WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Pernod Ricard, international marketer of Absolut, Mumm, and Martell, has seen a 18% decline in sales in China in the first half of its financial year.

*   The Karoo is one of the world’s top nine stargazing destinations, which includes the Algarve in Portugal, Ayer’s Rock in Australia, Atacama Desert in Chile, Jasper National Park in Canada, Mauna Kea in Hawaii, Grumeti in Tanzania, Kitt Peak in Arizona, and Gülpe in Germany.

*   SAA has applied to introduce new routes, and new codeshare agreements with a host of new destinations, including Moscow, Asuncion in Paraguay, Lomé in Togo, Praia and Ilha do Sol in Cape Verde, Jakarta, Kingston, and Port of Spain  in Trinidad and Tobago.  The airline has also applied to increase the frequency of its African routes, including Lagos, Blantyre, Lilongwe, and Accra.

*   Twitter now has 5,5 million users in South Africa, up by 129% in just one year. (via Twitter)

*   Michael Jordaan, owner of Bartinney wine estate and former CEO of FNB, found parallels between Venture Capital and winemaking:  startups are unpredictable – like grapes they can make the finest wines or vinegar; patience is needed to make the wine and investment reach its maximum potential; suffering is good; passion is important; and stories sell.

*   Woolworths is conducting a national sizing survey, to ‘find your perfect fit‘ in its clothing sizes for men and women, and to check that ‘sizing standards still meet the needs of our customers’.  The survey is a first for our country, and became essential due to the diversity of our country’s population. The body scanner used by international brands such as Levi, Marks & Spencer, and Target will be used. Data will be shared with clothing suppliers to update patterns.  Scanning will be done at Woolworths stores in Gateway in KwaZulu-Natal, Sandton City, and in Canal Walk.

*   Moody’s has given the City of Cape Town a positive rating and an unqualified audit report, reflecting the strength of its finances and its ability to pay its accounts, reports The New Age.  This means it receives loans at lower levels of interest.

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