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