* Traveling should be easier, and barriers to entry by tourists should be reduced. E-passports have been proposed for 2020, Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said when he addressed the e-Tourism Africa Summit in Cape Town earlier this week. ‘We need to address the present outdated system of always having to go to Embassies, filling in forms and standing in queues. In a few years times this will be non-existent’, Van Schalkwyk said. He also highlighted that industry taxes should be regulated, to make travel more viable and accessible.
* Cape Town blogger Kamini Pather wins MasterChef SA Season 2, against tight competition from Leandri van der Wat !
* Travel by young persons has decreased dramatically in the past six years, from 75% in 2007 to 47% currently, to focus on improving their CVs, a study by the World Youth Student and Educational Travel Confederation has found.
* Col’Cacchio has introduced a Mobi-friendly Loyalty program, offering R20 off the next Col’Cacchio meal, and R5 off any Peroni. (via e-mail from Col’Cacchio)
* SA Express and Mango are to be integrated into a new airline company, as part of SAA’s turnaround strategy to bring the company out of its troubled financial state.
* The 2013 Toast of Brooklyn Wine and Food Festival running tomorrow and on Saturday will honour former President Nelson Mandela. His daughter and granddaughter, owners of the House of Mandela wines, will collect the award on his behalf.
* Wine exports to China have grown by 57 % in the four years since 2008, faster than the rate of growth for all China’s wine imports. China is South Africa’s largest export market overall.
* Using its parent company Walmart, Massmart is boosting sales of 19 ‘Developing Wine Brands‘ internationally, into Walmart stores in China and the USA.
* Sales in China of high-end expensive wines from France have seen a decline in the first six months of 2013, while sales of the lower-end less expensive wines are still growing.
* Fleur du Cap received three gold medals for its Unfiltered Sauvignon Blanc Limited Release 2013, Unfiltered Chardonnay 2012, and Unfiltered Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, at the 2013 International Wine & Spirit Competition in London. (via media release from GC Communications)
* Joe Roberts, writing the 1 Wine Dude blog and keynote speaker at last week’s Nederburg Auction 2013, appears to have enjoyed his time in the Cape Winelands.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage