Did you hear that Alitalia is returning to Johannesburg and Nairobi and that also Air France is launching flights to Nairobi next year? Do you know that Angola and Rwanda have simplified their visa processes? And that Nigeria, Senegal and Cape Verde dominate the West African hotel pipeline?
From new routes to Africa to hotel outlooks and visa changes, we’ve rounded up some of the most exciting events in Africa Tourism News this week…
Alitalia returns to Joburg and Nairobi
Alitalia has announced that it will be returning to Johannesburg and Nairobi next year with regular routes.
Four-weekly flights to Johannesburg will be launched on April 8. The flights, which will be operated on a A330 in a three-class configuration, will depart Rome on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sunday at 22h10 to arrive in Johannesburg at 08h20 the next day. The return service will depart Johannesburg on Wednesdays, Fridays, Sundays and Mondays at 21h00, arriving in Rome at 07h25.
The airline is also due to resume services to Nairobi on 28 March 2018. Flights will also operate four times a week by an A330 in a three-class configuration. Flights will depart Rome on Mondays, Tuesday, Wednesdays and Fridays at 14h00 to arrive at 22h10. Return flights will depart the following day from Kenya at 0h35 to arrive in Rome at 07h10.
Air France launches Nairobi service
From 25 March 2018, Air France will introduce a new three-weekly service between Paris and Nairobi.
The airline will deploy a Boeing 787, equipped with 30 seats in Business class, 21 seats in Premium Economy class and 225 seats in Economy class on the route, with flights departing Paris-Charles de Gaulle on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 20h50, arriving in Nairobi at 06h00 the following morning. The return service will depart Nairobi at 08h20 on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays, arriving in Paris at 15h50.
The new flights will be operated on a codeshare basis with partner Kenya Airways.
SA and Angola sign visa exemption agreement
South Africa and Angola have reportedly concluded a visa exemption agreement, in which ordinary passport holders are not required to obtain a visitor’s visa for visits shorter than 30 days at a time and 90 days per annum.
Rwanda introduces visas on arrival
Rwanda has announced that, from 1 January 2018, all travellers will be able to apply for a visa on arrival, without pre-application.
In a statement released by the Directorate of Immigration and Emigration Rwanda said that citizens of all countries will now be able to get a 30-day visa on arrival. Prior to this, only African passport holders and a few other countries could obtain a visa on arrival.
On a reciprocal basis, and with immediate effect, Rwanda will also grant visas free of charge and with a 90-day validity to countries including Benin, Central African Republic, Chad, Ghana, Guinea, Indonesia, Haiti, Senegal, Seychelles and Sao Tome and Principe. This is in addition to the existing visa-free policies for the Democratic Republic of Congo, East Africa Member Community Partner States, Mauritius, Philippines and Singapore.
Nigeria, Senegal and Cape Verde dominate the West African hotel pipeline
Nigeria, Senegal and Cape Verde dominate the West African hotel pipeline with 77% of the total planned hotel rooms. This is according to the W Hospitality Group’s 2017 Hotel Chains Pipeline report.
West Africa has a pipeline of 114 hotels and 20,790 rooms, accounting for 42% of the Sub-Saharan African hotel pipeline.
Of the hotel pipeline for West Africa, Nigeria contributes 49.6% or more than 10,000 hotel rooms (in 61 hotels). Nigeria is also the top market in Africa for planned rooms.
The other substantial markets in West Africa include Cape Verde with 11 hotels and 3,478 rooms, and Senegal with 14 hotels and 2,164 rooms. These three markets contribute a total of 15,955 hotel rooms, or 77% of the West African hotel pipeline.
Senior representatives from major hotel groups such as Hilton, Carlson Rezidor and Mangalis, and other key hotel experts will be discussing growth strategies in the ever-changing West African economic environment at the upcoming West Africa Property Investment (WAPI) Summit to held on November 28 & 29 at the Eko Hotel, Lagos Nigeria.