* The confidence of consumers in their financial situation has reached the lowest level in 20 years, reveals the latest FNB/Bureau of Economic Consumer Confidence Index (of minus 15), reports the Cape Argus.
* South Africa’s Top 24 cocktail bars have been announced, and have been selected by Diageo WORLD CLASS to participate in a competition to select South Africa’s best bartender to represent our country at the Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year 2014: Asoka, Bascule, Buena Vista, Café Caprice, Casa Del Sol, Dear Me (Tjing Tjing), HQ, Vista Bar at the One&Only Cape Town, Orphanage, Piano Bar, The Maslow Hotel, The Michelangelo, Signature Restaurant, OCD, Café Della Salute, Mark Anthony at Emperor’s Palace, Elevate, the Elangeni & Maharani, Fairmont Hotel, Harvey’s Restaurant, Private, Havana Grill, Unity Bar, and the Oyster Box Hotel. (received by media release from Communication Services Africa)
* The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art will open in the V&A Waterfront in 2016, in the new Silo building on the Clocktower side of the Waterfront. It will be the largest gallery in the country, with 9500 m² of space.
* Young American travelers are becoming less brand loyal, looking for the best priced package online on their smartphones and tablets. A total of 123 million travelers looked at accommodation options online, and a staggering 92% made a booking online. They choose the best price option, and hotel loyalty programs appear to be less important in enticing a guest.
* A high 61% of American travelers use Social Media when they are on holiday, and almost half of these travelers say they do so to stay in touch with news of their friends and family back home.
* The storm over the weekend hit farms in Ceres, Witzenberg, and the Koue Bokkeveld, where fruit (apples, stonefruit, and pears) crops were badly damaged or even completely destroyed due to hail, reports the Cape Times.
* The African Travel and Tourism Association and SA Tourism have reached an agreement to work together in future, which will benefit tourism to our country.
* South Africa is ranked 36th out of 50 countries on the Anholt-GfK Nation Brands Index, the highest of all African and the Middle Eastern countries included in the survey. The top five ranked counties are the USA, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and Canada. The countries are evaluated on exports, governance, culture, people, tourism, and immigration/investment.
* Shimmy Beach Club has launched its Summer à la carte menu, and has introduced a Pool Deck Menu. Pizzas and sushi are served too. (received via media release from Communication Services Africa)
* The House of JC le Roux offers a tasting of its sparkling wines, costing R45 for a tasting of five. At midday a ceremonial sabrage is performed, whereby the head of the bottle is removed with a sword. (received via media release from GC Communications)
Chris von Ulmenstein,Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage