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NEWS from African Horizons - Issue 65, Jan 201531/01/2015

African Horizons Travel and Safari News

Welcome to our sixty-fifth edition of the African Horizons newsletter

Dear reader!

We are pleased to welcome you once again to our monthly newsletter, which we hope will provide both interest and information. As usual, we invite you to contribute towards future issues– with comments, newsbytes, special offers or calendar events. Enjoy our first edition for 2015 which is proudly our 65th Issue. Read some exciting travel news and reviews plus great holiday treats and offers from East Africa and about. We hope this month’s issue lives up to expectations. Meanwhile…

African Horizons Travel Safari Facebook . African Horizons Travel Safari Twitter . African Horizons Travel Safari Blogger . African Horizons Travel Safari Blog . African Horizons Travel Safari Video YouTube

In this issue

Top News

  • What about 2015
  • No drones please
  • Charity cycling safari
  • Hotels, Lodges and Camps News

- Special Offers

- Upgrades and Updates

East Africa News

  • UNWTO figures out
  • Pope to visit Uganda
  • New Travel Show set for Nairobi
  • Britain eases transit visa requirements
  • KTB Magical Kenya Expo for Mombasa

Flying High

  • New flights to Kili from KQ
  • Safarilink Schedule Changes
  • Local air companies offer low fares
  • Diani airport to be extended
  • Toddlers to be charged?

Global Travel Bytes

  • WTM figures up
  • iPhones can be bugged
  • Marriott operate over a million rooms
  • Heathrow processed over 73 M in 2014
  • Safest airlines announced

Travel Events Calendar

  • Travel and related Events
  • Dates for your travel diary

What About 2015?

2015 MMXV is the 15th year of the 3rd millennium and has been designated the International Year of Light and the International Year of Soils by the United Nations.

What will be happening in 2015? Here’s what to expect:

East Africa Travel and Safari News

  • Lithuania joins the Eurozone
  • The Eurasian Union is formed
  • The first solar aircraft to circumnavigate the globe
  • Expo 2015 is held in Milan, Italy
  • The Large Hadron Collider reaches its maximum operating power
  • The world's first fully sustainable, zero-carbon, zero-waste city
  • The first self-regulating artificial heart
  • A new generation of hi-tech supercarriers
  • The United States and South Korea dissolve the Combined Forces Command
  • The first large-scale solar updraft towers are operational
  • Queen Elizabeth II is the longest reigning monarch in British history
  • Personal biometric scanners for online banking
  • DDR4 memory reaches the home PC market
  • Windows 10 is released by Microsoft
  • 10 nanometre chips enter mass production
  • The Archival Disc format is launched
  • The Carteret Islands are abandoned
  • The New Horizons probe arrives at Pluto
  • The Dawn probe arrives at Ceres
  • The first advert on the Moon
  • Electric car ownership reaches 1 million worldwide
  • Trucks with emergency braking systems are mandatory in Europe
  • The deadline for the Millennium Development Goals

………………………………………………………………

No drones please!

Visitors are warned not to bring or fly their drones in Kenya

Please be advised that the use of Drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) is prohibited without the proper licenses. Clients without licensing risk having such devices confiscated by Kenyan customs on arrival or departure/or incurring heavy fines.

This announcement comes on the heels of a corporate communications statement issued by Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) banning the use of the same, with exception of special occasions where appropriate permits have been issued.

We are therefore notifying all our clients and visitors intending to do filming in the parks to comply with these public notices for the betterment of the conservation sector.

Ban of Media Camera Drone Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) East Africa Safari

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Come meet with us at the ITB

East Africa Travel and Safari News ITB 2015

African Horizons will be at this year’s ITB Berlin Convention, which takes place in Berlin, Germany this March from 4th to 8th.

We shall be exhibiting from Hall 21.A booth 1 .

We will be represented by Tomas Sorensen, Managing Director and David Njuguna, General Manager. If you would like to meet with us, kindly contact David to book an appointment: david@african-horizons.com

We’ll be looking forward to meeting with you!

………………………………………………………………

Charity Cycling Safari!.

It’s January and the long awaited charity cycling trip is here already. We have been planning for and anticipating this safari more than anything, and now it is finally here.

Together with our agent QAS Holidays, we are hosting a charity cycle group with 35 participants from The Netherlands. The EPE Cycle for Water Charity Group just arrived in Kenya and have headed to the coast of Mombasa to start out their fundraising challenge. They will be in the country until February 10th, a period through which they will cycle from Kwale in Mombasa to Mai Mahiu in Naivasha. Covering an approximate distance of 775km, the group will traverse through untouched wildernesses and camping is basic tents, testing their benevolence to the limit.

I’m March last year, we sent out our team to scout and inspect the route that the charity cyclists will use. This was in order that we familiarize ourselves with the routing to facilitate for precision planning. It turned out to be one heck of a fun filled adventure and discovery, they shared their exploration in our blog On Safari with African Horizons . With these preparations in place, we are optimistic that the planning and groundwork that we have put in towards this trip will go a long way into making it a huge success. It is our hope that the group will enjoy every bit of their challenging traverse.

Here we share some of their photos on arrival at the JKIA on January 29th, and as they assemble their bicycles in Diani.

Kenya Cycle and Camping Safari Challenge

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Hotels, Lodges and Camps.

** Special Offers

Fairmont New Year Kick Off!

Enjoy an exclusive offer on group booking for meetings, conferences and special events.

• 1 complementary single room including bed and breakfast for every 20 rooms booked per night.

• 1 room upgrade for every 15 rooms booked per night.

• 10% discount extended to in-house guests on meals and beverages consumed in any of the hotels 4 restaurants and lounges.

• Facilitator/Tour Leader - Single Room at discounted rate.

• Separate group check-in area with complementary welcome non-alcoholic drink and hot towels.

Bookings received until 28th February 2015

Offer valid until 31st December 2015

Applicable to groups with a minimum of 10 rooms (peak night)

Offer does not apply to any existing inquiries or bookings

Terms and Conditions

Fairmont Kenya Mara Safari Special Offer

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Incredible offers from Karen Blixen Camp

· Stay 3 nights and get the 4th night free (Mara North Conservancy fee is payable for the 4th night). Valid for new bookings for the following months; 3rd January – 30th June 2015

· 5% off contract rates for all bookings made within 30 days prior to clients arrival. Offer valid till 30th June 15.

· Early bird discount – 5% off contract rates for bookings confirmed at least 6 months in advance.

· Flexi rates - We are offering 5 rooms out of our inventory at 10% off contract rates. Valid for new bookings for the following months; 3rd January – 30th June 2015 (Rooms will subject to availability and this will be on a first come first served basis).

  • Valentine’s offer - Valid from 1st – 28th Feb 15

- One romantic dinner per stay

- Wild flowers, bottle of wine and fruit platter in the room upon arrival

- 30 minutes massage per person per stay

All above offers are not combinable

Karen Blixen Camp Kenya Safari Special Offer

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Governors' Camp Collection Special Offers

3 Nights For Price Of 2

Stay 3 nights at any Governors Camp Collection Kenya Property and pay for 2 nights

• Minimum 2 pax

• Flights must be booked on Governors' Aviation

• Park and Conservation Fees payable for each night accommodated

• Offer applies to all Governors Camp Collection Kenya Properties

• Clients must be paying full Contract Rates

Offer is available for new bookings made from 7th January 2015 - 30th June 2015 for safaris accommodated with us during this time period.

Fly and Fly Offer

Book return flights to Masai Mara on Governors Aviation and receive a discount on your Nett Governors Balloon Safaris Rates

• Clients must be paying full Contract Rates

• Flights to Masai Mara must be booked on Governors' Aviation

• Balloon Landing Fees and AMREF Cover Payable for each person flying

Offer is available for new bookings made from 7th January 2015 - 30th June 2015 for safaris accommodated with us during this time period.

5% Discount On Flight Rates On Governors Aviation

Book return flights on Governors Aviation and receive a 5% discount on your Flight Contract Rate

Clients must be saying at a Governors Camp Collection Kenya Property and paying full contract rates on accommodation

  • Normal Departures Taxes Apply

· Offer is available for new bookings made from 7th January 2015 - 30th June 2015 for flights taken during this time period.

  • Offer is subject to availability

Terms and Conditions apply

Governors Camps Kenya Safari Special Offer

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Sanctuary Retreats exciting new offers

Kids Stay Free

At Selected Lodges and Camps between January and March 2015*

Children up to and including ages of 16 years stay free of charge at selected lodges and camps in Kenya and Tanzania either sharing with parents or in an additional room. Terms and conditions apply.

Gorilla Discovery Uganda

Save $150 on your gorilla trekking permit (usually $600) when you stay a minimum of 3 nights at Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp between 1 January and 15 June, and 1 October and 20 December 2015.

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New Year Specials at Kempinski

The Mara Beckons

Make the most of the New Year Early Bird Offer. Book and pay for high season before 31st March 2015 and get a 15% discount off best available rates. Terms and Conditions apply.

………………………………………………………………

Naibor 4 Nights for the price of 3

Take advantage of the Naibor stay 4 pay 3 nights offer that is valid from:

• 8th January until 10th April 2015

• 29th May until 15th July 2015

• 1st November until 15th December 2015

Valid for all new bookings only

** Please note Naibor will be closed for renovation and refurbishment from 11th April - 28th May**

Naibor Camp Kenya Safari Special Offer

………………………………………………………………

A Special Family Spring-Break Offer

Book an Elewana Family SkySafari and your First Child will travel for Free, with Any Additional Child at 50% Off.*

This offer is available for these selected dates: March 23rd and 29th, April 4th, 12th and 18th, May 2nd – 2015

*For families of 2 adults with 1 or more children, the first child (under 12 years of age) will travel free of charge, and any additional child under 16 years will receive a 50% discount.

If you are a single adult / parent travelling with children or for families of more than 4 persons, please contact us as we have alternative discounts available.

This offer is subject to availability and is for new bookings only and not combinable with any current offers. Park fees for all travellers are payable separately.

………………………………………………………………

Serena Kenya Circuit Discounts

Circuit 1 – Combination of 3 properties - Safari Lodges/Camps/Nairobi Serena – 12.5%

Circuit 2 – Combination of 4 properties - Safari Lodges/Camps /Nairobi Serena – 15%

Circuit 3 – Combination of 4 properties - Safari Lodges/Camps/Nairobi Serena, including LESC – 17.5%

Circuit 4 – 2 consecutive nights at LESC – 15%

Circuit 5 – If any of the above circuit combinations has an extension to Serena Beach Resort and Spa, the itinerary will qualify for an additional 2.5% circuit discount including the Serena Beach Resort and Spa nights.

NSH/LESC:

Circuit 6 : If circuit four (4) above combines with a stay at Nairobi Serena Hotel, the itinerary will qualify for an additional 2.5% circuit discount including the Nairobi Serena Hotel nights.

Serena Beach Resort and Spa Offer:

Beach stay offer – Stay 5 nights and pay for 4, with free night on room only. Half Board supplements USD25.00pp.

East African Circuit Discount

-Business staying minimum 5 nights in Kenya including Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp, and 5 nights in Tanzania including Kirawira Serena Camp will qualify for a 15% discount on contract rates (Kenya and Tanzania) across all seasons.

-Further to the above, should the stay at Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge be 2 nights instead of 1 night, making a total of 6 nights in Kenya, the Kenya sector qualifies for a 17.5% discount. The Tanzania sector remains at 15%.

NB

Only one of the above options will apply at any one particular time. Not applicable on Nairobi Serena weekend rates or any other special rates or package offers.

Valid till 15th July 2015

………………………………………………………………

To enquire about all the above special offers, contact us via . safari@african-horizons.com

** What’s New – Opening, Closing, Upgrades and Additions .

Rotana arrive in Dar

Rotana, the Middle Eastern based hotel, suites and resort hospitality group, has confirmed that they have signed an agreement for a 254 rooms, suites and apartments 5 star property in Dar es Salaam, which is being developed as part of the upcoming MNF Square project planned by China Railways Group.

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Mweya Safari Lodge offers balloon flights

Mweya Safari Lodge in Queen Elizabeth National Park has announced that they partnered with Balloon Tours (U) to offer early morning balloon safaris over sections of the park.

Mweya Safari Lodge Balloon Flights Mweya Safari Lodge Balloon Flights

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New Serengeti Camp

Ranger Safaris is offering a new Serengeti Explorer Camp which features 8 deluxe tents and 2 family tents, all en suite. This summer, the camp will introduce the Rafiki Explorer Club designed to provide a special experience to children aged 7 to 16 with different levels of activities and added values suitable for each age group.

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Baker’s Lodge, Murchison Falls, opens

Located on the banks of the Nile River, this exclusive lodge features six tented rooms on decks, nestled between large shady trees and all with magnificent views of the river. Activities here include game drives, river cruises to both the Delta and foot of the Falls, forest walks, chimpanzee trekking and fishing.

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New Airport Hotel

Seasons Hotels and Lodges will open the Seasons Airport Hotel –Embakasi in February 2015. The hotel will be 20 kms from the city centre and 5 kms from Jomo-Kenyatta international airport and will offer 60 en-suite rooms, dining bar and conference centre.

………………………………………………………………

New Panari Resort in Laikipia

Panari are to open a new resort in Nyahururu, Laikipia which will operate in tandem with the Panari Hotel, Nairobi. The date of opening is not yet known

New Panari Resort Laikipia Kenya Safari News

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Fire at the Seronera Wildlife Lodge

Due to a fire at Seronera Wildlife Lodge 7th January the property is under renovations. The inferno gutted down the restaurant area of the lodge. Fortunately, there were no casualties during the incident and all the guests were safely evacuated to SWL’s sister lodge, Lobo Wildife Lodge, still within Serengeti. Owing to the on-going renovations, all bookings from February 2015 have been redirected to Lobo Wildlife Lodge until further notice.

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Jovago joins with HotelsCombined

Jovago has partnered with HotelsCombined.com, which is expected to enhance bookings in East Africa.

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In Sankara’s pipeline

Sankara Nairobi to open a second 4-star business hotel in 2017

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Radisson Blu to come to Kenya

Radisson Blu is to open a new hotel in Kenya in early 2015

Radisson Blu Nairobi Safari and Travel Hotel

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East Africa News .

UNWTO figures out

UNWTO figures indicate that travel to Africa in 2014 showed just a 3 percent growth rate while travel to the Americas led in 2014 with over 8 percent more arrivals (South Asia with 8 percent, India 7%).

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Pope to visit Uganda

Uganda is preparing for a record third visit of a pope after sources close to the Catholic church in the country have confirmed that a papal visit was on the cards for 2015.

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New Travel Show set for Nairobi

The inaugural ‘Africa Travel Show’ is due to take place between the 04th and 08th of March this year. The new show aims to bring together the key businesses from the hospitality and travel trade to showcase their services to a wide audience from across the country, the East African region and beyond.

Africa Travel Show Nairobi Kenya

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KTB reassure Indian tourists

The Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) has embarked on a reassurance campaign to woo more tourists from India and Australia. KTB Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa told Indian stakeholders in New Delhi that travelling to Kenya is still safe. More than 42,910 Indian tourists visited Kenya in the first nine months of 2014. KTB maintains that India is still the biggest market in Asia for Kenya and fifth largest source market into Kenya globally.

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Britain eases transit visa requirements

Britain no longer requires Ugandan travellers enroute to the USA to pay a transit visa fee.

………………………………………………………………

KAA appoints ex-Police Chief as Chairman

Kenya Airport Authority’s (KAA) CEO, Ms. Lucy Mbugua, has announced that the new Chairman of KAA, will be Kenya’s ex-Chief of Police, David Kimaiyo. The announcement has not been well received in the industry.

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KTB Magical Kenya Expo to be held in Mombasa

Reactions were swift in welcoming the decision by the Kenya Tourist Board (KTB) when Muriithi Ndegwa, the CEO of KTB, announced that the 2015 edition of the Magical Kenya Travel Expo will be held in the coastal city of Mombasa in October. Dates and venue are yet to be finalized.

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Flying High .

New flights to Kili from KQ

Kenya Airways effective 29th March 2015 will commence an additional frequency to Kilimanjaro (JRO) providing connection with KQ102 NBO-LHR.

Kenya Airways East Africa Safari and Travel News

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Safarilink offers revised rates

Safarilink has revised their 1st quarter rates and low season fares will now apply during the remaining high season period from 20 January to 31 March 2015. For all NEW bookings made from 19th January onward, for travel from 20th January to 31st March, we will apply the low season fares. The revised rates will not apply to existing bookings for travel up to 31st January, but will be applicable to those booked from 1st February.

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AirKenya offers early low season fares

AIRKENYA is offering LOW SEASON fares starting from 15th January 2015. Low season fares which normally take effect from 1st April - 30th June 2015, will instead start as soon as 15th Jan - 30th June 2015. Take advantage and enjoy the fares.

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Safarilink Schedule Changes and Suspension of Services

Safarilink have advised the suspension and combination of some services up to 31 March 2015.

Suspended flights:

· Flight Nos 015/016 - the p.m. services from Wilson to Amboseli and Tsavo West

· Flight No 025- the p.m. service from Wilson to Laikipia

· For pax booked from 16 January onwards, only ticketed bookings for travel up to 30 January will be honored, and all existing non-ticketed bookings will be transferred to our a.m. services. All bookings (ticketed and non-ticketed) for travel from 01 February will be transferred to the a.m. services. Any requests for exceptions should be discussed directly with our Operations.

Combined flights:

· Flight Nos 011/012/013/014 - the direct services for Amboseli and Tsavo West will be combined and operate as one service as per our low season timings. i.e.:

· Wilson -Tsavo West/Amboseli dep 0730 arr 0820/0900 (subject to routing of aircraft)

· Tsavo West/Amboseli - Wilson dep 0830/0900 arr 0950 (subject to routing of aircraft)

· The inbound pax to Wilson will still be able to connect to Mara or Laikipia.

· Flight 031 - the Laikipia to Mara service: although we hope to operate this service directly when possible, we reserve the right to route passengers via Wilson if required by Operations. Affected passengers will be provided with lunch in our coffee shop.

· Flight 031 - Laikipia to Mara service: there will be a minimum 2 pax per strip requirement (for both embarking and disembarking pax) for all new bookings made from 01 January 2015. This will be applicable throughout 2015.

All bookings (ticketed and non-ticketed) for travel from 16 January will be operated at the revised timings.

East Africa Travel and Safari News Safarilink

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Diani airport to be extended

The Kenya Airport Authority (KAA) has confirmed that the expansion of Ukunda Airport on Diani Beach will include not only the construction of a new terminal building but also the lengthening of the runway to an overall length of 2 kilometers.

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Flightlink

Fly 5x Weekly - Dodoma and Iringa - On EMB120 Aircraft - Effective 19th Jan 2015

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RwandAir launch Entebbe – Nairobi flights

RwandAir have confirmed that flights between Entebbe and Nairobi, will commence on the 29th of January.

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Fly-Sax flies Nairobi to Entebbe

Fly-SAX, as announced that twice daily flights between Nairobi and Entebbe, commenced 9 January 2015.

………………………………………………………………

Jambojet extend flying rights

It is reported that Kenya has granted Jambojet a one year license to fly from Nairobi into East Africa – including into Entebbe and Juba Kigali Bujumbura and Addis.

East Africa Travel and Safari News Fly Jambojet

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Flights to USA on the cards

Reports indicate that as of March the US authorities may finally grant permission to allow JKIA airport to have Category 1 certification, thus allowing nonstop flights between Kenya and the United States of America.

………………………………………………………………

Ethiopian to fly to Japan

Ethiopian Airlines is to launch flights between Addis and Tokyo later in the year.

………………………………………………………………

Toddlers to be charged?

According to reports, some airlines are considering charging parents for traveling with infants (under the age of two) on their laps on planes. A new proposal, by Brazilian airlines, due to be decided by the end of next year, would mean waiving a cap on fees for children under two, which is currently at 10 percent of the full adult fare.

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Global Travel Bytes .

WTM figures up

World Travel Market 2014’s Conference and Event programme showed a 4.5% increase having hosted more than 100 conferences and events with a total attendance of 17,036.

Furthermore, the number of unique delegates attending the sessions increased by an impressive 4% to 8,829 compared to WTM 2013’s 8,482. The WTM 2014 unique attendance figure is up a massive 1,335 delegates compared to WTM 2012’s attendance of 7,494.

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iPhones can be bugged even when turned off

The latest leak by the whistleblower Edward Snowden indicates that the British security agency GCHQ has stored thousands of emails from journalists working for the world’s biggest news organizations, including the BBC, Guardian, New York Times, Washington Post and others. Snowden says he will not use an Apple I Phone despite Apple’s claims that it has released new technology that cannot be compromised by the police. On the contrary Snowden claims that the NSA can bug devices even when they are turned off.

East Africa Travel and Safari News

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2014 warmest year since 1880

2014 ranks as Earth's warmest since 1880, according to two separate analyses by NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists.

The 10 warmest years in the instrumental record, with the exception of 1998, have now occurred since 2000. This trend continues a long-term warming of the planet, according to an analysis of surface temperature measurements by scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) in New York. Since 1880, Earth's average surface temperature has warmed by about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius), a trend that is largely driven by the increase in carbon dioxide and other human emissions into the planet's atmosphere. The majority of that warming has occurred in the past three decades.

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Kuoni sells off Swiss interests

Kuoni has announced that it is to sell its core business i.e. the entire Tour Operator Business - Organization and Sales of the Leisure and Business Travel in Switzerland, Great Britain, Scandinavia, Benelux Countries, Hong Kong, India, and in other countries – which has a turnover of over 2 billion Swiss francs. Kuoni - one of the Europe’s biggest tour operators is now looking for a buyer/investor, by selling not only the travel brand but also the name.

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Marriott operate over a million rooms

Marriott International, Inc. expects its portfolio of hotels either open or under development to surpass 1 million rooms by the end of 2015 by which time they will have generated more than $50 billion in real estate investment globally and created over 150,000 anticipated new hotel jobs.

East Africa Travel and Safari News

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AMEX forecast upturn in global business travel spend

According to the American Express Global Business Travel 2014 EVP Barometer, business travel spend grew 0.9% in 2014, confirming the forecasts made in the November 2013 edition of the Barometer. This change follows a three-year slowdown that bottomed out in 2013 with growth of only 0.5%. According to the Barometer's respondents, this growth is due in part to improved economic conditions in the Barometer's ten reference countries; France, Germany, UK, Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. According to the Barometer, 2015 should confirm the upturn seen last year, with marked differences from country to country. Total travel spending in the ten countries targeted by the Barometer is expected to increase by 0.7% in 2015.

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IATA figures out

IATA, the International Air Transport Association, released its latest numbers.

Worldwide airline share prices rose 4% in December and are up 40% for the year, helped by the decline in crude oil and jet fuel prices over recent months. Crude oil prices halved by the end of 2014 and have fallen a further 17% in January, reflecting the appreciation of the US dollar as well as continued growth in supply. Q3 financial results show improvements in the US being partially offset by weakness in other regions.

US passenger yields remain up on a year ago, but weakness continues in other regions.

Air freight volumes continue to expand and the trend in air travel growth remains positive, supported by improving economic conditions in the US and strong trade growth in Asia Pacific.

Growth in available seats accelerated in November, but is still below the pace of growth in demand, which should support aircraft utilization rates.

Passenger load factors trended sideways in November, but air freight load factors continue to show steady improvement, supported by solid expansion in volumes.

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Heathrow processed over 73 million passengers in 2014

The 2014 figures are in for London’s Heathrow Airport, one of the world’s busiest airports. According to figures released today, London’s primary international airport welcomed a record 73.4 million passengers made journeys through Heathrow in 2014, an increase of 1.4% on 2013.

East Africa Travel and Safari News

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The big travel spenders are announced

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, in 2013 the global tourism industry accounted for 9 percent of world GDP and one in every 11 jobs.

In that year international tourism numbers grew by 6 percent to 1.087 billion, predicted to increase to 1.8 billion by 2030. In 2013, Asia and the Pacific recorded 6 percent growth in tourism numbers, the strongest of any continent, followed by Europe and Africa.

Highlights of the report are as follows:

• Both in numbers and spending, the number one source of international tourists is China, whose people spent $165 billion on travel in 2013.

• In the league tables of the continents, Europe holds the number one spot with 563 million visitors, 29 million more than in 2012.

• The most attractive region was Southern and Mediterranean Europe, which welcomed 201 million international visitors in 2013.

• The world's number one destination was France, the world's favorite holiday spot for most of the post-war period, drawing 85 million international visitors in 2013.

• In second place, and a long way behind, is the United States, with 69.8 million visitors, followed by Spain, China and Italy.

• After China, Thailand is Asia's best performer, with 26.5 million arrivals in 2013, an increase of almost 20 percent on the previous year, making it the meteor of world tourism that year.

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TUI becomes Hotelbeds Group

Following the merger of TUI Travel PLC and TUI AG, TUI Travel Accommodation and Destinations announced today that it will be called Hotelbeds Group. Among Hotelbeds Group's other brands are Destination Services, Activities, Laterooms.com, Intercruises and Roiback. TUI Group, the world's number one leisure travel company. With more than 30 million customers, TUI Group operates in over 180 countries.

East African Horizons Travel and Safari News

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Safest airlines announced

AirlineRatings.com, safety and product rating website, has announced its top ten safest airlines and top ten safest low cost airlines for 2015 from the 449 it monitors.

Top of the list again is Qantas which has a fatality free record in the jet era. Making up the remainder of the top ten in alphabetical order are: Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific Airways, British Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Finnair, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines. AirlineRatings.com's rating system takes into account a variety of factors related to audits from aviation's governing bodies and lead associations as well as government audits and the airlines' fatality records. Of the 449 airlines surveyed 149 have the top seven-star safety ranking, but almost 50 have just three stars or less.

Five airlines only achieved one star for safety from AirlineRatings.com. These are: Agni Air, Kam Air, Nepal Airlines, Scat and Tara Air.

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Dates for your diary.

Dates for your diary

January



 

28th

Fitur Int'l Tourism Trade Fair

January 28-February 01, 2015, Madrid, Spain.

IFEMA Feria de Madrid


13-16

Lamu Maulidi Festival

February



 

12-15th

Sauti ya Busara Music Festival Zanzibar


14th

Valentine’s Day

 

Whale Shark Diving, Diani Beach

 

19

Chinese New Year – Year of the goat

 

Feb 14-Mar 29

Cricket World Cup Australia and New Zealand

March



 

18-21

MITT Moscow Int Travel Expo


15

Mothers’ Day

 

8th

International Women’s Day

 

4-8

ITB Berlin March 04-08, 2015, Berlin, Germany Messe Berlin

 

18-22

Holidays 2015 Tourism Fair, Sarit Centre Nairobi

 

19-22

Salon Mondial du Tourism, Paris

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