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Mafia Island, October 2010

Mafia Island, October 2010

Friends and Partners

THE COMPLETE MAFIA EXPERIENCE WITH LUA CHEIA AND KINASI

For years we have dreamed of having a location in the north and have owned land there for many years. In order to provide a complete Mafia experience (the north of the island is totally different, drier with a savannah vegetation) we wanted to offer the Chole Bay and Mafia Island Marine Park reefs and islets, coupled with the endless beaches and open sea of Ras Bweni.

In 2009 we finally began construction of a very low-impact camp at Ras Bweni in the north of Mafia and by October Lua Cheia (the Full Moon) was available for guests. Please have a look at the images of this amazing location on www.luacheaibeach.com The camp is not luxury but has everything one needs.

We are now going to construct two superior units with lounge and wide verandahs for those who want a bit more luxury and choice, but the same principles of solar and a sustainable impact will eb applied.

There are some great excursions from Ras Bweni – forest walks, the lighthouse (a great view from the top), Barakuni island picnics, fishing, kayaking and long, leisurely beach walks.

Many of our guests are already combining nights at Kinasi and Lua Cheia.

MARINE PARK FEES AND CHARGES

In July 2009 the parent ministry of the Mafia Island Marine Park (MIMP) deiced to double the entry fees and impose several other charges on hotels located within the park as a “concession”. This was done without prior notice and in contempt of the legislated requirements of “dialogue” and in cynical disregard for the difficult marketing environment for tourism World Wide and our (lack of) competitive edge with Zanzibar. After months of fruitless discussions the Ministry and its Marine Parks and Reserves Unit ceased to talk to the hoteliers, knowing that – in legal terms – we had exceeded the four-month time-bar period of an appeal. In other words the “talks” were a sham from the outset. The investors then decided to appeal for a judicial review and this is still in process one year later.

As a consequence of the Minister’s decision tourism has steadily declined in Mafia Island Marine Park and we are faced with even higher costs for the concession if this is enforced.

We are using every possible avenue for appeal and common sense and to reverse the damaging decision by the Minister and his advisors, and to work together with the government to nurture and encourage tourism and to provide a real management service in the Park. Mafia is still in its infancy and must define its destination experience and the style (small, eco-friendly, low-impact) of development and services for the tourism industry. We will keep you posted of the outcome, but we would appreciate your feedback from any guests who have visited in the last year, to determine what impact the doubling of the fees to US$ 20 per person per night has had on bookings (do people decide not to come for this reason?).

BOOKING ONLINE

We have installed a web-based booking system for any bookings you wish to make via our website www.kinasilodge.com . All our best rates and specials are listed online and bookable in 3 simple steps.

For travel agents and tour operators Kinasi Lodge trough stay@mafiaisland.com will provide with a username & password in order to give access to the online booking system. Please CONTACT US if you are interested in receiving a username and we’ll provide you all the details.

RATES FOR 2010-2011

Despite the issues with the Marine Park and inflation in our costs (gas, fuels for boats, transportation, consumables) we have retained our rates as per 2009-2010 and these will continue to hold until June 2011. These will be sent to all agents immediately and the rack rates posted on the internet under our new Globekey booking system.

Best regards and all good wishes from all of us at Kinasi.

Antonella Balestra & Peter Byrne

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