impact COVID-19 has had on the Egyptian Travel & Tourism sector, with its contribution to the national GDP falling from EGP 505 billion (8.8%) in 2019, to just EGP 227.5 billion (3.8%) in 2020.

The report also shows in 2020, as the pandemic ripped through the heart of the sector, 844,000 Travel & Tourism jobs were lost across the country.

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

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