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Two Major Durban Tourism Developments

Durban, an already popular tourist destination, sitting in South Africa’s third largest municipality, has two new ways of boosting travel through its borders.

Cruise Terminal

Managing Director of MSC Cruises South Africa, Ross Volk recently revealed that MSC Cruises will begin building its Durban Cruise Terminal in November. The terminal will eventually be 4516 square metres in size.

The news was confirmed at an exclusive media launch held at MSC Cruises head office in Sandton on 20 August. The new R200 million cruise terminal at South Africa’s busiest cruise port is due to be completed in 2021.

“MSC Cruises is committed to growing the cruise tourism sector in the country and Africa at large. We are investing heavily in infrastructure as well as training, which includes the new Durban Cruise Terminal that will also house the MSC Shosholoza Ocean Academy,” Volk said.

He added that the multi-user terminal will make Durban an even more desirable destination for cruise ships from all over the world.

“It will substantially boost tourism numbers, create thousands of jobs and lead to supplier development. The construction of this state-of-the-art terminal is an exciting project that MSC Cruises is proud to be a part of. The design phase took a little longer than we anticipated, but it was vital that we got this right as we want the Durban Cruise Terminal to be an iconic destination,” he said.

According to Tourism Update, the MSC Cruises fleet currently comprises 16 ultra-modern, innovative and elegantly designed ships.

It is said to be the world’s largest privately-owned cruise company and the number-one cruise line in South Africa, Europe, South America, and the Gulf. The company reportedly achieved 800% growth in its first 10 years, building a global reputation in the industry and one of the youngest cruise fleets at sea.

At the media launch, Angelo Capurro, the group’s Global Executive Director also said that South Africa is an important market for MSC Cruises and reflects its broader growing investment in cruising globally.

“In fact, in South Africa for the next cruise season starting in December, we will have two ships operating. The bigger MSC Musica with the capacity to carry 3 200 guests will be homeported in Durban, while MSC Opera will be homeported in Cape Town and have a capacity for around 2 500,” Capurro stated.

Coach Route

Intercoach has announced they are now running a route from Durban to Mozambique. With no direct flights between the two locations, it’s often an awkard transfer at Johannesburg that has to facilitate those who travel by air. But last year, things got a little easier on this commute.

The Maputo-Catembe Bridge was inaugurated by the President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, on Saturday 10 November 2018. The three-kilometre-long suspension bridge, which extends 680 metres over Maputo Bay, has been lauded as a Southern Africa’s latest and greatest engineering feat, giving SA a direct route to the capital city of Maputo.

With this bridge now in place, it have shaved hours off of the journey time. And Intercape are ready to pounce upon the opportunity. Here’s everything you need to know about the new service.

Return tickets are around R600, which is multiple times cheaper than a flight. The trip takes 9.5 hours, has 12 stops, and officially opens on 6 September.

Four hours into the journey, passengers can grab refreshments and stretch their legs at the Hluhluwe PetroPort, before embarking on the remaining five-hour trek.

Border crossings, meanwhile, will take around 40 minutes. It’s essential you have the correct travel documents and your passport with you, in order to make any inspections run as smoothly as possible. You can no longer buy a visa on the Mozambique border, and travellers will have to sort theirs before departing.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: flowcomm [1], [2].

Qantas Is Testing the Viability of a 20-hour Non-Stop Flight

Qantas Airways will run marathon ghost flights from New York and London to Sydney carrying just a few staff to see how the human body holds up before commercial services start.

Qantas said Thursday it will simulate the world’s longest direct flights with Boeing Dreamliners as soon as October. The payload of 40 passengers and crew, most of them employees, will undergo a host of medical checks and assessments.

The Australian airline wants to start direct flights connecting Sydney to New York and London as soon as 2022. Chief executive officer Alan Joyce describes the services as aviation’s final frontier.

The services, which take about 20 hours, aren’t yet a sure thing. Qantas still hasn’t decided on a Boeing or Airbus plane that can fly the route fully laden and without a break. And it’s not clear how passengers will tolerate living in the cabin for the best part of a day and night.

“The things we learn on these flights will be invaluable,” Joyce said on a call Thursday.

Joyce has previously said he plans to choose either Boeing’s 777-8X or Airbus’s ultra-long-range A350-900ULR and -1000ULR for the flights. Competition for the contract gives Qantas more leverage over price.

In an interview with Bloomberg Television on Thursday, Joyce said the delay to Boeing’s 777X program hasn’t excluded the U.S. manufacturer from the deal. He said Boeing had offered Qantas a “transitional” solution to accommodate for any delay. He didn’t elaborate.

“This is still a very competitive race,” he said.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: Vismay Bhadra [1], [2].

Tourism and Travel – Africans are Doing It For Themselves

Australians call it ‘walkabout’, northern Europeans go looking for the sun, others go looking for business, whatever the reason, for many once they have left home for the first time they want to continue to travel. This curiosity, combined with economic growth is driving the demand for hotels in Africa. Where once demand was dependent on international travellers Africans are now doing it for themselves, and as a consequence creating a much more robust and sustainable industry.

Nairobi leading the way

One example is the MICE segment in Nairobi which has fundamentally changed over recent years. It was originally dependent on international conferences and consequently generated significant room-nights – over the past 10 years, the number of domestic delegates has doubled, which has forced hoteliers to adapt to the new demand. Whereas previously hotels enjoyed room sales along with the conference, now most delegates live locally and do not need accommodation. Hotels are, therefore, having to review their business mix.

Although this example may not be good news for hoteliers, it is illustrative of the changing trend within African hotels generally – less reliance on European, Middle Eastern and American guests and more demand from local and regional customers. Overall, domestic tourism in Kenya grew from 37% of total bed-nights in 2011 to 54% in 2015.

In the short-term revenues may be affected, with more local conferences, tighter budgets and more local guests without a hard currency in their pocket. However, it is in fact great news. With the whole continent requiring hotel accommodation, the pool from which to draw your customers has just got 1.25 billion larger.

Not only is the number of potential guests much larger, the majority of these guests are better informed of the real risks of travel across the continent, so are less likely to be swayed by 24-hour news channels. They are also likely to reduce the seasonality of your business. Leisure guests will be able to travel throughout the year for short-breaks and commercial travellers will be able to make quick overnight stops, rather than planning (and delaying) longer trips.

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, and Remuneration needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

 

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Requirements for Nigerians in Diaspora Travelling Home On Foreign Passports

Nigerians who wish to go home to Nigeria using another country’s passport are charged the same fee that is charged to all foreigners applying for a travel Visa to Nigeria.

They are also required to submit to biometric data enrollment as is the case for all foreign visa applicants – just as other countries ask Nigerians who wish to travel abroad to go through biometric visa enrollment.

This is also based on the fact that a significant number of Nigerians in diaspora are dual citizens – they are citizens of the country where they reside while retaining their Nigerian citizenship also.

It is very important to note that any Nigerian who resides abroad who wishes to come home can obtain or renew a Nigerian passport at the same relative price as that paid by Nigerians in Nigeria. But if the Nigerian residing abroad chooses to use their foreign passport to travel to Nigeria, they must then obtain a visa just like every other holder of a foreign passport wishing to travel to Nigeria.

This is not unique to Nigeria. This is the same rule that applies with every country that allows its citizens to have dual citizenship.

This response is aimed at providing a proper background into the recently introduced Nigerian biometric visa issuance in order to clear some misconceptions such as that which alleges that it is an exploitative policy targeted at Nigerians in diaspora wishing to “come home” for a visit.

It is imperative to highlight the need for the introduction of biometric processes in the visa issuance process as a means of addressing contemporary migration issues and challenges. Foremost in this regard, is the issue of security within the context of international terrorism as well as internal insurgency problems.

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Relo Originals: Moving With Your Pet

Emigrating can be a stressful experience – not only for us, but for our pets too. It is important to ensure that the correct procedures are followed for a successful pet move, and to make sure that your special friends are taken care of throughout.

We have partnered with a local pet moving company, PETport, who have provided us with some information about the pet moving process, and the top pet-related things to consider when emigrating. Read our interview with PETport owner Hazel below for some helpful tips.

What are the most important things to consider during the process of moving your pet overseas?

It is important to ensure that pet vaccinations and microchipping are done. Afterwards, the process of doing blood tests and permits, as appropriate for the country of destination, can begin.

Are there any circumstances when you would advise someone not to take their pet with them?

Each pet and family is very different. If a pet is unwell, and fails the health certificate, moving it is not advisable. Animals can have differing side effects at altitude if there are underlying health conditions. PETport has successfully flown animals up to 23 years old, so older animals can be relocated successfully.

What are the benefits of hiring a professional pet moving company to assist with the move?

Doing so is highly recommended. The company will ensure that your vaccinations, microchipping, and any necessary blood tests have been carried out at the correct time, in accordance with export and import procedures, specific to your destination country.

If dates are missed at blood testing, the test may be considered null and void, and the entire export process must begin again. A professional pet moving company ensures that the whole process is tied together, managed to arrival at airport, and at the other side – door to door. All that the owner needs to be concerned with is having the correct documentation, and following the clearly laid out instructions provided by the pet shipper.

What are things to look for when deciding which pet moving company to use?

IPATA registration and accreditation is important, as this indicates a set of standards and ethics within your chosen pet shipping company. A red light to mark bad companies is quotes for crates that are too small. Air freight is measured in volumetric kilograms, so some companies quote for smaller crates to make their prices more attractive. Using a crate that is too small will make for a very uncomfortable journey for your pet. All pets need to travel in an airplane’s cargo hold, other than service animals, which, on approval, can sit in an airplane’s cabin.

What are the common requirements (documentation, medical, etc.) for taking your pet overseas?

Blood tests, vaccinations, and microchipping are all common, as is a health certificate, issued by your local vet. As part of its service, a pet moving company will prepare the documentation, and ensure that it’s up to date and correct. There are often issues where vets don’t know about the requirements for the process, and a pet moving company, which monitors the industry, could inform vets as to what is required in order to provide owners with a smooth transition overseas.

What can you do to make the transition for the pet as easy as possible (stress-wise)?

  • Keep calm, and try not to transfer any stress you may have onto your pet.
  • Keep your pet’s routines as normal as possible.
  • Put an old t-shirt with your scent in the pet’s crate.
  • If your packing process is hectic and you are stressed, it may be a good idea to move your pet to a boarding facility.Doing so assists with keeping the pet’s routine, allowing them to remain calm.Boarding kennels will also assist with crate training your pet prior to travel, which may make the journey easier for your pet.

Do you have any recommendations for familiarizing a pet with a new home?

  • Establish your pet’s routine in the new space as soon as possible.
  • Bring elements of the old routine into the new home.
  • Put pet beds, an old t-shirt, toys, bowls, etc. down as soon as possible.
  • Don’t make a fuss – let your pet explore and find their spaces.
  • Some pets like bathing with familiar shampoos for bonding.

Dogs generally acclimatise quicker than cats. Cats may ignore their owner for a few days, but soon settle into their new homes.Cat’s homes must have windows and doors closed until the cat has adjusted to their new surroundings.

About PETport:

PETport is a registered company. Its owner, Hazel Imrie, is a member of IPATA (International Pet and Animal Transport Association), and represents the Middle East and Africa region as a board member. PETport deals mainly with dogs, cats, and birds, but does transport some wild animals. The company does not do relocations for animals used for breeding farms, food, etc.

Following its code of ethics, PETport has markers that it uses to identify suspicious business opportunities, and rejects business when it feels the need, in keeping with its standards and vision. For more information about PETport and its services, visit: www.petport.co.za.

About Relocation Africa:

Relocation Africa Group is Africa’s premier Relocation and Immigration Service provider. With over 20 years of experience, and operations in 48 countries across the continent, Relocation Africa has the expertise to assist you with your mobility, immigration, research, and remuneration needs.

For more information, visit: www.relocationafrica.com, or email marketing@relocationafrica.com.