Tourism: Latest News
Peter Pedroncelli, 6:00 am
The number of wealthy South Africans looking to attain U.S. investment visas more than doubled from 2014 to 2015, with many considering the benefits and advantages of having an exit plan during economic and politically unstable times. Recently released data revealed that South African demand for US EB-5 visas, which enable investors in American companies to obtain a green card, increased noticeably since 2014. A U.S. EB-5 visa can be attained by investing at least $1 million (or $500,000 for projects in a “targeted employment zone”) and creating more than 10 full-time jobs in the U.S. within two years.
Peter Pedroncelli, 1:49 pm AFKI Original
For the Nuba, wealth is measured in cattle. The Nuba people of Sudan’s Southern Kordofan Province have been historically discriminated against by the Arabic regimes that have been in power. In 2011, war broke out between the Sudan government and rebels in the Nuba Mountains. Conflict continues to this day, with humanitarian aid blocked. Sudanese journalists are banned from reporting on the war, and face potential imprisonment if they dare to cover the ongoing conflict in the region. Here are 14 things you didn’t know about the Nuba people.
Staff, 9:41 pm
Many South African business leaders say that malaria is among the top reasons they do not travel to other African countries. The world’s first malaria vaccine will undergo trials in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi in 2018, possibly heralding victory over a disease that still kills close to 500,000 people a year, mainly Africans. Although health is a cardinal element of the human development index, this is not a health story, but an economic and a human story. Africa’s bid for economic self-reliance stands to benefit from a malaria vaccine.
Staff, 8:14 pm
A U.S. company that builds bulletproof cars has contracted to outfit four helicopters for South Africa’s Anti-Poaching Task Force. Heavily armed poachers have become more aggressive, firing on agents as they patrol overhead in helicopters. International Armoring developed lightweight, high-tech fiber materials which weigh up to to 60 percent less than traditional bulletproof armor. “Just like the cars, our focus (with the helicopters) is on the passenger compartment, allowing them time to react and get out of a dangerous situation,” the company president said.
Global Risk Insights, 3:31 pm
Lacking substantial oil reserves, Morocco took a backseat to Angola and Algeria during China’s resource binge in the 2000s. That has changed as China seeks to diversify investments. Morocco now has three Confucius Institutes and is becoming the default investment destination in North Africa as instability continues in the region. Anti-Chinese sentiment in more established China-Africa relationships is also leading China to diversify its investment portfolio. Casablanca is scheduled to play host to the China-Morocco Trade Week in December 2017.
Dana Sanchez, 11:34 pm
Angola has pushed Egypt out of second place in Africa for number of hotel rooms under construction. Angolan tourism is thriving internally, but the former Portuguese colony isn’t attracting many international tourists. Education is one way African professionals can add value to hospitality and tourism, and carve out a niche that reflects national character, tradition, and culture. Angola’s College of Hospitality Management train locals as game reserve and safari lodge managers. This is how Africa’s hospitality sector should mature. Private equity investors should take notice.
Dana Sanchez, 3:40 pm
Passengers flying nonstop to the U.S. on 9 carriers from airports in Egypt, Morocco, and six other Middle Eastern countries will not be allowed to bring electronics larger than cell phones in carry-on baggage. This is in response to unspecified terror threats and will be effective indefinitely, senior Trump administration officials said. Would-be terrorists “are aggressively pursuing innovative methods to undertake their attacks, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items,” the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday.
Reuters, 1:01 am
Airbnb, a US-based online marketplace to list or rent short-term lodgings, expects to double its customer numbers in Africa this year to 1.5 million. Company CEO Brian Chesky was in Cape Town’s oldest township Friday to surprise graduates from an Airbnb training program. He described Africa as “an incredibly exciting emerging market for travel.” The top five Airbnb cities in Africa are Cape Town, Marrakesh, Johannesburg, Nairobi and Casablanca, although listings are found from St. Helena island in the South Atlantic Ocean to Freetown, Sierra Leone, and Somalia.
Staff, 1:01 am
Visas are routinely denied by U.S. embassies without explanation. With the heightened attention on foreign travelers coming to the U.S., there have been stories of more visas being denied to people from countries not named in the Trump administration’s travel ban executive order. If there has been an increase in the number of visas rejected under the new administration, it’s hard to verify. The State Department data made available to the public ended in late 2016.
Kurt Davis Jr., 11:08 am AFKI Original
The economic downturn did little to stifle demand for African real estate. Some of the biggest returns and opportunities exist in rental properties, from beachfront getaways to hidden villas. Affordable housing is a major challenge for governments. Private investment is seen as a solution. Developers, private investors, and ordinary people can play a role in addressing the construction gap in the real estate sector and make a good return while doing so.
- Real Estate