The Sweet Service Award goes to the organisers of the Two Oceans Hermanus Whale Festival, Kfm, the sponsors Distell marketing Two Oceans Wines, and the staff of the Hermanus Tourism Bureau, for the most successful Hermanus Whale Festival hosted in twenty years. The sponsorship by Distell created massive exposure on Kfm, the radio station reaching the Cape Town and environs catchment area, which is the most important source area for Hermanus. Kfm brought all its presenters to Hermanus, and broadcast from the town for two days. In the week running up to the Festival, regular announcements were made, and whale sounds were played, likely to generate benefits beyond the Festival days, as the presenters raved about seeing the whales breaching, and regularly mentioning the Whalecrier blowing his kelp horn whenever he spotted a whale. The events organised for the Festival were fresh and different, and a greater focus was placed on pairing foods and wines. The Hermanus Tourism Bureau staff were run off their feet as last minute visitors booked accommodation on Friday and Saturday, ensuring that almost every guest house and hotel was fully booked on both nights, a bonus given that there wasn’t a long weekend to link to the Festival, as is the case usually.
The Sour Service Award goes to Eskom, and the City of Cape Town, for a city-wide power failure 10 days ago, due to a fire in the Acacia sub-station. Social Media was not used to communicate with Capetonians, even though the City of Cape Town has a Twitter account. The power failure was close to lunchtime, and was a costly loss to a lot of hospitality businesses. Information from Eskom about the duration was vague on radio, and Independent Newspapers estimated a 6-hour outage. In the end it lasted about 90 minutes in most areas. Grant Pascoe, City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee member for Events, Tourism, and Marketing, smugly Tweeted as follows from a Council meeting: “Power restored, council meeting proceeds undeterred during outage in CPT”, without expressing any care or concern about the citizens of Cape Town, and what the effect may have been on them and their businesses!
The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog. Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at firstname.lastname@example.org. Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog, and in the WhaleTales newsletters on the www.whalecottage.com website.