Egypt: Govt – 28 More Countries to Benefit From Tourist E-Visa Service

Egypt added 28 more countries that could obtain an electronic tourist visa through the newly-launched e-visa portal.

Thus, the total number of countries that could benefit from the e-visa service rose to 74. This is part of the country’s sustained efforts to promote tourism.

This was announced at a cabinet meeting on Monday 23/8/2021, under Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli.

During the meeting, the premier directed to develop a domestic air connectivity stimulus program linking the coastal cities with the Upper Egyptian governorates and the Nile Valley to provide an integrated Egyptian product that includes beaches and monuments.

He also asserted the State’s keenness to promote the tourism sector in a way that increases the tourist influx to Egypt’s tourist attractions.

The meeting was attended by Tourism Minister Khalid el Anani, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait, Local Development Minister Mahmoud Sharawi, Health Minister Hala Zayed, Civil Aviation Minister Mohamed Manar Enabah, as well as Director of the Military Museums Department Major General Abdel Khaleq Abdel Hamid, Assistant Interior Minister for the Tourism and Antiquities Sector Ayman Shaker, President of the General Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce Ahmed el-Wasif, and other officials.


Gambia: GCAA Denies Airport Leakage Rumour

In the past days, most Gambians shared a picture of a flooded Banjul International Airport terminal after a heavy downpour. However, the spokesperson of Gambia Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Lamin Dibba, has denied the rumour, saying it is meant to spread false information and mislead the public.

The airport was renovated last year, which involved an exhaustive overhaul of the terminal building, including the expansion of the structure and provision of more services that cost in excess of $14 million.

The works included renovations to the ceiling, floors, and expansion of both the arrival and departure areas.

Speaking to QTV News, Dibba stated that the country is used to experiencing yearly heavy downpour in the month of August and it’s natural to have splurges of water in big buildings.

“Since the airport was reconstructed and refurbished over the recent period, we have never witnessed flooding. Whatever the story was in the social media, is more than wakening of the public with the negative part or whatever they were thinking.”


Zimbabwe: African Sun Completes Dawn Properties Deal

HOTELIER, African Sun says it has fulfilled all the conditions precedent relating to the acquisition of the entire issued ordinary shares of Dawn Properties Limited.

The group last year offered to buy 100 percent stake in Dawn Properties, through a share swap that entails issuance of 616 126 718 new African Sun ordinary shares to Dawn shareholders. The shares would be issued at a swap ratio of one African Sun ordinary share for every 3 988 075 946 Dawn ordinary shares.

At the close of the first offer period in January 2021, African Sun had managed to acquire 91,17 percent of the ordinary shares of Dawn Properties while the remaining 8,83 percent was acquired through legal means.

“The board wishes to notify its stakeholders and the investing public of the fulfilment of all the conditions precedent related to the acquisition of the entire issued shares of Dawn Properties Limited (“Dawn”), (“the Transaction”).

“As a result, all Dawn shareholders who have accepted the offer will now be granted African Sun Limited shares in accordance with the terms of the transaction,” said the company’s secretary, Mr Vincent Musimbe.


Namibia: Tourism Businesses Appeal for Covid Test Rule Change

The Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN) and the Tour and Safari Association of Namibia as well as some key tourism service providers last week jointly drafted an appeal for the review of the wording in the current gazette regarding the 72 hour ruling on valid PCR tests necessary to enter Namibia.

As per the current Public Health Regulations, which came into force on 15 August 2021 and are effective until 15 September 2021, persons permitted to enter Namibia under sub-regulation (2) may not enter Namibia unless such persons, at the time of entering Namibia, present to an authorised SARS-CoV-2 PCR test result from the country of departure.

Such test results should not be older than 72 hours, calculated from the date the sample for testing was taken and issued by a certified laboratory to issue SARS-CoV-2 PCR test results.

“But a change in the wording of one regulation is stifling long-haul travel, thus creating enormous losses in the tourism industry to the nation’s economy and cost thousands of Namibians their jobs,” HAN chief executive officer Gitta Paetzold reasoned.

She said their joint letter was delivered to the environment and tourism ministry, who indicated in their ongoing support for the Tourism Revival Initiative to urgently engage with their counterparts at the health as well as home affairs and immigration ministries.

Other partners who signed the letter include Natural Selection managing director Ally Karaerua, Africa Tourist Info managing director David Cartwright, Gondwana Collection CEO Gys Joubert, Wilderness Safaris business unit manager Nathaly Ahrens, Ongava Game Reserve sales and marketing general manager Rob Moffett as well as Ultimate Safaris managing director Tristan Cowley.

The partners contend the potential loss to Namibia is quantifiable.

“If the current wording were to remain in place, it would result in 60% cancellation of bookings, held by long-haul travellers. This can be extrapolated to 30 or 40 businesses across Namibia in both rural and urban areas. Over a year, this would result in the loss of N$20 million bookings. Crude extrapolation across 40 businesses is up to N$800m direct loss, and 3 000 citizens stand to lose their jobs.”

Paetzold said the letter is self-explanatory and provides some crucial facts that if considered and applied correctly could save thousands of jobs in tourism and help salvage efforts for tourism recovery in Namibia – which, unfortunately, under the current circumstances, looks bleak.

By yesterday, Peatzold said they have not yet received an official response but a firm indication from the environment minister Pohamba Shifeta that he would raise it with his health and immigration counterparts.