TRAVEL & TOURISM
– Enjoy the beauty of Africa, Caribbean and other exotic Black destinations.
On the sideline of the last US-Africa Summit in Washington DC in December was a visit to offices of Ethiopian Airlines in Arlington, Virginia. At the helm of affairs is Samson Arega, a young airline executive who serves as the airlines’ Regional Director for the Americas.
A product of the prodigious Ethiopian Airlines Aviation Academy, Samson was moved to the US offices from Toronto, Canada where he had a stellar career as the Country Manager prior to a stint in Kuwait for the same airlines. He earned his props during the COVID-19 pandemic when he supervised the transportation of medical supplies to over 80 countries and reunited more than 63,000 stranded passengers of different nationalities with loved ones.
South African stakeholders have attacked moves by the South African government, through the department of SA Tourism (SAT), which is the verge of sealing a deal worth more than $57 million USD (Rands 1 billion) to sponsor one of England’s elite soccer clubs, Tottenham Hotspur.
Information about the proposed deal were first reported by the Daily Maverick.
Sources also reveal that the SA Tourism has proposed a three-year sponsorship deal worth $52 million USD (about Rands 900m) with Tottenham Hotspur.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen paid a solemn visit recently thus attracting attention to the salmon-colored house on an island off Senegal that is one of the most recognized symbols of the horrors of the Atlantic slave trade that trapped tens of millions of Africans in bondage for generations.
Yellen, in Senegal as part of a 10-day trip aimed at rebuilding economic relationships between the U.S. and Africa, stood in the Gorée Island building known as the House of Slaves and peered out of the “Door of No Return,” from which enslaved people were shipped across the Atlantic.
She was guided on a tour through various corridors and tight quarters in the house, shaking her head in disgust at what she was told about the economics of how slaves were valued.
The Marina Project is a vast memorial and tourist complex under construction in Ouidah, a coastal town in the Republic of Benin in West Africa. The country hopes to market itself as a major destination for Afro-descendant tourists in the diaspora. Neighboring Nigeria and its population of 220 million potential visitors also makes serene and diminutive Benin an enviable location for large scale tourist attractions.
The waterfront development is located at what was the main slave port for the Bight of Benin. From this region almost two million enslaved Africans departed during the transatlantic slave trade. At its height – from the 1790s to the 1860s – Ouidah was controlled by the kingdom of Dahomey.
As the region takes on recovery challenges, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett wants to see a repurposed Caribbean tourism architecture that increases benefits for locals.
Speaking recently on 92.9 FM VOB’s “Down to Brasstacks”in Barbados, Minister Bartlett opined that despite strong performances across the sector, with the continuing war in Ukraine, its associated energy crunch, and daunting global supply chain and human capital disruptions, the recovery has the potential to be even more disruptive than the pandemic itself.
By Caleb Onyeabor/Special to The African Times/USA
Steve Baloyi is a friend who lives Johannesburg, and was scheduled to attend a business summit in the United States. For some reason, he missed out on this all-important event because of the perennial flight delays that has dogged African aviation. As if the delay before the eventual departure was not enough, he complained of having had a flying experience in an airplane that moved “like a ship travelling by sea”. In his own words, he just couldn’t wait to deplane.
From the booking stage to the actual flight, he summed up his experience in one short phrase: “100 Ways Not To Fly”.
Tanzania has installed high-speed Internet services on the slopes of Kilimanjaro, allowing climbers with a smartphone to tweet, Instagram or WhatsApp their ascent up Africa’s highest mountain.
State-owned Tanzania Telecommunications Corporation set up the broadband network on August 16 at an altitude of 3 720 meters, with Information Minister Nape Nnauye calling the event “historic”.
“Previously, it was a bit dangerous for visitors and porters, who had to operate without Internet,” said Nnauye at the launch of the service.
A number of sites have been identified in Seychelles to build facilities for sports tourism activities as part of the government’s plan to diversify the tourism industry, according to Devika Vidot, Minister for Investment, Entrepreneurship and Industry.
Vidot explains that while tourism activities were Seychelles’ biggest source of income, there was a need to increase the amount that tourists spend during their stay. She emphasizes that sports tourism has been identified as an area with a lot of potential, especially water sports.
“We have already identified a number of sites where investors will be able to build facilities as part of this project, such as Beau Vallon, the Roche Caiman Sports Complex, Anse Royale, and even on Praslin,” she says.
The United States has dropped a 17-month-old requirement that people arriving in the country by air test negative for COVID-19, an official said, a move that follows intense lobbying by the airlines and the travel industry.
A formal announcement will be made later on Friday. The step comes as the busy summer travel season is kicking off and air carriers were already preparing for record demand. Airlines have said many Americans are not traveling internationally because of concerns they will test positive and be stranded abroad.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined that the science and data show the pre-departure COVID tests are no longer necessary, said the official, who declined to be named.
Rwanda’s tourism sector is set to be boosted when Commonwealth leaders travel to Rwanda for the 2022 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) held in Kigali from June 20-25.
“Having around 5 000 people from across the world coming to Rwanda will translate into substantial revenues in terms of accommodation and expenses, but it will also have other additional benefits and business opportunities,” said Chief Tourism Officer at Rwanda Development Board, Ariella Kageruka
The aim of the meeting, according to the Commonwealth website, is for the leaders to reaffirm their common values and agree actions and policies to improve the lives of all its citizens.
The 70th annual celebration of St. Thomas Carnival was an eclectic celebration of culture and tradition. This year’s theme “A New Cultural Roogadoo for Carnival 2022” included daily free events for children, adults, and families of all ages produced by the Department of Tourism’s Division of Festivals.
Following two years of virtual events, Carnival returned in person to St. Thomas for an abbreviated five days of food, music, and culture. A juxtaposition of long-standing traditions such as calypso music, J’ouvert, Parade, with a refreshed modern lineup of artists and events.
Romance is alive and well across Africa this Valentine’s Day, according to CNN – romance literature, that is. Some of the continent’s top writers have joined forces to mark the occasion by releasing an anthology of romantic short stories for free in digital and audio formats. Each story is no more than 1,000 words and has also been translated into languages spoken by all the writers – Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Kiswahili, Kpelle, pidgin, and French.
Contributors include celebrated Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina – voted one of TIME’s 100 “Most Influential People in the World” last year – and award-winning Nigerian authors Toni Kan and Abubakar Adam Ibrahim.
South African industry daily Tourism Update reported a SAA – South African Airways issued a trade release with the news it is starting Durban flights.
The airline said three flights a day between Johannesburg and Durban would commence from Friday, March 4.
SAA Interim CEO, Thomas Kgokolo said the route was one of the busiest in South Africa and the national carrier had been guided by data in finding the right time to make the decision.
In a move to influence South Africa’s economic and social scenes by bringing together art and tourism, entrepreneur and accredited tour operator ‘Thabo the Tourist’ has launched a unique art gallery tour experience in Johannesburg. Thabo Jacob Modise aims to attract all types of visitors to his guided tours in an effort to break away from traditional art gallery audiences limited to adults and art aficionados.
“I am all about connecting people to art,” Modise explains. “First and foremost, I strongly believe that art is tourism, and vice versa.
Tour guide Alex Rocha stops at a large square flanked by stately colonial buildings while leading a group of tourists through the historical center of Cartagena, Colombia.
The group looks at a marble statue of Christopher Columbus and a government-issued sign that explains how the largest building on the square was used by the Spanish colonial government as its customs office. But there’s nothing that explains the square’s connection to the slave trade — except for Rocha’s voice:
“This is where they auctioned our people,” Rocha tells a group of Black American travelers, through a speaker. “They brought them here and sold them as merchandise.”
There is nowhere quite like Africa. From its vast savannahs to its teeming cities, it is a continent of extremes. Unparalleled beauty exists alongside devastating poverty, and the wonder of Africa’s wildest places must be experienced to be truly understood.
The Magic of Being on Safari
“To see ten thousand animals untamed and not branded with the symbols of human commerce is like scaling an unconquered mountain for the first time, or like finding a forest without roads or footpaths, or the blemish of an axe. You know then what you had always been told – that the world once lived and grew without adding machines and newsprint and brick-walled streets and the tyranny of clocks.” – Beryl Markham
After over two years of Broadway gone dark she is about to reopen and pull up the curtain once again. Below are some of the plays and musicals Broadway is opening.
You will need a mask and proof of vaccination to get in! But let’s celebrate – take look what you can see…
Government and politics tell only part of the story of the nation’s capital. The part that’s typically covered by Washington correspondents.
But the larger part? That’s DC: a patchwork of neighborhoods both steeped in history and buzzing with new energy; restaurants that span the globe and the Michelin rating system; 2021 happenings and longstanding cultural icons— many family-friendly and free. And that’s the city we suspect you’ll want in on this summer and beyond, so read on for our guide to the highlights.
Before the coronavirus struck, Sam Kombe would receive tens and sometimes hundreds of Chinese visitors to Tanzania per month, traveling to the east African nation to sample safari tourism.
Kombe owns Safari Infinity, a tour company in Arusha, in the country’s north, and Nyumbani Collection, a safari camp in the Serengeti, which is famed for its annual wildebeest migration.
Safari Infinity was getting many bookings from mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore before coronavirus infections were detected in Tanzania, those locations accounting for about 30 percent of the guests.
AFROSURF is the first book to capture and celebrate the surfing culture of Africa. This unprecedented collection is compiled by Mami Wata, a Cape Town surf company that fiercely believes in the power of African surf. Mami Wata brings together its co-founder Selema Masekela, son of the legendary South African musician, Hugh Masekela, and some of Africa’s finest photographers, thinkers, writers, and surfers to explore the unique culture of eighteen coastal countries, from Morocco to Somalia, Mozambique, South Africa, and beyond. Packed with over fifty essays, AFROSURF features surfer and skater profiles, thought pieces, poems, photos, illustrations, ephemera, recipes, and a mini comic, all wrapped in an astounding design that captures the diversity and character of Africa
A creative force of good in their continent, Mami Wata sources and manufactures all their wares in Africa and works with communities to strengthen local economies through surf tourism. With this mission in mind, Mami Wata is donating 100% of their proceeds to support two African surf therapy organizations, Waves for Change and Surfers Not Street Children.
AFROSURF is an Africa book that needs to be in your library.
It’s unbelievable that all of us have been cooped up for over a year, face masks, social and physical distancing, and looking for the right vaccine, et al, we should now be ready to move into the post-epidemic planning for a post-Covid holiday.
Let us see what that might look like…
For many, if not all, the places we might think of visiting, masks are mandatory, so plan to pack at least three or four – you will need them. Then be prepared to have very, very recent test and proof you have been vaccinated, you could be asked by the airlines, cruise lines, trains and tour buses, even taxis to show proof.
Seychelles opens up after a successful vaccination of citizens
The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism is on a mission to educate travelers that the Territory is an American overseas territory, and as such, travel to St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas or Water Island is within the United States’ domestic jurisdiction.
Though not part of the contiguous United States, travel to the USVI does not require a passport from U.S. citizens arriving from Puerto Rico or the U.S. mainland.
“We, too, are American,” reminded Commissioner Joseph Boschulte as he and his team work around the clock to clarify the misunderstanding of recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel requirements related to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic for all air passengers arriving in the United States.