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2016 Q2 East African Tourism and eCommerce News Roundup

June 1, 2016

2016 Q2 East African Tourism and eCommerce News Roundup

June 1, 2016

There have been quite a lot of tourism and ecommerce happenings in the past 3 months in East Africa.  Check out some of the highlights, below:


Government Aims to attract 2,000,000 Tourists by 2020

In an effort to attract 2,000,000 tourists by 2020, the government announced in April a number of major projects to be implemented during the next four years.

It is estimated that 1.1 million tourists visited the country in 2015, and the current goal to double that figure will see government encouraging local tourism and opening up new attractions in the southern zone.

The National Five-Year Development Plan 2016/2017 to 2020/2021 states that the government will attract more investors to finance hotels with the aim of increasing the number of beds during the next few years. A Sh500-million theme park has been earmarked for construction in Dar es Salaam during the financial year and more training will be implemented.

Tanzania earned $2.23 billion from the travel industry and related activities in 2015, up from $2.01 billion in 2014, according to Bank of Tanzania (BoT) figures. Read More


New Study Reveals Massive Scope for Mobile Growth in Kenyan Retail Market

Image Source: IT News Africa

A new Nielsen Study on Kenyan Retailers and Technology reveals there is still significant room for growth in the market, particularly in the retail environment, notwithstanding the huge increase in mobile usage in Kenya.

The most potential for growth exists in the mobile money market, already one of the largest of its kind worldwide, with 43% of the population actively using a mobile money application. However, only 12% of retail transactions are currently conducted via mobile money despite the enormous benefits of safety and ease of use.

Nielsen East Africa MD Jacqueline Nyanjom stated: “In a country with 96% mobile penetration, the findings are somewhat surprising – but they point to enormous potential for growth.”

The mobile money market in Kenya is dominated by Safaricom’s M-Pesa, which was launched in 2007 and already boasts more than 25-million subscribers and nearly 130,000 retail agents. Read More


Construction of Four-Star Ferwafa Hotel Resumes

Work on the Rwf4 billion four-star Rwanda Football Federation hotel project, has been resumed.

Construction of the four-story hotel was started in August 2015, but was halted by Kigali City Authority because of lack of construction permits in February.

The Minister of Sports and Culture, Julienne Uwacu confirmed in April that construction would resume in May.

The hotel will be built in four phases the first of which will provide 40 rooms. FIFA has provided a grant of $2,896,640 (approximately Rwf2bn) towards the project. Upon completion, the hotel is expected to ease costs incurred by the Ministry of Sports and Culture (MINISPOC) on national teams during training or accommodation for other visiting teams.

The hotel is also expected to be used for commercial purposes to generate income. On completion, it will have a total of 100 rooms with a capacity to simultaneously host three national teams. Read More


Tourism Sees Gains from Barcelona Team Members’ Visit

Image Source: Chano8

Uganda is starting to reap the benefits of last December’s visit by former team members of Spain’s renowned Barcelona football club.

According to Uganda Tourism Board CEO Stephen Asiimwe, UTB’s strategy of sports tourism, which sees foreign sports stars engage in sport and tour the country, is paying dividends. The board also hopes that local sports activities, such as the Source of the Nile run will help promote domestic tourism.

The “Barcelona legends” tour was widely covered by Ugandan and Spanish media. And during April, UTB hosted a 45-man contingent from A.E Ramassa football club from Spain’s fourth division. Players and supporters flew in from Catalonia, accompanied by Catalonia Television and a radio crew. They visited places like Zziwa sanctuary, Kidepo National Park and Murchison Falls National Park and the Ndere Cultural centre in Ntinda.

According to UTB, another team from Spain is expected in December. The board also expects to seal a deal with Air Europa for ferrying of Spanish tourists to Uganda.


Government is on course with e-commerce implementation

Electronic commerce in Zambia is on course towards implementation.

According to Transport and Communications Minister, Kapembwa Simbao, speaking during an event held in Lusaka in April, to introduce the latest developments in cloud computing and “big data” to Zambia, the government is providing appropriate strategies focusing on development of broadband infrastructure, digital content, human resources and supporting innovation in both the public and private sectors.

Under a project called Smart Zambia Phase One, the government, has commenced the development of a national data center, public Information Communication Technology (ICT) training facilities and teleconferencing facilities for government. Read More


World Travel Awards lands in Zanzibar ahead of Africa & Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony

World Travel Awards (WTA) arrived in Zanzibar before of the Africa & Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony 2016, which took place at Diamonds La Gemma dell’Est in Zanzibar on April 9th.

Many big players from the hospitality industry attended the event, where there were plenty of networking opportunities for travel and tourism industry professionals.

World Travel Awards President Graham Cooke said: “What a wonderful location we have for this, the first stop on our Grand Tour 2016.”

“This is the first time we have visited Tanzania, and the island of Zanzibar, and I can think of no better location for our Africa & Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony 2016.”

Every year, World Travel Awards travels all over the world and puts on a number of Gala Ceremonies to honor the achievements within various geographical regions. Read More

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