* TravelMedia.ie has been appointed to handle the marketing of our country for SA Tourism in Ireland, with the number of tourists from Ireland expected to increase. The marketing focus will be on our country’s music, art, fashion, adventure, and culinary travel.
* The USA Department of Agriculture predicts that our country’s vine harvest will decrease by 5%, to 1,42 million metric tons, and that production will decrease to 1,1 billion bottles this year. The export of wine is expected to decrease to 500 million litres. Last year was regarded as a record year for South African wine exports due to the good harvest and the depreciation of the Rand.
* The inaugural AfrAsia Bank Cape Wine Auction, which was held at Delaire Graff yesterday, raised a phenomenal R8,9 million for three charities related to education. (via Twitter and Facebook) (NOTE 17/3: the Auction total has been officially revised to R7 million this morning)
* Receiving only 5% of the world’s 1 billion tourists, Africa needs to develop itself as a tourism brand, the Tourism and Culture Minister of the Seychelles has said. Minister Alain St.Ange called on African leaders to enhance Africa’s tourism awareness. ‘The African continent needs an African Brand. We need a brand that will promote our region in tourism trade fairs. We need a brand that will work hand in hand with United Nations World Tourism Organisation, the UNWTO body‘, he said. Africa must work with Africa, he added. South African Tourism Minister van Schalkwyk appeared to disagree, calling for each African country to do its own destination marketing. He did however call for easier visa application processing for travel within the continent.
* Hard Rock Café has returned to South Africa, and has opened in Johannesburg. Branches in Cape Town, Durban, and Pretoria will follow. Soft Coffee Holding has spent R25 million to date to buy the rights and to set up the Johannesburg branch.
* What a shame that international journalists are making so many errors when writing about our country. Victoria Burrows from The New Indian Express makes three errors in the opening paragraph of her article ‘French Corner in Deep South Africa‘ alone, writing about Franschhoek, which she writes is 2 hours from Cape Town (only 1 hour), is the country’s ‘Culinary Capital‘ (no longer), and has a ‘World’s 50 Best’ restaurant (no longer)! One cannot agree that Franschhoek is in ‘Deep‘ South Africa! She highlights The Tasting Room, Reuben’s (no longer one of the village’s best, and she only mentions two of his five restaurants), La Petite Ferme, Bread & Wine, Le Bon Vivant, and Bartho’s Place in the township, as being worth a trip from Cape Town, but Eat Out Top 10 restaurant Pierneef à La Motte, and previous Top 20 finalists Grande Provence and The Kitchen at Maison are not mentioned!
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage