Protea Hotel by Marriott Constantine ExteriorProtea Hotels by Marriott, part of Marriott International, Inc., Tuesday, announced expansion into North Africa with the opening of Protea Hotel by Marriott Constantine, Algeria. Strategically located in close proximity to the airport, the hotel is within walking distance of most major city attractions such as the Cirta Museum, the Ahmed Bey Castle, Le Monument Aux Morts, and the iconic seven bridges, a symbol that defines the uniqueness of the city.

“Protea Hotels by Marriott is a leading hotel brand in Africa with a significant footprint in Sub- Saharan Africa,” said Volker Heiden, Vice President Protea Hotels by Marriott, Marriott International, Middle East and Africa. “The opening of this hotel marks the strategic expansion of the brand into exciting new markets. We are confident that this expansion will provide further impetus and pave the way for the brand’s future growth.”

The hotel’s 72 guest rooms spread over six floors provide unspoilt views of the scenic city. Additional facilities include two boardrooms and a ballroom. With modern design and amenities, and a unique blend of global standards coupled with warm, personal service for which the brand has come to be known, the hotel provides the ideal stay for business as well as leisure.

Popularly referred to Algeria’s “City of Bridges,” Constantine, is perhaps one of those destinations waiting to be discovered by the global traveller.  The city’s unique charm lies in the beauty of its natural surroundings, perched above the swirling waters of the Rhumel River, bearing testament to an incredibly rich past reflected in the buildings and ruins that reflect a 2000-year-old history.

According to Heiden, “Africa is a land of opportunity with rapidly growing economies and enriching experiences that lure the international traveller to the continent.  We are thrilled to be able to debut the Protea brand into North Africa with this beautiful destination and offer yet another exciting destination to our loyal members and welcome new ones.”

Protea Hotel by Marriott Constantine joins Marriott International’s strong portfolio of 7 operating hotels in Algeria including Constantine Marriott Hotel, Renaissance Tlemcen, Sheraton Annaba, Sheraton Club des Pins, Sheraton Oran, Le Meridien Oran and Four Points by Sheraton Oran.

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Hilton Heliopolis CairoGlobal hotel chain, Hilton continues its growth and development in Egypt, 60 years after first entering the country, with the opening of the Hilton Cairo Heliopolis.

The leading global hospitality company has also confirmed plans for the debut of its luxury brand Waldorf Astoria in Egypt later this year – once rebranded, this will be the company’s first Waldorf Astoria hotel in Africa, staking ground for Hilton as a luxury operator in the region.

Hilton has signed two management agreements with Gulf-Egypt for Hotels & Tourism (S.A.E) to operate Heliopolis Hotel & Towers Luxury Hotel under two distinct brands. A 593-room upscale Hilton property is now welcoming guests alongside the 247-room the Towers Luxury Hotel which will rebrand as Waldorf Astoria Cairo following an ambitious renovation programme.

Scheduled to be completed before the end of 2018, the refurbishment will create a new home for luxury travelers to Africa, bringing Waldorf Astoria’s inspirational environments, unforgettable experiences and True Waldorf Service to the continent for the first time. This will include a redesign of all 247 guestrooms and suites under a customized design concept reflecting the finest traditions of Egyptian hospitality, a renovation of the spacious atrium lobby area to create an iconic arrival experience and the addition of a refined destination spa. Waldorf Astoria Cairo’s Personal Concierges will ensure that each guest receives anticipatory and personalized service before, during and after their stay.

“We are beginning 2018 in style by launching our Waldorf Astoria brand in Africa and making Hilton Cairo Heliopolis our sixth hotel in the Egyptian capital. We are working with great partners, Gulf-Egypt for Hotels & Tourism (S.A.E), and we look forward to great success with these two hotels which give our customers a new and convenient option just 4 km away from Cairo airport and close to New Cairo,” said Rudi Jagersbacher, President, Middle East, Africa & Turkey, Hilton.

Mohsen Abu Al Azm, Managing Director of Gulf-Egypt for Hotels & Tourism (S.A.E) added: “We are delighted to be partnering with Hilton to manage these two landmark properties. With an array of world-class facilities and offerings, the Hilton Cairo Heliopolis and the soon-to-open Waldorf Astoria will set the standard for accommodation in Cairo and across the region. Hilton brings nearly 100 years of experience to these hotels and their international reputation for service, quality and excellence will ensure the continued success of these great hotels.”

With world-class facilities, the dual branded complex features two Ballrooms totaling 3000 sqm, an Amphitheatre with built-in conference technologies, 12 meeting rooms varying from 50 to 120 sqm, pre-function areas and a business center. This, in addition to two swimming pools, tennis and squash courts, a fitness center, a Health Club and retail space.

Extending across both hotels, guests can enjoy an incredible 17 stylish and diverse choices of dining and entertainment options. Leonardo is a Classic Italian cuisine with subtle modern influence, while Rainbow Bar is the Lobby bar and lounge. Lan Tania specializes in Far Eastern and Asian cuisine with an open show kitchen. Al Dabke offers Lebanese favorites cooked on a charcoal grill using authentic ingredients and traditional cooking methods. The hotel also offers a wide variety of additional restaurants serving Egyptian, Chinese and Indian food, in addition to a pool bar and traditional English pub.

Heliopolis is one of the city’s prime residential areas and home to Egypt’s diplomatic and presidential offices.

The hotel is also conveniently located on the main artery road leading to central Cairo and to all other districts of the city including Egypt’s most ancient and popular tourist attractions. The site’s prime location is just 8 km away from New Cairo, a new city expected to host Egypt’s Capital along with presidential HQ and ministries.

Both properties will become part of Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 14 distinct hotel brands. Members who book directly have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider (https://goo.gl/d996wa) that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount, free standard Wi-Fi and access to the Hilton Honors mobile app. Diamond members will enjoy free Premium speed Wi-Fi, space-available upgrades, complimentary breakfast and 1,000 Bonus Points per stay. Gold members will have the option of a complimentary, continental breakfast or 1,000 Bonus Points per stay.

Hilton, which has more than 5,100 hotels globally, has had a continuous presence in Egypt for more than 60 years, expects to strengthen its current presence across the country with seven more hotels in the next five years.

Med-View Airlines

Med-View Airlines

Med-View Airline has announced the suspension of its recently-launched Dubai operations till March 24 when its B737-300ER returns from complete refurbishment in the United Kingdom.

Speaking during a press briefing in Lagos on Monday January 29, the managing director of Med-View Airline, Alhaji Muneer Bankole stated that passengers who have booked with the airline will be flown to their destinations via interline arrangements.

Bankole said the airline will continue to maintain their Jeddah schedule every Thursday vis Kano until the issue of Biometric, which is now a requirement is resolved.

“We will continue to maintain our Jeddah schedule every Thursday via Kano until the issue of biometric , which is now a requirement, is resolved,” Bankole said.

Med-View boss added that the Lagos -London route will now be serviced by an alternative aircraft currently in operation, adding that it will still maintain its three weekly flights.

This is coming just as the airline said it is in no way indebted to the Gatwick Airport Authorities nor its European handlers, Mendez.

Reacting to allegations that it was due to debts that its operations in the last few days were hindered causing its passengers challenges, Bankole said the airline has paid the Gatwick Authority £1.45million as at, Monday January 29 and that it can be verified.

“While we want to leave the past behind us, it is imperative to say that we have issues with our European partners over aircraft we leased from them. From all indications, this aircraft has not been able to meet our requirement in providing the necessary capacity. The United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority (UK-CAA) has been supportive of our efforts when it dawned on them that the issues had to do with aircraft.

“Consequently, we have taken measures on our Lagos-London route, which will now be serviced by an alternative aircraft currently in operation. We will also maintain three weekly flights. We have shut down Dubai operations till March when our aircraft B767-300ER christened ‘ABEKE’ returns from complete refurbishment in the United Kingdom. Passengers who have booked with us will be flown to their destinations via interlink agreements.”

EtihadEtihad Airways has reaffirmed its commitment to Nigeria with the announcement of two additional weekly flights on the popular Abu Dhabi–Lagos route, taking it to a daily service.

The new Tuesday and Thursday services will start on 1 May 2018. The route will continue to be operated by a two-class Airbus A330, with 22 Business Class seats and 240 in Economy.

Mohammad Al Bulooki, Etihad Airways Executive Vice President Commercial, said: “Nigeria is an important market for Etihad and our home of Abu Dhabi. The airline is committed to offering attractive schedules and choice to our guests travelling between Lagos and the UAE capital as well as convenient connections to destinations including the GCC, India and Asia.

“Since launching the Lagos route in July 2012, Etihad has carried almost 600,000 passengers between our hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport and the commercial heart of Nigeria. It is pleased to be able to support the high demand for our service by soon operating the route on a daily basis.”

ata

Niger

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has disclosed that African airlines recorded a 7.5 increase in passenger traffic in 2017 compared to 2016.

Director-General of IATA, Mr Alexandre de Juniac, who made this known in a statement, Thursday, posted on its website, said that the capacity of African airlines rose at less than half the rate of demand (3.6 per cent), while load factor jumped from 2.5 percentage points to 70.3 per cent.

“While indicators in South Africa are consistent with falling economic output, Nigeria has returned to growth, helped by the recent rise in oil prices,’’ he said.

According to de Juniac, global passenger traffic statistics for 2017 showed a 7.6 increase compared to 2016, which was well above the 10-year average annual growth rate of 5.5 per cent.

He said the rate of demand growth slowed to 6.2 per cent in December 2017, compared to December 2016, which was largely owing to less favorable comparisons to the even stronger growth trend seen in the year-ago period.

“The year 2017 got off to a very strong start and largely stayed that way throughout the year, sustained by a broad-based pick-up in economic conditions.

“While the underlying economic outlook remains supportive in 2018, rising cost inputs, most notably fuel, suggest we are unlikely to see the same degree of demand stimulation from lower fares that occurred in the first part of 2017,’’ de Juniac said.

According to him, in 2017, more than four billion passengers used aviation to reunite with friends and loved ones, to explore new worlds, to do business, and to take advantage of opportunities to improve themselves.

The IATA boss said the connectivity provided by aviation enabled goods to get to markets, and aid to be delivered to those in need.

“Aviation truly is the business of freedom, liberating us from the restraints of geography to lead better lives.

“Aviation can do even more in 2018, if supported by governments that recognise and support our activities with smarter regulation, fairer taxation, cost efficient infrastructure and borders that are open to people and trade,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, IATA, in its just released full-year 2017 data for global air freight markets indicates that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs) grew by 9.0 percent, representing a more than double the 3.6 percent annual growth recorded in 2016.

This is as African carriers’ posted the fastest growth in year-on-year freight volumes, up 15.6 percent in December 2017 and a capacity increase of 7.9 percent.

Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs), rose by 3.0 percent in 2017. This was the slowest annual capacity growth seen since 2012. Demand growth outpaced capacity growth by a factor of three.

Air cargo’s strong performance in 2017 was sealed by a solid result in December. Year-on-year demand growth in December increased 5.7percent. This was less than half the annual growth rate seen during the middle of 2017 but still well above the five-year average of 4.7 percent. Freight capacity grew by 3.3percent year-on-year in December.

Air PeaceIndigenous carrier, Air Peace taken delivery of one of the six 50-seater new generation Embraer 145 jets it recently acquired, Thursday.

The aircraft which touched down at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos is expected to operate under the carrier’s newly established subsidiary, Air Peace Hopper, which incidentally is also the first time a Nigerian airline would establish a subsidiary to manage an arm of its flight operations, following the tradition of some of the big carriers in the world.

A statement issued by Air Peace quoted its Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Allen Onyema as describing the arrival of the new aircraft christened; ‘Nkechi Ezewusi (Nee Onyema)’ and birthing of the subsidiary as a milestone in the airline’s vision of uniting Nigeria through air connectivity and ending the travel nightmares of its many underserved cities.

“The arrival of our latest new generation aircraft marked 5N-BUY has once again underscored our determination to bring Nigeria together through air connectivity and fix the air travel difficulties of many unserved and underserved cities in the country. We are even more pleased that the arrival of the aircraft marks the beginning of our subsidiary, Air Peace Hopper. Another of the six Embraer 145 jets we recently acquired will arrive in Nigeria in less than a week’s time.

“We will organise our plan to link many cities in the North and South of Nigeria under the subsidiary. Under Air Peace Hopper, we hope to connect routes such as Enugu-Kano-Enugu, Benin-Port-Harcourt-Benin, Port-Harcourt-Kano-Port-Harcourt, Lagos-Warri-Port-Harcourt-Warri-Lagos, Lagos-Warri-Abuja-Warri, Lagos-Kaduna-Lagos, Lagos-Sokoto-Lagos, Abuja-Sokoto-Abuja, Abuja-Bauchi-Abuja, Lagos- Makurdi-Lagos, Lagos-Jos-Lagos, among others. This will not only open up and energise the economies of the different cities and states, but also create massive job opportunities for the people.

“We remain focused in our determination to transform air travel in Nigeria, Africa and beyond. In three years, we have increased our fleet to a size of 24 aircraft. We are currently pursuing a massive route expansion project. We are launching our Lagos-Kano-Lagos and Kano-Abuja-Kano services on February 12. This will be followed three days after with the inauguration of our Lagos-Yola and Abuja-Yola operations on February 15. Four days after, we will commence our flight operations to Freetown, Banjul and Dakar on February 19. Other cities on the West Coast of Africa will join our route network shortly. We are also finalising preparations for our flight operations to international destinations, including Dubai, Sharjah, Guangzhou-China, London, Houston, Mumbai and Johannesburg,” Onyema was quoted as saying.

In a related development, the carrier has announced plans to inaugurate its Kano and Yola services on February 12 and 15 respectively.

The airline made the announcement in a statement signed by its Corporate Communications Manager, Mr Chris Iwarah, Monday, in Lagos.

Iwarah said the services would cover Lagos-Kano-Lagos, Kano-Abuja-Kano, Lagos-Yola-Lagos and Abuja-Yola-Abuja routes.

He said the new routes were a fulfilment of the airline’s pledge to connect many domestic, regional and international destinations in 2018.

“We are delighted to announce that Kano and Yola will be joining our fast-growing route network on February 12 and 15 respectively. The new routes will come on stream just days before the inauguration of our flights to Freetown, Banjul and Dakar which is scheduled for February 19,” Iwarah said.

SavedPicture-2017222144421.jpgMain Organising Committee of the 61st Meeting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation Commission for Africa (UNWTO/CAF  to be hosted by Nigeria, this June, last Wednesday, in Abuja received interim reports from its seven sub-committees set up for a successful hosting of the global event.

The reports were received by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Mrs Grace Etsu Gekpe, who doubles as the Vice Chairman of the committee at a meeting which reviewed activities of the units.

The Main Committee, inaugurated by the Information Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on January 23, is drawn from various organisations including government Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

The World Tourism Organisation is the leading international organ in tourism and responsible for promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.

The 59th meeting of the organisation’s Commission, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, awarded the hosting right of the 61st edition and a technical seminar on Tourism statistics to Nigeria.

The Commission’s meeting is principally a gathering of African Ministers of Tourism with delegates from the 51-member states of the regional commission.

THe sub-committees whose activities were reviewed included Publicity and Media; Transport, Ceremonial as well as Secretariat and Accommodation.

Nigeria

Nigeria Tourism

Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) has concluded arrangements ahead of its 20th anniversary with plans in top gear to honour selected individuals who have contributed to the growth and development of the federation, as well as the tourism industry in the country.

The event is expected to hold on February 27.

FTAN President Alhaji Karim Saleh Rabo, while speaking on the 20th anniversary, said it very important for the federation to mark the milestone, noting that the association was very mindful of the role the individuals to be honoured played in the association and it was just proper that the y should be recognized at this auspicious occasion.

He disclosed that those to be be honoured during the anniversary celebration were just the first set, adding that that FTAN ‘intends to equally honour others who have contributed later in the year.’

“The award is in three categories. Among those to be honoured in the ‘A’ category  are:  Rear Admiral Isaac Sunday Areola,  Alhaji Tukur Mani,   Mrs. Theresa Ezeobi,  Dr. Franklin Adejunwon,  Mr. Goodie Minabo Ibru, Mr. Charles Abel,  Chief Mike Amachree, Alhaji Wada Yinusa,  Chief Tarzan Balogun,  Chief Frank Nneji, Mr. Ogbeni Tope-Awe, Mr. Jemi Alade, Alhaji Munzali Dantata, Otunba Segun Runsewe, Chief Samuel  Alabi,  Chief Tomi Akingbogun,  Mr. Ikechi Ukoh, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Mr. Charles Ukomadu

“Category ‘B’ award recipients are ‘Corporate Friends’ of FTAN. They include:  Eko Hotel and Suites, Sheraton Hotel,   Hotel Rosebud, Nanet Suites.

“The ‘C’ category of awardees will comprise the post humus awards for service to FTAN. Recipients will include: the late Mr.  Matts Ebaboje Da’Silva, the late Dr. Kingsley Onuoha, the late Apagun Oluwole Olumide, and   the late Madam Grace Bentu,” said Rabo.

Nigeria

Nigeria Tourism

The Cross River State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mac Creeds and Tom Consortium for the upgrade of Tinapa Lakeside Hotel and Obudu Mountain Resort in Obanliku Local Government Area, which are two of its prime tourism assets.

The agreement was signed on behalf of the state government by the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Joe Abang, and the state Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr. Eric Anderson. According to the Principal Partner, Mac Creeds and Tom Consortium, Mr. Kanu Signor, the consortium in collaboration with technical partners from South Africa and Spain, will invest N5billion into the projects.

“We are here to sign the MoU with respect to Tinapa Lakeside Hotel and Obudu Mountain Resort. The two locations are the most primed tourist destinations in Nigeria. As investors who are in partnership with our foreign counterparts from South Africa and Spain, we have decided to invest in the upgrade of the facilities and bring it to what it is meant for.

“We intend to hit the ground running by January. We are going to invest N5billion. The construction will start as from January. ‘‘We intend doing a bridge that will link Tinapa with Calabar International Conference Centre to ease vehicular access.

So, we are looking at doing substantial work within the first 12 months and we would not shut down while doing the construction work,” Signor said. Anderson said that the facility upgrade will further bring the tourism potential of the state to limelight. “We have entered into an agreement with Mac Creeds and Tom Consortium to take over the management of Obudu Mountain Resort and Tinapa Lakeside Resort. ‘‘In Cross River, we are known as one destination for tourism. This agreement will only affect the hotel element of Tinapa Business Centre and not the entire facility.”

SavedPicture-2016104184238.pngHilton Hotels marked the official opening of its spectacular new resort on the Island of Sal in Cabo Verde (Cape Verde), announcing the company’s debut in the country and further growing the brand’s portfolio of world-class resorts in Africa.

Speaking at the event, Hilton’s Area Vice President of Operations for Africa and Indian Ocean, Jan van der Putten said: “Cabo Verde is a fast-growing tourism destination that offers amazing weather year-round, a rich culture and pristine beaches, and we look forward to welcoming visitors to Sal with our world-renowned Hilton service and hospitality. We have an incredible product here and we expect to drive great business and opportunity to the hotel and to Cabo Verde as we look to expand in the country.”

Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort boasts of a stunning natural stone pool set within a lush tropical garden. Guests can enjoy a 24-hour fitness center, a kids club with a children’s pool and a nautical center for diving and sailing adventures.

The hotel also features a beauty salon and Hilton’s signature eforea Spa concept with a wet area and eight treatment rooms.

Hilton’s president for Middle East, Africa and Turkey, Rudi Jagersbacher, and the company’s area vice president of operations for Africa and Indian Ocean, Putten, were joined at the hotel’s opening ceremony by the country’s Prime Minister, Ulisses Correia, Justice Minster Janine Lelis, the hotel’s owners, and a host of dignitaries, ambassadors and guests.