The VA TourismPodcast
Up and Close with Zimbabwe music sensation Gemma Griffiths

Up and Close with Zimbabwe music sensation Gemma Griffiths

November 25, 2021

My conversation today is with Zimbabwe music sensation Gemma Griffiths.

Gemma is Zimbabwean music sensation, she is known for her recent release 'Kwale' where she pays homage to Kenya. She released A GIRL FROM HARARE documentary. In this project Gemma narrates her story in a car where she traveled all over Africa exploring the African roots, music, culture, food and the creativity to start writing.

She takes us on the journey of where her life started in Zimbabwe and how her singing abilities started in pre-school with the help of growing up in a family that were also music lovers.

She tells us what music means to her, "Music is everything, it is praise, social commentary,and reflection that connects us." Her friends also give us a glimpse of who she is and how music is within her. We experience the beauty of her telling us about her life whilst tying it in with her music. This gives the audience insight into who Gemma is, and how this project

A Girl From Harare was written when she was in a car, and recorded in ten different African countries.This project allows the audience to appreciate her celebrating her African roots through her creative storytelling and music that is melodic. I would kindly like to request an interview for Gemma as she will unpack more about her documentary and how she got the inspiration to tell us about her roots.

 

 

Seychelles Fashion Week  aims at making Fashion Tourism a major draw to the Island

Seychelles Fashion Week aims at making Fashion Tourism a major draw to the Island

November 24, 2021

My Conversation today is with the Founder of the Seychelles Fashion Week Terry Carolla. He tells me how the  Seychelles  Island wants to use fashion as one of its main draws as a destination. Going into its fourth year, the show has grown into becoming one of the must attend fashion shows in the Africa region.

The 4th edition is scheduled to take place on Saturday 27th November at the plush L’Escale Resort Marina & Spa in Mahe.

Follow the 4th Seychelles Fashion Week here

General Director of Basque Culinary Center Joxe Mari Aizega talks future of Gastronomy Tourism

General Director of Basque Culinary Center Joxe Mari Aizega talks future of Gastronomy Tourism

November 23, 2021

On the sidelines of the recently held 6th unwto world  forum on gastronomy tourism held in Bruges, the General Director of Basque Culinary Center shares his thoughts on the future of African Gastronomy.

Joxe Mari Aizega is the General Director of Basque Culinary Center, a pioneering academic institution worldwide that contains a Faculty of Gastronomic Sciences attached to Mondragon University and a Centre for Research and Innovation. This center was the first Gastronomic Faculty in Spain with an Official Degree in Gastronomy and Culinary Arts. Pioneer Joxe Mari Aizega has been the director of this center since its inception, supported by public institutions, the most relevant chefs in the world, private companies and Mondragon Unibertsitatea.

Joxe Mari Aizega has a degree in Business Sciences and Law from the University of the Basque Country and a PhD on Law from the University of the Basque Country. He has worked as a professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of the Basque Country and the Faculty of Business Sciences at Mondragon Unibertsitatea. He has also served as Vice-Rector of Mondragon Unibertsitatea.

Building Resilience in the Meetings Industry: A Conversation with CEO of SAACI Glenton de Kock

Building Resilience in the Meetings Industry: A Conversation with CEO of SAACI Glenton de Kock

November 12, 2021

The Africa Tourism Summit café is a dedicated conversation from the recently held summit at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg where panellists and participants have been sharing their experiences of the event. My guest today is the CEO of the Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI) Glenton de Kock. Glenton points to the proof of concepts as one of the key elements to restart the meetings industry.

Glenton had refined his public and private sector strategic management skills during his tenure as Managing Director of Tourism Buffalo City (covering East London, King Williams Town and Bhisho) where he oversaw the development and implementation of the destinations USAID Funded Tourism Master Plan, as Chief Executive Officer of Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage and Despatch) he refocused the organisations operating model, and as Chief Executive Officer of the Eastern Cape Tourism Board, which is now The Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency (ECPTA) he drove the implementation of the provinces international partnerships program.

As an Associate Director at KPMG he led the Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism Unit for Africa and South Africa before moving onto Grant Thornton in a similar position. His position as Project Manager at the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber ensured that Business embraces its civil society role by driving a holistic approach which enables business within the Metro to work towards long-term sustainability, though projects such as the Nooitgedaght Low-Level Water Scheme and the re-activation for the much needed Addo Road refurbishment.

Glenton’s business management experience cuts across various sectors, such as Tourism Hospitality, Petro-chemical, Mining and all spheres of government to name a few. He provides strategic input into his family footwear manufacturing business which employees 60 people and is run by his sisters.

As active citizen, Glenton acts as an independent advisor to the Nelson Mandela Bay Consultative Christian Churches, The Nelson Mandela Bay Civil Society Coalition, and the Northern Areas Education Forum and occasionally when time permits mentors businesses within the ICT and Services Sector.

Glenton is Chief Executive Officer for the Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI).

In his spare time, he is the President of the Nelson Mandela University Football Club and is a budding golfer.

Africa‘s Travel and  Tourism Summit café : Young Entrepreneurs push for Intra Africa Travels

Africa‘s Travel and Tourism Summit café : Young Entrepreneurs push for Intra Africa Travels

November 5, 2021

The Africa Tourism Summit café is a dedicated conversation from the recently held summit at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg where panellists and speakers have been sharing their experiences of the event. My Guests, Kennedy Agyepong, founder of Afrochella and Nomsa Dlamini have been sharing impressions from the summit.

Ken Agyapong Jr (Kenny) is a Ghanaian-American Entrepreneur and a Philanthropist. He attended public High School in the Bronx, New York, and graduated top of his class. He earned a bachelor's degree in Human Resource Management from Utica College of Syracuse in 2012. He further his education at Johnson Wells University, Providence Rhode Island in 2014 where he received his Master of Business Administration in Business Administration. Kenny began his career in events and entertainment Management by organizing major parties while studying at Utica College of Syracuse in his dorm room. 

Inspired by Madam CJ Walker, and a strong advocate for Schumpeter's school of thought. Gcina Nomsa Dlamini was named one of the Mail& Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans 2021, a winner in the category of Tourism & Hospitality. She is no stranger to the International community. While working in Washington DC, she received a scholarship from Howard University, Advance IT Women In STEM to further her studies in Econometrics & International Business. Her passion for travel started at the tender age of 14, on a visit to Dakar, Senegal. She has hosted multiple delegations and international celebrities both in South Africa and the US, who have a direct interest in investing in South Africa.
 
Her company Merchantry Worldwide, which means trade was founded on the basis of using travel as a catalyst for business and investment. She has contributed to the South African tourism industry, by exposing international visitors to the rich culture, history and diversity in the rural parts of the Country also known as 'hidden gems.
Movenpick Hotel Abidjan General Manager Peter Hoesli opens up on VA Tourism Podcast

Movenpick Hotel Abidjan General Manager Peter Hoesli opens up on VA Tourism Podcast

November 2, 2021

My guest today is the General Manager of the newly opened Movenpick Hotel Abidjan Mr Peter Hoesli. He discusses the reasons behind the decision to have the brand in Abidjan and the hotel’s rich footprint in sustainability and women empowerment. Peter will recount his first time in Abidjan in 1989 and what it means to him to be back managing a hotel in the west African country.

Peter Hoesli was born and raised in Berne, Switzerland. He started his career with apprenticeships in service and kitchen at the Hotel Bellevue-Palace in Berne and continued his career in the F&B and Front Office departments of several luxury hotels in Switzerland. Peter graduated from the hotel management school Centre International de Glion in 1986. At the beginning of 1989, he started his international career holding positions in Bermuda, Thailand and Malaysia before joining Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts in Cairo in 1998. He has been working for the company for 22 years in the Middle East – Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia – and since March 2020, he is the General Manager of Mövenpick Hotel Abidjan, a brand of the Accor group.

6th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy put spotlight on Gastronomy and Rural Development

6th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy put spotlight on Gastronomy and Rural Development

October 30, 2021

Ahead of next week's 6th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism to be held in Bruges, Belgium, we caught up with a leading resource person at the event and Chief Tourism Market Intelligence and Competitiveness at UNWTO Sandra Carvao on what the festival seeks to achieve. She says this year's event is themed on Gastronomy Tourism and rural development and believes there is a huge potential to reinforce the relationship.

The 6th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism will focus on the role of Gastronomy Tourism in Promoting Rural Tourism and Regional Development, closely aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Topics related to the role of gastronomy tourism in enhancing the reputation of destination, empowering local community, as well as strategies that can be used by farmers and small scale rural food producers in using their culinary heritage to directly and indirectly promote tourism and thereby make a positive economic contribution at the local and regional level will be discussed throughout the event.

Scrap PCR test requirement  for vaccinated travellers to South Africa-CEO of TBCSA, Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa

Scrap PCR test requirement for vaccinated travellers to South Africa-CEO of TBCSA, Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa

October 28, 2021

My guest Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, CEO of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) is urging the government of South Africa to review its covid-19 protocols to exempt fully vaccinated travelers from presenting PCR test as a prerequisite for travels to the rainbow nation. He thinks South Africa will be competitive in attracting desirable travellers to its shores and in turn help accelerate the recovery efforts. Tshifhiwa also shed light on intra Africa travels and tourism’s quiet role in the African Continental Free Trade Area conversation

 

Noom Hotel Abidjan will introduce  new standards of luxury which exceed the expectation of the modern day traveller - Jorgen Jorgensen

Noom Hotel Abidjan will introduce new standards of luxury which exceed the expectation of the modern day traveller - Jorgen Jorgensen

October 25, 2021

My conversation today is with the General Manager of Noom Hotel Abidjan Jorgen Jorgensen. Mr Jorgensen who has under his sleeve an impressive four-decade running leading global hotel chains says he is ready for the new challenge and optimistic that the Noom hotel will bring to the Ivorian and West African hospitality market new standards of luxury which will exceed the expectation of the modern-day traveller.

 Jorgen Jorgensen was born and raised in Denmark. He started his career at the Hyatt Hotel Group holding positions around the world for 26 years (Latin America, USA, Middle East, Europe).With this solid experience, he joined the Radisson Blu Group first in Europe then in Africa with the opening of the first Radisson in Libya. He was afterwards appointed West Africa Director of the Radisson Group and oversaw the opening of the brand's hotels in Abidjan, Bamako, and Freetown.

Since September 2021, he is now the General Manager of the Noom Hotel Abidjan Plateau, a brand of the pan African Mangalis group.

Exclusivité avec Suzanne Kabbani

Exclusivité avec Suzanne Kabbani

October 24, 2021

L’épisode d’aujourd’hui est avec Suzanne Kabbani – Maitre Chocolatier & Fondatrice de Douceurs de Suzanne. Elle s’entretient avec Yasmine Fofana, présentatrice invitée et journaliste gastronomique, sur l’utilisation de cacao et de ses produits finis pour promouvoir la gastronomie en Côte d’Ivoire.

Travailler aux côtés des planteurs, contribuer au développement de son pays, faire valoir du chocolat « Made in Côte d’Ivoire » qui se définit par son caractère unique en termes de goût et d’histoire, voici certaines des motivations qui aujourd’hui poussent Suzanne Kabbani à aller encore plus loin. 

Découvrons ensemble son histoire.

Africa‘s Travel and Tourism Summit Café :Founder & CEO of Travel with Confidence  Percy Koji talks SMME compliance and Public Private Partnership

Africa‘s Travel and Tourism Summit Café :Founder & CEO of Travel with Confidence Percy Koji talks SMME compliance and Public Private Partnership

October 20, 2021

The Africa Tourism Summit café is a dedicated conversation from the recently held summit at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg where panellists and speakers have been sharing their experiences of the event. Tourism Entrepreneur and Founder & CEO of Travel with Confidence PTY LTD Percy Morapedi Koji who presented a case on compliance for SMEs tells me, collaboration between Private and public sectors is vital and urged governments to create the enabling environment as an initiative to drive growth for small and medium-sized businesses.

 

Percy Morapedi Koji, Africa Economic Leadership Council’s (AELC’s) co-founder and chairman, is an astute South African businessman. He has more than 15 years of experience in the tourism industry, construction and property development, agriculture, mining and renewable energy. While his education and professional accolades are quite extensive, Percy has also shown his commitment and passion for uplifting the community and youth, his commitment to this cause speaks for itself as he is also the Founder of an NGO (Friends of Morokweng) which’s focus is to develop young leaders across society. His 10 years’ public service experience perfectly positions him, to lead AELC and its members in maximising on the opportunities they seek, to grow in their respective businesses, while simultaneously contributing to a flourishing African economy.

Percy’s story though still in its beginning stages continues to inspire many youths, particularly entrepreneurs (upcoming and aspiring) in the community and this is where he draws his inspiration from, to work tirelessly and diligently in building sustainable businesses with an international client base for the benefit of our community.

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