Category Archive : zlyytowllmor

Public-private partnerships in national parks to boost tourism

first_imgSix million people visited our 19 national parks last year. This presented a huge opportunity for private investors, delegates were told at the inaugural South African National Parks Tourism Investment Summit held in Johannesburg this week.Opportunities in the Sanparks public-private partnership programme include accommodation, bottled water, wellness centres and adventure activities. (Image: South African Tourism, Flickr)Melissa JavanMore than 50 public-private partnership (PPP) opportunities are available for investors in South African National Parks.This emerged at the inaugural Sanparks Tourism Investment Summit in Johannesburg on Tuesday 4 April 2017. Sanparks, which falls under the Department Environmental Affairs, manages South Africa’s 19 national parks – from the massive Kruger Park in the east to the tiny Bontebok National Park in the west.The summit showcased a range of opportunities available to private investors in 10 of these public-owned parks. The opportunities include the development of tented camps, lodges and boutique hotels, activities such as helicopter and hot air balloon trips, zip-lining and hiking activities, and retail kiosks.Business and conservationIn 2016, over 10-million foreign tourists arrived in South Africa. According to Sanparks, 6-million people visited its parks in the past financial year. The country’s tourism sector accounts for some 730 000 jobs – 4.5% of total employment.In her keynote address at the summit, Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said partnerships between the government and private sector could only increase tourism’s contribution to employment.The Sanparks summit, she said, would help public officials and private businesspeople working in the tourism sector to engage and network with each other.“The national parks don’t only play a conservation role,” she said. “We cannot just rely on the fiscus and say, please government, give us money.”There are currently 45 PPPs in operation in South Africa’s national parks. These give private partners access to state property for a certain period, allowing them to conduct business there.This model transfers risk to the private sector and allows Sanparks to focus on its core function: wildlife conservation. According to Molewa, seven national parks are currently being used for PPPs. She said there was a possibility to include all 19 parks in these partnerships, nationally.“In 2016, over 10 million tourist arrivals were recorded in #SouthAfrica, a 13% increase from 2015″ – Minister BEE Molewa#InvestSanparks— Sanparks (@Sanparks) April 4, 2017Through our PPP programme, R57 million per annum is spent on SMME and a total of 1946 direct jobs have been created.#InvestSanparks— Sanparks (@Sanparks) April 4, 2017There are 4 major categories of opportunities, these are:Accommodation, Restaurants, Retail and Activities#InvestSanparks— Sanparks (@Sanparks) April 4, 2017Return on investmentTokozile Xasa, South Africa’s new minister of tourism, said at the conference that many of today’s investors want more than just profit. “They want to make a contribution in the lives of people.”Tourism investment would help reduce poverty and inequality. “Tourism is the one sector all over the world that countries can look at to turn around the economy.”Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa and Tourism Minister Tokozile Xasa at the inaugural Sanparks Tourism Investment Summit in Johannesburg. (Image: Melissa Javan)Xasa said those who did invest in South Africa’s tourism industry would get value. Her department provides skills training to entrepreneurs to ensure tourism businesses survive and thrive.She added that PPP opportunities would encourage local and international businesspeople to visit Sanparks’ attractions. “We are hoping to attract more business events to our parks. The businesspeople can then be exposed to what else South Africa has to offer.”Private party operators interested in any of these opportunities should register their interest by email— Sanparks (@Sanparks) April 4, 2017Boosting domestic travelSisa Ntshona, head of South African Tourism, said that although international tourists were flocking to the country, domestic tourism was weak.If each South African could link their economic well-being and prosperity to tourism, he said, it would help grow the domestic sector. “We need to cultivate a travel culture into South Africans, especially the youth. We should look at how we can inform and educate our children to increase domestic travel.”Ntshona said the country needed more tour guides, especially those able to share the stories and experiences of historical sites. “We need more young people, but they need to be knowledgeable. We’ve got to make tourism everybody’s business.”It was also important for small businesses to build networks in the communities in which they operate, he said. “If you are not plugged in, you will not make it. Look at how you can become visible, and who the tourism operators are within the community.”Discussing opportunities and challenges in South African tourism at the Sanparks summit. From left: moderator and former talk show host John Robbie, Sisa Ntshona of South African Tourism, Hannelie du Toit of South African Tourism Services Association and Blacky Komani of Tourvest Holdings. (Image: Melissa Javan)Bringing black South Africans into tourismAn important issue raised at the summit was the lack of black people taking part in South Africa’s tourism sector.Hannelie du Toit of the South African Tourism Services Association said more local heroes were needed need to promote tourism. “We need our black entrepreneurs to be involved and say that they want to get involved in the tourism industry.”Rob Cilliers of Sun International said specific products should be created for specific markets. The Cape Town International Jazz Festival, for example, was well supported by the black market.“Put on the product to bring the people. We cater for the full community of South Africa.”Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa materiallast_img read more

What To Expect From Facebook’s Shiny New News Feed

first_imgRelated Posts A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Tags:#Facebook#social media#user interface design taylor hatmakercenter_img Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification News Feed, one of the three so-called “pillars” of Facebook – alongside Timeline and Graph Search – is the bustling epicenter of the social network. And it’s overdue for an overhaul.In a press invite sent out Friday, Facebook invited us to “Come see a new look for News Feed” on the morning of Thursday, March 7, at the company’s Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters. News Feed Needs Some Spring Cleaning At turns maddening, cluttered and ad-ridden, News Feed is the core of the Facebook social experience. If you click the “Home” button that’s where you’ll land – and it’s certainly where Facebook wants its users to hang out.Facebook’s real-time, algorithm-driven, social ticker is also what makes the social network so confoundingly addictive: When did my college roommate get hitched? Why can’t I stop reading about people I haven’t spoken to in years and barely knew to begin with?While Facebook obviously has the hyper-engaged can’t-peel-your-eyes-away aspect of News Feed on lock, it’s still a confusing, busy page. Managing who and what shows up on News Feed remains a Sisyphean grind.The News Feed redesign is likely to remove some of the micro-managing necessary to maintain a relevant social stream. Facebook might also rethink the formula that determines what shows up in the News Feed – but better, more centralized controls for sorting and hiding content would also be a good idea. A (Literal) Stream Of RevenueThe cunningly engineered sense of addictive voyeurism is what powers News Feed – and what drives advertising revenue straight into Facebook’s pocket. In the fourth quarter of 2012, Facebook raked in $1.33 billion in advertising revenue – a 41% leap. The last time Facebook changed News Feed in a major way was back in September 2011, though it aggressively tinkers around with all of its features on a rolling basis. We know Facebook is playing around with a cleaner, more image-centric Timeline design, so it’s possible that the News Feed revamp could follow suit. Rumors are also afloat that a very visual redesign for the mobile News Feed is on the way – and with Facebook’s mobile mindedness, we’d expect some news on that front too.We won’t know what the company has up its sleeve for certain until March 7, but we can cling to one certainty – it’s not going to be a Facebook phone.Image by Taylor Hatmaker. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videoslast_img read more

India Puts Lightest Satellite Kalamsat V2 Into Orbit

first_imgWeighing only 1.26kg (2.6lb), the Kalamsat-V2 was made by students belonging to a space education firm.It will help ham radio operators and “inspire schoolchildren to become the scientists and engineers of the future”, India’s space agency says.Read it at BBC Related Itemslast_img

Adidas Creators Contest Day 17


Leonardo DiCaprio finally addresses Jacks death in Titanic

first_imgLos Angeles: Could Jack have survived in the final moments of “Titanic” is a question that still haunts fans 20 years later but just don’t ask actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Fans have long argued that Rose should have made room for Jack on the floating piece of lumber after Titanic’s sinking. Rose, who lay atop the door, survived in the end while Jack, who held on to the edge, froze to his death in the icy Atlantic waters. Both director James Cameron and actor Kate Winslet have weighed in on the scene but DiCaprio refused to get drawn into the debate despite gentle coaxing from his “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood co-stars Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie. Also Read – Hilarie Burton, Jeffery Dean Morgan tie the knot During an interview with MTV, DiCaprio was asked, “Could Jack have fit on that door at the end of “Titanic”? Jumping into the conversation, Robbie said, “Oh my gosh, I thought it. I remember bawling my eyes out when I was a (little) girl” but a taciturn DiCaprio said, “I have no comment.” When the question was put to Pitt, he said, “That is funny. Well, I’m going to go back and look now, shoot.” The actor then turned to DiCaprio to slyly ask: “Could you have squeezed there? You could’ve, couldn’t you?” Also Read – ‘Vaastav’ gave me the real sense of being an actor: Sanjay Dutt on film’s 20-year anniversary A smiling DiCaprio said, “No comments”. Calling it the “biggest controversy” in cinema, Robbie attempted to get an answer again. “Did you mention it at the time? Were you like should we make the door smaller.” she asked. “Like I said, I have no comment,” an unmoved DiCaprio offered. Cameron had called Jack ‘s death an “artistic choice”, which had nothing to do with the physics of two people fitting on the door. “The answer is very simple because it says on page 147 (of the script) that Jack dies. Obviously it was an artistic choice, the thing was just big enough to hold her, and not big enough to hold him…,” Cameron had told Vanity Fair in an interview. “The film is about death and separation; he had to die. So whether it was that, or whether a smoke stack fell on him, he was going down. Its called art, things happen for artistic reasons, not for physics reasons,” the director had said. When the question was put to Kate Winslet by popular TV host Jimmy Kimmel, she had teased, “I agree! I think he could have actually fitted on that bit of door.” Stephen Colbert asked her about the ending again in 2017, reminding her about Rose’s promise that she would never let go of Jack. “I lie. I fully lie. I hold my hand up, I let him go,” Winslet told Colbert of her famous line, “I’ll never let you go” but said Jack’s death wasn’t just on Rose. “He just should have tried harder to get on that door, because I think we would have (fit)!”last_img read more

Fewer border crossers being granted asylum as case backlogs increase

first_imgOTTAWA – Fewer asylum seekers who entered Canada illegally this year are being granted refugee status.As of the end of November, the Immigration and Refugee Board says 16,522 asylum claims were received from people who’ve crossed the border illegally and 2,198 of those have been completed.Of those finalized cases, updated data show 54 per cent were accepted — down from 60 per cent when the board last reported the data.Only eight per cent of Haitians — who make up the majority of claims — have been accepted, down from 10 per cent.Over 43,000 claims in total have been sent to the IRB so far this year, a number not seen since a high of 44,000 claims in 2001.The board cautions it’s premature to draw conclusions about border crossers based on the small number of claims finalized so far. Failed claimants do also have the right to appeal.But just as the IRB was releasing the new statistics, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen used social media to repeat a point the Liberals have been increasingly making in recent weeks as the data has shown many border crossers’ claims are being rejected.“Canada’s refugee system isn’t for those seeking a better economic life; it provides protection to refugees who have a well-founded fear of persecution,” Hussen posted.Prior to a surge in asylum seekers arriving in Canada last summer, the approval rate for Haitians had been around 50 per cent and the approval rate for all refugee claims was about 63 per cent.The border crosser situation is driven by an agreement between Canada and the U.S. that prohibits anyone crossing the border at official land entry points from claiming asylum. So far this year, 18,000 have been stopped entering Canada illegally — in 2016, only 2,500 people were apprehended.Many are believed to be coming north due to changes in U.S. immigration policy, though the federal government has said some haven’t spent much time in the U.S. and were just using that country as an entry point into Canada.Neither the IRB’s funding nor staffing levels have kept pace with the overall increase in claims; officials told a House of Commons committee earlier this month about one third of the board’s positions are vacant.And that was before chairperson Mario Dion was tapped to fill the job of ethics commissioner, leaving his post empty too.The IRB’s operations are being reviewed by the federal government with final recommendations on what could change due later in 2018.Something needs to change, said Michelle Rempel, the Opposition immigration critic.“The way the government is approaching this is it’s more about playing for luck rather than doing something that is going to be a long-term policy solution that’s in the best interest of people trying to claim asylum in Canada and Canadians in general,” she said.Dion had instituted a number of measures to speed up and simplify the claims process, including a dedicated team to hear so-called legacy cases — claims filed before an overhaul to Canada’s asylum system in 2012.They’ve whittled down that backlog from over 6,000 when the Liberals took office in 2015 to 4,444 at the end of November.But backlogs continue to grow in the board’s appeal divisions, with thousands of cases still awaiting final decisions. Of those, about 290 are from border crossers.If a claim ultimately fails, the individual is to be deported, but how many have been removed to date is unclear.last_img read more

UN envoy in fresh talks on former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia name

14 April 2008The United Nations envoy tasked with helping Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia resolve their dispute over the official name of the latter country will fly to the region this week to try to reactivate efforts to settle the issue. Matthew Nimetz, the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy, is scheduled to be in Skopje on Thursday and then Athens on Friday, UN spokesperson Marie Okabe told reporters today.A follow-up round of discussions is then expected to take place, probably in New York, Ms. Okabe added.Mr. Nimetz told journalists last month that there had been no progress on the “name issue,” despite intense efforts in recent months to broker a solution and the acknowledgement by both sides that a solution would be in their best interests.The envoy had proposed several compromise names but Skopje and Athens remained far apart on what they considered to be a satisfactory name for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.The Interim Accord of 13 September 1995, which was brokered by the UN, details the difference between the two countries on the issue. It also obliges the two sides to continue negotiations under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General to try to reach agreement. read more

Several countries opt to carry out UNdesigned jobs initiative

7 July 2010Several countries have volunteered to implement the Global Jobs Pact designed by the United Nations labour agency last year to guide national and international policies to stimulate economic recovery, create jobs and protect working people and their families. El Salvador and Argentina are the first two countries to seek the assistance of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in formulating socio-economic policies that put social issues at the core of strategies to help countries recover from the global financial crisis, Assane Diop, ILO Executive Director of Social Protection, told reporters in New York.The Global Jobs Pact was adopted with the strong support of governments during last year’s ILO Global Jobs Summit. It proposes a range of crisis-response measures that countries can adapt to their specific needs and situation.Social protection measures must, however, be accompanied by investment in the real economy to create jobs, noted ILO.“Unless we continue to invest in the real economy, we will not be in a position to create the number of jobs we need to face the problem of unemployment in the youth population,” Mr. Diop said.Elaborating on the measures being taken to ensure that jobs were preserved and the most vulnerable cushioned from the economic crisis, Carlos Acevedo Flores, President of the Central Reserve Bank of El Salvador, said his country had developed both short-term and longer-term strategies that were consistent with the UN social protection initiative under the global jobs plan.The strategies in El Salvador were developed after consultations with all sectors of the society, and have the support of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank.Mr. Diop said Brazil, India and South Africa had also expressed interest in implementing the Global Jobs Pact.The Pact also calls for measures to retain people in employment, to sustain enterprises and to accelerate employment creation and jobs recovery combined with social protection systems, in particular for the most vulnerable, integrating gender concerns on all measures.Governments are urged to consider options such as public infrastructure investment, special employment programmes, broadening of social protection and minimum wages.The Pact calls upon donor countries and multilateral agencies to consider providing funding, including existing crisis resources for the implementation of the Pact’s recommendations and policy options.In remarks to a meeting held today at UN Headquarters, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that economies are still suffering from the financial, food and energy crises. “Millions of people are jobless. Millions more have been pushed into extreme poverty,” he told the gathering of representatives of national economic and social councils, adding that there is much more work to do and that none of it can be done by any single actor, acting alone. read more

Kosovos declaration of independence did not violate international law – UN court

Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia in February 2008 did not violate international law, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) said today as the United Nations court released its advisory opinion on the issue.The ICJ, also known as the World Court, was asked by the General Assembly to give its opinion – which is non-binding – on the legality of the independence declaration by the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government (PISG) of Kosovo.By 10 votes to four, judges at the ICJ concluded that the declaration does not breach either general international law, a Security Council resolution from 1999 following the end of fighting in Kosovo, or the constitutional framework that was adopted by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on behalf of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).UNMIK was established after Western forces drove out Yugoslav forces amid inter-ethnic fighting in 1999. Ethnic Albanians outnumber ethnic Serbs and other minorities by about nine to one in Kosovo.Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for dialogue between all sides in the wake of the ICJ advisory opinion.In a statement issued by his spokesperson, he “strongly encourages the parties to engage in a constructive dialogue… [and] urges all sides to avoid any steps that could be seen as provocative and derail the dialogue.”The statement added that Mr. Ban will forward the opinion to the General Assembly, which will then determine how to proceed.The ICJ, which is based in The Hague in the Netherlands, is one of the UN’s six principal organs. It is tasked with settling legal disputes between Member States and with providing advisory opinions on legal questions when requested by relevant UN institutions. 22 July 2010Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia in February 2008 did not violate international law, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) said today as the United Nations court released its advisory opinion on the issue. read more

UN health agency unveils sanitation and hygiene plan towards eradicating tropical diseases

“Millions suffer from devastating WASH [water, sanitation and hygiene] – related tropical diseases – such as soil-transmitted helminthiasis, guinea-worm disease, trachoma and schistosomiasis – all of which affect mainly children” said Dr. Maria Neira, WHO Director for Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health. “Solutions exist, such as access to safe water, managing human excreta, improving hygiene, and enhancing targeted environmental management. Such improvements not only lead to improved health, but also reduce poverty,” Dr. Neira said in the WHO announcement.WHO outlined a global plan to better integrate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services with four other public health interventions to accelerate progress in eliminating and eradicating neglected tropical diseases by 2020. “Targeted water and sanitation interventions are expected to bolster ongoing efforts in tackling 16 out of the 17 neglected tropical diseases, which affect more than 1 billion of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable populations,” according to WHO.WHO also said that in 2015 more than 660 million people did not have access to improved water sources, almost 2.5 billion people lacked access to improved sanitation and more than 500,000 million lives are lost each year as a result of neglected tropical diseases.Besides advocating for basic water, sanitation and hygiene, WHO uses four other key interventions in overcoming the global burden of the neglected tropical diseases. The four strategies are: preventive chemotherapy, innovative and intensified disease management, vector control and veterinary public health services. The five-year agenda is in line with a World Health Assembly resolution, which calls for the formulation of a new, integrated WHO strategy including a specific focus on promotion of sanitation and hygiene behaviour. read more