Ethiopia Travel Warning-Ethiopia

November 2, 2016

FCO 284 - Ethiopia Travel Advice Ed2 [WEB]

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens to defer all non-essential travel to Ethiopia due to ongoing unrest that has led to hundreds of deaths, thousands of arrests, as well as injuries and extensive property damage, especially in Amhara and Oromia States. The U.S. Embassy’s ability to provide consular services in many parts of the country is limited by the current security situation.

The Government of Ethiopia declared a State of Emergency effective October 8, 2016. An October 15 decree states that individuals may be arrested without a court order for activities they may otherwise consider routine, such as communication, consumption of media, attending gatherings, engaging with certain foreign governments or organizations, and violating curfews. The decree prohibits U.S. and other foreign diplomats from traveling farther than 40 kilometers outside of Addis Ababa without prior approval from the Government of Ethiopia, which severely affects the U.S. Embassy’s ability to assist U.S. citizens. The full text of the decree implementing the State of Emergency is available on the U.S. Embassy’s website.

Internet, cellular data, and phone services have been periodically restricted or shut down throughout the country, impeding the U.S. Embassy’s ability to communicate with U.S. citizens in Ethiopia. You should have alternate communication plans in place, and let your family and friends know this may be an issue while you are in Ethiopia. See the information below on how to register with the U.S. Embassy to receive security messages.

Avoid demonstrations and large gatherings, continuously assess your surroundings, and evaluate your personal level of safety. Remember that the government may use force and live fire in response to demonstrations, and that even gatherings intended to be peaceful can be met with a violent response or turn violent without warning. U.S. citizens in Ethiopia should monitor their security situation and have contingency plans in place in case you need to depart suddenly.

U.S. government personnel are restricted from personal travel to many regions in Ethiopia, including Oromia, Amhara, Somali and Gambella states, southern Ethiopia near the Ethiopian/Kenyan border, and the area near the Ethiopia/Eritrea border. Work-related travel is being approved on a case-by-case basis. U.S. government personnel may travel to and within Addis Ababa without restrictions. For additional information related to the regional al-Shabaab threat, banditry, and other security concerns, see the Safety and Security section of the Country Specific Information for Ethiopia.

Due to the unpredictability of communication in the country, the Department of State strongly advises U.S. citizens to register your mobile number with the U.S. Embassy to receive security information via text or SMS, in addition to enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

For further information:

Source: U.S. Department of State

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IMEX America hits new highs and more growth

October 8, 2014

The fourth edition of IMEX America, the largest trade show for the international meetings, events and incentive travel industry in the US, will be 13 percent bigger when doors open on Oct 14 at the Sands Expo®, Las Vegas.

Both hosted buyer numbers and the number of US and international attendees are also expected to exceed last year’s levels.

On the show floor, the growth is reflected in new exhibitors as well as larger booths from some key global suppliers. USA & Canadian representation has increased by 16.5 percent; Latin America by 6.5 percent; Europe by 3 percent and Asia-Pacific by nearly 8 percent.

In other areas of the show, hotel groups are up by 26 percent; private sector companies by 37.5 percent, technology suppliers by 20 percent and incentive products by 50 percent.

70 new booths also add to the line-up of new global and US exhibitors giving buyers an even broader perspective on the marketplace.

83 of the show’s previous exhibitors have increased the size of their booths and of these over half have expanded their booths by 50 percent.

Looking ahead to the show’s opening day, Ray Bloom, Chairman of the IMEX Group stated: “The fourth IMEX America is set to offer increased business opportunities for the US and global meetings and events industry. Aside from the confirmed growth in exhibitor numbers and the expanded show floor, we are set to bring in even more hosted buyers and more attendees next week. Anticipation is high and we’re looking forward to a packed show with its usual strong focus on business appointments, networking and, of course, high quality education.”

IMEXlive and Live TV

There will be a number of different ways to stay up to date with IMEX America during the show. IMEXlive, sponsored by Hilton Worldwide and The Events Network on Bob.tv, will provide rolling video interviews and social media coverage (#IMEX14) on the IMEX America homepage and via the show app. IMEX America TV live will broadcast daily from the show floor at 12 noon Eastern Time (produced by Sonic Foundry, PRG and CNTV). Daily TV headlines will also be broadcast on the IMEX YouTube channel and in the hotel rooms of the host hotels, The Venetian ® | The Palazzo®, on channel 3.

IMEX America starts with its traditional preshow day of professional development and education – Smart Monday, powered by MPI on Monday Oct 13. This is followed by the three-day trade show starting Oct 14. IMEX America takes place at the Sands Expo®, Las Vegas.

Visitors who haven’t registered in advance can still register in-person and onsite for no charge.

Source: ETN


Is ISIS planning a terror attack on Buddhism and the travel and tourism industry in Indonesia?

August 23, 2014

Is ISIS attacking the travel and tourism industry? The Borobudur Temple is a major landmark for travel and tourism to Indonesia and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Indonesian police have been put on alert at the Borobudur Temple after a threat against the world’s biggest Buddhist was made on Facebook by Islamic State supporters.

The threat was posted on a Facebook account under the title ‘We Are Islamic State’ – apparently the one of Islamic State (formerly known as ISIS) followers – on August 15.

It read, “God willing, [Borobudur] will be demolished by Islamic caliphate mujahidin!”

Tightening security around Borobudur was not the only measure taken, as police in Central Java province also begun thoroughly searching through data from the Internet for possible clues about the plan, National Police spokesman Ronny F. Sompie told the Jakarta Post on Friday.

Following the reports of the threat, Borobudur Conservation Agency had prepared for the imminent bombing with increased number of security personnel within and around the temple, said the head of the agency, Marsis Sutopo.

The Indonesian army has also been involved. Earlier this week, commander of the Diponegoro Military Command, operating in two Java districts, Major-General Sunindyo confirmed readiness to back up security around the temple.

Built in Central Java in the IX century, Borobudur is known as the largest and one of the most important Buddhist monuments in the world. It was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1991, after major renovation works. With over 500 Buddha statues, it serves not only as a key tourist attraction in Indonesia, but also as a pilgrimage site for Mahayana Buddhists from all over the world.

Source ETN

 


Expo 2020 may prove Dubai’s defining moment

November 23, 2013

Dubai -skyline

Will we? Won’t we? That’s the question that’s been on the lips of Dubai residents during the last few weeks. In the bid for the greatest trade show on earth, the issue of whether Dubai will win the Expo 2020 has dominated newspapers, water coolers, TV reports – and, of course, the business fraternity. Holding the world’s fair would be Dubai’s defining moment, marking the transformation of the emirate into a top global centre for tourism, trade and finance.
In the last 18 months, the emirate has hauled itself out of the economic crisis, looking at brighter times ahead.
Apartment prices have jumped over 20 per cent in the past 12 months and the stock market has grown by 79 per cent this year.
The emirate has already done a great job of souping up its collosal airports, building slick hotels and welcoming millions of visitors to its trade centre, but Dubai’s ever-shrewd government knows that the Expo would be the fillip that elevates the emirate to the big time.
With its enviable position at the heart of the world, Dubai is also blessed with the necessary infrastructure, creativity and drive to put on a spectacular show.


Top Five Secrets to Savvy Travel

June 1, 2013

 

TravelingFamilyCartoon

*Fly on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday.

Traveling on off-peak days – and at  off-peak times – means lower fares, a less crowded cabin, and a greater  chance of snagging those elusive mileage-award seats. Taking two days off  for a long weekend?   Instead of a Thursday –Sunday or Friday – Monday trip, save money by flying on a Saturday and returning on a Tuesday.

*Hop Between Cities at Midday. 
When you’re traveling through Europe or Asia and need to get from
one city to another, consider scheduling transportation for the middle of
the day.   If you leave at dawn, you miss the sunrise – ideal for photography and observing locals – and reach your destination at midday, when temperatures are highest and the light is at its worst for photos, and is too early to check into your hotel.   You may also have to fight rush-hour commuters and miss a breakfast that is included in your rate.

*Visit Islands During Shoulder Season.

Peak-season rates on islands often   reflect nearby countries’ vacation schedules rather than the best time to  visit.   In low season, many businesses shut down.   Shoulder  season – when crowds are thinner but the weather is still good – is the  solution.

*Sign Up For E-Mail Notifications.
The best airfare and hotel sales are largely unannounced.   Airlines and hotel  companies target specific subsets of travelers – loyalty program members, holders of certain credit cards, people who’ve registered on their Web sites – and alert them by e-mail.  To keep your in-box from being bombarded, get a dedicated e-mail address for such alerts and check it when you’re ready to start planning your next trip.

*Get the Best Room for Your Dollar.

At luxury properties, rates vary substantially  according to occupancy.   A room could be $350 one week because there’s a big group, and $250 the next because nobody’s coming.  For top-end hotels that have on-site reservations desks, call and ask the manager when, during your travel window, the hotel will be emptiest and thus have the lowest rates.   Then ask something like, “If I come on that date, would there be a chance of an upgrade to ocean view?”

 


Ethiopia’s Booming Hotel Industry

May 18, 2013

Hotel-Ethiopia

VENTURES AFRICA – The Sheraton Hotel is doing another good day of business on a Monday morning. The hotel, run by Sheik Mohammed Ali Al-Amoud, is Ethiopia’s most recognized hotel. It fills with business travelers from London and diplomats from all over Africa. It also offers similar services and accommodations expected from any major hotel in America or Europe. And for those who find the prices of the bigger international brands too expensive, Jupiter International Hotels, run by a young Ethiopian expat Benyam Bisrat, offers a quality local alternative.

The central parts—Kazanchis and Bole—of Addis Ababa resemble a construction site. New malls and hotels are being erected throughout these areas. These new constructions are mostly locally funded. Jupiter Hotels, as one of those locally funded constructions, has only been running for 5 years. In that time, the company has boosted occupancy rates above 80 percent to match international brands in the market.

Until recently, schmoozing with businessmen of all stripes and African diplomats involved sitting by the bar in the Hilton or lingering around the Sheraton lounge area. During the last African Union meeting, the lobby of the Jupiter Hotel in Kazanchis jammed softly with local Ethiopian jazz crowded out by Africa’s numerous local languages and the usual assortment of romance languages spoken on the continent.

This type of growth is usually the result of growing demand and stalled supply. But the supply of hotel beds in Addis has tripled in the last three years to around 6,000 hotel beds. Competition in this market could potentially push the number over 10,000 hotel beds in the next few years. Jupiter International Hotels will actively expand during this time to more than 1,000 hotel beds to capture approximately ten percent of the market, says Mr. Bisrat, who is also vice president of the Hotel Association of Ethiopia. International brands, including the Marriot, will also help the local hotel industry to reach that number.

Hotel groups are expanding in this capital because the amount of diplomats and corporate clients are growing. Yearly tourism, at approximately 500,000 tourists in Ethiopia, still has a ways to go before it matches other emerging African economies. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism has stated its aspirations to make Ethiopia a top five tourist destination in Africa by 2020.

During this rapid growth phase, quality service-oriented business will win out at the end of the day, say Mr. Bisrat, or customers will walk out. He believes Jupiter International Hotels is positioned as top competitor in this space, especially as it plans to develop a value hotel chain. A hot shower, good mattress, and strong internet goes a long way to make a quality value hotel. But Jupiter International Hotels plans to also add a yoga studio, art gallery, and technological add-ons, including iPod docking stations and quality data and voice streaming capabilities in the rooms.

So many foreigners are coming now and more and more are not Ethiopian Diaspora, says Dawit, a local Ethiopian tourist operator. A sense of change has descended upon the country. Gone are filmmakers for aid videos on famine. Rather conference facilities and lobbies bustle with the growing presence of investors and government officials. Hotel groups, says Mr. Bisrat, still have a long way to go to meet the needs of a growing business and diplomatic hub. As Ethiopian Airlines expands its routes to meet the geographically diversifying clientele of the Ethiopia, expect the hotel industry to do the same.

 


LUX Ile de La Reunion takes Leading Island Hotel award at WTA

May 15, 2013

ADDIS LAX Hotel

LUX Ile de La Reunion won the Leading Island Hotel award tonight at the World Travel Awards (WTA) being held in the Maldives. The award was accepted at the WTA Indian Ocean gala dinner this evening.

Located on the lush volcanic island of Reunion, LUX Ile de La Reunion presents a glistening beach by day and the shimmering Saint-Gilles lagoon by night. Gardens scattered with charming Creole villas, coconut palms, and filao trees provide the perfect setting for this unique beach hotel in Reunion, with exclusive views of the coral-sheltered lagoon at L’Hermitage. The only 5-star hotel on Reunion Island, this stunning property balances a unique fusion of Creole energy and colonial elegance.

The hotel offers tennis and volleyball courts in the gardens, a spacious swimming pool, yoga in the gardens, and private in-room spa treatments. Fresh, locally-sourced seafood is on offer at the beach resort’s various restaurants and bars.

On the island of Reunion, the World Heritage sites of the Pitons, Cirques, and Ramparts, showcase the island’s rugged beauty, dramatic volcanic peaks, and tumbling waterfalls.

For more information about LUX Ile de la Reunion, visit: http://www.luxresorts.com/en/reunion-island/lux-ile-de-la-reunion/welcom…


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