For the fourth year running ‘Valentine under the STARS’ will be held under the stars at the Square at the Century City Conference Centre and Hotel in Cape Town, at 20h30 on 12 February, organized by Barbara Lenhard and Florian Gast of Opulent Living Experiences. Continue reading →
At the conclusion of The Business of Wine & Food Tourism Conference held at Spier over the past two days, the seven South African winners of the 2016 Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism Awards were announced. Continue reading →
At the inaugural The Business of Wine and Food Tourism Conference, which commenced at the Spier Conference Centre yesterday, Destinate MD Mariette du Toit Helmbold presented trends and insights into global travel and wine tourism, and presented a strategy for local Wine Tourism. Continue reading →
Last night Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde officially opened the new Century City Conference Centre & Hotel, a R1 billion investment by the Rabie Project Group. The opening ceremony coincided with ‘Valentine under the STARS‘, the Continue reading →
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 →
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 →
The Sweet Service Award goes to Wines of South Africa (WOSA) and the wine industry, for its excellent hosting of CapeWine 2015 this week. I spoke to a number of international visitors, and they were astounded at the good organisation, and that all but four members of the wine industry attended and put their wines on show. Not only did the wine ambassadors man their stands for about eight hours per day over the last three days, but they also attended and/or hosted events in the afternoons and evenings during this week, as well as the past weekend, requiring an amazing amount of stamina from exhibitors as well as visitors to the Expo. Some exhibitors were irritated to be a captive audience for supplier sale persons, while we felt that no proactive media information was sent to writers. All in all, it was an excellent showcase for a very important industry of our province. Continue reading →
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 Attraction Management in Southern Africa 2015 conference was held at Avenue, a newish event venue in the V&A Waterfront, at the beginning of this month. I was particularly interested in the talk by Professor Albert Postma from The European Tourism Futures Intitute, and was grateful to Splash PR for allowing me to attend this particular talk.
Professor Postma identified Maxi trends impacting on Tourism:
1. The Aging society, which creates a different audience, one should plan already for the current young generation, becoming older, looking at the future through their eyes, being Generations Z and Y
2. Future of wealth and the recovery of world economies. Not everyone can pay for Continue reading →
The Cape Town city centre is a gem of history, many beautiful old buildings being restored by developers and given a new lease on life. A new 3000 m² development by Urban Lime on the corner of Church Square and Parliament Street, previously a warehouse, will become a grand 4-storey urban development Speakers-Corner, with 15 offices, a restaurant, a bar, and specialist retail outlets, it was announced at a function in the building last night.
One had to announce one’s arrival downstairs in a corner space of the Victorian building, which will become part of the restaurant, and it had a ‘Retro Woman’ mural painted by Johannesburg-based mural artist Sonny, giving one a taste of what is to come. The building has exposed brick, original Continue reading →