News Bites

The May issue of the popular and respected glossy magazine, “Destination of the World News," which is published in Dubai, has come out with a glowing report on the Indian Ocean Islands of the Seychelles.

The front cover of the magazine, which is widely read across the Middle East and the world at large, carries a full-page photograph of an idyllic setting with clear blue seas and a white sandy beach and the unique Seychelles granitic boulders.

“Surrender to the Seychelles – Idyllic beaches, stunning sunsets and long, lazy afternoons in the Indian Ocean paradise" is the title of the report on the Seychelles. The 8-page report by Caitlin Cheadle covers the general unique selling points of the Seychelles and the hotels and resorts of Labriz on Silhouette Island, MAIA on the main island of Mahe, a visit the the Marine National Park of Cocos Island, and it ends by listing the seven most heavenly properties accorting to Caitin Cheadle which are: MAIA Seychelles; Four Seasons Seychelles; Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort&Spa, Desroches Island; Banyan Tree Seychelles; North Island Seychelles, Fregate Island; Seychelles Kempinski Resort; and Round Island.

The pictures that accompanied the report will help showcase Seychelles to the world and will definetely increase visibility of the islands. Alain St.Ange, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, welcomed the report saying that it did justice to the islands and to the properties it covered: “Seychelles has always said that when a journalist lands on Seychelles, they will become an Ambassador of the islands. They will be captivated by the natural beauty of the Seychelles and will very fast appreciate that no pictures they have seen before can do justice to the beauty of the Seychelles."


Media Contact: Alain St. Ange, CEO, Seychelles Tourism Board, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



A dream vacation to Zimbabwe turned into a nightmare for a woman from East County, San Diego in the US after she was attacked by a lion while on a safari with her husband at Vitoria Falls.

Colleen Garbaczewski and her husband were on a lion walk at Victoria Falls when she was attacked, according to a family friend.

Videos of lion walks show people walking near lions. Some even sit with the lions and even pet them.

But for Garbaczewski, something went terribly wrong. Though the details remian unclear, the attack left Garbaczewski with what her family said were non life-threatening injuries.

"It's terrible. That's horrible," said Joseph Kalfayan, who has lived near the couple for 10 years.

Garbaczewski is an executive with Pacific Coast Rentals and is also involved in the community.

Kalfayan had this message for his friend: "I wish her good health, the best of luck and a quick recovery."

A member of the Garbaczewski family said Garbaczewski is recovering well and should be home soon.

The US has warned its citizens overseas to be on high alert against “anti-American violence” following the death of Osama Bin Laden, while Political Capital analyst Ghanem Nuseibeh said hotels could be on the target list.

“AQAP [Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] will present a greater threat to Yemen and the Gulf in the coming weeks,” Nuseibeh said. “AQAP out of Yemen and out of Saudi in particular will be looking to take revenge.

“Prime interests will be American interests, whether it’s American businesses or American citizens. We suspect that they may also even look at soft targets... such as hotels and public places. Americans will need to be vigilant.”

Bin Laden was killed in Islamabad in a firefight with a team of US operatives who raided the compound where he had been hiding. After 40 minutes of fighting, bin Laden and an adult son, one unidentified woman and two men were dead.

Theodore Karasik of the Dubai-based Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis said al Qaeda would likely have established plans in place for retaliation.

“I think we need to be vigilant against a possible attack,” he said in an interview Monday.

“Al Qaeda is the kind of organisation that has prepared plans for retribution in the case that bin Laden was killed or captured. The question is: are these plans still valid?”

America and its citizens will need to be on high alert against possible attacks, particularly on memorable anniversaries or dates, Karasik said.

“Dates to watch for are 40 days from now… at the end of the grieving period and September 11,” he said.


The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) will support the Recovery Plan designed by the Ministry of Tourism of Tunisia to revive the tourism sector. The agreement was reached during the recent official visit of UNWTO Secretary-General to Tunisia (April 20-21, 2011).

During his visit, UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai met Interim President Fouad Mebazaa, the Minister of Tourism Mehdi Houas, as well as representatives from the private sector to discuss the best ways to support tourism in Tunisia. Issues discussed include the new advertising campaign to be launched by the Ministry of Tourism in early May, travel advisories, and public and private partnerships.

President Fouad Mebazaa underlined the importance of tourism to Tunisia as a “basic sector of the country’s economy.” Meeting President Mebazaa, UNWTO Secretary-General showed confidence in the rebound of tourism and in the future of the country. “Remarkable changes have occurred in Tunisia, and the future is bright,” he said.

During a joint press conference with the Minister of Tourism Mehdi Houas and the UNWTO Secretary-General expressed his full support to the Tunisian tourism sector. “Tunisia is, and will continue to be, a leading tourism destination. Tourism is not in crisis in Tunisia, rather it is living the natural impact of the significant changes that have occurred in the country,” said Mr. Rifai. “It is now time to show the world the real situation of Tunisia and the world will see that Tunisia is ready to receive its visitors.”

Furthermore, the UNWTO Secretary-General warned against the temptation of short-term recovery measures based on lower prices and stressed that medium- and long-term prospects for the tourism sector in Tunisia are even more positive than before. “The new environment,” he said, “can create new open and transparent conditions for investment in tourism, namely foreign investment, and unlock significant local business potential.”

UNWTO support to Tunisia will include technical meetings of the Tourism Recovery Task Force created by the Ministry of Tourism with UNWTO experts on communication, the holding of a workshop in Tunis for public and private sector representatives on recovery techniques, and the organization of a major tourism international conference in Tunisia in the last quarter of 2011.

Representing 6.5% of the country’s GDP and accounting for 450,000 jobs, tourism is a key driver of the economy in Tunisia and will play a critical role in its socio-economic stability and future development. In 2010, Tunisia received nearly 7 million international tourist arrivals, generating US$2.7 billion in export revenues. During the first three months of 2011, international tourist arrivals decreased by 44% and receipts by 43%.


Principal Media Officer, Marcelo Risi, Tel: (+34) 91 567 81 60, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Web: ; UNWTO Communications Program, Tel: +34 91-567-8100, Fax: +34 91-567-8218, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



Cirque du Soleil is going to make the Las Vegas Strip the permanent home of Michael Jackson attractions over the next two years.

Performance troupe president Daniel Lamarre (la MARE') on Wednesday announced plans that include an interactive memorabilia museum dedicated to the King of Pop, a Michael Jackson-themed lounge and a permanent show featuring dancers and his music at the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

Lamarre described the plans while talking about a Sin City stop on a $57 million show due to kick off in October in Montreal and tour 30 other cities.

Excerpts from Jackson's music videos will be part of the 90-minute show, with no specific performer representing Jackson.

"Immortal" will also feature as-yet-unreleased songs that Jackson finished before his death in 2009.


Source: Yahoo! News

The Arusha Hotel will serve as the official hotel for the Global Kilimanjaro Bowl on May 21, 2011, the first game of college American football to be played on African soil in Tanzania. The official party of event organizers from Global Football, along with game officials and the players, coaches and staff from Drake University will be treated to welcoming accommodations at the oldest hotel in East Africa.

On Saturday, May 21, Drake University from Iowa will face the CONADEIP All Stars from Mexico at the 20,000-capacity Sheik Amri Abeid Memorial Stadium in Arusha at 1pm local time (US ET +7 hours).  The historic and unique game will be broadcast live across the African continent and beamed to countries around the world by ITV (Independent Television Ltd), the largest private TV network in Tanzania.

The Arusha Hotel has been Arusha's centerpiece since 1894.  Home to those traveling between the Cape and Cairo and further afield in these modern times, its lengthy and vivid history stands as true today as it was over 100 years ago.  A real focal point since the turn of the last century, The Arusha Hotel provides elegant, refined accommodation that cleverly balances all that is modern and classic.

"The Arusha Hotel has become my second home in Tanzania," said Global Football president and event organizer Patrick Steenberge.  "The lobby traffic is amazing to watch, as safari and Kili climb groups flow in and out, small meetings are held, and every nationality shows up.”

Steenberge added, “The rooms are very comfortable, reeking with history and ambiance; the fitness center and pool are a pleasant break, the grounds are pristine, and most of all, the people who work there are amazing. Our people will be delighted at how comfortable they are at The Arusha Hotel."

Inside the highest-quality rooms, services and cuisine all come in surroundings that reflect its history, sophistication and charm.  Outside the original lush and extensive tropical gardens give the hotel a calm relaxing feel - an oasis in the center of Arusha town.  After an extensive renovation and refurbishment program, The Arusha Hotel (formerly The New Arusha Hotel) is now one of the best loved hotels in Arusha town.

Tanzania Tourist Board Managing Director, Dr. Aloyce Nzuki noted, "We are pleased that the Kilibowl will attract so much world attention on Arusha, branded by President Bill Clinton as the Geneva of Africa, Tanzania’s safari capital and gateway to the North. We appreciate all the private sector partners like the Arusha Hotel who have come together to make the Kilibowl project a success.”

"We are very proud and delighted to be part of this monumental event and look forward to welcoming everyone to The Arusha Hotel," said General Manager John Cowan.  "We are also very excited to be a part of the first college American Football game to be played on African soil."

The Global Kilimanjaro Bowl Awards Dinner will be held in an outdoor garden area at The Arusha Hotel on Saturday evening following the game.

The spectacular Kili Bowl event also includes a three-day service project to benefit area orphanages, and features both teams also climbing the imposing 19,341 feet high Mount Kilimanjaro.

Full details and photos are available at, as well as through social media on

To receive information via email contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call Patrick Steenberge on 817-219-7274. Full tour packages and other event information are available on the website.

To learn more about Tanzania, visit

About Tanzania

Tanzania, the largest country in East Africa, is focused on wildlife conservation and sustainable tourism, with approximately 28 % of the land protected by the Government. It boasts 15 National Parks and 31 game reserves. It is the home of the tallest mountain in Africa, the legendary Mt. Kilimanjaro; The Serengeti, home to the "Great Animal Migration" that was named the New 7th Wonder of the World by USA Today and ABC TV's Good Morning America; the world acclaimed Ngorongoro Crater, often called the 8th Wonder of the World; Olduvai Gorge, the cradle of mankind:  the Selous, the world’s largest game reserve; Ruaha, now the second largest National Park in Africa; the spice islands of Zanzibar; and seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Most important for visitors, the Tanzanian people are warm and friendly, speak English, which together with Kiswahili, are the two official languages; and the country is an oasis of peace and stability with a democratically elected and stable government.

About Global Football

Headed by President Patrick Steenberge, a former Notre Dame quarterback and high school All-American at Erie Cathedral Prep.  During the past 14 years, Global Football has produced football games in 18 nations in North and Central American, Europe, Asia and Oceania.  Working partners include NFL, Super Bowl Host Committees, American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), Notre Dame, Penn State, Pop Warner, USA Football, and numerous Division III colleges as well as National Football Federations worldwide.

Media Contact:

Karen Hoffman/ Chanel LeMond
The Bradford Group
(212) 447-0027
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Tour guides are so disillusioned with the string of ferry delays and mismanagement over a number of years that some are now advising tourists to avoid the island altogether.

Thousands from all corners of the globe make the trip annually to where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for more than two decades.

 Since last week, workers have carried out their duties at a slower pace, resulting in ferry operations to and from the island being delayed for hours - causing a number of angry tourists to cancel trips.

The delays are among a string of problems, including broken ferries and financial issues and mismanagement, which have plagued the island for years.

On Tuesday, the 1pm ferry was postponed for hours, then the trip was cancelled at 5.30pm after tourists had boarded, because by the time they would have reached the island it would have been dark.

As tourists waited to hear about the ferry, Mashatile met Robben Island Museum chief executive Sibongiseni Mkhize and staff members at the Nelson Mandela Gateway.

They met after striking Robben Island Museum employees, members of the National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu), embarked on a go-slow demanding that the museum’s acting senior human resources manager, Lesiba Ramoroka, be suspended.

The Nehawu members accused him of, among other things, unfair labour practice, failing to set up committees and not carrying out his duties properly. Ramoroka was put on special leave.

On Tuesday, after the meeting, Mashatile said he was yet to decide on the island’s management. “I came here to listen to the problems,” he said, before rushing off to catch a plane. Mashatile referred questions to Mkhize.

 Mkhize said: “On March 23 I received a petition from workers complaining they wanted (Lesiba) dismissed. He was put on special leave pending an investigation.”

He said he and Mashatile would consult throughout the night to decide what action should be taken against Lesiba.

Mkhize said they expected to know by Wednesday whether Lesiba, who was not at Tuesday’s meeting, would be suspended. “The workers want this because if he’s suspended he won’t have some privileges, like a company cellphone and access to a laptop,” he said.

He said it was unusual for Mashatile to get directly involved with operations. “But because it’s Robben Island, it’s so iconic, this time it’s understandable,” he said. He hoped workers would not continue with the go-slow on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, a sign at the Nelson Mandela Gateway’s entrance said: “To All Visitors. Due to industrial action your tour departure, arrival or duration might be affected.”

Martin Fine, a tour operator for Capefuntours CC, said tourists were being advised not to go to Robben Island. “We know the (ferry) service is erratic … But there is no notification. Tourists must just go there and find out. The tourism industry is advising people not to go to Robben Island. We are trying to make Cape Town a world-class destination, but this is unforgivable,” he said.

 Tourists at the Nelson Mandela Gateway on Tuesday milled around waiting for the 1pm ferry, which was later cancelled. When Lars Gary, of Sweden, heard that the trip would be delayed because of the go-slow, he had his ticket refunded. This was before the trip was cancelled.

 “A return ticket to South Africa would be a small compensation,” Gary said to clerks when getting his refund.

Earlier, Belgian tourist Ingo De Schrijuer, who was in Cape Town for the third and final day of his holiday, waited for the ferry with his wife and two children. “It’s a pity because Nelson Mandela is an icon beyond South Africa,” he said.

Schrijuer said he had bumped into other Belgian tourists who had bought tickets and waited for the ferry all of Monday. They had told him not to bother trying to get to the island.

Catherine Lavies, from Holland, said when she asked why the ferry was late, Robben Island Museum workers had replied: “Because it is delayed.” They refused to explain further.


Minister of Tourism Ed Bartlett, is challenging industry stakeholders to investment more to meet the changing demands of consumers.

Speaking at the 4th annual Tourism Outlook Seminar being held at the Half Moon Conference Centre in Montego Bay, St James, Bartlett charged urged participants to use their deliberations as a springboard to develop strategies to meet the changing demand.

“Tourism has proven its resilience and can be manipulated and managed to drive the process of economic recovery to the creation of real wealth for a nation and its nationals," he said. “We need to focus on developing, refurbishing, and innovating. Critical to this is the introduction of new technology, new room-stock in order to attain a new look and ensure… that our product and rooms remain fresh and crisp.”

He said that the industry had the potential to create more jobs provided that investment is made to meet the demand of tourists for quality and value.

“Our business models must drive greater efficiencies as we embrace service excellence and focus on investing in the training of our workers and building future capacity. To achieve this, the public and private sectors must collaborate and cooperate to create the fiscal space necessary to enable investment and retooling,” he said.

Bartlett added that there have been major investment projects in cruise-shipping and other areas which have brought jobs and wealth to Jamaica.

"The opening of the Falmouth Cruise Ship Pier, a project of the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ), in partnership with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, the recent announcement of the Fiesta Hotel Group’s US$280 million expansion plans are just two examples of Jamaica’s capacity to attract solid investment to its tourism sector. In addition the Fiesta expansion project is expected to generate some 3,000 jobs for Jamaicans. Furthermore both investments will boost the local economies in the surrounding communities in multiple sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, transport and the service industry.”


The latest edition of the now both eagerly and anxiously awaited EU Aviation Blacklist has added two long-haul aircraft of Air Madagascar to the growing list of aircraft and airlines banned from flying into European airspace. It was learned overnight that two B767-300ER, the apparently only long-haul aircraft of Air Madagascar able to fly to Europe, have been black listed over a range of safety concerns to do with maintenance and subsequent doubts over their continued airworthiness.

This will effectively cut off Madagascar from their key trading and potential tourism markets in Europe, aiding critics of the current regime, which has been shunned even by the otherwise lukewarm African Union, and has been under varying degrees of trade embargoes already from many other countries. In fact, many airlines have halted flights to Madagascar, also over growing concerns about airport safe operations, since ICAO a few months ago issued a damning report about blatant shortcomings in operational safety.

The island’s tourism traffic, already dwindled to a trickle due to the bad publicity the regime has generated, will be hit yet more as intending travelers now have to make considerable detours and very likely will have to pay substantially higher fares, should they still wish to visit the otherwise famous national parks and forest, where the rare lemur’s have their habitat.


President Barack Obama signed into law the fiscal year 2011 budget, which eliminates additional high-speed rail funding and caps at 46,000 the number of full-time Transportation Security Administration employees.

At $1.049 trillion, the finalized budget is $78.5 billion less than Obama proposed.

For the Department of Transportation, in addition to cutting new high-speed rail funding, the budget rescinds $400 million in funds from the previous year.

It also designates $9.5 billion for the Federal Aviation Administration, of which $4.5 billion is to be derived from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund.

Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security received a total of $41.8 billion in discretionary funding, down 2% from the prior year.

The budget requires DHS to submit a detailed report to Congress on "the resources being devoted to develop more advanced integrated passenger screening technologies," and "labor savings from the deployment of improved technologies for passengers and baggage screening and how those savings are being used to offset security costs or reinvested to address security vulnerabilities."



Visitors to Alabama’s Civil Rights Trail now have a new mobile tool at their fingertips to help guide them along the sites and attractions. The Alabama Civil Rights Trail app is available via iPhone, iPod touch and the iPad.

The app has been updated since its launch in March 2011 and includes more than 150 entries and more than 500 photos. It is meant to provide an overview of the sites, attractions and history of the civil rights story in Alabama from Scottsboro to Mobile. The entries range from the listing about the history of the Clotilde, the last ship to carry Africans intended for slavery in the U.S., to the modern day movement of the Voting Rights March, Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Freedom Riders. Entries can be sorted by topics such as hidden gems, historic markers, hitting the highlights and quick stops. Some 14 Alabama cities and towns are included in the app.

Edith Parten is the Communication Manager at the Alabama Tourism Department and she created the app with Sutro Media as a personal project. Parten said the app would be a great learning tool for students studying the Civil Rights Movement.

“While researching the history of Alabama’s black heritage and the Civil Rights Movement I discovered many new places that I had not known about so it was very exciting to work on this project,” said Parten. “I designed the app to whet the appetite so those who read it will want to visit Alabama to learn more.”

The app can be downloaded from iTunes for $2.99. Availability on other mobile devices is also planned for later this year. Parten plans to donate a portion of the proceeds to benefit projects for the smaller civil rights attractions in the state.

For media wishing to write a review, a limited number of promotion codes are available for free downloads.

For more information contact:
Edith Parten
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it




Tourism has been identified by more than half of the world’s poorest countries as an effective means to take part in the global economy and reduce poverty. To maximize tourism’s role in helping countries reach their development goals, UNWTO has come together with seven UN agencies and programs to boost tourism as an instrument for development.

Tourism is increasingly a major, if not the main, source of growth, employment, income, and revenue for many of the world’s developing countries. The sector is currently the first or second source of export earnings in 20 of the 48 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and is demonstrating steady growth in at least 10 others. As such, tourism has become one of the main engines of socioeconomic progress for many countries and a development priority for a majority of the LDCs.

In order to better position tourism in the development agenda and maximize this potential, UNWTO has come together with seven UN agencies and programs – the International Labour Organization (ILO), International Trade Centre (ITC), UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), UN Development Program (UNDP), UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the World Trade Organization (WTO) – to create the UN Steering Committee on Tourism for Development (SCTD).

By harnessing the strengths and expertise of each agency and creating synergies between UN organizations, the committee will deliver more coordinated, effective, and efficient technical assistance and support to developing countries.

One of the first activities of the committee will be the holding of a Special Tourism Event at the Fourth UN Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDC-IV) to be celebrated in Istanbul, Turkey, May 10, 2011.

The event, “Promoting Tourism for Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction," will set the scene for a new international framework for development through tourism, providing the opportunity for LDCs, UN agencies, and key players of donor countries and other institutions to find ways to foster tourism for development and create mechanisms for LDCs as they seek to combat poverty, diversify their economies, and pursue inclusive growth strategies.

The role of tourism in increasing LDCs’ participation in the global economy, and as a means of poverty reduction, will be the focus of the World Export Development Forum (WEDF), the International Trade Centre’s flagship event, held this year at LDC-IV in partnership with UNWTO (Istanbul, Turkey, May 10-11, 2011). The WEDF will focus on the role of the private sector for tourism-led growth and inclusive sustainable development through the creation of key pilot projects.


Joint Tourism Special Event - Promoting Tourism for Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction:

World Export Development Forum - Private Sector Engagement with LDCs for Tourism-led Growth and Inclusive Sustainable Development:

MEDIA CONTACT: Principal Media Officer, Marcelo Risi, Tel: (+34) 91 567 81 60, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Web: ; UNWTO Communications Program, Tel: +34 91-567-8100, Fax: +34 91-567-8218, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it





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