This Week at Atta HQ

Good Morning Atta friends from Lina,

First of all, we would like to welcome Katie Fewkes and Julian Edmunds to the Atta board! We are very excited to have them on the team to develop new ways to serve our aviation and UK tour operator members.

Katie told me that she was "delighted to be joining the Atta board and looking forward to getting involved in promoting tourism to Africa. It’s an honour," she said “to be representing UK tour operators and working alongside the rest of the Atta board to ensure we continue to see growth in travel to this beautiful continent.”

Julian also sends his regards and says: “Having been a founder member of Atta, I look forward to being part of the team to help shape the future. It is time I put something Back!  and 2015 is the year of being positive.”

Katie will be joining us, next week, at the Atta Destinations Networking event in London, beside Olympia, sponsored by Kenya Airways who are launching the Dreamliner Service to Nairobi. If you have not booked your place yet, please do so now. All details here.

In this week’s edition we welcome Federal Air who recently re joined Atta and will be on the Atta stand at ITB.

Come and meet all our members on the Atta stand 20/120 at ITB, our largest yet:

Acacia Africa
Africa Travel Co  
Encounter Madagascar 
Flights by TFC & Federal Airlines 
Footprints Travel Uganda 
Footsteps in Africa 
Honour Way
Jenman African Safaris & African Luxury Hideaways 
Karen Blixen Camp
Naturally Africa Collection 
Nomad Tanzania
Selous Safari Company
Sun Destinations
Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa

Our CEO, Nigel, writes:

I seem to have touched some very different corners of our industry this week covering the Foreign Office, again, a new emerging luxury event and one of African tourism's best known charities.

First I attended a symposium given by the East Africa Association and the Business Council for Africa hosted by accountants Slaughter and May in the City of London. Although the event was entitled “Business Prospects in Sub Saharan Africa, an FCO (Foreign Office) perspective” I had been tipped off that the speaker was to be Nic Hailey, Director Africa at FCO. So this seemed to be an excellent opportunity to publicly raise the problems of the devastating travel advisory on the Kenya coast, in front of an audience of the movers and shakers in the investment world to Africa.

As we are just three months away from a General election in UK the politicians are not going to do anything, a now lame duck government, so the best form of attack is the person responsible in the first place, the Head of Africa at the Foreign Office. “Was he aware" I asked " that a warning on non-essential travel is effectively a ban on travel since the British travel trade will not operate to, and British insurance companies will not cover travel to, any resort which is subject to an FCO warning on non-essential travel?” I went on to elaborate on the devastating effect that these warnings have on tourism and the economy of the country concerned. He sort of answered the question and I had a chance to bring it up again with him over lunch. Anyway it brought our problems to a whole new audience which can’t be a bad thing. As the Tesco saying goes “Every Little Helps” so we have to keep bashing away at the guys who inflict these advisories on our industry. You may not be involved right now but every country is vulnerable to these advisories and we need to get our points across.

Earlier in the week I had an interesting meeting with Micaela Giacobbe who launched the very successful event, Connections Luxury in UK last year. The Connections brand is part of the fast expanding Travel Weekly Group now owned by the enterprising Clive Jacobs, founder of Holiday Autos, the world’s largest car rental broker. This year three events are to be held in the Algarve, Beijing, and our Middle East and Africa event will be in Abu Dhabi in September. This is a very high end, by invitation only, event involving 30 to 40 luxury suppliers matched by an equal number of hand-picked international buyers at VP/CE/MD level from the region that the event is held in and the important emerging markets such as USA, China, Brazil, Russia and Singapore. It appears expensive, an all-inclusive package with fixed 45 minute appointments, group lunches, dinners and incredible entertainment and activities packaged around the event. If you are interested in doing business at this level have a look at the video and contact Atta HQ. I gather 80-90% of last year exhibitors are set to return this year.

Yesterday I joined the "Just A Drop" team for breakfast and the launch of their "Mum's Army" campaign for 2015, brilliantly presented by their tremendously energetic Commander in Chief, Atta’s Industry Relations Director, Fiona Jeffery OBE.

Just a Drop is an international water aid charity, which was set up in 1998 by Fiona when she discovered that just £1 can deliver clean water to a child for up to 10 years. Just a Drop was born, based on the premise that if people can be encouraged to give a little then collectively we can make a huge difference. The “Mums Army” campaign aims to encourage Mums to hold events throughout the year to help raise funds for this very worthwhile charity which has a very strong focus on Africa. Spare a moment to watch their campaign film Imagine.

This is it from us this week and please remember - we are just one email away if you have any suggestions, news or just need to catch up on Atta's events and services.