* International tourist arrivals increased by 4% between January and April this year, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) World Tourism Barometer. In the same period international tourism arrivals in our country decreased by 7%, and those to Africa by 6%, largely due to Ebola in the case of the latter, reports Tourism Update.
* Yesterday the Western Cape Provincial Regulator Entity in the Department of Transport and Public Works approved 201 metered taxi licenses, of which 145 were for Uber vehicles, according to a statement by the provincial government. Uber vehicles are applying for metered taxi operating licenses, after discussions with the City of Cape Town and Western Cape government, until the National Land Transport Act is amended to accommodate ‘e-hailing services’.
* South Africa is the only BRICS country that offers business persons from these countries a 10-year multiple-entry visa, to facilitate quick business deals between member countries, reports Business Day.
* Tourist arrivals from Russia to our country have dropped by 47% in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period a year ago, reports SATSA in Business Day. Chinese arrivals dropped by 38% and Indian arrivals by 15% in the same period. SATSA has also expressed its concern that biometric machines still have not been introduced in Shanghai and Beijing, forming a necessary part of the visa applications.
* The McGregor Poetry Festival will be held for the third year running,from 27 -30 August, and poets reading their work include Antjie Krog, Gert Vlok Nel, Harry Owen, Mavis Vermaak, Floris Brown, and Diana Ferrus. Tickets available at Computicket. (received via e-mail from Michael MacKenzie)