* The Reserve Bank has increased the repo rate by 25 basis points, giving a new interest rate of 5,75%. Governor Gill Marcus blamed inflation for the rate increase.
* Brazil welcomed more than 1 million visitors during the Soccer World Cup, almost double the estimated 600000 travelers. Most tourists had never been to Brazil before, visiting from more than 200 countries. The infrastructure and tourism services generally, and the hospitality and cuisine specifically, were praised by the visitors. The soccer matches were seen by 3,4 million soccer fans in the stadia over the month-long event. Visitors stayed in Brazil for 13 days on average. Brazilians were good soccer fans too, more than 3 million travelling around their own country during the soccer tournament.
* Melanie Verwoerd has compiled a book ‘Our Madiba: Stories and Reflections from those who met Nelson Mandela‘, containing short stories of numerous persons that met the late Nelson Mandela, including Pieter-Dirk Uys/Evita Bezuidenhout, Adam Small, Francois Pienaar, Amanda Strydom, Sir Richard Attenborough, and many by Mrs Verwoerd herself.
* The Drinks Business and Intangible Business in the UK evaluated the world’s ‘most powerful Champagne and Sparkling Wine brands‘, to compile the ‘Drinks Business Power Brands Report‘. The Report measured brand ‘power‘ on the basis of market share, growth, price, brand awareness, and heritage. The top ‘power’ brands, in ranked order, are Möet & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Dom Pérignon, Freixenet, Martini Sparkling Wine and Laurent Perrier, Mumm, and Taittinger and Nicolas Feuillatte.
* The winners of the Skytrax World Airline Awards 2014 are as follows, based on a survey of 18 million passengers of more than 200 airlines: Cathay Pacific (Best Airline), followed by Qatar Airways, and Singapore Airlines. SAA won Best Airline in Africa, and Mango Best Low-cost Airline in Africa. Best Low-cost Airline was won by AirAsia, Best Regional Airline by Bangkok Airways, Best First Class by Singapore Airlines, Best Business Class by Qatar Airways, Best Economy Class by Asiana Airlines, Best First Class Airline Lounge is that of Air France, Best Business Class Airline Lounge is that of Qatar Airways, Best Airline Cabin Crew works for Garuda Indonesia, and the Best Inflight Entertainment is that of Emirates.
* Signal Restaurant at the Cape Grace hotel is offering a special 6-course dinner paired with a selection of Hamilton Russell Vineyards wines, including Hamilton Russell, Southern Right, and Ashbourne, from 22 July – 18 August. Cost is 495 without wines, and R695 with wines.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage