* BA is seeing increased business on its Africa routes and has already announced that it is putting ts A380 onto the Johannesburg route from February 2014. The airline also is increasing its flights to Ghana, Uganda, Liberia, and Serria Leone, whilst cutting those to Lusaka.
* Increasing power and staff costs are major threats to the local wine industry, a study by PricewatershouseCoopers has revealed.
* The Captain DoRegos take-away franchise is to be expanded into the rest of South Africa, and even into Africa, the Spur Corporation has announced.
* Hein Koegelenberg has written an informative blogpost about how to protect wine brands from being copied in China, an experience he underwent with their Leopard’s Leap brand in 2011.
* Nigeria and South Africa are two ‘big brothers‘, both allies in attracting the most tourists in Africa, and also feeding each other with visitors, but also competitors. Nigeria is gearing itself to increase its tourism arrivals.
* The first official World Design Capital 2014 event will be held next Wednesday, presenting Cape Town to the Design Week Forum in London. Cape Town Mayoral Committee member for Tourism, Events and Marketing, Grant Pascoe, said that World Design Capital 2014 can help Capetonians change the way they live. On New Year’s Eve the World Design Capital 2014 program will be officially launched on the Grand Parade. A Design Gala will be held in February, a Design Policy Conference with a focus on Africa is planned, and a Design House Exhibition is planned for November. In December next year a Convocation Ceremony will see the World Design Capital title handed over to the city winning the bid for 2016.
* The first ever South African Wine Tasting Championship amateur tasting team of ten, from which the four members to represent South Africa at the international championships in France will be selected, has been announced, and includes Bernard Classen, Lauren Cohen, Tawanda Marume, Ryan Mostert, Khuselo Mputa, Roland Peens, Stephen Steyn, Chantelle Swanepoel, Anton Swarts, and Gavin Whittaker.
* ‘Food blogging has had a tremendous effect on the industry. It has given ordinary folk a voice and a vehicle to promote and share their views, thoughts and creativity with the world and be heard. It has reinforced the belief that food is for everyone and that everyone truly can cook’, says Anke Roux, a food editor.
* An editorial in The Times today warns the tourism industry to not increase rates opportunistically, so that middle class tourists can be encouraged to make repeat visits.
* The Western Cape led the other provinces in the inaugural Lilizela Awards on number of awards won. The Cape Grace Hotel was voted the country’s best five star hotel.
* ‘We urge all South Africans to inspire confidence among our visitors by refraining from using bottled water and to drink tap water‘, said Themba Khumalo, the media spokesperson on behalf of the Department of Agriculture.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: WhaleCottage