Kgomotso Ramothea, Kgomotso Ramothea, manager marketing and communications, UK & Ireland, South Africa, speaks to Breaking Travel News at World Travel Market 2016. Top of the agenda are the latest consumer campaigns from South Africa, the diversity of opportunities on offer in the country, and South Africa’s plans for 2017.
The old family favourite &Beyond Ngala Safari Lodge, which sits on a big five private game reserve that shares unfenced borders with the Kruger National Park in South Africa, has re-opened following a US$2 million rebuild and refurbishment. The brilliant transformation and elegant new look has kept Ngala’s genteel and romantic safari feel but enhanced the guest offering.
South Africa’s hotel industry is set for steady growth in the next five years driven by an increase in the number of foreign visitors into the African continent. Pietro Calicchio, industry leader of hospitality and gambling, PwC Southern Africa explained: “Although the South African economy has weakened considerably, the overall outlook for hotels in South Africa is expected to remain positive.”
Emirates will be upgrading one of its four daily flights between Dubai and Johannesburg to an Airbus A380-800 from February 2017. Emirates currently uses Boeing 777 aircraft for each of the four daily flights between the two cities, making it the busiest route in the airline’s African network with over three million passengers carried in the last five years.
Emirates will introduce a third daily service between Dubai and Cape Town from July 4th. The new service will supplement the two current daily flights between the two cities to meet growing demand on the route, and offer outbound and inbound travellers even more convenience and choice.
Over the next three days Tourism INDABA, owned and hosted in conjunction with Tourism KwaZulu-Natal and Durban Tourism, will once again cement its position as Africa’s top travel show. This global trade show, boasts the widest variety of tourism products - from Namibia on the Atlantic coast, to Tanzania and Mozambique on the Indian Ocean shore; down the Nile from Egypt through the East Africa Community, moving inland past Malawi and Zimbabwe to the seat of the continent, South Africa.
Qatar Airways has launched new services between Doha and Durban. The four-times-weekly service to Durban further complements the airline’s existing daily flights to Cape Town and double daily flights to Johannesburg, and is an expansion of the airline’s operations in South Africa. Travellers can now choose from a total of 21 flights a week to South Africa from Qatar Airways’ hub Hamad International Airport.
Derek Hanekom, minister of tourism for South Africa, outlined how South Africa, as a world-class business events destination, will respond to the next decade in the face of rising interest in the African continent. Speaking at ibtm world in Barcelona, Hanekom outlined how South Africa hosted 124 international association conferences in 2014 alone which attracted just under 70 000 industry professionals.
The World Travel & Tourism Council has congratulated the government of South Africa for adopting new visa policies that will see the implementation of biometric visa applications on arrival and changes to the unabridged birth certificate policy. The new recommendations that were presented by an inter-ministerial committee that was set up to address the visa issue in the country were accepted by the cabinet and will be implemented over the next three months to over a year.
Marriott International has continued to expand its footprint across the African continent by announcing the signing of two new properties in South Africa, in partnership with The Amdec Group. Expected to open by February 2018, the 150-room Johannesburg Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch and 200-unit Marriott Executive Apartments Johannesburg Melrose Arch will be located in the Melrose Arch precinct in Johannesburg.
This July, Singita will unveil a complete re-design of its original lodge, Singita Ebony, in South Africa. Singita Ebony is where the Singita story began twenty-two years ago on land owned by Singita founder, Luke Bailes. The re-launch will complete Singita’s reinvention of its private 45,000 acre game reserve that is set within the Sabi Sand.
Just a few hours’ drive north of Johannesburg, in a vast landscape of pristine African bushveld, is Shambala Private Game Reserve. And here, amid the quiet and peace, is a place for contemplation and inner reflection. A place that personifies the ideas of reconciliation and hope. The Nelson Mandela Centre for Reconciliation has been a private home since 2001 and was closed as a mark of respect since the former president’s passing in 2013.