Colors: Yellow Color
Colors: Yellow Color

Around the world, popular tourist destinations have reached a tipping point. A growing middle class, improved connectivity, and the desire of people everywhere to see the world means that these destinations are being saturated with visitors in a new phenomenon known as overtourism.

Overcrowding is disrupting daily life, degrading precious natural and historic sites, and impacting the traveler experience. This phenomenon, dubbed “overtourism,” has led to civic protects and residents demanding that tourists go home.

The Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) and The George Washington University’s International Institute of Tourism Studies is presenting a day-long interactive forum to discuss solutions to the global problem of overtourism on September 27, 2018 at The George Washington University, Jack Morton Auditorium, 805 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20052.

The 2018 World Tourism Day Forum will focus on this increasingly important issue. The forum will feature five moderated panel discussions covering historic cities, national parks and protected areas, World Heritage Sites, coastal and beach communities, and national and regional destinations. Speakers will share innovative insights on how to protect these special places.

Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife has taken the pool party concept to a new level with the launch of 'Lagoon Party'; a series of events featuring renowned international DJs, acrobatic performances, live musical entertainment and tropical vibes around its huge man-made lagoon located next to the hotel on the edge of the island's south-west coast.

Set to the rhythm of live music by the likes of Eric Morillo, Harry Romero, Sebastian Gamboa, Rudimental, Nervo and Roger Sánchez, as well as saxophonists and percussionists, each Lagoon Party offers ten hours of non-stop fun on alternate Saturdays throughout the summer until October.

After premiering in style earlier this summer, bringing together an average of 2,500 people who gathered to party to live sets by Eric Morillo, Harry Romero and Rudimental among others, Lagoon Party returns on 18 August with Eric Bobo of Cypress Hill, and promises to keep surprising party-goers with new performances and musical sessions every other Saturday until 27 October.

In addition to the live sets by some of today's hottest DJs, guests can expect dancers, live music, floating bars with refreshing cocktails and delicious food at The Beach Club and Munchies Surf Bar at each event.  For an even more exclusive experience, there are three VIP areas that can be booked in advance, including three private Jacuzzis next to the lagoon and a dedicated space on the Hard Rock beach, where a special food and drinks menu will be offered.

The heatwave has fizzled out, September beckons and with the onset of autumn, chilly thoughts of winter need to be dispelled with plans for holidays in the sun.

Key ingredient for a winter break is, of course, guaranteed sunshine and the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba is a sure-fire winner. And with different styles of accommodation to suit every budget, the island should be a firm favourite on any winter destination shopping list.

Out of approximately 700 islands in the Caribbean, Aruba consistently ranks as having the least rainfall – averaging about 15 inches for the entire year. Temperatures from November to March will average 27°C, meaning Aruba's fabulous white sand beaches, lapped by the azure Caribbean Sea, are a sun-seeker's dream.

Visitors can choose from luxury and all-inclusive beach-side resorts to cosy B&Bs and a wide range of self-catering accommodation, making it an ideal choice whether you are looking for family-friendly stays on a budget or to splurge with a little luxury.

An online search of winter holidays in Aruba will quickly identify plenty of choice for holidays under *£1,000. And with a good choice of scheduled flights to Aruba – KLM Royal Dutch Airlines daily from 17 UK regional airports via Amsterdam, and British Airways and a number of US carriers offering options from London-Heathrow via US gateways, such as New York and Miami – it is easy to tailor-make a holiday with a departure date to suit personal requirements.

Aruba ticks just about all the boxes for winter sun holidays, whether you want to chill or get up and go. It has award-winning beaches close to many of the island's leading hotels, with safe bathing. The island is very popular with snorkelers and divers and it also offers just about every imaginable activity on or under the water. Golf, tennis, mountain biking, hiking, beach volleyball and fishing are just some of the other activities available.

Renowned for its cuisine, Aruba's multi-cultural make-up is reflected in its restaurants, offering local menus, as well as those specialising in dishes from around the world, including French, Italian and South American. Again, the island serves up choices for the budget-conscious or those who want fine-dining.

And for those who like to party on into the night, Aruba has a vibrant after-hours scene. Clubs and discos, dinner cabaret shows and a wide range of casinos will entertain you into the small hours – before you safely make your way back to your hotel by taxi (no fare surcharges at night) or on foot.

And if you are planning a winter stay in February or March, 2019, you could catch Aruba's colourful and extraordinary carnival season. A series of events culminates in the Grand Parade through island capital Oranjestad on Sunday, March 3. This parade is filled with music and luxurious floats and costumes in various designs and decorated with a wide variety of colourful stones and feathers, creating a unique display. Aruba's main event starts at 12 noon in Oranjestad and continues into the evening. This is the largest and longest of all the Aruba carnival parades with the most spectators and participants. The midnight burning of King Momo, a life-size effigy of the spirit of Aruba's carnival, signals the end of the season.

The family run Northern Lights Resort & Spa, located in the picturesque Yukon River Valley, is building three new extravagantly appointed Aurora Glass Chalets for the 2018-19 winter season. The chalets are purposely built with the ultimate Aurora viewing experience in mind, however, they will be available for year-round use.

Aurora viewing packages in the chalets can now be booked for 1 December 2018 onwards and a minimum of a three nights stay is required. The Aurora Glass Chalets can also be booked for Bed & Breakfast accommodation in the summer season from June to August 2019.

The new chalets are a magical way to experience the wintry star-filled sky and the Northern Lights, while lying comfortably in a warm bed. The large floor-to- ceiling wrap-around windows open to the Northern Sky, directly in front of the queen size bed.

All the chalets are designed for double occupancy with a queen bed, cosy recliner chairs behind the floor-to-ceiling windows, in-floor heating and an elegant fireplace, a small kitchenette, and beautifully appointed bathroom with tiled walk-in shower.

Just a few steps away from the chalets are the resort's other services including a spa, an outdoor jacuzzi, lounge, bar and dining room and other catering services. Northern Lights Resort & Spa also has four cosy and traditional log cabins, all with the same comfort and amenities as the new glass chalets.

New research by MoneySuperMarket reveals that Brummies are borrowing more than other locations to pay for their holidays, with those from Birmingham taking out over £7.5 million in holiday loans since 2016 - nearly £3,000 on average per person.

The study shows that almost half (48 per cent) of Brits are willing to borrow money in some capacity to go on holiday, with holiday loans now being the third most common way to fund a trip after saved cash and credit cards.

Millennials are most likely to borrow to fund their travels, with over a fifth saying that they would consider a holiday loan. Two in five millennials who said they would take out a holiday loan would be open to using it to upgrade their hotel, compared to only 12 per cent of those aged 35+, while a quarter would use a loan to upgrade to an all-inclusive holiday.

When looking at the length of the loan, 44 per cent of Brits expect to take less than a year to pay off their debt. This figure rises for millennials, with over half (53 per cent) believing that they’ll be able pay off their holiday loan in less than a year. In reality, the average term is nearly two and a half years (29.3 months).

When it comes to those in the Midlands who are considering a holiday loan…

26 per cent would go abroad rather than staycation

14 per cent would upgrade to all-inclusive

13 per cent would go up one or more stars in accommodation

14 per cent would extend the length of their stay

11 per cent would add excursions or activities

Those in the Midlands could be spending nearly three times as much on their holidays than they initially predicted. The research found that on average, Midlanders are willing to borrow £1,100 to fund a holiday. However, the actual average holiday loan amount according to MoneySuperMarket is just over £3,000 – meaning that a large percentage of holidaymakers could be spending more than anticipated.


Kenya’s tourism industry has undergone challenges such as the uncertainty surrounding the political landscape in 2017. Yet, its resilient performance has been impactfully felt on the Kenyan economy, directly contributing Ksh. 294.6 billion (USD 2.9 billion), which is approximately 3.7% of the GDP in 2017. By the end of 2018, the contribution is expected to rise by 5.2% to Ksh. 310.1 billion and to Ksh. 515 billion by 2028. In a hospitality report by Jumia Travel, Kenya earned 1.2 billion US Dollars from tourism expenditures last year, up from approximately 989 million US Dollars in 2016; a 20% increase. This, as international arrivals to Kenya reached 1.4 million as compared to 1.3 million in the previous year, representing an increase of 9.8%.

Image by Sergey Novikov

Some of the economic drivers that highly contributed to the stability included enhanced security in the country, infrastructural developments like The Standard Gauge Railway, a steady macroeconomic environment, improved budgetary allocations by the government, and increased air connectivity within Africa. Serena Hotels’ Regional Sales and Marketing Director Rosemary Mugambi, applauds the government’s strides in enhancing the industry in the areas mentioned below.

More diverse tourism products

Kenya’s core tourism resources are beach and safari products. It can be noted from the National Tourism Blueprint, that the government has identified existing gaps and is now set to do much more in identifying new opportunities that should allow the opening of a wider scale of diverse tourism products, addressing needs within existing products and developing new ones. It should be expected that in addition to market research to identify best practices and products, there will be closer partnerships with the private sector and other stakeholders to ensure long term sustainability and alignment of tourism products with market needs.

Tourism Marketing

Recently, countries like Rwanda, and traditionally South Africa have noticeably upped their tourism marketing strategies to maintain and increase market share in the international tourism market. Whilst Kenya’s reputation as a top African tourist destination has always managed to place the country as a leader in the industry, it is imperative that marketing campaigns for destination Kenya be more innovative to capture the imagination of travelers across different segments; from the niche market to the more budget conscious. Adequate marketing funds also need be availed consistently.

Promotion of Domestic Tourism

Domestic tourism has taken off exponentially in the last few years, generating 62% of direct travel & tourism GDP in 2017 as foreign spending contributed 38% according to the hospitality report. Concerted efforts by both government and the private sector to increase the local tourism numbers at times when international tourist figures went down have paid off handsomely; and all players stand to be lauded for the hard work. The unified brand of #TembeaKenya through the Kenya Tourism Board has certainly helped build awareness especially within the counties – a good initiative that must continue to receive the necessary support. Much remains to be done to educate Kenyans on their country as a travel destination, and in continually positioning Nairobi as a regional hub. The resultant benefit is Kenya being a ‘must go to’ destination for both corporate and leisure travel from the region and beyond within the continent.

Protection of Tourism Resources

The conservation of valuable resources like wildlife is paramount. It is commendable that the elephant population in areas like the Tsavo National Park has increased significantly following efforts to contain poaching and management of human-wildlife conflict by the Kenya Wildlife Service. A park which previously had become almost forgotten is now slowly coming back to life as a viable tourism area. This is just one example of success stories that are not told enough for rightful gain.

However, the unfortunate death of 11 rhinos (the eleventh was found dead on the morning of Monday the 6th Aug) during a translocation from Nairobi and Nakuru national parks to Tsavo East; is an example of occurrences that hurt the sector and which should not happen in future. Ultimately, the government must play the role of ensuring that the right policies and regulations are in place and adhered to and provides the enabling environment. The industry must also play by the right rules and procedures in developing the industry to ensure Kenya maintains and grows its slice of the cake in the market. It is all about partnerships.