Tuesday, January 31, 2017

UNWTO Statement on US Travel Ban

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations Specialized Agency for Tourism, expresses its deep concern and strong condemnation over the recently announced travel ban by the United States of America (USA) to nationals of seven countries (Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen).
The travel ban, based on nationality, is contrary to the principles of freedom of travel and travel facilitation promoted by the international tourism community and will hinder the immense benefits of the tourism sector brings in terms of economic growth and job creation to many countries, including the USA. 
“Global challenges demand global solutions and the security challenges that we face today should not prompt us to build new walls; on the contrary, isolationism and blind discriminatory actions will not lead to increased security but rather to growing tensions and threats”, said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.
“Besides the direct  impact, the image of a country which imposes travel bans in such a hostile way will surely be affected among visitors from all over the world and risk dumping travel demand to the USA” added Mr Rifai.

Association advocates govts’ reduction of hotel bills to avoid retrenchment

The president, Nigerian Hotel Association, Mr Lanre Awoseyin, on Tuesday appealed to all the state governments to reduce the annual bills they charged hotel operators for them to break even instead of retrenching their workers.

Awoseyin , speaking  in Lagos yesterday, said  that the government should make the rates attractive to the operators to enlist their confidence in governments.

He then suggested that the lowest grade of operators, who are operating restaurants should pay N10,000 annually instead of the current N25,000 the state government was charging each of them.

He said that those that could be asked to pay more than N10,000 were those with over 50 rooms within their facilities.

Awoseyin also suggested that the personnel handling the registrations and ratings of hotels should be experts in the industry so that they could handle them professionally.

NAN reports that the Lagos State Government had some weeks early in the year appealed to stakeholders to adhere to the registration and ratings given to them or face sanctions.

Awoseyin said that if the operators should become over stretched by government’s billings, they would be forced to sack most of their workers.

According to him, hotels are suffering from high cost of energy, gas for cooking, adding that acquiring most of these facilities are beyond the reach of the operators.

The president said that the profits that hoteliers should have made; had ironically been ploughed back into running their hotels due to those challenges.

He noted that this had been further compounded by the challenge the operators had to go through before their facilities could be registered by the government.

“The government believes hotels and hospitality groups are making so much profit; but that is not the case because most customers just hold seminars and conferences there.

“Rather, the supposedly customers that patronise these hotels for events only end up lodging elsewhere instead of the rooms,“ he told NAN

He said that there were several hotels in Lagos but patronage was very low and this had been affecting their revenues.

These operators are not breaking even; so the government should stop imposing high bills on them, he said.

NAN reports that efforts to get the statistics of the operators registered and those sanctioned for failing to register in 2016 in the state from the Lagos State Government proved abortive.

Monday, January 30, 2017

IATA seeks clarification on US executive order on travel

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has asked the United States Government to clarify the recent Executive Order issued on travelling into the country.

IATA said the order was issued without prior coordination or warning, causing confusion among both airlines and travellers.

The apex aviation body made this known in a statement released on its website and obtained in Lagos on Monday.

The Executive Order was signed by President Donald Trump on Jan. 27 amidst criticisms from opponents of his administration.

For 120 days, the order bars the entry of any refugee who is awaiting resettlement in the U.S. It also prohibits all Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. until further notice.

Additionally, it bans the citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries—Iraq, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen—from entering the U.S. on any visa category.

These countries were named in a 2016 law concerning immigration visas as “countries of concern.”
But the executive order also makes clear those seven countries are just a starting point for a likely broader ban.
The order exempts diplomats and members of international organizations from the ban.
The order also directs the secretary of Homeland Security to conduct a 30-day review to determine which countries do not provide “adequate information” for its citizens to be issued visas to enter the US.

Trump also stopped the admission of all refugees to the United States for four months.

However, IATA in the statement, said the order had changed entry requirements for the US immediately and significantly.

The statement said :”It also placed additional burdens on airlines to comply with unclear requirements, to bear implementation costs and to face potential penalties for non-compliance.

“We ask for early clarity from the US administration on the current situation.

“Moreover, we urge all governments to provide sufficient advance coordination of changes in entry requirements so that travelers can clearly understand them and airlines can efficiently implement them.​”

According to the statement, IATA is working with its 265 member airlines for safe, secure, efficient and sustainable global air transport links.

It said as a matter of principle, the organisation works for the free movement of trade and people across borders.

“IATA also recognises that states have the right and duty to protect their citizens by enforcing their borders.

“Where this has implications for air travel, we work with our member airlines to help them comply with these requirements efficiently and effectively.

“Global systems and procedures exist to support this activity. IATA’s Timatic online solution, for example, is a global database for travel document requirements.

” It is updated constantly and used by airlines and travel agents around the world.

“These systems can only support the efficient implementation of any government’s directives by the global air transport industry with advance coordination as well as with detailed and consistent operational information,” the statement said.  

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Airline changes rosters on U.S. flights after Trump’s order

Emirates airline has changed pilot and flight attendant rosters on flights to the U.S. following the sudden U.S. travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries, the report said on Sunday.

However, it said that U.S. flights continue to operate as scheduled.

According to the report, “the world’s largest long-haul carrier, who flies daily to 11 U.S. cities, has made the necessary adjustments to our crewing to comply with the latest requirements”, Emirates spokesperson said.

President Donald Trump had on Friday temporarily suspended the entry of people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

According to the International Air Transport Association, “the decision caught airlines off guard.’’

The ban applies to pilots and flight attendants from the seven countries, even though all flight crew who are not U.S. citizens already needed a special visa to enter the country.

Another Emirates spokesperson said the impact of the ban on operations would be minimal.

The airline employs over 23,000 flight attendants and about four thousand pilots from around the world, including the U.S., Europe and the Middle East.

Meanwhile, an Etihad Airways spokesman said the airline has “taken steps to ensure there will be no issues for flights departing over the coming weeks.”

However, amid confusion over enforcing the ban, it is unclear if the ban applies to dual nationals who hold one passport from a country on the list and another from a non-U.S. country that is not.

Etihad said on its website that dual citizens could travel to the U.S. using their non-banned passport.

According to the report, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), has told its members that the ban does not apply to dual nationals if they have a passport not on the list.

However, the Guardian reported on Saturday, quoting State Department officials, that dual nationals were banned.

Dubai-based Emirates and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways are both owned by the governments of the United Arab Emirates, a U.S. ally and Muslim-majority country.

Both carriers said they would continue to comply with the new rules on U.S. immigration but where possible would offer to refund or rebook affected passengers.

Emirates and Etihad have also said that passengers were affected by the ban over the weekend but their flight crews had not been impacted.

Qatar Airways declined to comment on the impact of the ban on flight operations.

Although, on Saturday, it issued a statement on its website that passengers would need a green card or diplomatic visa to enter the U.S. Emirates and Etihad issued similar statements.

NTDC in pictures

Acting Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs. Mariel Rae-Omoh (right), exchanging pleasantries with the Director-General of Export Promotion Council, Mr Olusegun Awolowo, at the Japanese Embassy day, held at Nicon Hilton Hotel, Abuja. 

DSC_4600 - from right, Acting Director-General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs. Mariel Rae-Omoh; Director-General of Export Promotion Council, Mr Olusegun Awolowo, and Under Secretary Economic and Consular, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Regina Eduzuwah, at the Japanese Embassy day, held at Nicon Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

Destruction of 190-year-old monument: FG vows to deal with collaborators

The Federal Government said that those who collaborated to demolish the 190 year- old “Olaiya House” in Lagos, declared as national monument in 1956, would be punished.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated this on Sunday when he inspected the site of the demolished building at No 6, Alli and 2 Bamgbose streets, CMS, Lagos Island.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the minister was accompanied on the inspection by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, and Director General, National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Yusuf Abdallah.

According to the minister, the building was built by one of the slaves that returned from Brazil.

“This building in particular was unique because it chronicled the historical, cultural and social relationship between us and Brazil.

“It is like a living monument of our slave trade past. It was a monument that exhibited the Brazilian architecture at that time, which is rare to come by anywhere in the world.

“As far back as 1956, the Federal Government acquired this property as a national monument and it was gazetted.

“The idea was that the building was so unique and the government would not want the family to change or rebuild it because it is history itself,” he said.

He recalled that when government declared the building as national monument, arrangement was made with the family on how to maintain the place and there were several meeting held between the two parties.

The minister said that there was no reason, except greed, that could have propelled any developer into demolishing the building.

“We cannot equate money with our past history and legacy because a people without history will perish very fast.

“This building is a remembrance of what our ancestors went through in slavery and how they triumph, came back and they showed that they were well-to-do.

“It is worth billions of dollars because it symbolised our past.

“We have the responsibility to preserve our past and culture so that our children unborn will come here and see what they are like.

“We all go to London and Paris to see their monuments. If those people had destroyed their own culture, architecture and heritage, what then will we be going there to see?,” he queried.

Mohammed assured that whoever destroyed the building would be fished out, no matter how long it would take to do so.

The minister debunked the claim that the structure was weak, adding that the government would take over the defence of the civil suit filed by the developer.

.He continued: “You cannot go to court now and say that because the structure has been destroyed, the land should go back to the owner.

“We are ready to meet them in court and one thing I can assure you is that nobody can benefit from his own crime,” he said.

He said government had the picture of the house, and that when they were through with the civil case, government would rebuild the structure.

Speaking on the issue, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Owoseni, said when the building was demolished, he immediately ordered the Area Commander to look for the developer but they said he was very sick and on admission in the hospital.

“When something is gazetted, the gazette becomes an Act and whosoever does a thing contrary to the gazette and its content, it becomes an offence,” he said.

He advised that the site be sealed-up to prevent illegal trading on the plot.

On the issue of the ‘Angel’ on top of the demolished building allegedly stolen by the family, the commissioner advised the National Museum to write a petition.

He said the Police could not take action because the case was already in court.

The Angel was said to be an antiquity and by the provision of the law, only the National Museum has the statutory powers to deal with antiquity.

Earlier, Mr Eric Awobuyide, a member of the Olaiya family who briefed the minister on the demolition, said the building had attracted many tourists from different parts of the world.

“Recently the Brazilian authority came and they held a dinner in respect of this. Prof Wole Soyinka and other prominent people attended the dinner,” he said.

He said some members of the family who leased out the building to developer had made several attempts to demolish the building but he resisted.

He added that on the fateful day the building was brought down, he was not around.

Bwari Tourist Village: NTDC signs MOU with ITC

In furtherance of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the development of tourism in Nigeria, the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with International Tourist Choice Limited, to build a world class Tourist Village at Bwari in the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria.
The Acting Director-General of the corporation, Mrs. Mariel Rae-Omoh, in her speech expressed optimism about the project, which according to her, will create jobs, wealth and bring in deluge of foreign tourists to Nigeria.
Rae-Omoh restated her commitment to ensuring a good relationship with the private sector and stakeholders in the Nigerian tourism industry, explaining that public private partnership will propel rapid development and promotion of the revenue-spinning sector.
The acting NTDC boss, who lauded the commitment of the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer and facilitator of the Bwari International Tourist Village project, Mr. Trust Henry Ogboi, noted that NTDC and ICT managements would meet every six month to appraise the progress of the project.

Acting Director-General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs. Mariel Rae-Omoh (second left), exchanging the MOU the corporation signed with the International Tourist Choice Limited (ITC), with the MD/CEO of ITC and facilitator of the Bwari International Tourist Village project, Mr. Trust Henry Ogboi. With them are the NTDC Director, Legal, Mrs. Mrs Funebi Omondak (left) and the Administration Manager of ITC.

Ogboi, earlier in his speech, commended the readiness of the Rae-Omoh led-administration to work closely with the private sector and stakeholders in the Nigerian tourism industry.
He stressed that the Bwari Tourism Village project is not for the people of Bwari Local Government Area and the FCT alone, but for the whole country and the world at large.
The International Tourist Choice Limited boss disclosed that the Tourist Village, when completed, will embolden Nigeria’s name on the world tourism map.
Ogboi further said that the tourist village will serve as a cultural liaison office for states in the country and nations in the world.
He assured that the partnership with NTDC will ensure speed in the completion of the project, adding that “the Chairman of Bwari Local Government Area, Hon. Musa Dikko, has reduced the period for the completion of the project from five to three years.
Contained in the MOU signed at the NTDC headquarters in Abuja is that the corporation will partner with ITC to ensure the tourism village is built to a standard that will meet the international best practices, in a bid to making Nigeria the preferred tourism destination in Africa.
Clearly spelt out in the MOU also, is that NTDC will offer technical and administrative support, while ITC will attract sponsors, fund and ensure its successful completion.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

NCMM records 46,359 visitors nationwide in 2016

The National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) said in Lagos on Thursday that it recorded 46,359 visitors nationwide in 2016.

Mr Emmanuel Omotosho, Head of the NCMM’s Education Department, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview that the commission was able to record an appreciable increase in patronage between 2015 and 2016.

According to him, 42,724 visitors were recorded in 2015, with an increase of 3,635 in 2016.

Omotosho attributed the increment in the patronage statistics to the fact that Nigerians were becoming more aware of the essence of museums, on a daily basis.

He gave the breakdown of the visitors’ patronage for 2016 as: Students: 37,013, Nigerian adults: 8,149 and foreigners: 1197, totalling 46,359.

Omotosho gave the breakdown for 2015 as: Students: 35,592, Nigerian adults: 6,476 and foreigners 656, totalling 42,724.

“The museums, as custodians of our cultural heritage, gained an appreciable patronage in 2016 because people are getting more aware of its essence.

“We do a lot of awareness by giving out our postcards depicting artefacts in the museum. We also give out some of our publications to people who come to book for excursions,” Omotosho said.

He urged schools who had not complied with the Lagos State law that all secondary schools must inculcate the museum culture as a subject in their curriculum, to ensure that they do so.

According to him, students in schools that had not complied were lagging behind in gaining the historical knowledge their colleagues were exposed to and this could affect them in later years.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Lawmaker hails Ambode over development of tourism infrastructure

Lawmaker hails Ambode over development of tourism infrastructure
The Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Tourism, Arts and Culture on Wednesday applauded Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode for prioritising development of the tourism infrastructure in the state.

The Chairman of the committee, Mr Elliot Desmond, gave the commendation while on an oversight visit to inspect ongoing construction work at the Eko Tourist Resort, Akodo, in Ibeju Lekki area of the state.

Desmond, who was on the visit alongside other committee members, said the project was capable of bringing economic development to the state.

He expressed satisfaction at the pace of work and commended the contractor and management of the resort.

“One of the core objectives of the Ambode administration is development of tourism infrastructure as a drive to attract investors, create employment in the creative industry and boost revenue drive of the state.

“To be honest with you, I am highly impressed with the level of work going on at the resort,’’ the lawmaker said

He said that the Assembly would continue to support the executive arm in making sure that the dividends of democracy are achieved through developmental project.

Responding, the Manager of the resort Mrs Kikelomo Oyemade, said the first phase of the project would be completed in October 2017, while the second phase would be completed in 24 months.

According to her, the first phase, when completed, will include 140 rooms, a gymnasium, swimming pool, cinema, among others.

She said that the second phase, which would be hotel style, had 150 rooms with Olympic-size swimming pool, conference room, gym centre and other things.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the committee had earlier visited Badagry Slavery Trade Centre, Slave Point of No Return Gberefu, Badagry, Shoreline Protection Project, Badagry and Ejirin Slave Trade Market in Epe among others.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Valentine celebration: Southern Sun Ikoyi promises fun

Offering the best serene short break in town, Southern Sun Ikoyi promises to treat you and your loved one to an extra special Valentine’s Day this year with a romantic discounted hotel stay and dinner package guaranteeing a tasty treat for every loved-up couple. Southern Sun Ikoyi provides an escape to an idyllic love nest,rich and boasting plush interiors, a glittering ambience, a gourmet restaurant, friendly staff and all round facilities designed to pamper you at your leisure.

The Valentine’s deal offers an accommodation special at N40, 000 per night including breakfast for two and an upgrade to an executive room on availability. The fantastic range of packages which are valid from 12-15 February, 2017 also offer a very special Valentine’s buffet dinner at N16, 000 per person with set menus available upon request, all for a desirable and exclusive celebration.

Nicely nestled in the heart of Lagos’ bustling metropolis, Southern Sun Ikoyi truly offers the last word in luxurious serenity with its beautifully furnished rooms, suites and deluxe suites that guarantee utmost peace and privacy. In addition to its contemporary lounge space and well stocked bar, the outdoor terrace and pool area are splendid for a memorable stay. For couples who are fitness enthusiasts, the hotel’s gym is also well-equipped to meet your needs and is run by staff who are extremely warm, working together in making your overall stay at the hotel a truly memorable one.

Renowned for its scrumptious culinary delights, Southern Sun Ikoyi’s award winning chef offers several dining options including the grill for succulent meat, fish and seafood choices all accompanied by freshly picked vegetables and the finest choice in wine and cocktails.

Let our fantastic range of offers inspire you and your significant other this Valentine’s, make it a memorable treat at Southern Sun Ikoyi.

Turkish Airline enhances in-flight entertainment technology system

Turkish Airlines says it has enhanced its in-flight entertainment technology system to ensure enjoyable flights.
The airline made this known in a statement issued in Lagos on Tuesday.
According to the statement, the system now features a completely redesigned and improved user interface which makes the offered entertainment content and information services even more enjoyable and easier to use.
It said that the redesign was based on an extensive study conducted by professional usability and user experience laboratories to maximise user-friendliness.
“With the latest technologies and developments incorporated into the design based on scientific studies, the end result is an impressive array of digital entertainment and information options for our passengers in an easily-accessible form.’’
It said that the newly designed in-flight services include a variety of new features such as category filtering for movies or ratings of TV shows and movies from the renowned database, Internet Movie Database (IMDb).
The statement noted that the system also offered a new search function that allowed passengers to access content more easily and faster by searching all movies, TV shows, music and games.
“In this context, Turkish Airlines’ selection of Accessible Movies that are dubbed or subtitled with special descriptions for visually or hearing impaired passengers has also been extended to a total number of 11 titles.
“The improved 3D map provides more interactive and informative data; as well as impressions about the current flight.
“It includes cockpit, right and left window views, virtual imagery with realistic 3D animations and descriptions of distance, altitude and geographical features.
“Also, a ‘Do Not Disturb’ function allows passengers to specify to the cabin crew whether they do not want to be disturbed during the whole flight or just want to be woken up for the food service,” it said.
It said that business class passengers would have an additional handset available, which included its own second screen.
It added that they could follow the flight status info on the handset’s display, while watching a movie on their personal screen.
“In order to further improve the comfort and satisfaction of passengers, Turkish Airlines has also started to research on its eXPhone service on a B777 TC-LJJ aircraft with test flights in January.’’
It said that the service would enable passengers to access the internet securely, read and answer e-mails and text messages or update social media profiles from their mobile devices.
The statement noted that the eXPhone service that was offered in cooperation with Panasonic/AeroMobile, would be refined based on the feedback of passengers and cabin attendants.

It said that the service was scheduled to be deployed in additional aircraft later in the year.

Tourists left stranded in Thai waters after boat catches fire

Some 18 passengers and three crew were left stranded in open waters and forced to stay afloat for an hour after their tour boat caught fire and sank off the coast of Thailand, police said on Tuesday.

Nipon Kongkwan, chief of La-Ngu police station in Satun province told newsmen that the 21 passengers on board the diving trip boat were later rescued by a fishing boat and brought to shore in the southern town of Satun on Monday.

The captain of the tour boat said according to Nippon that the fire broke out when an inflammable object caught fire as the crew filled oxygen tanks for the dive.

The passengers had no choice but to jump from the boat, leaving behind all their belongings, including their passports, mobile phones, clothes and money.

The tourists included two Germans, four Finns, two Swedes, two Russians, four Brazilians, two Britons, one Spaniard and one Italian, local media Khaosod English reported.

Police in Satun province told newsmen the tourists had filed reports for their lost belongings, but no charge had been filed against the tour boat operators.

However, the local police could not yet reach an agreement which police station would gain the jurisdiction of the case.

The accident happened between Koh Lipe, an island popular with tourists, and Rok island.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Crepe Deliciousopens its newestbranch at Abu Dhabi International Airport

Abu Dhabi, UAE,22 January, 2017 - Crepe Delicious(www.crepedelicious.com), Canada’s largest and fastest growing crepe and gelato franchise,is proud to announce its continued international expansion with the opening of its newest location at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH).
Crepe Delicious islocated inTerminal3at AUH, and offers both table service and counter service for travelers on-the-go.Passengerscan select from freshly made sweet and savoury crepes or enjoy specialty gelato that is handcrafted on-sitedaily.Nutritious dining options such as soups, salads and sandwiches are also prepared on site.

Dan Cappell, Acting Chief Commercial Officer ofAbu Dhabi Airports, commented: “Another special brand has joined our network of operators at Abu Dhabi International Airport. Crepe Delicious, with its exciting and creative offering, is bound to be successful, and we hope our passengers enjoy all it has to offer. Abu Dhabi Airports will spare no effort in attracting the best partners, as it re-affirms its commitment towards delivering a world-class experience to all its visitors.”
Crepe Delicious satisfies both the health-conscious and the indulgent customer of any age. “We are at the intersection of several very attractive trends, one being on-the-go and quick-service meal options that are healthy,” sharesFounder & CEO, OdedYefet. “CrepeDeliciousis working to revolutionize the travel food experience and we are thrilled to bring our innovative brand concept to Abu Dhabi’s International Airport. We are confident that our commitment to fresh food and excellence in hospitality will make Crepe Deliciousa destination for travelers on their journey for years to come."

“Crepe Delicious is expanding throughout the entire GCC as we find these markets are welcoming and receptive to our concept. This presents a tremendous growth opportunity as local consumers become familiar and seek out our brand,” says Mr. Mahmoud Abdel Kaway, from Challenge Investment LLC, Master Franchisee of Crepe Delicious in UAE.“As we grow, we continuously seek strong potential franchisees to operate this turn-key business. We believe in partnership and we offer full support including location selection and design, training, menu development, marketing, and ongoing leadership.”Franchise locations are currently available throughout UAE for 2017 development and Challenge Investment LLC is actively seeking potential franchisees for partnership.

Lufthansa Mobile now offers prepaid SIM cards

One SIM card for the whole world: Lufthansa Mobile enables low cost telephone calls and data with full cost control in over 180 countries
Lufthansa Mobile now meets the so-called “always on” customer demand for those travelling, and at low cost. The prepaid tariff is a welcome opportunity for both holidaymakers and business travellers who want to make affordable phone calls abroad, be reachable at any time and who want to go online, all with full control over the costs.
The start-up package for the Lufthansa Mobile Prepaid Card costs a one-off fee of 29 euros including 19 euros of credit. One of the package options available for use within the EU offers 500 MB for 9.90 euros or 1 GB for 14.90 euros for 30 days at a time. For intercontinental use, such as in the USA, Brazil or China, costs vary from 10 cents to 29 cents per minute and megabyte. Similar rates from other providers usually start at 1.49 euros per minute. There is no binding contract with Lufthansa Mobile.

The SIM card is currently available at lufthansa.com and will be also be available to buy on-board from 1 March 2017.

Lufthansa and Miles & More – new ways to use award miles for all Lufthansa Group flights

•           Miles & More members will be able to book all Lufthansa Group flights with “Cash & Miles”
•           Complete or part payment with Award Miles possible
•           Available from the beginning of 2017 in Germany as a complementary service to the classical Flight Award Miles

With Cash & Miles, Lufthansa and the Frequent Flyer and Award program, Miles & More will be offering an additional service, allowing passengers to cash in award miles on flights or even to pay for flights. On the Lufthansa website LH.com, Miles & More members can use their award miles in the future to pay, either in part or in full, for any regular Lufthansa flight as well as those with Swiss International Air Lines, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Germanwings and Eurowings. The rolling launch will start on 17 November - with the launch for Germany as well as in Switzerland, Belgium, Finland, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain and Italy planned for the beginning of 2017. 
Members will have the chance to use up a flexible amount of award miles against the cost of their flight for the first time, thus reducing the amount of money they need to put towards it. Using Cash & Miles is simple – the member, who needs to have a minimum of 7,000 award miles, logs into the website LH.com with his/her Miles & More service card number and password. The process of booking involves entering the amount of miles you want to use into the appropriate field or selecting the amount by means of a sliding scale option on the screen. The service can be used in all service classes as well as for all flight connections available on the Lufthansa website. As with a regular ticket, members will also collect award and status miles with these bookings too.
On top of the classical flight award miles, Lufthansa und Miles & More have now created a further way of cashing in miles as well as a new flight payment option by introducing Cash & Miles.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

A Taste of South Africa with Matt Tebbutt

A Taste of South Africa with Matt Tebbutt
filming starts on new 10-part TV series

Filming has started on a new 10-part television food series - A Taste of South Africa - with well-known British chef Matt Tebbutt as the show's presenter. Produced by South African production company Oxyg3n Media, makers of highly anticipated TV series such as Married at First Sight SA (for Lifetime) and Brent Owens Extreme, Authentic, Unwrapped (for Discovery), A Taste of South Africa has already been snapped up by Discovery (for Africa and Poland) as well as by British network UKTV. Further international sales are being handled by leading independent distributors DRG.

A Taste of South Africa will follow Tebbutt as he travels across the country discovering and exploring the diversity and flavour of the local foods that the southern tip of Africa has to offer. In the course of his journey, Tebbutt will sample regional specialties and explore and savour food and drink rich with traditional heritage and culture. With his anthropological background, Tebbutt will peel back the history of South African cuisine from its historic beginnings up until today, speaking to, and cooking with, locals and uncovering fascinating food stories.
These include the likes of Xoliswa Ndoyiya, Mandela's personal chef: Mimi Jardim, doyenne of Portuguese South African cooking and author of the bestselling Cooking the Portuguese Way; Mpho Tshukudu, co-author of the recent best-selling cook book Eat-Ting; acclaimed Burundian chef Coco Reinharz co-author, with Anna Trapido (who is also creatively involved in the series), of To the Banqueting House: African Cuisine an Epic Journey and many more.

Tebbutt will traverse the country - from Gauteng to the Free State, KwaZulu Natal, Mpumalanga and the Western and Eastern Cape, looking at the history of ingredients and recipes of local foodstuffs such as Sorghum, Maize, Piri Piri, Chisa Nyama, Bunny Chow, Umphokoqo, Koeksusters, Waterblommetjie Bredie and many more.

Says producer Rebecca Fuller-Campbell: "South Africa provides a culturally diverse, exciting, engaging and exquisite environment in which to pursue the love of food. The fascinating history of this country and the sheer variety of cultures means that every episode will offer a fresh and different look at the rich gastronomic traditions of the country.

Adds Tebbutt: "This is the show that I've always wanted to make. To explore, learn, taste and understand such a totally diverse country such as South Africa is a really exciting prospect for me. I want to meet the people behind the food, to learn about the history of the dishes and to cook alongside them and expand my own knowledge of the local cuisine."

Strike: British Airways assures customers of uninterrupted flight

Strike: British Airways assures customers of uninterrupted flight
British Airways (BA) said on Thursday that it would fly all its passengers to their destinations during a 72-hour pay strike by some cabin crew staff.

In a statement in London, BA urged its passengers to be calm during the strike, which began on Thursday, Jan. 19.

“Our flight programme is running as planned and we are going to fly all customers to their destinations,” BA said.

The strike is being staged by BA’s “mixed fleet” cabin crew, who make up around 15 per cent of the airline’s total cabin staff.

The cabin crew, represented by the Unite Union, has poorer terms and conditions than some longer-serving staff, who rejected a pay offer shortly before Christmas.

They had staged a 48-hour strike earlier this month.

BA, owned by International Airlines Group, said a small number of its short-haul flights from Heathrow would be merged resulting in one per cent of its total schedule being canceled over the three day period.

All BA’s long-haul services to and from Heathrow, Britain and Europe’s busiest airport, plus its flights to and from London’s Gatwick airport and London City will all operate as normal, the airline said.

Strike: British Airways assures customers of uninterrupted flight

Strike: British Airways assures customers of uninterrupted flight
British Airways (BA) said on Thursday that it would fly all its passengers to their destinations during a 72-hour pay strike by some cabin crew staff.

In a statement in London, BA urged its passengers to be calm during the strike, which began on Thursday, Jan. 19.

“Our flight programme is running as planned and we are going to fly all customers to their destinations,” BA said.

The strike is being staged by BA’s “mixed fleet” cabin crew, who make up around 15 per cent of the airline’s total cabin staff.

The cabin crew, represented by the Unite Union, has poorer terms and conditions than some longer-serving staff, who rejected a pay offer shortly before Christmas.

They had staged a 48-hour strike earlier this month.

BA, owned by International Airlines Group, said a small number of its short-haul flights from Heathrow would be merged resulting in one per cent of its total schedule being canceled over the three day period.

All BA’s long-haul services to and from Heathrow, Britain and Europe’s busiest airport, plus its flights to and from London’s Gatwick airport and London City will all operate as normal, the airline said.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

UNWTO and Japan International Cooperation Agency partner to promote sustainable tourism

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation aimed at providing a framework for joint action in the area of sustainable tourism.
The agreement, undersigned by UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, and JICA Executive Senior Vice President, Kazuhiko Koshikawa, opens important opportunities of collaboration as JICA is one of the largest global donors in terms of international cooperation for development in tourism.
As underlined in the document, the agreement aims to contribute to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through tourism. A particular focus is given to assisting developing countries to reduce poverty through tourism as well as to improve public policies and business practices in order to ensure sustainable and responsible production and consumption patterns along the tourism supply chain.
“To work together with a development agency that has 40 years of experience is a privilege and a unique opportunity for UNWTO, particularly now that we are launching the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017,” said UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai on the occasion of the signature of the agreement conducted at the Organizations’ Headquarters in Madrid.
Other areas of cooperation include research and knowledge-sharing in themes such as tourism and poverty reduction, tourism development in developing countries, tourism and climate change and tourism and security.

In addition, both Organizations will cooperate in technical assistance projects addressing policy and strategy development, institutional strengthening, quality standards, human resource development as well as capacity building.

Presidential Committee on Tourism, key to Implementation of Tourism Master Plan-FTAN

The Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN), says the Presidential Committee on Tourism (PCT) is key to the implementation of Nigerian Tourism Master Plan.

FTAN’’s President, Chief Tomi Akingbogun said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.

“The Information and Culture Minister did well to resuscitate the PCT where the president of the country is expected to sit and deliberate on issues on the development of tourism.

“Though his Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari is yet to sit with the committee; this committee remains instrumental to moving Nigerian tourism sector to the next level.

“However, it is very important that the president sits with the committee; even if he is not going to attend all the time, his attendance will give the body the driving force to get tourism on the go,’’he said.

In terms of providing the sector with the requisite infrastructure, Akingbogun added that the minister was up to the task.

“The minister is very proactive; he knows that he cannot tell the minister of works to do a road to a tourist site in a community.

“The president is the only one that can say `for us to get Ogbunike Cave to attract one million visitors in a year, the minister of works should do the road.

“The minister of works will then get in touch with the Anambra State governor and work will start; so that is why they say tourism is inter-ministerial,’’ Akingbogun said.

On the issuance of visa for prospective tourists, the FTAN president told NAN that the relevant ministry would have to rely on a directive from the president to address the issue.

He stressed that it was only the president that could say “look, I don’t want the issuance of visas to visitors to be more than five minutes’ and such would be done without delay.

“So for the implementation of the Nigerian Tourism Master Plan, the PCT has to start sitting with the president.
“I am positive that the president will do that because that is the only way to get tourism moving; we have waited for ten years to get to a point that we want to start now.
“A lot of money was spent on the Tourism Master Plan, so we cannot afford to sit for too long, especially at the time of economic recession.
“We have been saying that tourism has the potential to replace revenue from oil; this is the time to act now; I believe that when the PCT starts sitting, tourism will excel,’’ Akingbogun submitted.

NAN reports that the Nigerian Tourism Master Plan was drafted more than ten years ago with assistance from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation.

The PCT, which has been dormant for many years, has been resuscitated by the minister, Mohammed.  

Nigerians more familiar with UK’s sport, history — British Airways’ survey

Nigerians are more familiar with UK sports and history than their European counterparts, says a survey conducted by the British Airways (BA) in 2016.

Mr Kola Olayinka, the Regional Commercial Manager West Africa at British Airways, said this on Tuesday in a statement he made available to newsmen in Lagos.

It was released through the Quandrant MSLGROUP, the Public Relations outfit that handles British Airways’ media affairs.

“Sport, culture and history are certainly among the reasons to visit London and a British Airways 2016 survey of 4 000 travellers found that Nigerians are more familiar with UK;s sport and history than their European counterparts.

“With up to 14 flights a week, we are offering more seats to London from Nigeria than we ever have before.

“These include seven weekly B777 services to and from Lagos and seven weekly B777 flights to and from Abuja.

“There are up to 14 flights a week to Heathrow from Lagos and Abuja,” he said.

He said these flight schedules would afford Nigerians the opportunities to attend the Chelsea Flower Show and watch the FA Cup Final.

The airline also said that in addition to London, Rome, New York , Paris, Los Angeles and New Orleans were other top destinations for Nigerian travellers in 2017.

He said that intending Nigerian passengers would see fascinating and historic places and events in those cities.

He said that the ticket fare to London would start from $705.

Olayinka said that intending passengers to Paris during spring and summer would participate in the French Open at Roland-Garros amongst others.

He said that the fares would be from $812, adding this also goes for those intending to travel to Rome through BA in 2017.

Olayinka said that intending travellers to New York would long to visit the Statue of Liberty, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

“For the more musically inclined Carnegie Hall is going off-site this season with a new production of West Side Story set in a restored factory in Queens.

“The Lincoln Center’s Columbus Circle base is headlining jazz at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola and is hosting late-night sessions with up-and-coming artists.

Olayinka said that the special fares to New York start at $962.

Also, the fares to Los Angeles noted for its burgeoning film business would be from $1,467.

According to him, New Orleans made the list for the first time because many people had begun visiting to enjoy the Mardi Gras parades which started in January and would end on Feb 28 for $1,432.

Olayinka advised intending travellers to make their bookings before end of January by visiting : britishairways.com or their travel agents for further information.

He said that there were also interesting fares available in premium economy and business classes.

All fares are exclusive of taxes, fees and carrier-imposed charges and may fluctuate due to currency exchange, he said.  

Monday, January 16, 2017

6 tourists, pilot injured in UAE hot air balloon crash

Six foreign tourists and the pilot of a hot air balloon were injured on Monday when the balloon crashed unexpectedly in the United Arab Emirates, police said.

The crash took place in a desert area near the city of al-Madam in Sharjah emirate, Colonel Ahmed bin Darwish of the emirate’s police force said.

Several of the tourists were hospitalised while the pilot, who had suffered more serious injuries, was evacuated by air for urgent treatment, he added.

Police are investigating the cause of the crash.

Bin Darwish said the tourists were of Asian and European nationalities, without specifying further.  

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Quantum Global’s Hotel Fund Acquires Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel Accra

QG Africa Hotel LP, a Mauritius based investment fund managed by Quantum Global Investments Africa Management Ltd., today announced the acquisition of the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel Accra from Kingdom Holding Company (KHC). The transaction which closed on 28 December 2016 marks the most sizable open-market hotel transaction in Sub-Saharan Africa to date.

Complementing Quantum Global’s (www.QuantumGlobalGroup.com) already significant African investment portfolio the value proposition of this transaction is underpinned by its status as one of the largest hotel and mixed use properties in West Africa occupying an exceptional position in both business and touristic segments of the African hospitality market.

Quantum Global’s Group CEO, Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, commented: “The acquisition of the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel Accra, one of sub-Saharan Africa's most successful hotels, is a great testament to the strength of our Hotel Fund and its growing portfolio. The hospitality industry across Africa is an indicator of the vitality and attractiveness of key locations across the continent and we look to further take advantage of those opportunities and generate value added returns for our investors.”

Sitting on a spectacular 16 acres (6.5 hectares) site of landscaped gardens in Accra’s Central Business District, Movenpick Ambassador Hotel Accra comprises extensive food and beverage as well as conference facilities making it the largest 5-star conference hotel in Ghana. The property is also complemented by retail as well as office facilities that form part of a unique environment, valued by tenants as well as hotel guests.

Adrian Leuenberger, Managing Director, Group Head of Asset Management, Quantum Global, commented: “Movenpick Ambassador Hotel Accra has demonstrated outstanding growth through the highly-rated and reliable delivery of world class hospitality facilities to its international and local customers. We are delighted with this major acquisition and are looking forward to a very promising future.”

Heathrow flights cancelled as British Airways cabin crew strike

British Airways cabin crew started a 48-hour strike on Tuesday which will see around 40 flights cancelled at Heathrow Airport during the two days.

Members of the Unite union working for the airline called the strike after rejecting an offer from their employer, in an ongoing dispute about what they are calling “poverty pay.”

Affected destinations include Hamburg, Dusseldorf, San Jose, Oslo and Aberdeen.  

Monday, January 9, 2017

Marriott International Expands Presence in Algeria with Opening of Sheraton Annaba

201 Room New Build Hotel Boasts Imposing Design, Prime Mediterranean Sea Location and Commanding Views of Scenic Coastal City

Marriott International, Inc (NASDAQ:MAR) (www.Marriott.com), today announced further expansion in Algeria with the opening of its seventh hotel in Algeria, Sheraton Annaba (www.Sheraton.com/Annaba). The company already operates six hotels in Algeria including Constantine Marriott Hotel, Renaissance Tlemcen Hotel, Sheraton Club des Pins, Sheraton Oran, Le Meridien Oran and Four Points by Sheraton Oran amounting to 1580 rooms. With another six hotels under development the company is set to double its footprint in the country. Owned by Société d’Investissement Hôtelière, the imposing and welcoming Sheraton Annaba is conveniently located within easy access from the airport and the city’s most charming attractions. With its iconic and sophisticated design, and appealing dining options, the hotel offers stunning views of the azure Mediterranean Sea and the scenic coastal city.

“We are delighted to strengthen our partnership with Société d’Investissement Hôtelière, as we open our seventh Hotel in Algeria,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International. “The opening of Sheraton Annaba further underlines our commitment to growth and expansion in Algeria, a market which continues to be integral to our overall development strategy throughout Africa.”

Guests can enjoy spectacular sea or city views and an unmatched level of comfort at the Sheraton Annaba. The hotel’s 201 elegantly appointed guestrooms, including 15 Executive Suites and a Presidential Suite, spread over 18 floors, offer a premium Sheraton Signature Sleep Experience. With elevated amenities and services, the hotel delivers effortless and personalized services in a seamless and efficient manner. Club rooms and Suites offer exclusive access to the Sheraton® Club Lounge, providing with additional tailored services and privileges. Located on the 19th floor with mesmerizing views, the Club Lounge provides the perfect backdrop for a complimentary breakfast, tea, coffee, drinks or light snacks to enjoy throughout the day and in the early evening hours.

Whether it’s relaxing at the Lobby Lounge while enjoying Sheraton’s signature ‘Paired’ menu - comprising of artisanal small plates and bar snacks paired with premium wines - or indulging a meal at one of the distinctive restaurants, the Sheraton Annaba welcomes numerous culinary experiences and delights. Guests can relish international Mediterranean dining with live cooking at the all-day dining Feast, savor delicious patisserie at the Deli with take away, treat themselves to an upscale Italian dining experience at Al Pesto located on the 19th floor, or head for a relaxed drink with a game of snooker and some foot-tapping music at the Hugo Bar. In every way, the Sheraton Annaba spoils guests with choice.

With over 1400 square meters of ultra-modern and state-of-the-art meeting facilities, endless connectivity through high-speed wi-fi, and a full-service business center, the hotel offers highly flexible meeting options and personalized services, making it the ideal venue for every need, be it intimate gatherings or larger social events and business meetings. Leisure facilities include a 24-hour fitness center for maximized workouts with cutting-edge equipment, an outdoor pool for a relaxing swim, a Spa and an outdoor tennis court.

Situated on the north eastern coast of Algeria, Annaba is the fourth largest city in the country and the capital of Annaba Province, often referred to as the “Pearl of East Algeria”. It is one of Algeria’s main commercial hubs and also a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful beaches. With a warm and welcoming atmosphere, the Sheraton Annaba is where guests can make the most out of their stay, whether they’re traveling for business or for leisure.

5,140 tourists visited first storey building in Nigeria in 2016-says official

The first storey building in Nigeria located in Badagry, Lagos State, recorded 5,140 visitors from January to December 2016.

The facility manager of the site, Mr Hodonu, Daniel told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Badagry that the tourists that visited the 171-year-old- structure in 2016 were higher than the corresponding years.

NAN reports that the foundation of the building was laid in 1842 and construction work on the building was completed in 1845.

Image result for first story building

“We have been able to attract more tourists to this site because of the proper maintenance of the place and we have been able to preserve its originality.

“In year 2015, those that visited the site were 3,457 but we were able to increase the number due to the historic nature of this site.

“The peak period is usually during Christmas, New Year, Easter, Sallah and whenever students are in session,” he said.

He said that Nigerians should be more patriotic in visiting the various monuments in the country.

“Nigerians should imbibe the habit of visiting the various museums and monuments in the country in order to boost tourism development in the country.

“Students patronise the building more than others and that isn’t good enough,” he said.

He urged the Federal Government to support the management in giving the building a facelift noting that it was only the Anglican Church that had been carrying out that task.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Tourism: Flavour, Patoranking hopeful of improved revenue generation

Two Nigerian musicians, Chinedu Okoli and Patrick Okorie on Thursday called for adequate harnessing of the potential of the tourism sector to boost the country’s revenue generation.

Okoli and Okorie, popularly known as Patoranking and Flavour respectively, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone on Thursday.

“If you look around most African countries, they have started working on their hospitality business for revenue generation. I think it is time for us to take a cue from that.

“Those countries can hardly organise a show without inviting Nigerian artistes – comedians and musicians – and the reception is always great.

“Before other African nations beat us to it, I think it’s time we beef up our tourism and entertainment industry,” Okoli told NAN.

On his part, Okorie called for an -up-to-date-directory of hotels and lodges in the country in the interest of tourists.

He also urged improved security in hotels and other tourist sites.

“The security situation in the country is not as bad as portrayed, but a lot still needs to be done to create a better platform for our God-given resources that visitors need to see,” he said.

He pledged musicians’ support for national development through their profession.

NAN reports that Ms Sally Mbanefo, Director-General, Nigerian Tourism Development Agency, had in November said that the tourism sector generated over $1.1 billion in 2015 from over six million visitors.

Mbanefo said in a seminar that in 2014, $853 million was generated from 4.8 million visitors, adding that the sector had massive growth potential.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Year Ahead: harnessing the power of tourism to build a better world-- Taleb Rifai

Dear friends,
I write to you as I begin my final year as UNWTO Secretary-General, a position I have been privileged to hold for almost seven years at an Agency I have been proud to serve for the past decade.
During this time I have seen tourism become one of the world’s most important and impactful socio-economic sectors of our times. I have seen its growing relevance to the lives of millions around the world, to the preservation of our common values and to greater understanding among people of all walks of life.
I have seen increasing commitment from the international community, with many countries realizing the potential for tourism to become a pillar of their development. This commitment is attested to by the inclusion of tourism in the universal 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed upon by 193 nations in 2015.
And now I am very privileged and grateful to be celebrating 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. The UN General Assembly’s decision to dedicate 2017 to tourism’s contribution to sustainable and inclusive growth was no coincidence. Tourism is increasingly and rightly being recognized as a sector that can help usher in a better world.
2017 is a unique opportunity for us to promote the contribution of tourism to achieving the future we want – and also to determine, together, the exact role we will have tourism play in the sustainable development agenda, to and beyond 2030.
Of course, many challenges remain before our sector. Yet if there is one thing I will always remember from my time in this captivating and rewarding sector, it is that tourism is a sector of hope. Not only is it one of the most resilient economic sectors, but it also unites people across backgrounds, cultures and continents every day. Through travel, we gain understanding, tolerance, and empathy for our fellow man – essential in the globalization era, where our global village can only prosper through harmonious living.
The tremendous hope that our sector provides should inspire us all to act for the good of people and planet. Together we can be the change we want to see.
Let us all remember that whatever we do in life; our core business is to make this world a better place.
I wish you a very happy International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017.
Taleb Rifai

Secretary-General, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

Experts advocate single common-visa for ECOWAS in 2017

Some experts travel experts have advised ECOWAS member-states to consider going for one common visa from 2017 to boost trade and tourism development in the sub-region.

They appealed to the African Union (AU) and ECOWAS to pass a law to this effect and start its implementation this year.

They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that such an idea would attract millions of international tourists into West Africa, and would boost the region’s foreign exchange earnings.

Mrs Nneka Moses, the Managing Director, Goge Africa, told NAN that the sub-region using a common visa would encourage more tourists’ movements among member countries.

Moses said that would also encourage more international tourists to visit the sub-region, and this would translate into additional economic and tourism development.

“Some tourists from Asia, Europe and North America have been finding it difficult to obtain visas of some of the West African countries from foreign their embassies and high commissions.

“They complained that the requirements, protocols and policies to obtain such visas were tough and stringent,’’ she said.

Moses said that if ECOWAS member-states could make the issuance of their visas friendly, it would attract millions of tourists into their countries which would boost their revenue base.

According to her, the idea is to emulate some European countries who share the same Schengen visa.

“Using one common visa by ECOWAS member-states will also foster development.

“The idea is also to make it easier for other international tourists to connect easily to all parts of West Africa.

“We are losing billions of foreign currencies due to our stringent requirements that prospective foreign tourists that wanted to obtain our visas in the sub-region were finding tough to meet ,” she said.

Moses said that if millions of tourists should visit West Africa countries monthly, it would help in improving our economy and create more employment opportunities for our people.

Also, Mr Ini Akpabio, Group Managing Director, NANET Hotel and Suites, said that millions of tourism potential abound in West Africa that could be used to woo international tourists.

He said these were natural gifts and not man-made contrary to some European countries where some of their tourism potential were mostly artificial.

“The African continent is blessed with a lot of tourism potential that it can showcase to the world,’’ he said.

He said that with aggressive marketing and publicity, West-African tourism endowments would attract an influx of tourists on to the sub-region.

Also, Mr Tarzan Balogun, the Managing Director, Tarzan Boat Ltd., said that travel and tourism industry was the frontier that had been playing a critical role in contemporary economic development

Medview completes delivery of delayed baggage

Medview Airline said it delivered the last batch of the delayed passengers’ baggage on its London-Lagos route on Monday.

Mr Obuke Oyibhota, the media consultant to the airline, disclosed this in a statement obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos.

The airline advised passengers, who were yet to collect their baggage, to do so by visiting the `D Wing’ of the arrival hall in the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

Medview Airline and the passengers’ ordeal started on Dec. 19 when Gatwick Airport closed its main runway for maintenance.

According to the statement, the airport authorities asked the Medview to use a shorter runway, but since the aircraft load was heavier, it could not use that runway with the weight and the baggage were, therefore, offloaded.

Image result for medview airline
“Since then the airline has been doing everything possible to resolve the situation, including entering into an alliance with the British Airways that finally delivered the baggage.

“It said the baggage arrived in three batches from Dec. 31, 2016 to Jan. 2,’’ the statement read in part.

Prior to the delivery, the airline, had on Friday night, sent SMS to all the affected passengers, telling them to check the tag numbers of the baggage that had arrived on its Website.

The statement quoted the Chief Executive Officer of Medview Airline, Alhaji Muneer Bankole, as saying that the airline and passengers’ ordeal over the baggage was over.

He thanked the affected passengers for their understanding and reaffirmed the airline’s commitment to providing them quality services.

Tourism viable potential for economic growth in Africa – Expert

Tourism viable potential for economic growth in Africa – Expert
A tourism expert, Mr Ikechukwu Uko on Tuesday says tourism is one of the top five events in Africa with viable potential for global economic growth.

Uko, the organiser of Akwaba Travel Market across the world spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ikeja, Lagos State.

“Tourism is not a very difficult business to promote, it is a product; we should be able to promote it globally because it is one of the top five events in Africa.

“Promoting tourism in Africa is not difficult, just that we have not had people to articulate a vision and set a mission,” said Uko.

He suggested the need to set out a strategy that would identity the audience and environment to articulate a vision and a mission.

“We need to set out a strategy to do that by identifying and defining our audience and then arrange our message that we want to pass to this audience.

“That message must be effectively passed to the desired audience and the only way we can pass the message is through a channel.

“We have channels such as the Calabar carnival, the Eyo festival, Osun Osogbo festival, horse ride in Kano and lots more.

“For these unique festivals to be viable, the system should make it comfortable for tourists to acquire visas for people to attend such festivals,” he said.

Uko said that there were successful tourism events in the country that could boost economy as a viable product.

According to him, the country itself needs to have a strategy that is workable but the stakeholders should call in the experts to boost tourism in the country.

Uko said that workable strategy should be put together stakeholders in the sector so that these potential could be effectively achieved.