Despite a dreadful tourism performance in the past year, largely due to the Department of Home Affairs Visa Regulations introduced more than a year ago (but recently reversed), Cape Continue reading →
If luxury stands for being out of the ordinary, transporting one from the world one is in to something more special, enjoyed by some but not all, is beyond the day to day basics, provides good service, and leaves one with a good feeling, then Cape Town is a luxurious destination, said seasoned hotelier Nick Seewer at a meeting of PR-Net held at Continue reading →
Tourism numbers are reflecting the damaging impact of the new Home Affairs Visa regulations, with Arrivals on the decline, as is the Business Confidence in the Tourism industry. It is no surprise that the two indicators go hand in hand!
The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) Tourism Business Index for the third quarter of this year is 92,4, the second Continue reading →
A survey conducted by STR Global Hospitality research firm has found that Cape Town is the fourth most expensive accommodation city on the African continent, and is more expensive than Johannesburg!
Addis Ababa in Ethiopia was found to be the most expensive African city for Continue reading →
Wesgro has announced that its Cape Town and Western Cape Convention Bureau has won the bid to host the World Ophthalmology Congress, with 15000 delegates, in 2020. The Congress will be one of the largest medical meetings in the world, and the largest ever held in Cape Town.
The value of the Congress has been Continue reading →
*. Despite the Rand exchange rate being at its best ever for international visitors, no surge in tourism bookings is being seen. The after-effect of last year’s Ebola crisis, and the new visa regulations, have affected tourism numbers from China, India, and Brazil in particular. Hotelier Arthur Gillis said that the golden opportunity of the exchange rate was negated by the visa regulations, and said that we ‘shoot ourselves in the foot’.
*. Wesgro is inviting investors to capitalize on the depreciation of the Rand in investing in the Western Cape, and to buy exported products from the province. Wesgro CEO Tim Harris said that the province’s skilled workforce would offer investors better value for money. Investors would benefit from the lower costs created by the weaker Rand in setting Continue reading →
* The Cape Town and Western Cape Convention Bureau has won the South African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI) Award for Best Convention Bureau in Southern Africa for the second year running. The Bureau is part of Wesgro, and its Award was based on a vote by SAACI members.
Almost daily we see a new report about the damage that the new Immigration Regulations are causing to our country’s Tourism industry, with drastic reductions in the number of tourist arrivals despite a very favorable exchange rate. Interesting too has been the defensive reaction of the Department of Home Affairs to the criticism raised by the Tourism industry, its Minister Malusi Gigaba not wishing to admit to ‘the unintended consequences of South Africa’s new visa regulations‘.
Now Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is to chair a meeting between the two departments, welcome news if he is able to quickly find a solution to the Tourism disaster. The meeting was due to be held today, but has been cancelled as it does not suit the Deputy President’s diary.
Earlier this week Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom admitted to the South African Association for the Conference Industry congress that the visa regulations ‘have had an impact on tourism’. He referred to the Ministerial committee which was appointed to ‘consider and review the unintended consequences‘, and requested the conference industry to commit to work together ‘and make the best of the growth opportunities emerging around us’. He added: ‘I am confident that we will approach that meeting with an intention of finding solutions. I don’t think we should downplay the impact that this has had on our industry‘.
Minister Hanekom suggested that the industry focus on Domestic Tourism, to compensate for the decline in international tourist arrivals. Conferences should be used as a marketing opportunity for promoting leisure tourism to business delegates attending conferences. He referred to the 177 association conferences which will be held in our country in the best five years, to be attended by more than 250000 delegates.
Home Affairs Minister Gigaba has denied that the visa regulations have affected tourist arrivals, as we reported last week. The Tourism industry has been disappointed that it has taken Minister Hanekom so long to publicly take a stand about the visa regulations, and their effect on Tourism, referring to the ‘worrying drop‘ in tourism numbers. He highlighted the 40% decline in tourist from China in the first quarter of this year. The Minister has become bolder in criticising his Home Affairs colleagues, accusing them of using over-inflated numbers to dramatize the ‘child-trafficking‘ problem. He said: ‘Trafficking is a problem, it [the numbers] probably was exaggerated. Some of the figures mooted were not very accurate’.
The Sweet Service Award goes to the Franschhoek Literary Festival, for another excellent weekend bringing 5000 visitors to the village for two or more days, boosting accommodation establishments, restaurants and coffee shops, wine estates, and retail outlets. We received our first 2016 booking two hours after the 2015 Festival had closed, a demonstration of its success. It also brought a lovely concert series by Christopher Duigan to the village, as well as an excellent bassoon concert to La Motte. Continue reading →