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Niyi David

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Makorokoto egoredzva, ndinokuchingamidzai mugore ra 2020.

Finally, 2019 has ended. I would like to acknowledge that it was an amazing year but I am undoubtedly excited this new year 2020. Even before the old year petered out, my friends and I were fired up to use the hash tag #2020 on Instagram. We had long been talking about this new year as though it were already here then, so I honestly really believe that 2020 is definitely going to be an amazing year.

l got the chance to visit my family in Sydney, this festive season and l am so grateful for this experience. However, one question has been on my mind, and that is: “How was this world created?” My personal appreciation of the Most High motivates me to see the rest of His beautiful creation. Even with all the different continents, cultures and languages, as human beings we all still manage to find so many things in common, but the one thing that brings us all together is God who created us and all His amazing works 

No matter if you are in Africa, or any other part of the world l truly think that God does love us all and that this gift of life is all we need and that we should appreciate what we have in this world. In my opinion, even if you are not where you want to be or you’re not living your dreams, we have to realise that we need to be happy wherever we are with what we have. In saying that, however it does not necessarily mean you should not chase after your dreams.

A quote from one of my favorite Australian motivational speakers, Nick Vujicic, says that; “In this life, you can have everything but knowing your Creator and what He says about you is PEACE!” There is nothing as good as having a great relationship with God, and by the way l don’t think we have to be perfect because He is our Father, He is the Most High the Creator of the beautiful heavens and earth, and He understands our frailties.

 This is something l just really wanted someone to know as l am just here reflecting on the goodness in the world 🌎 and how beautiful everything is. As we kick off the new year, l just want to encourage everyone to reflect on life, on all the goodness, on everything and begin this 2020 with a really fresh start and know that the sky is our limit. Ndinokutendai nekuverenga, ndinokushuvirai gore rakanaka. Mwari akukomborerei. HAPPY NEW YEAR AND WELCOME TO 2020!

According to data published ahead of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2020, which will take place from April 19 to 22, 2020 at Dubai World Trade Centre, an estimated US$810million in travel and tourism revenue is expected to be generated from Nordic tourists travelling to the GCC from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland by the year 2024.

The UAE will witness the highest growth with total tourism spend by Nordic visitors projected to reach US$718 million by 2024; an increase of 36% when compared with figures from 2018 and tourism spend per trip to reach US$2,088, predicts the latest Colliers International research, commissioned by the organiser of Arabian Travel Market, Reed Travel Exhibitions.

Danielle Curtis

Expected to witness the second largest increase is, Saudi Arabia followed by Bahrain, with total Nordic tourism spend estimated to reach US$86,670,000 and US$53,000,000 respectively, by 2024.

Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director, Middle East (Arabian Travel Market), said: “The Nordic countries’ outbound tourism market has experienced incremental growth over the last five years, with 50.5 million overseas visits made by residents during 2018 alone.

The UAE will continue to be the preferred GCC destination for Nordic tourists, welcoming a projected 342,200 tourists by 2024. Saudi Arabia and Oman will follow with 17,300 and 16,500 respectively, while Bahrain will welcome 7,000 and Kuwait 800.

“And, with Nordic citizens enjoying one of the highest average incomes in the world and being amongst the world’s highest spenders while travelling abroad, the GCC is looking to capitalise on their spending power over the next five years.

“Adding to this, ATM is witnessing this growth first-hand with the number of delegates, exhibitors and attendees interested in doing business with these countries increasing by 35% between 2018 and 2019.”

Looking at Nordic outbound tourism figures, arrivals from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland to the GCC will increase 23% over the period 2018 to 2024, driven by an increasing number of new and direct flight routes,relaxed visa requirements and the vast number of unique travel experiences that the region has to offer.

Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia have been popular destinations for Norwegian business tourists for many years due to their joint interests in the oil industry, while for Swedish, Icelandic, Danish and Finnish tourists, the UAE and wider GCC region offer year-round sunshine allowing them to escape the constant mid-winter temperatures of below freezing.

According to the Colliers data, approximately 383,800 Nordic citizens will travel to the GCC in 2024, with Swedish tourists leading the number of arrivals, totaling 191,900. Visitors from Denmark will follow with 76,700 arrivals, closely followed by Norway, Finland and Iceland with 62,800, 47,200 and 5,200 arrivals, respectively.

Curtis said: “The UAE will continue to be the preferred GCC destination for Nordic tourists, welcoming a projected 342,200 tourists by 2024. Saudi Arabia and Oman will follow with 17,300 and 16,500 respectively, while Bahrain will welcome 7,000 and Kuwait 800.

“Driving this demand in the UAE, Emirates currently operates direct flights to Norway, Denmark and Sweden and last year introduced a direct flight to Iceland, following the closure of low-cost Icelandic carrier WOW Air. Meanwhile, Norwegian Air operates direct flights between Oslo and Dubai five times a week and flydubai has direct flights between Dubai and Helsinki in Finland.”

ATM, considered by industry professionals as a barometer for the Middle East and North Africa tourism sector, welcomed almost 40,000 people to its 2019 event with representation from 150 countries. With over 100 exhibitors making their debut, ATM 2019 showcased the largest ever exhibition from Asia.

Adopting Events for Tourism Growth as the official show theme, ATM 2020 will build on the success of this year’s edition with a host of seminar sessions discussing the impact events have on tourism growth in the region while inspiring the travel and hospitality industry about the next generation of events.

Harare. Jan 3, 2020….

The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) is set to exhibit for the first time at the 27th edition of the South Asia Travel and Tourism Exchange (SATTE) in New Delhi, India which will take place from 8-10 January, in an effort to enhance destination awareness and foster market visibility.

The South Asia Travel and Tourism Exchange is one of the leading B2B platforms which bring together global travel and tourism players, focused on tourism business exchange.

According to the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Acting Chief Executive, Givemore Chidzidzi, this year the ZTA is focussing on nurturing and growing new and emerging tourism markets.

“There is need for us to mark our presence in the Indian market. We will have to be actively increasing our marketing activities there. To kickstart this process, we will be participating at the SATTE 2020. The Fair will provide a platform for the country’s tourism industry players to establish new business partners and strengthen relations with key partners and stakeholders from the Indian market and beyond” he stated.

Adding that, “As part of our plan to solidify our presence in this market, we will do follow up roadshows later in the year.”

In terms of tourist arrivals, Zimbabwe received 12,465 tourists from India in 2018, a significant 79% increase from the 6,960 arrivals recorded in 2017.

“As a country bestowed with rich cultural heritage, Destination Zimbabwe is strengthening its tourism business and entering emerging markets. The potential is huge and our main thrust is to continue intensifying our marketing efforts in this market in particular.” Chidzidzi noted.

India is part of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) family hence it has emerged as one of the fastest growing economies and dependable tourism markets globally.

The former Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine of Seychelles and President of One Seychelles, Alain St. Ange has sent out a an end-of-year/New Year message of hope to the Seychellois people. St. Ange, who is a much respected and sought after speaker for tourism and aviation forums and conferences, is running for office in the coming elections in Seychelles under his One Seychelles party. The full message which was made available to More Cream Than Coffee can be read below…

As 2019 draws to a close, the hardships that the year has brought and Seychellois have endured cannot be overlooked. On my campaign trails I have seen much suffering which would open the eyes of many to the glaring disparity between the haves and the have-nots in Seychelles, including a struggling mother sharing a tin of old sardines with her children. As the saga between the Legislative and Executive continues to be dragged out and point-scoring is rampant, this poor woman continues to stress about feeding her children, and her basic needs are not being met. There is so much more that can be done for families such as this, so much more that is owed to her. 

This new year is bringing with it a chance for us to give Seychelles a renewed purpose, and a real change. 

As President of the One Seychelles Party, I would sincerely like to express my heartfelt thanks to all party members, supporters and also the citizens of this beautiful country who are steadfastly working towards a brighter future for our children and grandchildren. I would like to thank you all for your support, inspiring devotion, perseverance, determination and commitment.

Despite the many challenges that come with being the Third Force which dares to stand up against two well-funded parties, we will persevere in the fight to make Seychelles the One Seychelles that we need it to be.

Let us take a moment to reflect on the state of our nation, the state of our health and education systems, on law and order, our various economic sectors as well as the decisions that our present leaders are taking. Are these decisions the right ones for the people of Seychelles? Are we creating the future that we desperately need? Do we still want to keep living on false hopes and promises?

To those who are frustrated and have had enough with waiting for housing assistance, to single parents who are seeking assistance and are being refused, to all those earning below the stated poverty line and to those who are trying to make ends meet while some are benefiting from the same State resources with big salaries, is this what you want for the coming years? 

Each citizen of this country has an important role to play in the Nation’s progress. We deserve to have a rightful place in the centre of the country’s development and future plans.

Together, we are One Seychelles and Seychelles needs each one of us to restore unity, prosperity and harmony within its communities.
There is a need for us to reinforce law and order, peace and security for both our people and visitors to our shores. It is time to adopt measures to legalise medicinal marijuana, to ensure an incorruptible and truly independent judiciary by making them financially autonomous, to bolster Seychellois workers by ending preferential treatment of foreign workers over them, to put an end to monopolies which are crippling upcoming business people, and discuss social issues that are truly affecting our society and are creating a negative impact on our economy. 

The time has come to quit talking and debating, and to start taking real actions to address these issues and protect our economy. On behalf of the One Seychelles Party, I would like to reaffirm that we will keep on striving to bring the changes we need and that the People have been begging for for years.

We ask all those who want to see poverty alleviation become a reality, prosperity, peace, a reduction in the cost of living, modernised education and health systems, a defined action plan on how to tackle the social ills affecting our communities, join us and together let us make these goals a reality. 

I pray that this festive season will be a time where we do reflect and make good decisions for our people, our children, our struggling elderly citizens, our unemployed youths, our under appreciated workforce and the future generations. 

For those of you who are suffering, I pray that you will not give up hope. I pray that you will be given courage, strength and perseverance to see you through the coming year, which promises increased taxes and higher costs of living. 

I wish all our members and supporters as well as the people of Seychelles a Happy and Prosperous New Year. Let it be the year of change.

The former Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine of Seychelles and President of One Seychelles, Alain St. Ange has sent out a goodwill message as the world celebrates Christmas. The message from the much respected and sought after speaker for tourism and aviation forums and conferences was made available and can be read below…

CHRISTMAS MESSAGE FROM ALAIN ST. ANGE, PRESIDENT OF ONE SEYCHELLES

Let the spirit of Christmas bring joy and smiles to young and old. Let us make time for our elderly ones for they too wish for a better Seychelles, for added comfort and peace.

Christmas is a time of joy, peace and harmony. It is a time where we share love and we forgive. A time when families and friends strengthen their bonds.

It is a time of sharing and giving. While some are cheering, some are weeping, others are struggling. Our thoughts this Christmas go out to those who are in need and are facing challenging times. As Christmas is a time when unity reigns, we pray that in our reflections for a better tomorrow, we think of the less fortunate ones.

May our reflections and actions help to give them hope of a brighter future, where they can also receive added joy and comfort during Christmas time. May we be guided towards creating new beginnings for not only ourselves but for our country, and especially the people who are struggling and striving for a better life.

During this time when families and friends unite and build stronger relations, let us support one another and remind each other that we need stronger families to build stronger communities and to become one Seychelles, one people.

Let the spirit of Christmas bring joy and smiles to young and old. Let us make time for our elderly ones for they too wish for a better Seychelles, for added comfort and peace. 

The future that we wish to build is not only for the young generation, but we must also think of them too. They also deserve to enjoy happiness and more prosperity in their old days. They deserve to find employment in their Seychelles so that they can build their own families on a strong footing.

May we join hands and work together to bring cheers and joy to those who cannot have a merry Christmas day. May we think of them and set a new way forward that will enable them to also enjoy a Christmas day filled with laughter and joy.

Tewolde GebreMariam, Group Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines has been named as ‘Airline Executive of the Year’ by the Centre for Aviation (CAPA) at the annual Global Aviation Awards for Excellence in Malta on 5th December 2019. Regarded as the pre-eminent awards for strategic excellence in aviation, CAPA initially established the awards in 2003 to recognize successful airlines and airports based in the Asia Pacific region. The awards later expanded to the global stage in 2012 to acknowledge aviation excellence worldwide.

Tewolde GebreMariam has become a giant in African aviation over the past decades. This past year he has been most strenuously challenged following the MAX accident, and emerges with an even stronger reputation. We are proud to present him with this award and look forward to him continuing to lead the airline to even greater heights.

GebreMariam bagged the honour which is awarded to the airline executive who has had the greatest individual influence on the aviation industry, demonstrating outstanding strategic thinking and innovative direction for the growth of their business and the aviation industry at large. According to CAPA Chairman Emeritus Peter Harbison,

“Tewolde GebreMariam has become a giant in African aviation over the past decades. He has guided a marginal airline into becoming a major global force, with a modern fleet and a world class operation. This past year he has been most strenuously challenged following the MAX accident, and emerges with an even stronger reputation. We are proud to present him with this award and look forward to him continuing to lead the airline to even greater heights.”

Responding, Tewolde GebreMariam said, “I am honoured to have received the award and I sincerely thank CAPA for the recognition. We at Ethiopian have achieved greater milestones as one family. I want to dedicate this award to my colleagues: more than 16,000 brave men and women around the world who always challenge themselves to soar higher with the mind-set that every step they take can become new history and milestone in today’s 21st century aviation business.”

Having served Ethiopian Airlines in different capacities for decades, Mr. Tewolde took the helm of Africa’s leading flag-carrier as Group CEO in January 2011, and his outstanding leadership that propelled Ethiopian to the top of Africa’s aviation. He has received a number of prestigious accolades in the aviation industry, and was recently listed as one of the 100 Most Influential Africans in 2019 by New African Magazine.

Alain St. Ange has once again advocated for the betterment of aviation and tourism. The former Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine of Seychelles who is in Mombasa, Kenya as an invited delegate for Routes Africa 2019, took to the stage yesterday along side Tony Griffith, the Senior Vice President Consulting at ASM, and as usual spoke with passion as he made his points for quality improvement in the aviation and tourism industries. 

The need for political will was highlighted and for the continent’s accredited bodies to stand by the side of African Member States starting with the African Union, IATA AFRICA, AFRAA and the African Tourism Board.

St. Ange’s points were discussed overnight and earlier this morning in a meeting with Steven Small, the Director of Routes. The point was made and agreed that a meeting is needed between Routes, African Union (AU), African Tourism Board (ATB), IATA Africa and AFRAA. Africa needs a coordination planning meeting in its opening of the air space, routes development and in so doing help tourism to rewrite its own narrative for Africa by Africa. Steven Small of Routes has said he sees the need for such a meeting to be called and plans to follow-up.

Presently, St. Ange heads his own outfit, the Saint Ange Tourism Consultancy and remains a sought after speaker at tourism and aviation forums and conferences. He also publishes regularly the Saint Ange Tourism Report.

According to the latest data released ahead of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2020, which will take place at the Dubai World Trade Centre from Sunday 19 to Wednesday 22 April 2020, arrivals from the United Kingdom to the GCC will increase by 22% over the period 2018 to 2024, driven by new and direct flight routes, competitive air fares and a growing number of leisure travellers.

Research carried out by Colliers International, for ATM, indicated that as many as 2.8 million UK residents will travel to the GCC in 2024, which is an additional 500,000 travellers when compared to 2018 arrival figures.

Adding to this, figures from ATM 2019 show the number of delegates, exhibitors and attendees interested in doing business with the UK increased by5%.

Danielle Curtis

Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, said: “Historically, the UK and the GCC have enjoyed excellent travel and tourism links and this trend is set to continue over the next four years despite the economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the bleak pound to dollar exchange rate, in which sterling has declined 18.9% since 19thJune 2015.

“However, the UAE is expected to continue to be the preferred GCC destination for British tourists, welcoming a projected 2.23 million visitors by 2023. Saudi Arabia will follow with 251,000 visitors, while Oman will welcome 165,000, Bahrain 159,000 and Kuwait 5,000.”

UK tourists travelling to the GCC are expected to generate an estimated US$6.3 billion in travel and tourism revenue by 2024, an increase of 34% when compared with figures from 2018, according to the research data.

Building on this, total tourism spend in the GCC, reached US$70.2 billion last year, withthe UK travellersaverage spend during trips to the region, 27% higher than the average spend of any other visitor.

In 2018 Bahrain witnessed the highest average spend per visit at US$3,298. Saudi Arabia followed with an average UK tourist spend per trip reaching US$2,047, very closely followed by the UAE at US$2,020 and Kuwait and Oman reaching $US1,077 and US$945 respectively.

“The UK, as a consistent and key top source market for the GCC, continues to present significant growth potential for travel and tourism revenue across the region. In return the GCC, UAE and Dubai in particular, besides being a commercial hub, offers year-round sunshine, unique travel experiences, world-class hotels and resorts and fast-paced leisure facilities and amenities,” added Curtis.

ATM 2020 will welcome an array of UK exhibitors to the show, with names such as Visit BritainShop, Warner Bros Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, Chelsea FC, Lancaster Landmark Hotel Group, Blenheim Palace and Historic Royal Palaces, to name a few.

“But it is not just about inbound tourism to the GCC, ATM provides a perfect platform for UK destinations, hotels, attractions, tour operators and travel agents,to market their proposition to Middle East’s outbound operators and travel professionals, who continue to play a key role in the UK’s tourism industry,” said Curtis.

ATM, considered by industry professionals as a barometer for the Middle East and North Africa tourism sector, welcomed almost 40,000 people to its 2019 event with representation from 150 countries. With over 100 exhibitors making their debut, ATM 2019 showcased the largest ever exhibition from Asia.

Adopting Events for Tourism Growth as the official show theme, ATM 2020 will build on the success of this year’s edition with a host of seminar sessions discussing the impact events have on tourism growth in the region while inspiring the travel and hospitality industry about the next generation of events.

Former Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine of Seychelles, Alain St. Ange made a stopover in Nairobi en-route Mombasa for Routes Africa 2019 which is scheduled to take place from the 8 to 10 December, 2019. The much respected and sought after speaker for tourism and aviation forums and conferences was in Nairobi primarily to briefly meet with tourism leaders he deals with through his tourism consultancy business (Saint Ange Tourism Consultancy) from which he issues his weekly tourism report. 

However, after his meetings on Friday, some Kenyan press personalities caught up with him at the Hilton Nairobi, seeking to understand the reason(s) for his tenacity and dedication to the tourism industry. Expressing his delight about Routes Africa, St. Ange said;

“I am honoured to again be invited to Routes Africa to sit on a panel of experts in the field of aviation. This subject remains the catalyst for tourism destinations because without a good aviation network, tourism as an industry will struggle. This is why every helping hand is important and Africa needs to be relooking at its air routes to ensure better coordinated links.”

The former Minister who was honoured in Lagos, Nigeria last September during the 2019 AKWAABA African Travel Market, with the African Travel 100 Global Tourism Personalities Award also answered question on tourism in the Indian Ocean as well as on politics in Seychelles, where he presently leads the One Seychelles political party.

“Political development in Seychelles is intensifying day by day as Presidential elections are due in the latter part of 2020. Will it be just a Presidential poll? Or will the incumbent President call a General Election is anyone’s guess, but I can say the One Seychelles as a political party is ready to contest the elections as and when they are called.” St. Ange stated. 

Alain St. Ange will be in Mombasa for the three coming days as one of the invited Routes Africa delegates. Routes Africa is the longest standing and most established aviation forum bringing together leading airlines, airports and tourism authorities to discuss air services to, from and within Africa for over a decade.

By uniting the region’s key decision makers, Routes Africa provides an effective platform for key decision makers to update their industry knowledge, discuss potential and existing air services, and network with industry influencers.

NATOP President, Hajia Bilkisu Abdul with H.E. Engr AA Sule

The National President of Nigerian Association of Tour Operators (NATOP), Hajia Bilkisu Abdul was a guest of the Nassarawa State government recently, on the invitation by His Excellency, the Executive Governor of the state, Engr. Abdulahi A. Sule. According to our source, the NATOP President was invited by the Governor to Lafia, the state capital purposely to brief her on the State’s plans to host an annual cultural festival while seeking support and collaboration from NATOP.

The Governor said that he is impressed with the news he has been reading about Hajia Bilkisu Abdul’s selfless and tireless work as NATOP President, pointing out that NATOP is becoming a household name among many Government agencies, because she has reached out to major Nigerian organisations and state governments.

“I want to Join NATOP so I can drive tourism in my state,” Governor Sule declared as he urged the NATOP President to bring her Board of Trustees (BOT) members and Executives to meet with the State’s Commissioner of Tourism to arrange a tour of Nassarawa for NATOP members, so they can come and enjoy the tourism resources of the state.

In her response, an elated Hajia Bilkisu Abdul thanked the Governor for the wonderful reception accorded her and promised to come back with a bigger team of the best tourism experts in Nigeria. “Engaging NATOP to help promote Nassarawa State will yield great result, Sir. We shall not disappoint you. My members are capable.” She assured.