African countries have lost almost $55 billion in travel and tourism revenues in three months due to the coronavirus pandemic, the African Union (AU) commissioner for infrastructure and energy said.
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Botswana will undertake efforts to repatriate citizens stranded abroad due to coronavirus travel bans, with more than 100 travellers to arrive on June 3 from Ethiopia, President Mokgweetsi Masisi said on Saturday, May 30.
“In order to alleviate the plight of our citizens abroad who have been adversely impacted by the pandemic, mostly students and those affected by the global travel bans, we have decided to assist them with financial assistance to either cope where they are or to return them home,” Masisi said in a speech, transmitted by TV channels.
Masisi said the government has already helped 400 people to return from South Africa and neighbouring countries.
Botswana medics have established 35 coronavirus cases, one of patients died.
However in spite of the relatively low contamination cases rate the economy has been severely hit, with real gross domestic product forecast to contract by 13% in 2020.
Botswana ended a 48-day lockdown a week ago, allowing businesses and schools to reopen under strict conditions but its borders are still closed with only returning citizens and essential goods allowed in.
At present the toursitic industry operators reamin trapped between clients requesting their money back, and accommodation in safari lodges reluctant to return deposits. This has caused serious cash flow problems.
The proposal of a voucher or credit for the future trips do not convene many clients,
explainging they found themselves in a financially fragile situaiton, and they are not sure they will be able to afford the luxury trip to Botswana natural resorts in the future.
As a result the Botswana communities has been suffering a serious economic set back caused by absence of toursits, who were the major consumers of local services of guides, drivers, restaurants, traditional crafts, and souvenirs, and other endeavours related to the touristic industry infrastructure.
Africa’s tourism industry in general has been hard hit by coronavirus lockdowns. Overnight, hotel bookings were canceled, safaris postponed and cultural tours abandoned. The operators are struggling to stay afloat in hope the tourists will come back soon.
Nine of South Africa’s top wine and food tourism providers were named honourees in the inaugural Wine & Food Tourism Conference Awards at the close of this year’s Wine and Food Tourism Conference near Stellenbosch on September 18. They were presented with their trophies by Blacky Komani, chairperson of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa ().
The honourees are:
- Waterford Estate, Stellenbosch
- Delaire Graff Estate, Stellenbosch
- Leeu Collection, Franschhoek
The Authentic South African Experience
- Grootbos Nature Reserve, Gansbaai, Overberg
- La Motte, Franschhoek
- Die Tuishuise & Victoria Manor, Cradock, Karoo
- Creation Wines, Hemel en Aarde, Overberg
- Fryer’s Cove, Doringbaai, West Coast
- Spice Route Destination, Paarl
The judges were:
- Horst Frehse, tourism and hospitality consultant
- Gwynneth Matthews, conference specialist
- André Morgenthal, wine marketing and communication consultant
The Authentic South African Experience
- Judy Brower, Wine.co.za founder and owner
- Janet Pillai, hospitality entrepreneur
- Su Birch, wine marketing specialist
- Steve Massey, marketing thought leader
- Mac Mabidilala, marketing specialist
- Sheryl Ozinsky, co-founder of the Oranjezicht City Farm and tourism specialist.Drawn from Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek, the Overberg, the West Coast and the Karoo to include a mix of well-established favourites and hidden gems, they were chosen for having created outstanding and positively memorable tourist experiences that were an inspiration to others in the industry.
Tourists were startled when a lion attacked an antelope kudu in the middle of the road in the Kruger National Park, South Africa.
According to animal behaviorists, predators have been adapting to co-habitation with tourists, making best out of in, namely using cars as a cover for hunting of antelopes.
This is an advanced type of hunting, when for a few kilometers lions accompany convoys of vehicles with visitors, carefully observing the sides of the road. Due to noise of engines and smell of gases, antelopes do not feel the predators that hide among cars.
Visitors of the Kruger Park recorded such “car cover” hunting before, however this one was exceptionally spectacular due to size of the antelope, and pertinence of the lion.
Lions are the only social feline, who practice next to regular hunting a complex ambush hunting in a team, distributing tasks. Lions do a whole lot of more feline interactions in their lives than the loner tigers, and other big cats. They also practice school of hunting for young lions, teaching them skills and tricks.
The scientists claim that the part of the lion’s brain for memory is the most developed among felines and intelligence is related to memory.
The result of the 2016 animal intelligence test confirmed the greatest abilities of social animals to resolve problems. In this test social animals came first The hyena came as a champion on the top of the list, then the lion, the leopard followed, and the loner tiger with the biggest brain volume came the last.
An American citizen who was kidnapped with her driver at Uganda’s most popular wildlife park by gunmen had failed to take an armed ranger as required by the park’s regulations, a spokesperson for the wildlife authority said.
Four armed men in Uganda‘s Queen Elizabeth National Park. according to CNN have used the victim’s phone to demand $500,000 ransom.
“We strongly believe this ransom is the reason behind the kidnap,” a police officer said to CNN TV channel. They were ambushed and kidnapped near Katoke Gate between 5 pm and 7 pm on April, 2. “Other four tourists who were left abandoned and unharmed later contacted the base (lodge) and were quickly got safely out of any danger,” a press release said.
The Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP) is Uganda’s most visited wildlife attraction.
Kimberley Sue Endecott (35), and Ugandan driver Jean Paul were on a game drive in the Park when four gunmen ambushed their vehicle in evening hours, police said. However, an elderly couple also at the scene were not taken and raised the alarm.
Militant groups as Somali Islamists or Congolese-based rebels operate in Uganda, but none of the group claimed responsibility for the armed incident. At present the regular crime is regarded as a privileged version of the assault.
There is ongoing police operation, however for the evident reasons, the details are not revealed.
Kenya’s profit from tourism raised by almost a third in 2018 from the previous year to 157.4 billion shillings ($1.55 billion), after the number of visitors increased by 37%, the tourism ministry said.
The World Bank report 2018 on Ease of Doing Business ranks Kenya No. 80 up from No. 92 in 2017, and is expected to rise in 2019, contributing mainly to tourism sector.
However the UK government Foreign travel advice warns, that “bag snatching is common in transport hubs like bus stations, railway stations and airports. Mugging, kidnapping, car-jacking and armed robbery occur regularly, particularly in Nairobi, Mombasa and other large cities. Foreigners are not generally targeted, but incidents of violent crime have resulted in the death of several British nationals in recent years. Crime rates are higher in slum areas of Nairobi, the Old Town of Mombasa and on and around the Likoni Ferry (which links Mombasa and the southern resorts). Gun attacks in Kwale County on the south coast resulted in fatalities in September and October 2017. You should be vigilant at all times and follow any security advice given by your employer or your hosts.”
A Lebanese tourist arrested last month for posting a video on Facebook complaining of sexual harassment by men and conditions in Egypt was sentenced to eight years in prison by a Cairo court on Saturday, July 7.
Ms. Mona el-Mazboh was arrested at Cairo airport at the end of her stay in Egypt after a 10-minute video in which she called Egypt a “son of a bitch country” went viral on social media.
The 24-year-old Ms.Mazboh complains of being sexually harassed by taxi drivers and young men in the street, as well as poor restaurant service during the holy month of Ramadan and an incident in which money was stolen from her during a previous stay.
A Cairo court found her guilty of deliberately spreading false rumours that would harm society, attacking religion, and public indecency, judicial sources said.
While a video of a tourist is a personal point of view, the conviction of the Court will have an effect of a massive repellent for tourists from the West to come to Egypt, which will cause further damages to the entire tourist industry, going through difficult times since Arab Spring.