* The Mutual & Federal Agri Wellington Wine Route’s ‘Quest for the Best’ is coming to Cape Town tomorrow at the Southern Sun Waterfront Hotel, at the cost of R60. Wellington wines will be offered for tasting, with the recently selected ‘Quest for the Best’ Top Ten Wines and Top Spirits. (received via Wellington Wine Route newsletter)
* There are more than 40000 hotel rooms being built in Africa in the next four years, 10% of these in Lagos in Nigeria alone. No South African city appears on the top hotel room construction list.
* Retail sales only grew by 1,5% in the past year, and it is the low income shoppers who are shopping less and closer to home. This has affected retailers at the bottom end of the market. Shoprite and Woolworths have just posted excellent financial results.
* Interesting interpretation of Brit-speak, useful in Tourism!
* The Big Dreamer Summer Experience Pre-Party will be held on Saturday 28 September at Crusaders Sports Club in Green Point, presented by Big Dreamer Productions in collaboration with GoodHope FM. The Pre-Party builds up to the Big Dreamer Summer Experience in December 2013. The line-up for the Pre-Party boasts top local acts such as Jimmy Nevis of ‘Elephant Shoes’ fame, DJ Milkshake from 5FM, DJ Tyrone Paulsen from Good Hope FM, as well as PH, DJ Lyle, Andy Carr and MC Carl Wastie! Tickets sold by www.webtickets.co.za. (received via media release from Hype Media)
* Neil Grant, Chairman of the South African Sommeliers Association, is conducting a series of Master Classes on South African wines in China, visiting 7 cities including Beijing and Hong Kong, in conjunction with Wines of South Africa (WOSA), from 9 – 17 September.
* Graham Wood, MD of Southern Sun Hotels, and Rob Collins, Tsogo Sun’s Chief Marketing Officer, have left Tsogo Sun Holdings after a management shake-up.
* Adventure tourism has grown globally by 65% per annum since 2009.
* The City of Cape Town has banned all ball sports on Clifton’s 4th beach, the Atlantic Sun has reported.
* The tender for the R700 million expansion of the Cape Town International Convention Centre has been ‘awarded irregularly’, a forensic investigation has found, reports The Times. The Board of the Convention Centre says that the report does not identify fraud nor corruption, and that it will evaluate whether it agrees with the report, and its recommendation to cancel the tender and take disciplinary action against Convention Centre staff!
* Does a hospitality establishment’s green environmental policies spoil a guest’s holiday, in that it saves it money, relative to guests wishing to be pampered by daily sheet changes rather than every 3 – 5 days, for example?
* Swedish King Carl Gustaf celebrated his 40th anniversary of reining his country with Nederburg’s Noble Late Harvest being one of the wines served. The dinner was attended by members of the royal court and other dignitaries at Västerås Castle in one of Sweden’s oldest cities. The menu for the 60 guests focused on local country fare, featuring roe deer served with lingonberries, local river fish, and crème caramel and cloudberries. The main course was served with Swedish Bödel India Pale Ale. The dessert accompaniment was a choice of Nederburg’s 2012 Platter 5* rated dessert wine, and Tokajicum Darázskö Fumin 2011 from Hungary. (via media release from De Kock Communications)
* Business Tourism is a great boost to our economy, and 88 convention bids have been signed up for the period 2013 – 2017, an economic injection of R2,6 billion.
* The inaugural South Africa India Film and Television Awards will be held in Durban this Friday, and nominees include ‘7de Laan‘, Katinka Heyns, and ‘Isidingo’.
* The Top 5 most read WhaleTales blogposts in August were the Winter Restaurant specials, the reviews of (the very good) De Brasserie and (the very poor) Seafood at The Marine, the competition to predict the winner of Season 2 of MasterChef SA, and the Sweet Award to Pick ‘n Pay/Sour Award to Woolworths.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage