* SA Tourism is representing our country on two platforms at World Travel Market in London this week: the 20th anniversary of the ‘new’ South Africa as well as Cape Town’s role as World Design Capital, both in 2014. Today Marthinus van Schalkwyk, the Minister of Tourism, will address visitors to the SA Tourism stand, and a fashion show will represent our country’s eight World Heritage sites, interpreted by top local designers David Tlale, Marianne Fassler, Thula Sindi, and Nkhensani Nkosi.
* 2014 is also an important year in celebrating the 80th anniversary of the SA Rugby Union and the Springboks. SAA will participate in the celebration in February, and commuters can expect to rub shoulders with members of the Springbok team at airport lounges. In November next year the team members will be seen at OR Thambo and Heathrow airports, when the Springboks travel to Europe for the Castle Lager Outbound Tour Series. (received via SAA newsletter)
* SAA is cutting its Buenos Aires route, being one of its loss-making destinations. Its Beijing route is also making a loss, but will be retained currently as China and South Africa are both BRICS countries.
* Western Cape Minister of Tourism Alan Winde is seeking an urgent meeting with SAA to discuss the cancellation of its Buenos Aires route, having seen good growth in the past few years, and benefitting the Western and Eastern Cape in particular. (received via media release frorm Minister Winde’s office)
* The Hotel Le Vendome in Sea Point will be operated by Radisson
Blu after renovations have been completed in about six months time. It will be renamed Radisson Blu Le Vendome Hotel Cape Town.
* Wines of South Africa (WOSA) outgoing CEO Su Birch said that the shortage of wine projected by Morgan Stanley is good news for South Africa. She did concede however that not all in the industry agreed with the financial services firm’s projection!
* Carteirra is offering wine lovers the opportunity to make their own wines, by selecting a cultivar, a winemaker, and a barrel via the internet. One can taste the wines twice a year, and when the wines are bottled one can submit one’s own labels. The progress of the winemaking is documented on a personalised website.
* Pernod Ricard’s wine division is positioning itself as the world’s leading premium wine brand, and has renamed itself Pernod Ricard Winemakers.
* Surprisingly 55% of UK tourists who took a holiday in the past twelve months consulted a travel guidebook. Blogs and recommendations from other travellers played only a small role in their travel research and planning.
* The V&A Market on the Wharf is now open daily, from 9h30 – 18h00. (seen via Twitter)
* Berlin-based Sommelier Brad Mitton has developed a website whereby the answers to twelve questions will assist him in recommending wines to suit an individual’s wine palate.
* An innovative Hops & Hippos safari is being offered by American tour operator Africa Adventure Consultants. The 13 day tour includes a beer brewing workshop at the Beer Lab in Cape Town, a visit to a traditional African beer brewer, beer tastings, and a safari at Thanda Private Game Reserve. Newlands Brewery, Birkenhead Brewery, Firkin Brewery, Zululand Brewery, and Napier Brewery are on the itinerary, as is the SAB World of Beer museum in Johannesburg. Whale watching is an incidental extra for the tour!
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: WhaleCottage