* Despite the disaster in Cape Town harbour earlier this week, our country has a lucrative future as far as cruise tourism goes. Nine cruise ships have scheduled stops off our coast for 2015, in Cape Town, Durban, Richard’s Bay, Port Elizabeth, and East London, a 70% increase in cruise liner passengers. A number of the cruise ships are returning to the country, after previous visits. The Queen Mary 2 will return for a second visit next year, and the Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth will visit in 2016. Vital to the expansion of cruise tourism is world-class terminals in ports, and Cape Town’s inefficiency as far as Customs staff goes was in the spotlight this week. Cape Town is one of the most popular stops in the region, for American tourists in particular.
* National Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom will lead a local delegation representing our tourism industry to World Travel Market (WTM) in London this coming week, one of the largest (after ITB in Berlin) tourism trade exhibitions in the world. More than 50000 tourism players are likely to attend WTM. The Minister said: ‘The WTM is one of the premier events where South Africa engages with the global travel trade. Besides maintaining excitement about our destination, and all that we have to offer, this platform is about doing business and growing international tourist arrivals to our country. We will be promoting the variety of experiences we offer in South Africa, and build on our reputation as a unique, diverse, friendly and accessible destination‘. The Minister will address a summit relating to mega-events and tourism at WTM, based on our country’s FIFA 2010 World Cup experience.
* Due to a cracked silo storing 10000 tons of coal, Eskom has announced load-shedding from today onwards, which is expected to last for a week. It is expected to effect the whole country, and has already hit areas such as Franschhoek, Hermanus, the Atlantic Seaboard, Somerset West, and the city centre.
* Cape Town Tourism has promised to focus on combating Seasonality next winter, collaborating with Thompson Holidays in selling weekend packages, it announced at its AGM earlier this week. Unfortunately the tourism body makes this promise year on year, and occupancy levels appear to get worse year on year!
* The second AfrAsia Bank Cape Wine Auction will be held on 13 and 14 February 2015 at Boschendal. John and Erica Platter are the honorary chairpersons of the 2015 Auction, the inaugural Auction having raised more than R7 million earlier this year. (received via media release from Hazell PR and Wine Consultants)
* The City of Cape Town parking marshalls are testing accepting payment via SnapScan, and will implement the payment system throughout the city if the pilot project proves to be successful. The marshalls accepting SnapScan will have the logo of the payment system on their bibs.