Colors: Yellow Color
Colors: Yellow Color

Durban is the official host of the largest travel industry trade show in Africa, Indaba, that opened yesterday. Sibusiso Mngoma, Senior Manager, Information & Tourism Sevices at Durban Tourism wants African Tourism Board to hold its first conference in this multi-cultural showpiece of a global destination.

This was discussed in a meeting with African Tourism Board Vice President Cuthbert Ncube and CEO Doris Woerfel.

The Zulu Kingdom, or the Province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) in South Africa has a devout following throughout continental Africa. Nowhere else in the world will one find such a unique fusion of raw natural beauty, modern sophistication, cultural diversity and pulsating energy – all in the most breath-taking natural setting.

Durban has become the hub of Tourism with its diverse cultural products, a Province that has a rich cultural history.

African Tourism Board interim chairman Juergen Steinmetz commented from the U.S: “This South African multi-cultural city is the ideal place for all of Africa to come together and celebrate the beauty of the African continent as one destination. Thank you to our CEO and VP to open the doors for our young organization to get to know Sibusiso Mngoma and his team in KwaZula-Natal. We will certainly consider this generous offer.”

Cuthbert Ncube added: “Durban Tourism suggested to host us during the Month of September 2020 if we are ready, being the month of Tourism.”

Founded in 2018, the African Tourism Board is an association that is internationally acclaimed for acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from, and within the African region.

Red Rocks Cultural Center in Rwanda founder Greg Bakunzi has been appointed as the latest board member of the African Tourism Board. He is a star in African Tourism with a vision for the industry, for sustainability, and for his unique approach in generating business to Rwanda and the whole of Africa.

Just in February Mr. Bakunzi made his country Rwanda proud when he was featured on the global tourism and conservation map as the founder of Red Rocks Cultural Center and claimed another award during the 10th Tourism Investment and Business Forum for Africa (INVESTOUR) awards. The event was organized jointly by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), FITUR, and Casa Africa.

ATB President Alain St. Ange welcomed Greg to his Board appointment saying: “It’s a good day for African Tourism. I am very pleased Mr. Bakunzi agreed to join our board and share his leadership and vision with Africa. This is great news for our new organization.”

Greg reached out to fellow members and the African Tourism Industry saying: “It is with great honor and appreciation that I thank you for this great opportunity to be a productive part of the African tourism board, I truly appreciate the courtesy you have extended to me.

Thank you again for your confidence in me. I am looking forward to beginning my work as a part of your organization. My journey in tourism and community development spans over 15 years and as a newly appointed board member of the ATB am excited to bring my expertise and knowledge to support further implementation of the objectives of the African Tourism Board.

I started back in 2001 as a tour guide and eventually founded my company Amahoro Tours which has grown since back in 2008 I saw my business grow to a level that I was proud of. After that, in 2011, I thought I should do something else without giving up Amahoro Tours, that’s when I came up with Red Rocks Rwanda as a cultural center, which is which now works with Red Rocks initiative for Sustainable Development, a non-profit organization operating in Africa working with individuals and groups to encourage, support, and celebrate more sustainable actions through creating awareness of Global warming and also ending the use of plastic seed bags, thus preserving our natural  resources and cultural heritage with the purpose of promoting tourism and environmental conservation as the leading sustainable community empowerment tool to uplift the socio-economic status of our members.

I am looking forward to using my capacity as an advocate for responsible tourism that benefits the surrounding communities and areas through providing jobs and ensuring that we understand what challenges communities face and how to overcome them by using their abilities as a base for finding sustainable solutions.

According to a report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF), the travel industry will double in the next 5 years, generating trillions annually and as part of my personal strategy is to position our destinations as travelers favorites, by agreeing  with the belief that prioritizing sustainability in the tourism sector means people and economies will in general greatly benefit because of globally the  African continent has much more exciting and abundant natural attractions to offer travelers.

It is against this background that I will use my platform to encourage others to fully understand that we need to shape up or change our mindsets and acknowledge the fact that community and tourism is beneficial to the development of our travel destinations

As a passionate community development advocate, am pleased to let you know that Red Rocks has been given international awards for the work we have been doing. Most recently Red Rocks were selected as one of the best community tourism organizations in Rwanda by the Chamber of Tourism. We have been also been awarded by the United Nations as one of the best tourism initiative organizations in #Africa and Green Destination Travel has given us a certificate for Best Green Destination Travel Area.

In my opinion, my biggest achievements are different events and conferences I have attended around the world. These events show me that there is actually a lot more to do than what I did. The best part of the conference is where I pick something and share with other people in the same industry and my plans are to use Red Rocks in the future and I want it to be one of the best ecotourism destinations in the region and on the continent.

I understand that this task comes with responsibilities and am glad to offer my best of effort for the great advancement of tourism development, and tourism investment in the region.

Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to be a part of the African Tourism Board and I look forward to the work we have ahead of us.”


Cartagena, the colonial port city on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, represented by COTELCO Cartagena, joined the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) as its 33rd destination and the first commercial association to join the regional association in more than 15 years.

COTELCO Cartagena, a chapter of Colombia's hotel and tourism association, has 56 affiliated hotels and more than 4,000 hotel rooms, including brands such as GHL Hotels, Hilton, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Karisma Hotels and Resorts, Movich Hotels, Radisson Hotels and Resorts, Sofitel and Hyatt. In Colombia, COTELCO Nacional has 900 affiliate hotels throughout the country with a presence in 23 departments.

"We are absolutely delighted that COTELCO Cartagena, which represents the jewel in the crown of Colombia, has joined CHTA with its brilliant fusion of Caribbean and Latin American culture adding enormously to the rich diversity of our organization," said Frank Comito, CEO and Director General of the organization that represents the interests of the private sector throughout the region.

The Caribbean port of Cartagena de Indias was founded in 1533 and its old walled city and fortress, called colonial city, once repelled invaders and pirates. These days, thanks to the efforts of COTELCO, the charming city now welcomes visitors to its tiled roofs, balconies, flower-filled courtyards and lively social life.

The history of Cartagena, where the treasure of gold and silver of the New World was sent to the Old World, is impregnated with romance and drama and is the final resting place of the great liberator Simón Bolívar. The heroic history of Cartagena is evident in the ancient churches that were built as fortresses to reject pirates and foreign invaders such as Sir Francis Drake.

"Cartagena is one of the Colombian Caribbean cities with the greatest tourist potential and one of the most visited in the country. Its monumental treasure, which is a World Heritage Site, declared by UNESCO, and which is in an excellent state of preservation, constitutes one of its greatest attractions," said Monica Mass Tinoco, Executive Director COTELCO Cartagena. " The perfect combination of sea, walls, legends and history, distinguish our destination as a unique brand of the Caribbean. It also has the archipelago of Nuestra Señora del Rosario, an island area that offers white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters, and you can reach it in 40 minutes, by speedboat from the docks of the old city."

Cartagena, a popular tourism destination in Colombia, has a wide variety of attractions and climates - from coral reefs and steep peaks of the highest coastal mountain range in the world, located in Santa Marta. As well as an exuberant variety of marine species and wildlife, Colombia has more than 1,900 types of birds, the largest variety of avian life in the world.

"There is an indefinable quality about Cartagena that is difficult to understand if you have not been touched by the magical realism introduced to the world by Nobel Laureate Gabriel García Márquez, but there is no doubt about the impressive cultural and artistic heritage of this country," said Martha Valdivia, CHTA's Director of Membership Development.  "They have such a rich hotel product which comprises a mixture of old historical culture and new modern facilities, and of course, the impressive beaches that we know and love in the Caribbean," added Valdivia.

Raúl Bustamante, General Manager of Intercontinental Cartagena, said that Cartagena represents "the door of entry from the region to Latin America ... and as such, we have much that we can contribute to the association, (while) at the same time ... learn from our new colleagues and friends who are members of CHTA. "

The admission of COTELCO Cartagena into CHTA was unanimously approved at CHTA's Board of Directors meeting in Montego Bay, Jamaica in January.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a new campaign to help local holiday and travel businesses improve the clarity of their terms and conditions.

The ‘Small Print, Big Difference’ campaign is being run in partnership with the lead associations representing the holiday and travel industry, including ABTA – The Travel Association, UKHospitality and the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) amongst others.

As holidaymakers get ready to make the most of the Easter break, the CMA’s campaign is calling on holiday and travel businesses to ‘check in’ and make sure they are using fair terms and conditions in their customer contracts. It also encourages businesses to be upfront and clear with their customers about charges and fees, especially in the event of a customer cancellation.

Holidays can be an expensive outgoing with people in the UK spending an estimated £81 billion on them at home and abroad in the 12 months to April 2018. However, some holidaymakers may have to cancel their plans due to changes in circumstances such as an illness or death in the family.

Under consumer law, businesses may be entitled to ask customers to pay a cancellation fee to cover their losses, but the amount they keep must be in proportion to what they are losing. Cancellation terms that don’t follow this approach are likely to be unfair and businesses can’t rely on them to resolve claims or disputes with customers.

A national survey of 2,000 people by Ipsos Mori, released by the CMA today, shows what members of the public feel should happen if they have to cancel a trip. Regional results for the West Midlands show that:

  • 90% think they should get all, or most, of their money back if they cancel and the business re-sells their booking
  • 86% feel that it’s unfair if they have to pay part of the full cost of a booking when they cancel
  • 65% feel that travel and holiday businesses do not always make it easy to cancel a booking as they should

A term can be legally unfair if it gives the business an unfair advantage. Examples of unfair terms can include those which allow a business to take a large, upfront deposit and refuse to refund any of the customer’s money if they cancel, regardless of the amount the business is losing or the reason for the customer cancelling.

Another example is when a business insists on a large cancellation fee which bears no relation to the actual losses it experiences from the cancellation. A term is more likely to be fair if it clearly explains how a charge reflects what a business will genuinely lose from a cancellation, and the way this charge is calculated is reasonable.

Douglas Cooper, a Project Director at the CMA and Regional Champion for the Midlands, said: “With billions of pounds spent on domestic tourism trips to hotspots such as Birmingham in the West Midlands each year, we are calling on travel businesses in the region to ‘check in’ on their terms. Nobody wants to cancel a trip or holiday. If they have to, it’s important that they are treated fairly and don’t lose out more than is absolutely necessary.

“Whilst fair terms can reassure customers about the business they are working with, unfair terms can’t be enforced – and therefore won’t protect companies if they are challenged. It might be small print, but it makes a big difference.”

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive of ABTA, said: “At ABTA, we recognise the importance of customers feeling confident that they are buying from a business that commits to treating them fairly. ABTA has discussed its model terms and conditions with the CMA, and along with the ABTA Code of Conduct, I am confident they provide our Members with a strong framework to ensure they are compliant with the regulations and are fair for customers.

“There are circumstances when a cancellation charge may apply, but it must genuinely reflect the costs of cancellations faced by the travel company. We always encourage people to take out travel insurance as soon as they book their holiday, which should protect them from the costs for most cancellations.”

Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality, said: “The CMA’s campaign has followed legislation aimed at providing crucial accuracy and transparency for both businesses and customers. It is vitally important that our customers have full confidence when they make a booking with a hotel, a restaurant, a B&B or any other hospitality business.

“A clear understanding of terms and conditions can help foster an open and responsive relationship that gives our customers peace of mind and boosts businesses.”

Derek Moore, Chairman of AITO, said: “AITO - The Specialist Travel Association welcomes the CMA’s timely reminder to its members to make sure that their booking conditions are fit for purpose and fair to the consumer. With the myriad of travel organisers, many from outside the UK and EU, targeting UK consumers, understandable and transparent conditions have never been more important”.

The CMA’s campaign invites local businesses to ‘check-in’ on their terms to make sure they’re being fair to their customers, by using the CMA’s advice to help them review their contracts.

A new website ( contains accessible advice and information for businesses on unfair contract terms law and what they can look for when reviewing their terms and conditions. In addition, the CMA has produced detailed guidance to help businesses and their legal teams understand how to apply the law.

The two arms of the African Tourism Boardhad their official launch event yesterday at the Cape Town International Convention Center Conference Theatre during World Tavel Market Africa.

The African Tourism Board Association and the African Tourism Board Marketing Association are joining under the brand African Tourism Board and are now seen as a new Chapter on how Africa becomes one tourism destination. Both arms have access to the “ATB friends of the media group”, and are coordinating activities and events whenever possible.

The Association is fully under African Leadership. It’s based in South Africa, and is forming an initial group of directors to work with newly appointed President Alain St. Ange from Seychelles.

On his team of supporters are Cuthbert Ncube, Regional Vice-Chair UNWTO Affiliate Membership and Chief Executive Director Kwela Fleet Management. The Hon. Minister or Tourism for the Kingdom of Eswatini, formerly Swaziland, Kwakye Donker, CEO African Tourism Partners in Ghana and South Africa, Francoise Kameni Lele, AFBS Cameron, the Hon. Minister Madam Memunatu B. Pratt, the Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs for Sierra Leone, among many others.

African Tourism Board Marketing Association is based in the United States and is providing overseas marketing support for Africa under the leadership of Juergen Steinmetz of the eTN Group in Hawaii, USA and Doris Woerfel in Pretoria, South Africa. Together with a team of global supporters, the marketing arm of ATB will explore new opportunities and cost-sharing projects for inbound tourism for the African Continent.

As a start at the ATB launch last night Dov Kalmann explained the potential of travelers from Israel for Africa and introduced the new African Tourism Board office in Tel Aviv.

Arjun Mukundd from T&A Consulting India mentioned that the outbound travel from India is increasing at 10-12% annually and Indians are constantly looking at new destinations to explore. Africa with its rich culture, wildlife and pristine beaches would be a great holiday option for Indians.

Additional ATB offices are planned in the United States and Germany to start with.

Chairman Juergen Steinmetz explained: “Sharing resources, going after potential niche markets, sharing costs and giving both destinations and stakeholder’s representation in key markets will help to raise awareness for the African continent. We like to open a window for large, medium and small businesses in a sustainable way.”

Newly appointed CEO Doris Woerfel sees huge potential for Africa from China and will be concentrating to build a broad membership base in Africa for ATB.

The launch was an action-packed event in Capetown hosted by Carol Weaving, Managing Director of Reed Exhibition Africa. She pledged the support of the World Travel Market for African Tourism Board.

Cape Town Tourism CEO Enver Duminy supported the need for an African Tourism Board in his welcome remark.

The highlight of the event was a 30-minute presentation by Dr. Peter Tarlow on security and safety. There is no tourism without security, he said in an engaging session last night. Dr. Tarlow was appointed as the new Travel & Security advisor for African Tourism Board Marketing Association. He is leading

The launch started with a dinner sponsored by Tony Smith of the HongKong based iFREE Group . The group also provided free ATB sim cards to everyone attending.


Discover Puerto Rico, the Island’s first-ever and new Destination Marketing Organization, today announced that the Island will serve as the host for the World Travel & Tourism Council 2020 Global Summit, following the formal announcement made by WTTC at today’s closing ceremony of the 2019 Summit in Seville, Spain. Representing the global private sector of travel & tourism, the Global Summit is regarded as the most important worldwide event in the sector, and gathers significant global business leaders, yearly.

“We’re honored to have been chosen as host destination for the upcoming World Travel and Tourism Council 2020 Global Summit. Puerto Rico is a place where rich culture and natural wonders lay the foundation for an immense bounty of one-of-a-kind experiences. We’re thriving as a destination of global importance and hosting this Summit will elevate even further our tourism offering, positively impacting the local economy. We look forward to welcoming the global tourism industry next year to discover all that Puerto Rico offers,” said Brad Dean, Chief Executive Officer of Discover Puerto Rico.

In Puerto Rico, the travel industry employs roughly 77,000 people, contributes 6.5% to the Island’s GDP and impacts a noteworthy 17 additional sectors of the economy. This, on the rise given the Island’s increasing popularity as a must-visit destination on a global scale, and validated given the selection by the WTTC, as the first U.S. Island territory to host the respected event.

“We are delighted to bring next year’s Global Summit to the beautiful tropical Caribbean island of Puerto Rico, a welcoming and diverse destination that is attracting travelers from all over the world,” said Gloria Guevara Manzo, President and CEO of WTTC. “We’re particularly excited because the destination provides ease in traveling and doing business since Puerto Rico is a US territory yet has the allure of the Caribbean.”

The WTTC Global Summit will be held from April 21-23, 2020 at the District San Juan, a five-acre hospitality and entertainment district opening later this year. The complex is currently being designed and poised to be the most vibrant and popular setting for events, conventions and performances in the Caribbean.

Puerto Rico’s unique history and offerings set it apart as a global destination, including a fusion of Taino Indian, Spanish and African cultures, seen vividly in the food, music and architecture. Found on the Island is El Yunque, the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. forest system; three of the world’s five bioluminescence bays; and El Monstruo, the longest zip line in the Americas.

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, the leading all-inclusive resort brand with properties in the Caribbean and Spain, is running its signature two-week sales campaign, the ‘Happiness Sale’, with exclusive discounts and special offers on stays in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Jamaica, Spain and the Canary Islands.

The sale offers travellers discounts of up to 30%. Additionally, one child (0-12 years) can travel for free on stays from 1 May to 31 October 2019, depending on the destination. The sale is valid on all bookings made between 9 and 16 April 2019 for travel until 31 October 2019 on all Bahia Principe properties, with options for families, couples or large groups.

The sale applies on Bahia Principe’s wide portfolio of properties such as the new Luxury Bahia Principe Fantasia Tenerife in Tenerife and the newly refurbished Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar in the Dominican Republic, as well as the brand’s exclusive four-star Sunlight properties located in Tenerife and Mallorca. These include, the Sunlight Bahia Principe Coral Playa, the Sunlight Bahia Principe Costa Adeje, the Sunlight Bahia Principe San Felipe, and the Sunlight Bahia Principe Tenerife. Each property offers an exclusive experience for travellers of all-ages, with stunning views, as well as traditional Spanish gastronomy, spas, and a variety of rooms suitable for families, as well as groups of friends and couples.

“As summer approaches, the Happiness Sale allows travellers to enjoy an all-inclusive experience in the Caribbean, Spain and Mexico at a very attractive price,” said Lluisa Salord, senior vice president of global sales, contracting and distribution of Grupo Piñero “This exciting deal is our brand’s signature promotion, demonstrating our commitment to providing holiday-seekers with unlimited ways to experience happiness, featuring remarkable service, high-end facilities and top amenities.”

In 2018, the brand announced a portfolio rebranding and segmented properties into experiences including:  Treasure – featuring hotels in exceptional and off-the-beaten-path locations, Escape – a sophisticated experience for adults only, and Family & Friends – for those that seek a wholesome experience. By taking advantage of the Happiness Sale travel window, travellers can plan their holiday and book a stay at any of Bahia Principe’s paradisiacal locations to enjoy a curated experience to their travel preferences.

The final discount is subject to the travel period, destination and booking channel.


The St. Kitts Ministry of Tourism and the St. Kitts Tourism Authority are delighted to announce that St. Kitts and its Sustainable Development Council has won a prestigious Tourism for Tomorrow Award from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), presented at their Global Summit in Seville, Spain, headlined by keynote speaker Barack Obama. Taking home the Destination Stewardship Award for 2019, St. Kitts is now officially recognized as a global leader in sustainable tourism.

“It is a great honour to be recognized by the WTTC alongside organizations pursuing leading practices in sustainable development,” said the Hon. Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism for St. Kitts & Nevis. “Our Sustainable Development Council facilitates partnerships and relationships among public and private sectors as well as among all people in St. Kitts, to ensure that development in our destination preserves and benefits our environment, culture, heritage and community livelihoods. We hope this preservation will lead to long-term tourism growth and allow people to enjoy our beautiful island for many years to come.”

WTTC’s Tourism for Tomorrow (T4T) Awards are the world’s top accolade in sustainable tourism; they recognize the highest ethical standards in the sector and are respected by industry leaders, governments and international media alike. The Awards are aimed at recognizing best practices in sustainable tourism within the industry globally, based upon the principles of environmentally friendly operations; support for the protection of cultural and natural heritage; and direct benefits to the social and economic well-being of local people in travel destinations around the world.

Now in their 15th year, the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards took place at a special ceremony during the WTTC Global Summit in Seville, Spain, held April 3-4, 2019, to celebrate inspirational, world-changing tourism initiatives from around the globe. The Destination Stewardship Award recognizes organizations helping a place to thrive and bring forward its unique identity for the benefit of its residents and tourists. Accepting the award for St. Kitts was Permanent Secretary (Ag.) in the Ministry of Tourism Mrs. Carlene Henry-Morton and Assistant Secretary Mrs. Diannille Taylor-Williams.

Permanent Secretary Morton noted, “In accepting the award on behalf of St. Kitts, it is important to acknowledge the team whose hard work laid the foundation for our sustainability program. Particular recognition goes to the Sustainable Development Council, chaired by Assistant Secretary Diannille Taylor-Williams, the Department of Marine Resources, the St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network, the Heart of St. Kitts Foundation, the staff of the Ministry of Tourism and the St. Kitts Tourism Authority.”

The 2019 WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Award Winners are highly commended and recognized for business practices of the highest standards that balance the needs of ‘people, planet and profits’ within the Travel & Tourism sector. Award winners promote inclusive growth and illustrate a strong commitment to supporting change and transformation in business practices and consumer behavior towards a more environmentally conscious sector.

The Awards are judged by a panel of independent experts, including academics, business leaders, NGO and governmental representatives who narrowed down the list of 183 applications to just fifteen finalists. The three-stage judging process included a thorough review of all applications, followed by on-site evaluations of the Finalists and their initiative. The Winner of each category was determined by the WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards 2019 Winners’ Selection Committee. WTTC represents the global private sector of Travel & Tourism. Its Global Summit is the most important event in the sector worldwide each year.


The Cardamom Tented Camp in Cambodia joined fellow finalists to salute five tourism projects that were announced as global winners at the World Travel and Tourism Council’s 2019 Tourism for Tomorrow Award ceremony in Seville, in Spain.   Cardamom Tented Camp was a finalist in the Changemaker category along with Kelompok Peduli Lingkungan Belitung (KPLB, Indonesia) and SEE Turtles (USA), which was announced as winner. The category was created to recognise a tourism-related initiative that is fighting the illegal wildlife trade through sustainable tourism.   The other four 2019 Tourism for Tomorrow winners were Awamaki (Peru) in the Social Impact category,St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council (St. Kitts and Nevis) in Destination Stewardship, Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort (Aruba) in Climate Action, and Lemon Tree Hotels (India) in Investing in People.

There were 180 entries from 70 countries for the awards.

“It was a great honour for Cardamom Tented Camp to be recognised with 14 other inspirational sustainable tourism initiatives from around the world,” said Willem Niemeijer, CEO of YAANA Ventures and operator of the conservation lodge in Cambodia, who attended the award ceremony in Seville.   “Meeting fellow finalists here in Spain has been a hugely uplifting experience. It reaffirms our commitment at Cardamom Tented Camp and YAANA Ventures to keep leading by example and championing sustainable tourism as a force for good,” he said.   The formation of the camp in 2017 was made possible by a unique partnership between Wildlife Alliance, the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (supported by Minor Hotels), and the camp’s operator, YAANA Ventures.   Since opening in November 2017, the Cardamom Tented Camp has integrated the role of 12 forest rangers who protect a 180 sq km (70 sq miles) lowland forest concession in Botum Sakor National Park into the guest experience.   The rangers take turns to lead conservation tourism hikes through the forest. They show tourists confiscated traps, mesh and weapons used by poachers. In turn, the camp helps the forest rangers with salary support and physical amenities such as solar power generators at ranger stations.   Due to the rangers work, the illegal wildlife trade has been massively reduced in the forest which is now seeing a resurgence in formerly-traded mammals such as the endangered clouded leopard, sun bear, northern pig-tailed macaque, pangolin, the Nicobar crab-eating macaque, and the (extremely shy) pileated gibbon, to name a few.   Since opening, the Cardamom Tented Camp has operated under the slogan, “Your Stay Keeps the Forest Standing.”   In March, Cardamom Tented Camp announced an innovative 5D/4N “Adventurer” package for ecotourists seeking a meaningful conservation experience in Southeast Asia. It also announced a 3D/2N “Jungle Camp” package using tentsile tree tents.


A wave of climate protest is sweeping the planet, and those of us working in tourism would do well to reflect quickly on how it will impact our industry, and what we should do.

Children across the world skiped school to protest at us adults’ inability to ensure them a liveable future. We don’t know how many exactly took to the streets for sure, but in total it may well have been in the 100,000s. The website FridaysForFuture lists the number of countries where actions were announced – over 1209 actions, in 92 countries.

Whatever the total turn out, the scale that the movement continues to grow at is phenomenal. It only began last August, when one 15-year old girl, Greta Thunberg, sat by herself on the footsteps of the Swedish Parliament. She has continued to do this every Friday since, with more and more children – and adults – joining her both there and elsewhere around the world.

So what should those working in tourism do? There has never been a better time to get priorities straight.

Last month several prominent scientists and academics – including the climatologist Kevin Anderson, who was keynote speaker at World Responsible Tourism Day in 2015, and Sir Tim Smit, Co-Founder of the Eden Project, signed an open letter “in solidarity with the children going on school climate strike”.

As Professor Anderson wrote on Twitter; “In just a few months a new global constituency has emerged, whose voices are loud and demands cogent. It’s up to the rest of us to listen to, engage with and then act for & with them. We owe them thanks for saying what most of us know, but have been too afraid to acknowledge.”

Children want the chance to enjoy the world in ways we have long taken for granted and built the world’s largest industry upon. Speak with (and more importantly listen to) them at home, or maybe share this post or add comments on your social media. Wherever our children are talking together – let them know that we will work with them and for them to try to ensure that future. Ask them what they want us to do.

Remember how scared you were of nuclear war when first you heard of the possibility. Imagine being a child, and learning about climate change. Nuclear War would only have happened if someone did something stupid. Climate Breakdown only doesn’t happen if we all stop.

Second, there need not see this strike in exclusion, but as part of the ‘new global constituency’ that Anderson refers to. In Amsterdam, over 40,000 people marched people marched to protest climate collapse. There’s much more to come. The Children’s Climate Strike will be followed by a global ‘week of action’ by the Extinction Rebellion, a loose – and also rapidly growing – collective of people across the world using direct action to disrupt daily life and urge governments to “reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025.”

On March 11, legal proceedings against Heathrow’s Third Runway opened in the High Court in London. Since, research by London School of Economics’ Grantham Research Institute into the corporate disclosures of 20 of the world’s largest listed airlines found that their long-term targets appear to fall short of the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to below 2°C.

According to the new research – backed by over $13 trillion of investors such as BNP Paribas and Legal & General Investment Management: ‘None of the 20 airlines has a target that clearly specifies how it will reduce its own flight emissions after 2025.’

Last year the horizon was brought much closer, with the UN IPCC report stating that we had 12 (now 11) years to radically decarbonise our entire economy. What these strikes, protests, rebellions, court cases and other urgent actions should make clear is that we can’t wait a decade – we need to make the changes now. If I want to be 10kg lighter in 12 months, it’s best not to put off starting my diet for 11.

As individuals, as companies, as destinations, there needs to be commitment to a path of removing carbon from our core operations so that at the very least we are adding no more CO2 to the atmosphere by 2030, and ideally we are drawing it back down into the trees, plants and soil where it belongs. Plot your path from now until then. And realise then that the quicker we go, the cheaper and more effective it will be in the long run.

It’s going to be very difficult, especially for aviation – so we will need to work together. As Andrew Simms, Coordinator of the Rapid Transition Alliance and another signatory to the open letter I mentioned above wrote last week: “The question of whether something is ‘ecologically workable’ needs to dethrone questions of whether something is economically or ‘politically workable’.” Like the children, we all need to get our priorities straight.

If you start now, you stand a chance. Children might get to enjoy their holidays in 2050. Now there’s a long term goal worth striving for.

An Easter weekend break is on the cards this year with some of the UK and Europe’s top short break destinations proving a great chance to get away.

There is an excellent range of destinations, and a great selection of attractions and entertainment options to keep the whole everyone happy.

Whether it’s LEGOLAND, or a night-out in one of the UK's major towns or cities, there are offers that will have you spoilt for choice.

From fun-filled Chester Zoo, or escaping on one of the popular European Easter breaks, such as a Paris Eurostar and hotel break, to any of the great value last minute Easter breaks available, finding a great value Easter holiday break is probably easier than you think.

In the wake of the Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 air crash, the airline’s Group CEO, Tewolde GebreMariam, issued a statement in which he wrote: ‘It has been more than two weeks since the tragic crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302. The heartbreak for the families of the passengers and crew who perished will be lasting. This has forever changed their lives, and we at Ethiopian Airlines will feel the pain forever. I pray that we all continue to find strength in the weeks and months ahead.

The people of Ethiopia feel this very deeply, too. As a state-owned airline and the flagship carrier for our nation, we carry the torch for the Ethiopian brand around the world. In a nation that sometimes is saddled with negative stereotypes, accidents like this affect our sense of pride.

Yet this tragedy won’t define us. We pledge to work with Boeing and our colleagues in all the airlines to make air travel even safer.

As the largest aviation group on the continent of Africa, we represent The New Spirit of Africa and will continue to move forward. We are rated as a 4-star global airline with a high safety record and member of Star Alliance. That will not change.

The investigation of the accident is well underway, and we will learn the truth. At this time, I do not want to speculate as to the cause. Many questions on the B-737 MAX airplane remain without answers, and I pledge full and transparent cooperation to discover what went wrong.

As it is well known in our global aviation industry, the differences training between the B-737 NG and the B-737 MAX recommended by Boeing and approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration called for computer-based training, but we went beyond that. After the Lion Air accident in October, our pilots who fly the Boeing 737 Max 8 were fully trained on the service bulletin issued by Boeing and the Emergency Airworthiness Directive issued by the USA FAA. Among the seven Full Flight Simulators that we own and operate, two of them are for B-737 NG and the B-737 MAX. We are the only airline in Africa among the very few in the world with the B-737 MAX full flight Simulator. Contrary to some media reports, our pilots who fly the new model were trained on all appropriate simulators.

The crews were well trained on this aircraft.

Immediately after the crash and owing to the similarity with the Lion Air Accident, we grounded our fleet of Max 8s. Within days, the plane had been grounded around the world. I fully support this. Until we have answers, putting one more life at risk is too much.

Let me be clear: Ethiopian Airlines believes in Boeing. They have been a partner of ours for many years. More than two-thirds of our fleet is Boeing. We were the first African airline to fly the 767, 757, 777-200LR, and we were the second nation in the world (after Japan) to take delivery of the 787 Dreamliner. Less than a month ago, we took delivery of yet another new two 737 cargo planes (a different version from the one that crashed). The plane that crashed was less than five months old.

Despite the tragedy, Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines will continue to be linked well into the future.

We also are proud of our association with U.S. aviation. The general public does not know that Ethiopian Airlines was founded in 1945 with help from Trans World Airlines (TWA). In the early years, our pilots, flight crews, mechanics and managers were actually employees of TWA.

In the 1960s, after the handoff, TWA continued in an advisory capacity, and we’ve continued to use American jets, American jet engines and American technology. Our mechanics are Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified.

Our first direct passenger service to the U.S. began in June 1998, and today we fly direct to Africa from Washington, Newark, Chicago and Los Angeles. This summer, we will begin flying from Houston. Our cargo flights connect in Miami, Los Angeles and New York.

U.S. travel to Africa has increased more than 10 percent in the last year, second only to travel to Europe in term of the percentage increase — traveling to Africa has increased more than traveling to Asia, the Middle East, Oceania, South America, Central America or the Caribbean. The future is bright, and Ethiopian Airlines will be here to meet the demand.

In less than a decade, Ethiopian Airlines has tripled the size of its fleet – we now have 113 Boeing, Airbus and Bombardier aircraft flying to 119 international destinations in five continents. We have one of the youngest fleet in the industry; our average fleet age is five years while industry average is 12 years. Moreover, we have tripled the passenger volume, now flying more than 11 million passengers annually.

Each year, our Aviation Academy trains more than 2,000 pilots, flight attendants, maintenance workers and other employees for Ethiopian Airlines and several other African airlines. We are the company others turn to for aviation expertise. In the last 5 years, we have invested more than half a Billion dollars in training and other infrastructure in our Addis Ababa base.

We will work with investigators in Ethiopia, in the U.S. and elsewhere to figure out what went wrong with flight 302.

We resolve to work with Boeing and others to use this tragedy to make the skies safer for the world.’






Qatar Airways celebrated the arrival of its 250th aircraft, an Airbus A350-900 from Toulouse, France, the latest addition to the group’s growing fleet of passenger, Cargo and executive aircraft.

This impressive landmark comes just 22 years after the carrier began operations, and is testament to the incredible growth of an airline that has become world-leading in that time, winning a host of awards, including the ‘Skytrax World Airline of the Year’ accolade on no less than four occasions.

The new A350-900 joins the airline’s state-of-the-art fleet, where the average age of aircraft is less than five years old. As of March 20, Qatar Airways’ fleet is made up of 203 passenger aircraft, 25 Cargo and 22 Qatar Executive jets.

Commenting on the achievement, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “I am extremely proud that we have reached this historic landmark of having a fleet that now numbers 250 aircraft. The delivery of our newest Airbus A350-900 is a mark of the outstanding growth we have seen over the last two decades, and to our commitment to flying only the newest and most technologically advanced aircraft in the world.

“Qatar Airways is moving forward with the rapid expansion of our global route network, an enhanced on board product offering in all cabin classes and, most importantly, taking delivery of the world’s most technologically advanced aircraft because we want our customers to have an unforgettable experience when they fly with us. This is an important moment in our growth, and I look forward to seeing our fleet grow even more in the coming years.”

Qatar Airways is renowned for its state-of-the-art fleet. Last year, the airline became the world’s launch customer of the Airbus A350-1000, symbolising Qatar Airways’ determination to lead the way in the industry by pioneering and championing the latest technology and innovation. In 2014, the airline became the global launch customer of the Airbus A350-900, becoming the first airline in the world to operate every family of Airbus’ modern airliner portfolio.

In January 2015, Qatar Airways deployed its newly-received, world-first, Airbus A350 XWB aircraft on the Frankfurt route and in 2016, it became the first airline to fly the A350 family of aircraft to three continents.

A multiple-award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Business Class’ by the 2018 World Airline Awards, managed by international air transport rating organisation Skytrax. It was also named ‘Best Business Class Seat’, ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, and ‘World’s Best First Class Airline Lounge’.

Qatar Airways operates a modern fleet of 250 aircraft via its hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA) to more than 160 destinations worldwide.

The airline has launched an array of exciting new destinations recently, including Gothenburg, Sweden; Mombasa, Kenya and Da Nang, Vietnam. Qatar Airways will add a number of new destinations to its extensive route network later this year, including Lisbon, Portugal; Malta; Rabat, Morocco; Izmir, Turkey; Langkawi, Malaysia; Davao, Philippines; and Mogadishu, Somalia.


VisitEngland has launched a new Awards for Excellence format to reflect innovations across England’s tourism industry as it marks 30 years of the Awards.

The national tourism agency announced the new format during the Awards 30th celebrations held last night March 11 at London’s Banqueting House on Whitehall.

The annual VisitEngland Awards for Excellence celebrate quality, innovation and best practice across the country’s tourism industry. The refreshed format embraces the impact of digital technology, the growing demand for experienced-based travel and tailoring tourism products and services that cater for international visitors.

VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said: “The tourism landscape in England is continuously evolving with visitors using technology to personalise the products they choose and our Awards must keep up with the aspirations of tourists.

“The VisitEngland Awards for Excellence have been redesigned, refreshed and streamlined to better reflect today’s tourism landscape. They also adhere to the guiding principles of the awards, recognising and rewarding the outstanding quality and standards thriving at the heart of our industry.”

New categories introduced for 2019-20 include ‘Experience of the Year’, ‘International Tourism Award’ and ‘New Tourism Business Award’ as well as simplified application forms and a new application management platform.

The judging panels will be tailored to suit each category type whether assessing sustainability, accessibility or food, leading industry figures will take part in the judging to ensure rigorous assessments.

The revamped Awards align with the 18 regional competitions that take place across the country, ensuring local winners are automatically put forward for the national Awards.

VisitEngland will also support destinations that do not currently hold local competitions to launch Awards of their own, giving greater coverage across England.

Applicants for 2019-20 will first need to progress through a regional competition, the first two of which opened recently in the south west and Cumbria.

Tourism in England contributes £106 billion annually to the British economy, creating jobs and boosting economic growth.

More information will be available shortly via

From rock-climbing, urban kayaking, ziplining, scuba diving and canoeing the majestic Mississippi River, to braving great heights at the top of one of Chicago’s skyscrapers, there is something for every adventure seeker this spring/summer throughout the state of Illinois.  

KAYAK THE WINDY CITY…The Chicago River flows across the city, crossing the downtown Loop, and is famous for having its flow reversed in the late 1800's. The 156-mile-long river links the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River. While you can always stroll along the beautiful Riverwalk, why not hop into a kayak and wind your way through the metropolis. Paddle your way along the river in a single or double kayak with the help of an expert guide from Kayak Chicago. This river outfitter offers guided tours, classes and rentals, as well as individual and group instruction.

REACH NEW HEIGHTS ON THE GRAFTON SKY TOUR…This new unique aerial lift, known as the Grafton Sky Tour, will open at Aerie’s Resort & Winery along the Great River Road this spring, offering amazing views overlooking the Mississippi River. The Grafton Sky Tour, will be one of the few ‘chandola’ (chair and gondola) style designs in the United States.

GO HIKING AT THE GARDEN OF THE GODS…The adventure begins on the southern tip of Illinois at the Garden of the Gods in Shawnee National Forest. Hike through dramatic rock formations and rugged bluffs, jump across crevasses and meander through woodland to get to the top in order to experience spectacular views of the forest and surrounding area. The forest has a system of 403 miles of equestrian/hiking trails for guests to find their feet in. For rock climbing, take a short trip to Draper’s Bluff. This private climbing park offers several fantastic climbs, including the ‘Ant Hill’ and the ‘Bloody Nose’ climb.

NAVIGATE THE MIGHTY MISSISSIPPI…For travellers navigating the Mississippi River, the Navarro Canoe Co. is a welcoming stop, home to beautiful, handcrafted canoes and a genuine Illinois hospitality in Rock Island, along the banks of the Mississippi River. From there, canoers can head down the Mississippi River to Alton, a town in-between the beautiful Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, against a backdrop of trees and limestone bluffs. Alton was recently featured as one of 50 most charming small towns in America by Travel Canoeing can be done throughout the state of Illinois, for more information see here.

ZIP LINE THROUGH THE TREES…Zip through the Shawnee National Forest at the state’s first entirely tree-based, eco-friendly canopy tour, located deep in 83 wooded acres. Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tours in Makanda has eight lines, with the longest stretching an incredible 1,100 feet. It’s an adrenaline-filled adventure and educational experience with a low environmental impact - there’s even a night tour. For a zip lining adventure closer to Chicago, check out Zip Chicago, located 80 miles southwest of the city in Marseilles. Whiz 85 feet above the ground at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour, while taking in views of the river valley below. 

LIVE ON THE EDGE IN CHICAGO…360 Chicago is an attraction that will forever change the way visitors see Chicago. A one-of-a-kind experience, TILT is an enclosed, glass and steel moveable platform that holds up to eight visitors per cycle. Once safely situated inside, the platform slowly tilts outward to an adventurous angle, generating downward-facing views of Chicago – from one thousand feet above The Magnificent Mile. TILT gives thrill-seekers an exciting and safe way to take in unsurpassable views of the city, from a never-before-seen angle.

PLAY MERMAID IN MERMET SPRINGS…Mermet Springs is a top spot in the state for fresh-water scuba diving. Belknap is an abandoned quarry lake with a full-service dive site and scuba training facility, featuring submerged training platforms, easy entry docs, dives from 15 - to 120 feet in depth and several sunken treasures to explore. It’s a first-rate diving experience for all ability levels, in a picturesque wooded setting surrounded by cliffs. Mermet Springs offers a comprehensive dive schedule throughout Spring/Summer 2019 with highlights including the Mermet Springs Open Water Classroom on 13-14 April and a Mermet Open Water Check Out Dives on 20-21 July 2019.

GO BIKING ON ROUTE 66…The Illinois Route 66 Trail offers 369 miles of quiet rural roads and city streets, and even some off-road adventure. Start in Chicago where the Mother Road begins and travel south soaking up classic Americana along the way, ending at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge in Collinsville.

EXPLORE THE WILD MIDWEST…In Wildlife Prairie Park, near Hanna City, guests can experience the Illinois Prairie as it once was. Explorers can experience more than 2,000 acres of natural habitat by train, or hike winding trails that overlook prairie and wetlands dotted with 150 animals native to Illinois, from elk and otters to wolves. The park has 14 miles of walking trails, 20 miles of mountain bike trails, and five fishing lakes to be uncovered.

CHASE WATERFALLS AT STARVED ROCK STATE PARK…Seasonal waterfalls, awe-inspiring bluffs and rugged canyons dominate the epic landscape at Starved Rock State Park. Rich with history and beauty, Starved Rock’s hiking trails meander through towering trees and beautiful vistas along the Illinois River. Outdoor activities include hiking, canoeing, paddle boat cruises, cross-country skiing (seasonal), trolley rides, fishing and picnicking. Take a splash in one of the many waterfalls in the area. The best times to dip into the waterfalls are in the spring when the days get longer and the snow and ice melt from the winter.

WHERE TO STAY? Starved Rock State Park: To be in the centre of the adventure, stay in the cabins at Starved Rock Lodge.

Shawnee National Forest: Stay in the stunning Makanda Inn and Cottages, an eco-friendly retreat located on 18 forest acres and constructed with all-natural building materials.

Timber Ridge Outpost and Cabins: Immerse yourself in the great outdoors and spend a night in a treehouse, the closest lodging to the famous Garden of the Gods in the Shawnee National Forest. Spend your days hiking, cycling, horse riding, bird watching or fishing, then return to the comfort of your home away from home in the trees, complete with a bathroom, kitchenette, heating and air conditioning. Timber Ridge also offers two modern log cabins, an authentic antique log cabin built in 1852 and two modern homes.


To mark the start of National Apprenticeship Week, British Airways welcomed its first Cabin Crew Apprentices at its world-class Global Learning Academy near Heathrow.

British Airways offers the largest Cabin Crew Apprenticeship programme in the UK and expects to employ around 2,000 cabin crew this year.  As part of the new year-long scheme, apprentices complete an intensive training course and then continue their training in the air and on the ground, with continuous support from a certified apprenticeship coach.

The airline is also taking on 48 former Monarch Aircraft Engineering Apprentices.

Earlier this year, the apprentices from the engineering arm of the collapsed short-haul airline were invited to visit British Airways’ engineering base at Heathrow. All 48 apprentices then accepted the offer to continue their apprenticeship with the airline, enabling them to complete the EASA Part-66 A licence and an NVQ in aircraft maintenance.

Jason Mahoney, British Airways’ Director of Engineering, said: “We’re committed to investing in the very best talent and are passionate about supporting development within the Engineering community. Having met the apprentices and seeing how driven, hard-working and capable they are, I knew that they would be the perfect fit for our team.  Helping them to qualify as aircraft engineers with British Airways is a fantastic outcome for everyone involved.”

Lee Rome, one of the former Monarch apprentices who will be joining British Airways, added: “We were all facing an uncertain future following the events that took place at Monarch in January. Myself, and many of my colleagues, felt our dreams of becoming qualified Aircraft Engineers slipping away. I couldn’t be more grateful to British Airways for taking us all on and allowing us to complete our apprenticeship - we’re all so excited to begin our British Airways journey.”

As the airline celebrates 100 years of flying, more than 100 places are now available on one of the airline’s seven apprenticeship programmes. From Head Office and Customer Service roles to opportunities in Engineering and Operations, there is a scheme to suit all skills and ambitions. In addition, the new Cabin Crew Apprenticeship programme will provide a further 1600 apprenticeship positions in 2019.

British Airways’ Apprenticeship & Emerging Talent Manager, Karen Hewitt, said: “British Airways has a long tradition of running quality apprenticeship schemes, offering apprentices an incredible insight into how to run a successful airline business. Our apprentices have the unique opportunity to learn from the very best industry experts, while undertaking practical training in a real-world environment.

“I would encourage anyone, at any age, to apply for one of our apprenticeships in 2019, as we celebrate our centenary and look ahead to the next 100 years of flying. There really has never been a better time to join British Airways.”