*. Despite the Rand exchange rate being at its best ever for international visitors, no surge in tourism bookings is being seen. The after-effect of last year’s Ebola crisis, and the new visa regulations, have affected tourism numbers from China, India, and Brazil in particular. Hotelier Arthur Gillis said that the golden opportunity of the exchange rate was negated by the visa regulations, and said that we ‘shoot ourselves in the foot’.
* Cape Town was featured in ‘Leute Heute’ on ZDF German TV this afternoon, with actor Kai Schumann expressing his love for our city while he was the lead actor in ‘Jana und der Buschpilot’, filmed in and around Cape Town, and which will be screened on ZDF this Sunday. He went shopping for gifts for his family in Woodstock.
*. Leading businessman and owner of Somerset West-based of Lourensford wine estate, with restaurant, weekly market, coffee roasters, and event venue, Dr Christo Wiese, has spoken out about the new visa regulations, and how ‘we shoot ourselves through both feet and then claim unintended consequence‘!
*. The Spur Corporation UK operation has made a loss in the twelve months ending June this year, mainly due to tougher competition in England and Ireland. Its South African performance has been profit- making, and 38 new restaurants will open in our country. International expansion will be in Africa, with 12 new outlets planned. In the UK the company is setting up a new chain of smaller RBW (Rib, Burger, Wings) outlets.
*. The scandal surrounding the plagiarism of 1000 photographs of others by Cape Town Partnership Communications Manager Skye Grove has been met with criticism and mockery on Social Media, with demands that she ‘pay back the money’, having sold the photographs of others for her personal gain. Her boss Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana (who serves on the Boards of Wesgro and the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company, and sits on the World Design Capital 2016 International Advisory Committee for Taipei!) has written an email of support, stating that Grove’s hobby photography was done in her personal capacity and has not affected her performance at the company promoting the Cape Town city centre. Grove has taken a week unpaid leave, it was announced, and she has closed all her Social Media accounts, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!