The Africa Travel Association (ATA) announced today that registration is now open for the 37th Annual World Congress, to be held from May 18-22, in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, one of the world’s top natural wonders and adventure capitals. ATA’s hallmark event on the African continent will be hosted by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) under the auspices of the Honorable Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Walter Mzembi. The theme of this year’s event is “Africa Tourism: Partnering for the Future.”
Delegates can register for the five-day travel industry event online at ATA’s website: http://africatravelassociation.org/congress_reg.html or call +1-212-447-1357. Special early bird rates for ATA members and students are available until April 30 at $400. After this date, ATA members can register for $500. Non-member registration fee is $600.
Among the expected 300 participants, are tourism ministers and industry experts representing tourism boards, tour operators, and their product development executives, front-line agents, ground operator companies, airlines, and hotels. Participants from the travel trade media and the corporate, nonprofit, and academic sectors are also expected to attend, along with African Diaspora representatives and ATA’s Young Professionals Program participants.
Zimbabwe is home to a diverse range of tourist attractions, including its own seven wonders: (1) people and culture, (2) history and heritage, (3) Great Zimbabwe (grand medieval palace), (4) Victoria Falls (Mosi-oa-Tunya), (5) wildlife and nature, (6) Eastern Highlands, and (7) Lake Kariba. Delegates will sample some of these wonders during the Host Country Day and by participating in pre- and post-congress tours.
The ATA International Board of Directors meeting will be held on Friday, May 18. Saturday, May 19, begins with sessions focusing on Destination Zimbabwe, followed by an opening ceremony with cultural entertainment. The next few days include ample networking, learning, and professional development panels and workshops, addressing industry topics, such as community-based travel, agro-tourism, academic travel, faith-based tourism, e-tourism, marketing, branding, private sector investment, women and tourism, sustainable tourism, and African culinary products. Delegates will also participate in roundtables for tourism ministers, a media marketplace, networking events, host country day(s), and gala dinners. Zimbabwe will also organize a marketplace, featuring art, sculpture, and daily excursions in Victoria Falls. The event will close on Tuesday, May 22. Pre- and post-congress excursions and trips will be available to delegates.
The Congress will take place at the Elephant Hills Resort, www.elephanthillshotel.com , in Victoria Falls. The venue offers special accommodation rates for delegates. Special rates are also available at other hotels in Victoria Falls for delegates at http://africatravelassociation.org/events/ac.html .
PRESENTING SPONSOR AND OFFICIAL AIRLINE
South African Airways, Presenting Sponsor and Official Airline of the 2012 ATA World Congress, has organized special discounts for delegates attending the ATA World Congress in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. For travelers originating from one of SAA’s US gateways (New York City or Washington DC), there are discounts of 10 percent off of most published fares. For delegates traveling from one of SAA’s African or other international gateways, discounts of between 5 to 15 percent off of most published fares are available. For more information on SAA and their international gateways, please visit www.flysaa.com.
TANZANIA (eTN) – Wildlife and tourism stakeholders are skeptical about the Tanzanian government’s decision to abolish retention of funds, collected by wildlife conservation institutions, for other spending, saying the plan would kill the wildlife parks.
Conservationists from Tanzania’s capital city of Dar es salaam and the northern tourist city of Arusha saying that the government of Tanzania should stop meddling with conservation of wildlife by shelving retention of funds collected from tourists for other spending.
Comments from wildlife conservationists were aired after Tanzanian minister for Finance Mr. Phillip Mpango announced through the parliament a plan by his government to abolish retention scheme which allowed public institutions to bank the operational funds for own spending.
Under the new arrangement by the government of Tanzania, all public institutions, including the national parks, will be required to submit all park fee collections to the Ministry of Finance for retention under the central government control.
Conservationists fear that in this case the national parks and wild game reserves failing to execute their duties for lack adequate funding. Tanzania’s government had earlier allowed the wildlife conservation institutions to spend their own generated funds for strengthening anti-poaching operations.
Wildlife conservation institutions in Tanzania are the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) and Wildlife Division, which has been transformed to Tanzania Wildlife Authority (TAWA).
Friends of wildlife conservation and tourist stakeholders have been worried to see the Tanzania’s government sucking the tourist fees, collected by wildlife parks, for other uses outside conservation activities.
An outspoken member of parliament Mr. Peter Serukamba warned the government over consequences ahead of its own decision to siphon funds from wildlife parks, a situation he said would kill the tourist parks through the lack of adequate funds for protecting the wildlife.
In Tanzania, all wildlife parks are managed by the government through the ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, but operating freely through collection of park entry fees collected from visitors, concessions, hunting and other fees remitted by visitors and companies operating inside the parks.
On the other side, Tanzania depends on foreign support for wildlife conservation activities.
Tanzania National Parks is the leading and biggest wildlife conservation institution, commanding and managing 16 parks, which stand as the leading tourist attraction and the source of tourist revenues approaching US$2 billion from 1.2 million tourists, as per recent statistics.
Built in 1921, the Grain Silo complex at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront is set to become a hive of activity for travellers and locals.
Visitors are in for a visual feast at one of Africa’s top tourist attractions – the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.
Together with leading architects, the Waterfront is transforming six grain silos into spectacular sustainable spaces with harbour and mountain views. The complex, originally built in 1921, will house the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) and Silo Hotel.
The V&A Waterfront’s Silo District is already home to a six-star green office space and more than 30 luxurious apartments (these are silos one and two). Since completion in 2013, both developments have scooped national awards.
Plans for silos three, four and five include additional residential development, a Virgin Active Classic Health Club and another office building. All three are scheduled for completion next year.
According to siloblog.co.za, the state-of-art Zeitz MOCCA will also be finished in 2016. It’s been described as “… a new public non-for-profit cultural institution focused on being the first major museum in Africa and a leading museum in the world”.
Once the tallest building on the Cape Town skyline, the repurposed complex will showcase what is considered “the most extensive and representative collection of contemporary art from Africa … gifted in perpetuity … by ex-Puma CEO and chairman, Jochen Zeitz”.
Spanning nine floors, gallery spaces will also display travelling international exhibitions. In addition, CapeTownMagazine.com reports that the museum is dedicating “an entire floor to art education, a fancy rooftop sculpture garden, a storage and conservation vault, a number of reading rooms, a bookshop, a café and a restaurant and bar”.
The Silo Hotel, located atop the museum, will boast 360-degree mountain and sea views. The Waterfront’s CEO, David Green, believes the luxury boutique hotel “will offer something rather unique by virtue of its size and incredibly spacious location”.
Another unique offering at the V&A’s Silo District will be the first Radisson Red hotel in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Occupying silo six, the concept hotel is set to open its doors to guests early 2017.
President and CEO of hotel group Carlson Rezidor, Wolfgang Neumann says, “Radisson Red is inspired by the trends and lifestyle of the millennium and is totally tapped into modern, high-octane and high-tech travellers.”
Says Green, “The Silo District will offer business opportunities, accommodation, lifestyle options and eateries.”
He adds, “Developments will be focused around the Zeitz MOCAA that sits at the heart of this district and the surrounding new central pedestrian plaza – Silo Square – providing a gathering place for locals and international visitors alike.”
Western Cape MEC of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Alan Winde has applauded the developments at the V&A Waterfront, saying “They are continually reinvesting and reinventing their offering.”
A series of new incentives to help tourism establishments grow their businesses and to improve South Africa’s tourism attractions were announced by Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
The investment of around R600-million will help establishments to become graded and seek new markets for their products, and will later include retrofitting key with renewable energy sources. South Africa’s tourism sector had performed very well in the past two decades, Hanekom said.
“The pace of growth in the tourism sector has outstripped the growth in the overall economy significantly. We are now well positioned to do more, to continue growing, and to transform the sector by making it more inclusive and sustainable.
“It is estimated that tourism supports 1.4-million direct and indirect jobs and contributes 9.5% of South Africa’s total Gross Domestic Product. ”
“Tourism has enormous transformative power,” Hanekom said. “Tourism has a very strong multiplier effect on host communities and has a supply chain that extends deep into the economy.”The Tourism Incentive Programme represents an investment of R557-million over the medium term to support tourism enterprises to reach their full potential, Hanekom said.
The programme will put tourism businesses in a better position to make sustainable contributions to the growth of the industry and to the country’s economy, making South Africa a more competitive global destination, Hanekom said.
The programme will start by focusing on creating better access to new markets and customers, encouraging greater participation in the grading system, and making catalytic investments in key tourist attractions.The programme comprises:
- A subsidy towards the costs incurred by tourism establishments to participate in trade exhibitions and marketing roadshows. This will include a capped reimbursement towards pre-determined expenses such as airfare, accommodation and exhibition fees for participation in marketing platforms supported by South African Tourism.
- Support for owners of establishments who want to be graded by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa in the form of a structured system of retroactive discounts or rebates on the assessment fee for grading. This aims to make grading more affordable for smaller businesses, and encourage more establishments to become graded.
- A pilot project to retrofit facilities at state-owned destinations and attractions such as World Heritage sites and National Botanical Gardens with renewable energy technology. This will guide the design of a programme to help make establishments, including those in the private sector, more environmentally sustainable.
The Tourism Incentive Programme supports the objectives of South Africa’s overall industrial policy, which includes creating jobs, building the local industrial base and transforming to a green economy.
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