Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Tourism

Kenya to Remove Visa Requirement for All Visitors

4 months ago

Visitors to Kenya will no longer need a visa to enter the East African nation starting in January, President William Ruto announced on Tuesday.

Ruto said Kenyan officials had developed a digital platform to ensure all visitors would receive an electronic travel authorization prior to arrival, which would eliminate the need to apply for a visa.

“”It shall no longer be necessary for any person from any corner of the globe to carry the burden of applying for a visa to come to Kenya,” he said at an event commemorating the 60th anniversary of the country’s independence from the United Kingdom.

Ruto has been a vocal advocate for visa-free travel. He announced in late October that Kenya would grant visa-free entry to all African nationals by the end of 2023, becoming the fourth country on the continent to do so.

Kenya’s move to provide all visitors visa-free travel entry comes after Minister of Tourism and Wildlife Alfred Mutua said in November at the World Travel & Tourism Council Global Summit in Rwanda that the country was considering scrapping visa requirements for visitors outside of Africa.

Nairobi skyline
Nairobi should see more foreign visitors in the near future (PxHere: Daniel Arts Kandie)

Tourism

Pure 2023 Canceled as Morocco Reels in Earthquake Aftermath

8 months ago

The high-end, experiential travel show Pure Life Experience, meant to take place in Marrakesh from 10 to 13 September, has been canceled.

The organizers of the annual event, now in its 14th year, issued a statement confirming its cancelation following the devastating 6.8-magnitude earthquake in Morocco on Friday, 8 September, which killed more than 2,000 people and left thousands more injured.

Serge Dive, CEO and founder of This Is Beyond, the events company behind the Pure travel show, said the team had assessed safety conditions before deciding the best way forward in light of the natural disaster.

“My intent is to respect all of your decisions while doing what is right for those affected in Morocco, our own community, and the fabric of the local tourism,” said Dive as he expressed concern about the inappropriateness of planned events amid the devastation and emotional toll. The earthquake took place 50 miles from the city of Marrakesh in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco and is said to be the biggest to hit Morocco since 1960.

Beks Ndlovu, the founder of African Bush Camps, a bespoke Africa-based safari company, posted he was in the city for the four-day trade fair, which had 525 registered exhibitors to attend this year’s event.

“I truly believe that we have a unique opportunity for those who are already in Marrakech to strengthen our bond, reflect on the current event, and to be a real force for good for the Moroccan community,” Dive said.

See the complete statement below.

Airlines

African Airlines Take New Steps Towards Open Skies Vision

1 year ago

Momentum is building behind the Single African Air Transport Market, or SAATM, a flagship project designed to create a single unified air transport market in Africa, organized by the International Air Transport Association.

New routes should be easier to launch without the need for reciprocal services, and 17 African countries have now agreed to test the initiative, out of a total of 35 country signatories (which represents 80 percent of the existing aviation market in Africa.)

They are: Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, South Africa, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, Zambia, Niger and Gabon,

The 17 airlines will now open their air transport markets to each other as part of a new “SAATM Project Implementation Pilot.” According to reports, Kenya Airways will target corporate travel in a new Ghana-Senegal route, starting December 11.

The pilot routes come as more steps are being taken to create a new continental airline following a pact between South African Airways and Kenya Airways. Earlier this month a long-term business proposal was struck, which includes migration policies and trading privileges.

The air transport plan could eventually generate $4.2 billion in additional gross domestic product), 600,000 new jobs, a 27 percent reduction in fares and make a contribution to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, according to reports. For example, currently some routes between neigboring African countries involve connecting flights to nearby major international hubs.

The Single African Air Transport Market was established in 2018, and is considered as a step towards the full liberalization of the continent’s air transport market.