Kenya Airways has taken further steps to reduce its redundant fleet, after recently selling two Boeing B777-200s to Omni Air in the United States. It was reliably confirmed earlier today that the airline’s three Boeing B777-300ERs have been dry-leased to Turkish Airlines although no handover date or duration of the lease could be confirmed at this stage.

However, such leases are normally longer term, and Turkish is an airline on a rapid-expansion path with an acute shortage of aircraft. This situation has prevented a further roll-out of new destinations and added frequencies, and the lease of three relatively young long-haul planes will no doubt help Turkish Airlines to solve some of these problems.

Now remaining are two Boeing B777-200s which are up for sale, and it is understood that negotiations are ongoing to dispose of them. That would leave Kenya Airways to operate their long-haul services with the state-of-the-art Boeing B787 Dreamliner, of which nine aircraft are presently in service.

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PATA AND ROUTES ASIA EXPLORE | gorilla safari cost


The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and Routes Asia are bringing together industry leaders from Boeing, Amadeus IT Pacific and Digital Jungle to discuss how Asia Pacific tourism will benefit from a thriving aviation industry over the next 20 years.

The aviation industry is crucial to the economic development of Asia Pacific. Currently worth around US$500 billion, it is set to expand rapidly over the next twenty years. International Air Transport Association (IATA) figures show that Asia Pacific will have overtaken North America and Europe in terms of passenger numbers by 2030 and that nearly half of all air travel (2.9 billion journeys) will touch the Asia Pacific region by 2034.

Routes Asia will explore how the tourist industry can benefit from Asia Pacific’s aviation growth through the ‘Global Insights Impacting Tourism and Aviation’ panel discussion. News presenter Rico Hizon from BBC World News will chair the debate which will feature high profile speakers from a mix of relevant backgrounds.

Boeing’s Managing Director of Marketing Asia Pacific and India, John Schubert, will talk about how the demand for increased air travel in Asia Pacific will be met, including the need to build 13,460 new aircraft by 2033.

Albert Villadolid, General Manager of Amadeus Philippines, will imagine the world in 2030 when travellers are defined by their behaviour rather than their demographic location, asking how we can create bespoke ‘purchasing experiences’ that cater to an individual’s needs.

Dr Mathew McDougall, CEO of Digital Jungle – an agency in Beijing that markets Western products and services to Chinese consumers – will explain how social media can be used to create data sets for marketing purposes.

Mario Hardy, CEO of PATA, said: “We have already seen how low cost carriers have greatly impacted travel and tourism within the Asia Pacific region and the continuing growth of aviation will only add to the rapid growth in the region. The insights provided from this session will be valuable for all stakeholders wishing to benefit from this growing trend.”

upon tour operators, lack of economies of scale, financial constraints, human resource management, lack of quality standards, policy rules and regulations, and environmental sustainability. Sotiriadis also commented upon global competition and the changes in tourism behavior, the lack of managerial skills among Greek tourism entrepreneurs and the absence of a development plan by the public sector…. and these are but a few of the many trials facing this economic sector.

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Indonesia expects a big boost in arrivals from India, because of a variety of factors, like visa-free entry, close historical links, and active government policies.

But the lack of a direct flight remains a constraint, which Ambassador Rizali W. Indrakesuma said on January 27 in Delhi will be rectified soon.

A vibrant sales mission was in India to help raise the arrival figures from 262,000 in 2015 to 350,000 in 2016. Rizali told this correspondent that he was confident that the long-awaited direct service will become a reality soon.

Puneet Malhotra of the Queen’s Group, known for Indian cuisine, promoted, along with his wife, the popular Nawabi cuisine, while sitting in style on the floor. Nisha Shrivastava of Asia World Indonesia, met agents with package offerings from different products.

Girish Sadhnani, Director of Girnar Tour, highlighted the tours for the elderly, complete with wheelchairs and helpers.

Vivek Kumar of Sunlake Hotels, told the Indian agents of the four hotels of the group, with an 870-room inventory.

Chandra Shekhar, Sales Manager of U&I holidays, spoke of meeting guests at the airport facility and of different packages.

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GREAT ITALIAN MUSEUMS GAIN AUTONOMY | how to book gorilla permit


The decree for the implementation of the second part of the reform of museum management initiated by Dario Franceschini, the Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, on the superintendents, museums, and archaeological parks is complete. The text, which was presented last week at the High Council of Cultural Heritage and the unions, covers more museums and archaeological sites that will benefit from organizational and managerial autonomy.

This is the first time that foreign candidates were invited to apply, with the main requirement being business management savvy, rather than Italian. These museums will also have more autonomy, including the power to fundraise independently and invest the proceeds back into the institution.

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WILLARD HOTEL MORE | how to book gorilla permit


The National Park Service and the US Department of the Interior describe the history of the Willard Hotel as follows:

American author Nathaniel Hawthorne observed in the 1860s that “the Willard Hotel more justly could be called the center of Washington than either the Capitol or the White House or the State Department.” From 1847 when the enterprising Willard brothers, Henry and Edwin, first set up as innkeepers on the corner of 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, the Willard has occupied a unique niche in the history of Washington and the nation. In 1847, Benjamin Ogle Tayloe leased the establishment to Henry A. Willard and his brother, Edwin. In 1858, the Willards expanded again, purchasing the property of Col. James Kearney and built a six-story addition to the hotel…

At the beginning of the twentieth century, a new Willard Hotel was built by the George A. Fuller Company to the designs of the famous architect Henry Janeway Hardenbergh. In 1922, a major fire caused the evacuation by Vice President Calvin Coolidge, several US Senators, composer John Philip Sousa, movie producer Adolph Zukor and other attendees at the annual Gridiron Dinner.

Situated just two blocks from the White House, the hotel is replete with the ghosts of the famous and powerful. Over the years it has been the gathering place for presidents, politicians, governors, literary and cultural figures. It was at the Willard that Julia Ward Howe composed “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Gen. Ulysses S. Grant held court in the lobby and Abraham Lincoln borrowed house slippers from its proprietor. Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Jenny Lind were all part of the parade of celebrated Willard guests.

Even the uniquely political term “lobbyist” is said to have been coined at the Willard to describe those 19thcentury special-interest promoters who cornered politicians in the opulent Willard lobby.

The Willard sat vacant and in danger of demolition from 1968 until 1986 when it was restored to its former glory. A $73 million restoration project was carefully planned by the National Park Service to recreate the hotel as historically accurate as possible. Sixteen layers of paint were scraped from the woodwork to ascertain the hotel’s original 1901 colors.

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Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts was recently re-certified by Green Globe, marking sixteen years of continual accreditation. The resort has focused on a number of environmental issues and improved water and energy management initiatives that will benefit the community at large.

Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts, nestled on 14 acres of powder white sand offers secluded, breathtaking views of sparkling blue-green sea on Eagle Beach in Aruba. The acclaimed boutique style resort and its dream beach setting is perfect for couples and honeymooners seeking an eco-romantic destination in the Caribbean.

Ewald Biemans, noted environmentalist and owner of Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts said, “Green certified standards, such as those provided by Green Globe, are valuable tools to measure and improve environmental impacts, which is imperative to developing environmentally-friendly habits, establishing benchmarks and achieving realistic expectations.

Aruba’s long battle with the overpopulation of dogs and cats has a new ally. Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts teamed up with all island veterinarians to help reduce the number of homeless dogs and cats in Aruba, and to make responsible pet ownership a reality. Introducing “Love me. Sterilize me” (Stimami, Sterilisami) this new community outreach provides island dogs (“crioyo”) and cats with much needed spay and neutering surgeries thanks to generous subsidies provided in part from Bucuti. The program makes sterilization more affordable by significantly reducing the price of surgery for pet owners and organizations caring for homeless animals.

In line with its water saving strategies, Bucuti recently pledged to be part of the Water Sense H20tel Challenge, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiative to track water efficiency using performance measures and reducing consumption. Bucuti is the only resort outside of North America participating as of late 2015. The elements of this program complement and broaden initiatives Bucuti has in place including the use of water efficient equipment (HAACP-approved faucets, toilets and shower heads) and the repurposing of gray or recaptured water.

Refillable water containers are another smart initiative at the resort. Upon arrival, each guest receives a reusable water canteen to eliminate the impact of waste and pollution caused by plastic bottles. Guests proudly tote the canteens throughout their stay, refilling them at the four on-property water fountains offering Aruba’s clean, safe water. The resort is elated that guests consider the canteen a favorite vacation keepsake and choose to take their canteen home with them to continue their conservation efforts.

Bucuti hosts approximately 193 guests on any given day, for an annual total of 70,606 person-days of water consumption. Considering the recommended consumption of 64 oz. of water per person per day, Bucuti potentially reduces the number of plastic bottles by 774 per day or 282,424 bottles per year (based on a 16 oz. plastic bottle). In the six and a half years since the program began, it is estimated that this one small resort with the help of its guests, has kept nearly two million (1,835,756) plastic bottles out of Aruba’s landfill.

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The Kenyan and Seychellois Tourism Ministers, who were together at the FITUR Tourism Trade Fair in Spain, also attended together the 1st Morocco Day for Sustainable and Responsible Tourism that was held in Rabat in Morocco.

Minister Najib Balala of Kenya and Minister Alain St.Ange of the Seychelles have been sitting together to discuss ways of strengthening their working partnership in the consolidation of tourism in the Indian Ocean region.

Both Tourism Ministers spoke about the need for the two countries and the other neighbors in the Indian Ocean to work even closer together to ensure that the region’s tourism industry is further consolidated. Cooperation between the East Africa block of countries and the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands was also discussed and it was agreed that at least for Kenya and its Lamu Island, discussions for greater cooperation could be on the agenda during bilateral talks between the tourism departments of the two countries scheduled on the sidelines of the annual Carnaval International de Victoria that is held in Seychelles from April 22-24.

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Gorilla treks Bwndi Uganda, how to book gorilla permit

COAST WATER SERVICES BOARD | mountain gorilla feeding


Dozens of mails and messages received indicate that the Coast Water Services Board is once again employing crude methods to extract payment from water distributors in two counties, namely Kilifi and Mombasa. While these proverbial elephants now fight over who owes whom how much, have dozens of hotels, at a time when tourism has notably picked up, failed to draw water from their pipes.

The Mombasa Water Supply and Sanitation Company is said to owe CWSB in excess of 600 million Kenya Shillings while Kilifi and Malindi combined debt is reported to top 360 million Kenya Shillings.

It is understood from sources within the hotel industry at the coast that most resorts have paid their monthly water bills to their direct supplier, therefore feeling aggrieved and frustrated that their water supply has been cut.

The current action is a mirror image to what the Coast Water Services Board did in October last year, when even the county of Kwale was cut off before the intervention of a member of cabinet resolved the issue. That however seems to have been forgotten by the big wigs of the CWSB who willfully inflicted the same misery on tourists and coast residents this time again without seeking cabinet intervention themselves.

To make matters worse are schools, hospitals and health centres also reportedly affected by the move of the Coast Water Services Board. This prompted calls for criminal prosecutions against CWSB managers and board members, should patients die or diseases break out affecting schools as a result of the water supply to the county suppliers being cut.

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Cologne Bonn Airport, where thriving passenger traffic passed the 10 million threshold in 2015, announces the arrival of its first new airline of the year, just weeks into 2016. Securing a new link to Moscow Vnukovo, Cologne Bonn is set to welcome airline partner Pobeda next month.

germanwings, which had operated the Moscow Vnukovo route for the last 10 years from Cologne Bonn withdrew from the sector last September after announcing plans to start Moscow Domodedovo this June, leaving a gap for Pobeda to operate to this particular Moscow airport with no direct competition.

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REUNION ISLAND TOURISM | Behavior of mountain gorillas


On January 15, Reunion Island was elected “first volcanic destination in the world” by travel community website WAYN, short for “Where are you now?” Other competing countries in the survey were Japan, Italy, and Iceland among others, which were neck on neck with Reunion.

Reunion Island is the first volcanic destination in the world according to the opinion of the members of the site Wayn, social network for travelers with over 23 million people in over 193 countries around the world. Nominated in the top 7 of the most beautiful volcanic destinations in the world, Reunion Island was pushing all the right buttons and was able to fire on all cylinders alongside other renowned international destinations such as the Philippines, Tanzania, Costa Rica, or Japan.

Reunion Island arrived in pole position and has won the title of first destination volcanic world with nearly a 1,000 vote difference ahead of Japan, which was ranked at second destination.

Already in 2013, Reunion Island was elected “most beautiful island in the world” by members of Wayn. Since then, Reunion Island has continued to gain fans from members of this influential social network dedicated to travelers worldwide. More than 7,000 members of WAYN claim to have already been to Reunion Island, and after the latest survey, some 273,000 more want to visit this French Indian Ocean island in the future.

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