* Hotel prices are increasing, and are close to 2006 levels, just prior to the global economic prices, a sign of a recovery of the world economy.
* The Cape Winemakers Guild will accept real time online bidding at the auction of its wines at Spier on 5 October. The biggest selection of 59 wines in the 29 year history of the Auction will go under the hammer. A Final Pre-Auction Tasting for prospective auction buyers will be held at Spier the day prior. (via media release from GC Communications)
* American travelers are expected to travel more but spend less next year, traveling in their own country in the main, an international survey has found.
* Is sugar as addictive as cigarette smoking or drugs was a questions asked at the Sugar Association of South Africa conference.
* Frankfurt airport saw 5,8 million passengers pass through its doors in August, an increase of 3,6 %. and the highest passenger number ever.
* As the world focuses on South America for the FIFA World Cup 2014 and Olympics 2016, the new Latin American 50 Best Restaurant list will be of increasing interest. The Top three restaurants are Astrid y Gastón in Peru, D.O.M. in Brazil (also winning Best in Brazil), and Pujol in Mexico (also winning Chefs’ Choice and Best in Mexico).
* Is bread dead in restaurants? This appears to be the trend, with top restaurants making interesting baked artisanal flatbreads and crackers.
* At the e-Tourism Africa Summit held in Cape Town on Monday and Tuesday, SA Tourism CEO Thulani Nzima spoke about the growth in digital marketing communication with prospective travelers to our country: ‘In 2012 over 200,000 people booked their trips online to South Africa. These online purchases (inclusive of Expedia and other South African Tourism’s Online Travel Agent partners) resulted in more than R790 million for our economy, and the industry. Of these 200 000 trips, more than 186, 000 were booked by international visitors. To illustrate this growth, the total gross bookings from Expedia grew 11% to more than R505 million in the first six months of 2013′.
* Madame Zingara has created a new show called ‘After Forever’, which launches at its V&A Waterfront location in October. ‘The mysterious Madame Zingara welcomes you to her forest where legends and folklore come to life; secrets and myths dance in the air and magic becomes tangible. Victoria is the enchantress casting her spell as we begin to believe, even for just a moment, that we are no longer in the now, but in a timeless land – After Forever….. A seedling has magically sprouted with vines that have climbed Victoria’s walls twining itself around her bevelled stained glass mirrors with its thick tendrils. In the middle, an aged Tree of Life has emerged with roots deeply embedded in the earth. A fallen God, Icarus is on a quest to captivate his great love and he searches the forest seeking answers from ancient creatures within. As the branches sway softly, he listens carefully for the chants and echoes of his sweet love, and so our tale unfolds. He encounters ethereal Siamese twins, a majestic Lyrical Queen and fends off the Forbidden Fruit of Dark. Slowly Victoria’s spell begins to take hold as your imagination slips into her rich red velvet ceiling. Manga mummies, fair maidens and pied-pipers appear from the shadows, these travelling players have many a tale to tell, so be careful where you tread as you may never return to the illicit land of now’. (via e-mail from Madame Zingara)
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage