Government agrees to form boards for tourism-related parastatals

The government has agreed to form boards that will run tourism-related parastatals.

The move comes after intense lobbying by tourism stakeholders for the past two years for the Government to re-introduce the boards that were dissolved in 2012 through the Tourism Act 2012.

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie

The boards are aimed at facilitating better corporate governance and transparency in the country’s tourism boards.

“We have had engagements with tourism stakeholders across the board for quite some time now. One thing that has stood out is the need for the tourism parastatals boards. We are giving them an early Christmas gift,” said Tourism Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie.

Currently, operations in the country’s tourism industry are largely executed by several parastatals under the ministry of East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism including Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) and Kenya Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC).

According top Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caters Chief Executive Officer Mike Macharia, for effective coordination and operations, tourism-related organisations should have boards.

“This is very good news and it will make it easier for these authorities to do their work,” he said.

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Minor Hotels adds new resort in Zanzibar, Tanzania

Minor Hotel Group (MHG) added a resort on the Indian Ocean Island of Zanzibar in Tanzania.

The hotel group has taken over the management of Essque Zalu Zanzibar, which will now be known as Per AQUUM Resort by the end of 2015. MHG already operates two spas in Tanzania in addition to six properties that are part of Elewana Collection.

Zanzibar, Tanzania

Zanzibar, Tanzania

Nestled, in a natural cove on the north east coast of Zanzibar, features 40 en suite and nine three and four-bedroom villas.

The hotel has three restaurants that serve food from fresh local organic produce, a fine dining option and Arabic cuisine served al fresco. It also has art exhibitions featuring paintings, photography and glassworks by local, regional and international artists.

“We are already working with Musstir on an upcoming property in Salalah, Oman under our luxury brand Anantara, so our partnership continues to go from strength to strength across multiple brands,” said Dillip Rajakarier, Chief Executive Officer of Minor Hotel Group.

Under the brand name Per AQUUM, the hotel has won three awards and is renowned worldwide for its visionary approach, unique features and natural modern, environmentally responsible designs.

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UNWTO predicts record numbers in international tourism

United Nations World Travel Organisation (UNWTO) has predicted that international tourism will hit a new record by the end of 2014.



According to the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, there were over 1.1 billion international tourists travelling the world this year, with the number growing by five per cent in the first ten months. Between January and October 2014, the volume of international tourists, overnight visitors, reached 978 million, 45 million more than in the same period of 2013.

With an in increase of 4.7 per cent, international tourism continues to grow well above the long-term trend projected by UNWTO for the period 2010-2020, an increase of 3.8 per cent per annum, and is set to end the year at over 1.1 billion.

“In view of this trend, international tourism is set to end 2014 with record numbers,” said Taleb Rifai.

“These are remarkable results considering that different parts of the world continue to face significant geopolitical and health challenges, while the global economic recovery remains rather fragile and uneven,” he added.

The strongest growth was registered in the Americas, up eight per cent, followed by Asia and the Pacific (up five per cent) and Europe which registered four per cent growth.


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Skydive Diani heads to Watamu for a weekend of fun

Skydive Diani is yet again going back to Watamu for a weekend filled with airborne action and beach landings.

The group will be at Ocean Sports this weekend, Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st with participants paying Ksh30,000 for a tandem skydive and an additional Ksh6,500 for a video of the jump.

Skydive Diani heads to Watamu

Skydive Diani heads to Watamu

Skydive Diani offers tandem skydiving for first timers to experience the thrill of free fall and a magnificent canopy flight over the picturesque coastline without any significant training.

The group has taken a lot of people, both Kenyans and tourists, up in the sky to enjoy the ultimate rush of jumping out of a perfectly good aircraft and runs every day, all year operation, just so they can give everyone the opportunity of some airborne action whenever they want.

Skydive Diani has a solid group of experienced skydivers coming down every weekend to jump together, learn some new skydiving skills, and enjoy the company of fellow skydivers. Many regular jumpers have learnt to skydive in Diani, under the tutelage of the group’s experts, and opportunity is open for more people to enroll for skydiving course and join the group of people who simply loves jumping out of plane.

Skydive in Watamu this weekend

You can book your skydiving session on or [email protected] and be well equipped for the skies. You can also call +254 40 3204320 for more information.
While in Diani, book your stay on

UNWTO, UNESCO to hold first ever tourism conference

United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) have announced plans to hold the first World Conference on Tourism & Culture.

A panel at the World Tourism Day event in Egypt. UNWTO & UNESCO will hold a tourism event next year

A panel at the World Tourism Day event in Egypt. UNWTO & UNESCO will hold a tourism event next year

The event set for February 4th to 6th 2015 is set to bring together, for the first time, policy markers, ministers, experts and stakeholders in the tourism and culture sector from around the world to explore new models of partnership and discuss key challenges affecting the sectors.

Dubbed UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture, the event to be held in Siem Reap, Cambodia, the event is also expected to offer new opportunities stronger cooperation between players in tourism and culture.

In the two days that the event will be held, participants will explore different roles and mandates on five key topics – governance and partnership models, cultural preservation, living cultures and creative industries, cultural routes and urban regeneration through cultural tourism.

“Culture shapes our identity and is a means to foster respect and tolerance among people. It is also a way to create a millions of jobs and improve people’s lives, a path to strengthen mutual understanding,” said Irina Bokova, UNESCO director general.

Among those set to speak at the event include King Simeon II, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, United Nations high representatives for the Alliance of Civilisations, John Delaney, senior vice president of Seabourn and Elizabeth Becker, award-winning author and former correspondent for the New York Times.


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5 Places in Diani where you can stay this December

December holidays are here and with the wind of rest comes the rush to book just the right place for you and your family or friends to spend the holidays. highlights 5 places in Diani where you can stay this December.


Warm Sea Sand

Warm Sea Sand

Warm Sea Sand is neatly set on a 2.5 acre lush garden on the South Coast of Kenya about 1 hour drive from Mombasa Airport.

The villa is located along Galu Beach on the famous “White Strip”, a unique 1km strip of the pristine sandy beach and is designed in the ancient Arabic-style with Swahili-themed decor.

Warm Sea Sand has four double bedrooms, two master bedrooms, spacious living room with satellite TV and a well equipped kitchen. Click here to book.



Flamboyant Hotel

Flamboyant Hotel is located in Diani Beach, one-hour drive from Mombasa’s Moi International Airport and 10-minutes from Ukunda Airstrip.

Aerial View of Flamboyant Hotel

Aerial View of Flamboyant Hotel

The hotel has 10 en-suite bedrooms – two superior and eight standard rooms – offering a romantic getaway for honeymoon, anniversaries, birthdays and other events.

The hotel rooms overlook a turquoise swimming pool surrounded by a tropical garden right on the shores of the Indian Ocean creating an amazing lounging environment.

Flamboyant Hotel

The open and airy living space with a courtyard and bar adjoin the alfresco dining and barbecue area. There is a picturesque gazebo by the beach providing the perfect romantic setting for those looking for something more intimate. Click here to book.


Baobab Beach Resort and Spa

Neatly nestled on a cliff-top overlooking Diani beach, just 38 kilometres from Mombasa, Baobab Beach Resort and Spa stands as one of the most exotic getaways in South Coast.

Baobab Beach Resort & Spa

The resort has been renovated and expanded to enter the bracket of Kenya’s leading ‘all-inclusive’ hotels. Shaded by indigenous coastal vegetation and exotic coconut palms, the resort stretches over 500 metres of golden beachfront offering the ultimate luxury beach holiday.

At the Baobab Beach Resort and Spa guest rooms have been specifically designed to provide comfort and luxury with each wing offering a unique ambiance. Click here to book.


Lions Home

Lions Home is a beach villa, comprising 2 bedrooms, one bathroom, kitchen, terrace, balcony and a large living room.

Lions Home

The villa is situated on a secluded and very quiet garden measuring 700 square metres with dense tropical vegetation including banana trees, coconut palms, colourful flowers and shrubs.

Lions Home is intended for self-catering but you can book a chef through the management at a reasonable fee or find your own for the duration of your stay. Click here to book.


Malaika Villas

Malaika Villas is situated off Diani Road in the Southern coast of Kenya, a few meters from the beautiful white sands of Diani Beach.


They villas offer privacy and serenity, overlooking the swimming pool and a large manicured garden. The living room is spacious with African-carved hardwood furniture made with exceptional attention to detail and Swahili design while the Kitchen is fitted with all the necessary appliances.

While here you can visit Chale Island which is 11.1km from the villa or Shimba Hills National Reserve. Click here to book.

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Zambia Tourism Board launches campaign to promote domestic tourism

The Zambia Tourism Board (ZTB) has officially launched Green Season Domestic Tourism Campaign aimed at encouraging Zambians to go for holidays within the country.

The campaign is aimed at helping lodges and hotels stay open during the festive season as most of them always shut down during this period due to lack of business. The move has been motivated by the absence of foreign tourists most of who prefer to spend the December holiday in their home countries.


According to a statement from the Zambia Tourism Board, there is a blanket perception that lodges in the country are too expensive for the locals thus the need to launch the campaign in order to demystify this notion and promote domestic tourism by focusing on the reduced hotels rates.

Recently Zambia and Zimbabwe struck a deal to introduce a single shared visa to lure tourists to Victoria Falls which lies within the border of the tow countries.

Located in Southern Africa, Zambia stands as one of the most attractive countries in as far as attraction sites are concerned. Other than the Victoria Falls, other attraction sites in Zambia include Zambezi River, Livingston Island, South Luangwa National Park, Kawaka National Park among others.

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Coast hotels partner with airlines to offer special December packages

Airlines in Kenya have partnered with various hotels at the Coast to improve domestic tourism ahead of the December festivities.

Kenya Airways, Fly540, Air Kenya and Safarilink have struck a deal with a number of hotels in Diani, Mombasa and Malindi to offer special holiday packages to local tourists in a bid to encourage them to visit the Coast.


According to Kenya Airways Marketing Director Chris Diaz, the partnership between KQ and hotels at the coast is aimed at reviving the sector which has been adversely affected by travel advisories by some countries leading to reduced number of arrivals.

“As a Kenyan flag carrier, KQ fully supports the tourism sector through offering competitive flights to tourists on safari or beach holiday. We have partnered with hotels across the coast to give locals quality holiday packages and in the process help tourism recovery efforts,” said Diaz.

Mr Diaz further noted that the carrier would increase flights from Nairobi to Mombasa during the festive season adding that for Christmas, KQ Boeing 777-300, a 400-seater plane, would be flying the Nairobi-Mombasa route.

Kenya Airways is one of the airlines in deal

Kenya Airways is one of the airlines in deal

According to Kenya Coast Hotel Association chairman Mohammed Hersi, the partnership between local hotels and airlines is aimed at encouraging Kenyans from Nairobi and upcountry to travel to the Coast for holiday.

The move was integrated with the reduction of some holiday costs by between 30 and 50 per cent in effort to woo domestic tourists.

Some hotels have also partnered with bus firms including Coast Bus and Modern Coast to ferry locals to the Coast at a discount.

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Photos from 2014 Travel Photographer of the Year Philip Lee Harvey

British photographer Philip Lee Harvey won the 2014 Travel Photographer of the Year for his impeccable work in Namibia and Ethiopia.


Intimate portraits of Namibia’s Himba tribe. [Photo/dailymail]

His intimate portraits of Namibia’s Himba tribe and the rock churches of Lalibela in Ethiopia earned the Kent-born photographer the coveted title in a field filled by entries that capture Earth both at its most majestic and brutal.

“The two sets of images are shot in very different styles,” said a statement on behalf of the judges.

Elegant image of two elderly women at a rock church in Lalibela, Ethiopia. [Photo/]

Elegant image of two elderly women at a rock church in Lalibela, Ethiopia. [Photo/]

“The Lalibela portfolio uses the portrait format to show the depth of the rock-hewn churches and this is complimented by the photographer’s angle of view in this difficult lighting. The portraits of the Himba woman are beautiful in their details and limited colour palette, capturing the tribal shapes and patterns in strong composition,” read the statement.


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Share the African spirit at Tawi Lodge, Amboseli National Park

Tawi Lodge is ideally located in Tawi Conservancy, bordering Amboseli National Park and facing Africa’s highest mountain, Mt Kilimanjaro.

Tiwa Lodge

Tawi Lodge, Amboseli

The lodge consists of 13 cottages, each with its own wooden-deck veranda and an amazing view of the mountain which can be seen from the bathtub, bed or veranda.

All cottages, double or twin, have en suite bathrooms fitted with a bathtub and shower, their own fire-place and a mini bar for those very special sundowners. Lighting and water systems at Tawi Lodge are 90% solar-powered with a charging area for cell phones and camera batteries also available.

Tiwa Lodge

Tawi Lodge, Amboseli

The bar and dining area in the main house is the central point of Tawi Lodge having been meticulously furnished to reflect the true African spirit.

Beside the beauty within the lodge, you can enjoy a game drive in an open 4×4, go bird watching, take a dip at the bio-pool, treat yourself to a massage or admire the wildlife bathing and drinking in the waterhole. If you wish, you can visit the local Maasai village or a local school that is being supported by Tiwa Lodge.

Clear view of Mt Kilimanjaro

Clear view of Mt Kilimanjaro from the veranda

The lodge is eco-friendly and neatly integrated in its environment and the surrounding community to create a calmly ambience. It is for this reason that Tawi Lodge received a silver eco rating from the Eco tourism organisation.

Fine cuisine from Europe-trained chef is prepared with some selected products grown in the wetlands of Amboseli irrigated by water from the Kilimanjaro. Before and after dinner, relax by the campfire or at the lodge’s very special bush bar and listen to the magical sounds of the African bush.

Bathroom at Tiwa Lodge

Bathroom at Tawi Lodge

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