89 episodes

The VA Tourism Podcast is a Dedicated Platform for discussing happenings in the Travel and Tourism sector. It is hosted by Kojo Bentum-Williams, the Managing Editor and Publisher of Africa’s Leading Travel Media VoyagesAfriq Travel Media

The VA TourismPodcast Kojo Bentum-Williams

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

The VA Tourism Podcast is a Dedicated Platform for discussing happenings in the Travel and Tourism sector. It is hosted by Kojo Bentum-Williams, the Managing Editor and Publisher of Africa’s Leading Travel Media VoyagesAfriq Travel Media

    The Country Manager for Serena Hotels in Rwanda Daniel Sambai bares it all on the Tourism Podcast

    The Country Manager for Serena Hotels in Rwanda Daniel Sambai bares it all on the Tourism Podcast

    Episode 89 of the VA Tourism Podcast celebrates Kenyan Hotelier, Daniel Sambai. Daniel who is currently the General Manager of the Kigali Serena Hotel has been narrating his two decades of learnings in the hospitality sector.
     

    Daniel Sambai is the Country Manager for Serena Hotels in Rwanda with the responsibility of overseeing both the Kigali Serena Hotel and Lake Kivu Serena Hotel. Prior to being posted to Rwanda, Mr. Sambai worked for Serena Hotels in Tanzania and Kenya.Mr. Sambai has a broad and varied experience in the hospitality industry spanning over 20 years majorly in East Africa and the United Kingdom.


    Mr. Sambai holds a Bachelor of Commerce Honors degree in Business Management from the University of South Africa and a Diploma in Hotel Management from Kenya Utalii College.

    • 24 min
    Africa's Business Events Outlook; A Conversation with Industry Veteran Derek Houston

    Africa's Business Events Outlook; A Conversation with Industry Veteran Derek Houston

    My conversation today is with Derek Houston, an industry veteran and founder of Houston Travel Marketing Services. He tells me progress in the vaccination program is one of the surest ways of getting back to some sense of normality.


    On January 15th, 2021 Derek will have been involved in the travel industry for  56 years. I started my career in Pretoria with S.A.TOURISM and also worked in the Harare Zimbabwe Satour office. In 1969 He joined Trafalgar Tours in Johannesburg as Sales Manager and in 1972 traveled overseas to London to broaden his travel experience.Derek spent three interesting years in London working for a number of travel agencies and tour operators.


    He returned to South Africa in 1975 where he worked for Thomas Cook Travel as Assistant Branch Manager and as Branch Manager of Jet International Travel in Johannesburg. In 1979 I transferred to Sunshine Tours as Marketing Director where I spent 4 years helping to build up the company into a major outbound wholesaler and expanding its product range significantly.


    But in 1984, Derek felt it was time to do his own thing and that is when He started Houston Travel Marketing Services cc Initially, our main focus was advertising Sales for THE GSA Travel Magazine (the leading travel trade monthly directory in SA). In 1984 we also started our travel trade database offering mailing and fax mailing service to travel agencies /tour operators.


    From 1986 to 2001 HTMS represented ABC Travel Publications /OAGTravel Guides as Africa Subscription and marketing representative.


    In 2000 HTMS started the SPOTLIGHT ON AFRICA series of workshops to promote “Africa” as a whole to various markets both in Africa and overseas.


    Over the last 20 years, HTMS has grown its portfolio of travel trade workshops under The Spotlight brand and we now run 30 trade workshops sessions around Africa and in Europe.In 2005 and 2006 a Spotlight and Africa Roadshow was held in Ireland and in 2006 in Holland and Belgium.In 2007 the workshops were held in Copenhagen, Brussels, and Amsterdam., Scotland, Leeds, and Cambridge.


    In 2009 we held our first Nordics “Seashow” with workshop sessions on board ship. This was a great success and was repeated in 2009 and 2010 after WTM.  The Nordics Roadshow is now an annual event every November. In 2010 We added Central Europe to the Spotlight Portfolio with workshop sessions in Vienna, Budapest, and Prague. It was such a success that it has been repeated every year to include Warsaw in Poland and Bucharest in Romania.Spotlight workshops are also now held annually in Southern African cities such as Harare, Gaborone, Windhoek, Maputo, Nairobi, Luanda and Addis Ababa.

    • 22 min
    Is West Africa's Domestic and Regional Tourism Ready for take off? Dr Adun Okupe unpacks the Conundrum

    Is West Africa's Domestic and Regional Tourism Ready for take off? Dr Adun Okupe unpacks the Conundrum

    My Guest, Dr. Adun Okupe is a leading researcher and expert in the fields of tourism, sustainable cultural practices, and leadership for societal change. Dr. Adun with her partners has led the conversation in promoting domestic and regional tourism in west Africa since the onset of the covi19 pandemic.
     
    She is an advocate for sustainable tourism development in West Africa as well as the cultural and creative industries in Africa. She is a Senior Advisor with Red Clay Advisory, a tourism advisory practice; Host of the West African Tourism Roundtable Series, and faculty member at the prestigious Lagos Business School. 

    Dr Adun has over 15 years’ research and advisory experience in infrastructure and development advisory services in the tourism and leisure industry as well as advising on the leisure component of urban planning in sub-Saharan Africa and Europe. She has worked with several organisations including the Universities of Edinburgh and Surrey, the World Travel & Tourism Council, KPMG London, and the W Hospitality Group. 


    She is also the founder of The Sahara Centre, a not-for-profit committed to the development of the creative economy in Nigeria through research and policymaking and INDIGO, an eco-friendly shared workspace in Lagos, Nigeria. She is the President and a Board Member of Zonta eClub of West Africa, a part of Zonta International and sits on the advisory group of Open House Lagos and is a member of the Academy of International Business. She led the research on the Lagos State COVID-19 Relief Committee for the creative industries and with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) on understanding the effectiveness of interventions in the creative industries. 


    Adun is a seasoned keynote speaker, panelist, lecturer, moderator and industry event facilitator. She has been featured on several local and international media across the world discussing domestic tourism, sustainable tourism development, and how to harness West Africa’s creative tourism potential. 


    She earned a Ph.D. in Tourism Leadership from the University of Surrey, a Masters in Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London and holds first class degree in Business Economics from the University of Keele. Adun Okupe, Ph.D. is a qualified Chartered Accountant and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. She is the curator of The Conversations at The Sahara Centre which features industry experts in the tourism, cultural and creative industries and host the Business Strategy Session for Executives and Entrepreneurs in the creative, arts and tourism industry. 


     

    • 19 min
    Mozambique Culture and Tourism Minister Eldevina Materula talks making country an Active and visible African Tourism Player

    Mozambique Culture and Tourism Minister Eldevina Materula talks making country an Active and visible African Tourism Player

    My conversation today is with Mozambique’s Minister of Culture and Tourism Eldevina Materula. The Minister who has been attending the Brand Africa Conference in Windhoek, Namibia has been sharing with me a detailed plan to make Mozambique a top-of-mind destination for, particularly African travellers.


    Madam Materula was however not amused by the spin placed on reportage regarding the instability in the north of the country.


    Eldevina Carla José Materula has been Minister of Culture and Tourism since 17 January 2020.


    Eldevina Materula was born on June 29, 1982, in the city of Maputo. She did her primary education at the Luta Continua Complete Primary School. She then did her high school at Escola Secundária da Polana, in Maputo city. She continued her studies in the music area, at the Superior School of Music in Lisbon, Portugal, and then joined the Malmo Academy of Music, in Sweden, where she obtained a Bachelor's and Master's degree.


    Oboist musician by profession, Eldevina Materula was a teacher in the “Neojibá project” in Brazil, between 2007 and 2017. She founded Xiquitsi Project in Maputo and assumed the position of Artistic Director, from 2013 to 2019. She was a member of the Symphonic Orchestra of the Porto, Casa da Música – Portugal, between 2009 and 2020.


    Eldevina Materula won the “Young Musicians Award” in 2001, and in 2016 she was awarded the Dom Infante D. Sousa Order of Merit Medal in Maputo by the President of the Portuguese Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, for her work with Mozambican Youth Musicians (Xiquitsi ).


    In 2019, Eldevina Materula was elected cultural figure of the year by the Mozambican Newspaper Jornal Savana.


     

    • 19 min
    Sherin Francis: We'll make sure restrictions do not affect visitor experience in Seychelles

    Sherin Francis: We'll make sure restrictions do not affect visitor experience in Seychelles

    In today’s episode, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board Mrs. Sherin Francis gives an update and measures the archipelago island has put in place to help visitors travel with confidence. The Island has received 10,000 visitors since the opening of its borders on March 25 and hoping for an accelerated tourism restart in q4.


    Prior to joining the Seychelles Tourism Board, Mrs. Francis was formerly the Principal Secretary at the Department of Tourism within the Ministry of Tourism and Culture.  She has also headed the Seychelles Investment Board for four years whereby she has been instrumental in broadening the marketing arm of the board and raised the Seychelles’ profile internationally as an investment destination.


    The Previous position she also occupied before rising to an executive position includes Director of Investment Promotion at the Ministry of National Development, where amongst her many duties, she carried out research on market trends and promote investment opportunities.  Mrs. Francis holds a Bachelor of Arts joint Degree with Honors in Business Studies and Economics, from Manchester University and an M.Sc. in Finance with the University of London. 


    During her tenure at the Tourism Board, a position which she is still currently serving, she has been instrumental in developing the digital marketing strategy of the board amongst other achievements.

    • 34 min
    CEO of AUDA-NEPAD Dr Ibrahim Mayaki opens up on Partnership Renewal with UNWTO

    CEO of AUDA-NEPAD Dr Ibrahim Mayaki opens up on Partnership Renewal with UNWTO

    Episode 84 of the VA Tourism Podcast is an exclusive interaction with the CEO of the Africa Union Development Agency- NEPAD Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki. Dr. Mayaki has been explaining the reasons behind the renewal of AUDA’s partnership with the World Tourism Organization. The Former Prime Minister of Niger who has had an accomplished career as a Politician, international statement, and author gives a sneak peek into what he will be doing when he bows out as the head of AUDA in September this year.


    Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki of the Republic of Niger is the Chief Executive Officer of the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD). He was appointed to this position in March 2009. 


    He started his career as Professor of Public Administration in Niger in 1975, then in Venezuela; he has been a guest professor at the University Paris XI and led research at the Research Centre on Europe and the Contemporary World within that university. 


    He was Minister in charge of African Integration and Cooperation and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Niger in 1996 and Prime Minister of Niger from 1997 to 2000. 


    He equally served as Executive Director of the Rural Hub Think Tank, based in Dakar, Senegal from 2004 to 2009. 


    He is « Commandeur de l’ordre du mérite national » of Niger , «Commandeur de l’ordre du mérite agricole » of France and decorated in the « Orden Isabel la Católica ( Encomienda de Número) of Spain. 


    He was rewarded the highest distinction of the State of Japan, the "Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun", by Emperor Naruhito, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to promoting friendly relations and mutual understanding between Japan and Niger as well as Japan and the African Union. 

    • 19 min

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