WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Tourists do not want to ‘face administrative hurdles‘ in their visa application process when travelling in Africa, said Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairman of the African Union Commission, at Indaba at the weekend.  Making visa applications easier, liberalising air routes, and acting against animal poaching could increase tourism to Africa, she added.  Joint visas to travel within Africa are being considered.  The African Union is working on making Africa the preferred travel destination in fifty years from now!   Another goal is to motivate Africans to travel within Africa.

*   Indaba 2014, which closed its exhibition doors today,  attracted significantly fewer buyers than in previous years, and was criticised for having become ‘stale’, and for not having re-invented itself as was promised last year by SA Tourism’s Marketing head Jan Hutton.  While larger than the recent World Travel Market Africa exhibition held in Cape Town, it disappointed attendees, many especially smaller tourism players not planning to return next year.  The speed networking sessions were a shambles on Saturday and Sunday, with many buyers not present. Costs of catering were said to be prohibitive.

*   The Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism Awards is open to entries for the 2015 Best of Wine Tourism Awards, in the following categories: Accommodation, Wine Tourism Restaurants, Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices, Architecture & Landscape, Art & Culture, Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences, and Wine Tourism Service (Cellar Door).  Entries close on 11 July. (received via e-mail from Specialized Tours & Events)

*   SA Tourism and its Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk have assured the tourism trade that South Africa’s focus on and commitment to tourism will continue, given the completion of South Africa’s General Election, which did not put off tourists to our country, nor led to any cancellations.  Tourism benefits the economy and employment, it was explained.

 *   The Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) is expanding its operations into emerging markets, including a goods terminal in Brazil, and consultancy services in Ghana.
*   Nina-Mari Bruwer, a passionate brandy lover and a winemaker at Mont Blois in Robertson,  has won the Van Ryn’s Award for Brandy Excellence, in achieving the highest marks for the Brandy module in the Cape Wine Master’s program. (received via media release from De Kock Communications)

 *   Food Routes is introducing Culinary Holidays, offering hands-on cooking lessons, making dishes unique to the region.  Venues include De Kaap Farm Kitchen in McGregor, Thula Thula Elephant Safari Lodge in KwaZulu-Natal, Bartholomeus Klip near Riebeeck Kasteel, African Relish in Prince Albert, and Andries Stockenström Guest House in Graaff-Reinet.  (received via media release from Random Hat Communications)

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com   Twitter: WhaleCottage