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Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh reels from Ukrainian and Russian exodus

Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh reels from Ukrainian and Russian exodus

MAHMOUD SALAMA ON Sharm el-Sheikh's sandy beaches many of the sun loungers lie empty. At a central promenade packed with shops, cafes and nightclubs, crowds are thinner than usual. The resort on the southern tip of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula is reeling from the impact of the war in Ukraine, which has seen Ukrainians and Russians - previously among the town's top visitors - virtually disappear, tourism sector workers say. Their absence has delivered the latest in a series of shocks to a sector that accounts for up to 15% of gross domestic product and generates sorely needed foreign currency. "Months…
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Africa’s tourism sector bouncing back

Africa’s tourism sector bouncing back

CONRAD ONYANGO, BIRD STORY AGENCY NEWS that French hospitality giant Accor has re-opened Nairobi's Fairmont The Norfolk after shutting down the hotel for nearly two years, as well as the Dubai state-carrier Emirates announcing plans for two daily flights to Mauritius beginning in June, are the latest signs of growing tourist interest, and a rise of arrivals in Africa. Tourism markets in Africa are bouncing back as economies in the continent continue to relax COVID-19 rules to bolster their economies. “The hotel and Accor regional team have worked closely together to reopen the hotel and its facilities,” said Accor Kenya…
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Morocco’s tough COVID restrictions hammer tourism sector

Morocco’s tough COVID restrictions hammer tourism sector

AHMED ELJECHTIMI BUSINESSES working in Morocco's key tourism sector say the country's tough COVID-19 restrictions, including a full flight ban, are undermining its competitiveness compared to rival destinations. Morocco shut its borders in late November and will only reopen them at the end of January. It has also banned new year celebrations and is enforcing its vaccine pass requirements more strictly in response to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. "These restrictions are unjustified and they have made Morocco lose tourists to Mediterranean competitors such as Egypt and Turkey," said Lahcen Zelmat, head of Morocco's hotel federation. Tourism generated $8…
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Bedouins go back to their roots in Egypt as COVID-19 hits tourism

Bedouins go back to their roots in Egypt as COVID-19 hits tourism

MENNA A. FAROUK FOR years, Um Saad has been urging fellow Bedouins to tend their orchards and vegetable patches in the mountains of Egypt's South Sinai. It took a pandemic for them to listen to her. Tourism, her community's main source of income, has been wobbly for years - rattled by militant attacks and political unrest. But COVID-19 has decimated the sector, encouraging many Bedouins to go back to the livelihoods of their ancestors. "This is one good thing about the coronavirus," said Um Saad, 75, sitting outside the house where she has lived for decades near the town of…
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With borders closed, South Africa pins hopes on cash-strapped local tourists

With borders closed, South Africa pins hopes on cash-strapped local tourists

WENDELL ROELF LISA Krohn’s Ashanti Lodge in Cape Town - normally abuzz with backpackers from around the world - today sits largely empty, a sign of how the pandemic has crushed South Africa’s tourist industry. “This place is like a morgue,” she said, contemplating the Victorian-era building’s deserted foyer. Following a five-month lockdown, South Africa is easing domestic travel restrictions, allowing hotels to reopen. With international borders still closed, the government is pinning its hopes on domestic tourism, echoing a strategy being tried from Vietnam to New Zealand with mixed results. South Africa remains among the countries hardest hit by…
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No camel rides in Tunisian town as COVID slowly kills tourism

No camel rides in Tunisian town as COVID slowly kills tourism

TAREK AMARA and ANGUS McDOWALL Two Bulgarian visitors stood in the ancient El Jem amphitheatre, one of Tunisia's top attractions, alone apart from swallows flitting under stone arches -- a sight foretelling another tourist season wrecked by COVID-19. The 3rd-century structure, so symbolic of Tunisia that it features on the 20-dinar note, usually receives about 190,000 visitors a year, but in 2020 only 45,000 came, and so far this year it has been deserted most of the time. Over the past two weeks numbers have picked up a little after the government relaxed quarantine rules for package tours to salvage…
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SA to clamp down on captive lion breeding

SA to clamp down on captive lion breeding

SOUTH AFRICA will clamp down on captive lion breeding after a review panel concluded the industry risked the conservation of wild lions and harmed tourism, the environment minister said yesterday. In the nearly 600-page report, the panel appointed by the ministry in 2019 recommended that South Africa end the breeding and keeping of captive lions for economic gain, including hunting them and tourist interactions such as cub petting. The panel also recommended an immediate moratorium on the trade of lion derivatives such as bones, which they found to pose major risks to wild lion populations in South Africa. Barbara Creecy,…
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Namibia eases coronavirus restrictions to attract tourists

Namibia eases coronavirus restrictions to attract tourists

NAMIBIA has further eased restrictions for international tourists to try to prevent the collapse of a sector hit by the coronavirus pandemic after the country closed its borders in March. The Tourism Ministry has announced that tourists could go to their pre-booked destinations and take part in activities for up to five days, after which they will be tested for the virus. If they stay at their pre-booked destination for less than five days they can proceed to another destination without a test. In rules introduced in July, tourists had to quarantine at their first destination for seven days, which…
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South Africa eases restrictions on international travel, alcohol sales

South Africa eases restrictions on international travel, alcohol sales

SOUTH Africa will open up travel to all countries in an effort to boost the tourism and hospitality sectors, President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced, despite having the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on the continent. Africa's most advanced economy, which has recorded more than 740,000 COVID-19 cases and over 20,000 deaths, has seen infections rise since it eased lockdown restrictions in September to their lowest levels. Ramaphosa, in a televised national address, said normal trading hours of alcohol would be restored too, after sales were restricted on weekends in an effort to reduce pressure on hospitals due to alcohol-related…
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