WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 9/10 August

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom said that he does not have the power to change the new Immigration Regulations which come into effect on 1 October, when he addressed the Southern African Tourism Services Association (SATSA) this weekend.  He admitted that ‘new regulations could have unintended, negative consequences for the tourism industry‘!  However, the new regulations are the responsibility of the Department of Home Affairs, he said.  Some concessions have been made by the Department, including that the unabridged birth certificates of child travelers no longer have to be translated into English, and that more visa application centres (in India and China in particular) will be created.  Fortunately tourists from Europe, the UK, and USA do not require visas to travel to our country, and are therefore not affected.  Tourism consultancy Grant Thornton is to conduct a study to measure the impact on Tourism of the new regulations.

*   Cape Town has been rated as 8th friendly international city, while Johannesburg has been ranked as the most unfriendly city in the world by Conde Nast Traveler!  Auckland and Melbourne were jointly voted as the most friendly cities in the world, followed by Victoria in Canada, Charleston in the USA, Dublin, Sydney, and Siem Reap in Cambodia all faring better than Cape Town on friendliness.

*   Sumaridge is donating R1 of every bottle of its Maritimus wine sold to the NSRI in Hermanus, it has announced, and has donated a first R16800 to the volunteer sea rescue body.

 *   At the SATSA Conference, the DA Shadow Minister of Tourism James Vos, called for electronic visas to reduce the lead time in obtaining the paperwork required to travel to our country.  He said:  ‘I will continue to work with industry officials and press for the use of electronic visas as a means for South Africa’s tourism industry, threatened by the new visa regulations, to be protected’.  

 He warned against the impact of the new regulations on tourism bookings and employment in the tourism industry. Vos stated that he had met with Minister ‘Hannekom‘ (sic).

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com   Twitter: @WhaleCottage

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