* Only two South African hotels have made the Conde Nast Traveler list of 60 Hot Hotels, on the basis of ‘Good Food’. This is a surprise award for the Mont Rochelle Hotel & Vineyard (now owned by Sir Richard Branson, but not much is new or ‘hot’ in this restaurant, having the same chef and waitron staff since he took over!). The Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff has also made the list in this category, with a chef unknown to most.
* Travel agents and tour operators are no longer marketing South Africa as a destination due to the new Immigration Regulations, says Michael Tollman of Cullinan Holdings. His business has seen a 70% drop in Chinese tourists, due to the via requirements. Biometric sensors required to issue the visas have not yet arrived in Beijing, Shanghai, Moscow and in centres in India. Tourism from China, India, and Russia is most directly affected by the new regulations.
* The ten most visited cities in Africa, according to the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, are Johannesburg, Cape Town, Cairo, Lagos, Casablanca, Durban, Accra, Nairobi, Dakar, and Entebbe.
* Fleur du Cap is making its older vintages, magnums, and flagship award-winning wines available online via its new e-commerce wine shop Vinotèque (www.vinoteque.co.za), based at Die Bergkelder, with a home-delivery service offered. (received via media release from GC Communications)
* 96 Winery Road celebrates its 19th anniversary in May, and is sharing its special month with those celebrating a birthday in May, by offering them a free main course. (received via e-mail from 96 Winery Road)