* German competition authorities have reacted strongly against Booking.com, which prohibits accommodation establishments from offering better rates to clients booking with them directly relative to the rate they charge via Booking.com. Action is also being taken against a similar booking site Expedia.com
* The contribution of Tourism to the economy nationally has remained at 2,9% in both 2012 and 2013, reaching a total of R104 billion. Just more than half of the spend was generated by the domestic market. In 2013 the Tourism industry employed 655600 staff, an increase of 10% on the year before.
* Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde addressed the Annual Investment Meeting in Dubai last week, speaking about Global Events, and how conferences and events have been attracted to Cape Town in the medical technology and innovation fields in particular. As a result, the Minister announced the building of a Health Technology Park in our province. He cited Medi-Clinic as an example of our local expertise being exported to other countries, such as to the United Arab Emirates. (received via media release from Minister Winde’s office)
* Cape Town Tourism is negotiating with an unnamed city in the USA and another in Turkey to boost tourism to our city. Packaged as a ‘piggyback’ marketing collaboration, Cape Town Tourism hopes to benefit from the marketing activities of both the secret cities, which in turn are seeking to establish themselves on the African continent.
* Thinking chocolate over this past Easter weekend, Wines of South Africa compiled a list of wine estates at which one can taste wines paired with chocolates. The list includes Waterford Estate, Bilton, Blaauwklippen, Eikendal, Spier, Lourensford, Hidden Valley, Muratie, Van Rijn’s Distillery, Laborie, Spice Route, Franschhoek Cellar, La Couronne, Durbanville Hills, Groot Constantia, Creation, Newton Johnson, Gabriëlskloof, Graham Beck, Van Loveren, and Boplaas.