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



“A unique feature of Agribusiness Congress East 2016 conference is the roundtable discussions between the representatives of the public and private sector, presenting each industry with its own challenges and requirements in an interactive Business to Business (B2B) intimate dialogue,” Melisa Bender, the  Agribusiness East Africa Marketing Manager said last week.

The Congress scheduled for January 27-28 offers a platform for investors, the donor community, input suppliers, government, farmers of all scales and all professionals involved in the agricultural value chain, looking for sustainable cost effective solutions, trade partners and opportunities that will set East Africa into an agricultural hub.

Bender said participants will discuss strategic plans relating to regional growth, market accessibilities in the East African agricultural corridors and share best practices to overcome the critical impacts of climate change within the region.

She said the Agricultural Council of Tanzania (ACT) is hosting the third annual Agribusiness Congress East Africa under the theme, ‘Driving regional growth and accessibility in East Africa’.

She said discussions will focus on enabling frameworks for land reform, accessing finance and identifying investment partners, modernising smallholder farming, Climate actions and post-harvest loss, processing and storing transport logistics, market access and trading.

Both an indoor and outdoor exhibitions are featured where visitors will meet industry experts to discuss specific business needs and view the latest products and services available to the global agri-market.

During the Congress, the German export Association for Food and Agriproducts (GEFA) will once again return as a coordinating partner and bring onboard the representation of Grimme, Mastermind, Pottinger and Vedastat as featured exhibitors.

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ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES RETURN TO NEW YORK | Gorilla trekking in volcano Rwanda


Ethiopian Airlines yesterday confirmed their intended return to New York, from where they withdrew in 2004 in favor of flights to Washington DC at the time. The flights will commence by the end of June this year but unlike 12 years ago use JFK instead of Newark.

The initially three times a week flights from Addis Ababa – leaving there every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday – will route via Lome and will be operated in conjunction with ET’s partner airline in Togo, ASKY.

The one stop service will use a Boeing B787, offering 24 seats in business class and 246 seats in economy class and also offer cargo space in both directions.

New York will be Ethiopian’s third destination in the US after Washington DC and the more recently launched flights to Los Angeles, which route via Dublin in Ireland.

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CONSERVATION GROUP LASHED OUT | Gorilla trekking in volcano Rwanda


One of Kenya’s most respected conservation groups, the Northern Rangelands Trust, has apparently come into the cross hairs of loose cannon county officials from Turkana, who have reportedly told them to pack their bags and get out of the county for allegedly not being registered.

It is understood from other sources that Turkana elders were involved last year in the discussions to set up conservancies and that staff were already recruited by NRT towards making the new conservation areas operational. This follows two oil companies and the Northern Rangelands Trust signing a Memorandum of Understanding in late October last year as was also reported here.

Some of the new conservation areas are located in the West Pokot County and no objections have been received from there, singling out Turkana county and suggesting considerable ill will by officials if not an outright ulterior motive for their actions.

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Food and beverage are a crucial part of the traveler experience, and travelers are always seeking the next greatest food and beverage businesses, destinations and experiences.

One hundred percent of visitors to a destination must eat and drink. They can return home with memories of a chain hamburger and coffee, or they can return with memories of fantastic local food and drink experiences. They just need help identifying and even recognizing those experiences.

The 2016 FoodTrekking Awards is the world’s first global competition for recognition of excellence in food and beverage experiences for travelers.


Categories in this year’s competition include:
1. Best food or beverage destination
2. Best winery experience
3. Best beer experience
4. Best food or beverage tour operator
5. Best foodservice experience for travelers

There will be one grand prize, a second, and third prize for each category (15 winners total this year). In addition to a physical prize, winners will receive tremendous global recognition for an entire year, and will be announced in the World Food Travel Association’s newsletter (24,000 readers), its Founder’s Blog, and on social media groups (13,000 followers), as well as in a dedicated press release to our curated in-house media list.

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The message went out loud and clear, after four arrests of transit passengers were made last week at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport: ‘DO NOT CARRY IVORY OR WE SHALL ARREST YOU, PROSECUTE YOU AND JAIL YOU!‘.

Three of the four passengers were destined to fly to Guangzhou, reportedly coming from Mozambique and Ghana, where they had presumably bought the ivory trinkets. It is in fact a damning indictment of the airport security and customs in those countries that passengers can leave with blood ivory items in their checked baggage but their luck ran out when they reached Nairobi. A team of security officials using trained sniffer dogs are now deployed at JKIA to detect such contraband, besides also of course discovering illicit drugs and other prohibited items.

A team of Kenya Wildlife Service personnel, and their dogs, were trained last year for two months under the African Wildlife Foundation’s canine programme and their success rate affirms that investments in sniffer dogs and training does pay off. Similar teams are deployed in Mombasa where containers are not just scanned but often also physically inspected to detect contraband shipments hidden among ordinary cargo and often concealed to prevent discovery.

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Central Hospitality International (CHi) is pleased to announce the appointment of Tom Thrussell as the Vice President of Brand, Marketing and Digital.

Thrussell is a British native with over 10 years of experience in the marketing field, having worked for leading companies such as American Express and Maybourne Hotel Group. Before joining CHi, Thrussell was the Director of Marketing Operations at Maybourne Hotel Group, which owns and manages Claridge’s, the Connaught and the Berkeley, three of the world’s most distinguished luxury hotels.

An experienced analytical and results-driven marketer, his passion lies in obtaining a deep understanding of the customer and delivering the optimum experience that meets and anticipates their needs, across all mediums.

Central Hospitality International (CHi) is the new corporate name for the formerly known Centara Hotels & Resorts. CHi is a global hospitality group, founded and headquartered in Thailand, comprising hotels, resorts, convention centers and spas. CHi currently has 66 properties in its expanding portfolio of owned and managed assets throughout Thailand and in the Maldives, Bali, Vietnam and Sri Lanka along with projects underway in Qatar, Laos, Oman, Turkey and China. The CHi family of brands currently includes Centara Grand Hotels & Resorts, Centara Hotels & Resorts, Centara Residences & Suites, Centara Boutique Collection, Centra Hotels & Resorts and COSI Hotels, spa brands SPA Cenvaree and Cense by SPA Cenvaree, and guest loyalty program CentaraThe1Card.

CHi is part of the larger Central Group of companies, which comprises 9 business groups: Central Department Store Group (CDG), Central Food Retail Group (CFG), Central Hardlines Group (CHG), Central Online (COL), Central Pattana Group (CPN), Central Marketing Group (CMG), Central Restaurants Group (CRG) and Central Group (VIETNAM).

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