World Travel Market Africa 2019
It is an honor for Flyga Twiga™ LLC to be invited for the 3rd consecutive year as a Fully Hosted Buyer to World Travel Market Africa (WTMA). Once again hosted by the City of Cape Town, South Africa, WTMA 2019 will bring together nearly 5,000 travel industry professionals, focusing on Africa and Middle East North Africa (MENA) Travel.
The World Travel Market will take place from Wednesday, April 10th through Friday, April 12th at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. WTMA offers Flyga Twiga™ an opportunity to meet in-person with In-Country Partners, Safari Lodges & Reserves, as well as the chance to take Familiarization (Fam) Trips to new and existing properties and ventures.
Thank you WTMA & Looking Forward To Seeing Old and Meeting New Africa Friends & Travel Colleagues in April!
Living in Seoul, South Korea, I love spending time walking along the Han River and listening to podcasts. One of the podcasts I enjoy is Alexa Meisler's "Break into Travel Writing" podcast.
One day, about three years ago, I was listening to Episode 82 with Amy Northard, linked here. OH MY GOSH! This show saved my company!
Well, at the very least, the episode, “Bookkeeping for Travel Bloggers with Amy Northard” saved me from a heap of heartache with the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
My husband and I have, for well over a decade, had a brilliant accountant in Virginia who does our taxes. I had really great coaches and business advisers at the Alexandria Small Business Development Center. I even had an attorney, whose specialty is the travel industry, draw-up my legal agreements.
But…I didn’t realize, until listening to this episode, that I had to report to the IRS any and ALL “freebies” I was given for my business. In particular to my company, the travel and tours to Kenya, Uganda, and South Africa as a Fully Hosted International Buyer and the Travel Show Booths I ran on behalf of the Kenyan Embassy in Seoul. All expenses and costs paid for by Tourism Boards or Exhibition Companies are INCOME! That’s right, taxable income.
So, while I love my business and wouldn’t trade the lifestyle it offers for the world, my Familiarization (Fam) Trips are work and they are taxable. But, we won’t tell the Gorillas in Uganda. They think I was there simply for pleasure and to visit their remote jungle. They don’t need to know about the IRS. ;-)
Disclaimer: I am not a financial or legal professional and the above blog is from personal experience and you should seek out a Certified Public Accountant or Legal Professional for your own business.
Where I might be permanently living had I not listened to this podcast….
I held my first "event" - an Ask Me Anything about Safaris and Travel to Africa. It is so much fun.
Part of my takeaway from this platform is using search engines to answer questions is great - but you have to know what to search for. AMAfeed, in my experience with my first event, helps direct further research. Especially for Safaris and Travel to Africa, there are rarely "yes" or "no" set answers. Furthermore, how on Earth do you know the links you are following are real or have any expert, honest advice?
With AMAfeed #SafariAMA it is MY reputation on the line. AMAfeed allows a really good balance of letting me promote my business and work, while offering information people want/need.
The reason for the picture above? I received a lot of questions about Gorilla Trekking and how close you can get to the Gorillas. This was taken last year Mgahinga Gorilla National Park on my Gorilla Trek. Truly an amazing experience which I am so glad to share with the AMAfeed Community.
Happy Day! Safe Safari!
It is really important when planning an African Safari to prepare in advance for the vaccinations you will need. Many shots require a series, some as long as intervals of six months.
One of the issues to arise last summer in the greater Washington, DC area was a shortage of Yellow Fever Vaccine. While DC is unique, with a great deal of travelers going to and fro Africa, there is no guarantee your local medical provider will have a ready supply of the vaccine on hand.
Yellow Fever shot should be taken no less than 14 days before travel. And while many Customs Agents in East Africa have gotten slack about checking for the inoculation, you better believe when an outbreak occurs, they check. You do not want to end up in quarantine instead of being on Safari and taking pictures of the magnificent wildlife.
Anti-malarials are another aspect of travel medicine that has to be addressed before travel. Malerone™, the latest, greatest anti-malarial, must be started two days in advance of travel into a malaria zone.
In addition to vaccines and medicines, you also want to seek out the advice of a good travel doctor if you have any pre-existing conditions. And here I would seriously address if there are any food allergies or conditions.
While Kenya and Uganda in particular have exceptional hospitality industries, you need to prepare and plan ahead for such conditions as nut allergies or gluten intolerance. The more you plan, with your travel doctor and your Safari planner, the more enjoyable and safe your Safari will be.
I also highly recommend you seek the advice of your Organic Pharmacist (Herbalist). They should be able to direct you to the highest quality probiotics. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is before traveling to Africa to begin a good, healthy probiotic regime.
Especially if this is your first trip to Africa, your body will be introduced to organism’s your body may never have come encounter with. One of my assistants in South Sudan asked me “why do Expats seem to get so sick?” I pointed out that we had not grown-up in Africa and that there were bacteria and other organisms to which our bodies had not been accustomed, and therefore, had not yet developed the anti-bodies to fight them off. To be fair, I pointed out the same would be true if she came to the United States and was exposed to new bacteria.
Lastly, I want to note that while you must decide what is best for you and your family, it is your top priority and personal responsibility to stay healthy. So, for example, if you are “anti-vax” and decide to go ahead and try and “sneak in” a country without a Yellow Fever inoculation, you are free to do so.
But, please be aware, all Travel Insurance Companies, will not honor or refund your money if you are denied entry into a country because of the lack of inoculation. Again, you must make your own decisions about your health, but you must also be aware of the consequences of making those decisions.
Plan, prepare and engage in determining the best course to make sure you have a “Happy Day! Safe Safari!”
Content copyright 2016. Flyga Twiga LLC. All rights reserved.
I actually had an entirely different blog post planned for this #TravelTuesday . I promise two things. First, this won’t turn into a total whine fest. Second, it will end on a happy note.
In the past seven days I have had 2 large companies, with whom I have had long standing relationships, let me down. The first was a clothing company for whom I have been a “Pro Guide” for three years. The other is an airline to whom I have been exceptionally loyal for nearly a decade.
While the details are different, each instance of customer dissatisfaction was precipitated by the low level Customer Service Employee, with whom I dealt, not being able to go “off script.” In both situations, a loyal customer has been lost due to their inability to deal with serious issues arising their overly large, bloated companies due not equip them to handle.
And, while I have no proof of this, I have a hint that in each circumstance the employee was afraid of the giant corporation for whom they worked. They appeared to me less afraid of losing a customer, than they were about being perceived as unable to do their jobs, by “kicking it up" the pipeline. At a certain point both of these companies have fostered a “that’s not in my paygrade” institutional thinking.
On the upside, it proves there is a place in the world for more intimate businesses. These experiences reinforced my commitment to such clothing/gear companies as a ONE WAY™ in Kenya and Kathmandu™ in New Zealand. And, the experiences offer validation for my bespoke, personal Safari service.
As for the airline, I was able to receive excellent customer service from Etihad Airlines™. I was forced out of my comfort zone - maybe even what could be described as an “airline rut.” Additionally, I may have found an even better airline to service my clients.
No one wants bad experiences. But in business, there is always something to learn from them. I plan to take these experiences and make sure they reinforce how valuable not only my client relationships are, but also my B2B relationships as well. At the end of the day, we all want the same thing out of all our relationships – to be treated with respect and fairness. That’s exactly what I intend to continue providing in my business relationships.
Happy Travel Tuesday!
Content copyright 2016. Flyga Twiga LLC. All rights reserved.
I simply loved my Ranger Rick magazines as a child. I (briefly) contemplated being a US Parks Service Ranger when taking Forestry in High School. (And, probably would have been the ONLY USPS Ranger who was a former "Forest Festival Queen"!!!) While that career path really wasn't for me - my passion for wildlife (& esp my precious Rhinos!) was fueled at an early age thanks to Ranger Rick. Note the sticker is from 1972 - Happy Throw Back Thursday!
Great for all the networking events coming up this Spring & Summer!