Tumultuous 2015 comes to an end, exciting 2016 lies ahead!

imageThe year is coming to a close, and has seen a major change, in that we sold all our guest houses, to create a new beginning with Food Tours in 2016.

We have seen climate change take its toll globally and locally too, terrorism rearing its ugly head, Europe being challenged with the Greek financial crisis as well as the refugee tsunami. Locally our country is teetering on the edge of an economic abyss, thanks to our President Zuma, and his firing of Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene, creating an outcry from the populace, even leading to a march on 16 December, until former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was reinstated as Finance Minister. It led to a severe depreciation of the Rand, which will benefit Tourism, but will affect inflation. The Tourism Industry was particularly impacted upon by the amended Visa Regulations, which took an inter-Ministerial committee of the Ministers of Tourism and Home Affairs, under the chairmanship of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, to amend the regulations, the benefits of which are yet to be seen! For the first time in many years tourism numbers declined drastically, especially from China, India, and Brazil.

The WhaleTales Blog continues to be a source of joy, and we have recently changed the masthead of the Blog. A first visit to Johannesburg in 25 years, to KwaZulu-Natal in more than 25 years, and to Europe and the U.K. in seven years were highlights this year, and offered material and inspiration for Blogposts. Our Top 10 best-read blogposts this year are as follows:

#.  Woolworths CarbClever Banting range, another misleading consumers rip-off, not Banting clever at all

#.  Cape Town and Winelands Restaurant Winter Specials and Winter Closures 2015

#.  Restaurant hell in Cape Town and Winelands over the Festive Season

#.  Cape Town hotel industry loses two stalwart iconic leaders

#.  Restaurant Review: Truffle first 5-star 100% halaal fine-dining Bistro in Cape Town

#.  Restaurant Review: Harvey’s Restaurant in Umhlanga expensive, very poor in all respects

#.  Many new summer restaurant openings in Cape Town and Winelands

#.  Exciting Restaurant openings and changes in Cape Town and Winelands today

#.  Giggling Gourmet Chef Jenny Morris to open her first restaurant Yumcious

#.  Donford BMW Motorrad opens flagship lifestyle showroom in Cape Town, making life a ride.

It is clear that Restaurant-related Blogposts are particularly popular, even though the Woolworths Banting blogpost was a surprise number one in readership.

Eat Out‘s many changes to its awards have been a frustration for the restaurant industry this year, and one hopes that it will stop chopping and changing its awards system. In 2016 we will see greater challenges for Eat Out, with a number of Restaurant Guides to be launched or expanded!

We wish our readers a successful and happy New Year, and a safe journey back home when the holidays come to an end.

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.whalecottage.com/blog  Tel 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@WhaleCottage  Facebook:  click here

 

 

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