* Despite the Rand reaching its lowest level ever to the Pound, at just over R20, and weakening further against the Dollar, no positive impact of the exchange rate is visible in terms of tourism enquiries from the UK and the USA!
Today is a day of announcements of property sales in Franschhoek, it would appear. This morning we announced that we have sold our Whale Cottage Franschhoek. Now it has been announced that Mr Aniljit Singh of The Leeu Collection has added Le Quartier Français to his property portfolio in Franschhoek, taking over from 1 September. It is a surprise for many that the hotel and restaurant property has been sold, if not a relief for many Franschhoekers!
It was a surprise to receive a media release from Western Cape Tourism Minister Alan Winde, welcoming the development of a new R680 million mega Tsogo Sun hotel in the city centre, adding 500 bedrooms to the city’s room stock in 2017! Another 235 rooms will open in the V&A Waterfront, when the Radisson Red opens next year! Can the hospitality industry in Cape Town afford another 735 rooms when the oversupply of accommodation for the 2010 World Cup still affects every accommodation establishment?!
The Tsogo Sun hotel will be built on the recently demolished Tulip Hotel, on the corner of Strand, Bree, and Buitengracht Streets, with construction set to commence next month. The Tsogo Sun complex will consist of two entities on the Continue reading →
* Despite the disaster in Cape Town harbour earlier this week, our country has a lucrative future as far as cruise tourism goes. Nine cruise ships have scheduled stops off our coast for 2015, in Cape Town, Durban, Richard’s Bay, Port Elizabeth, and East London, a 70% increase in cruise liner passengers. A number of the cruise ships are returning to the country, after previous visits. The Queen Mary 2 will return for a second visit next year, and the Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth will visit in 2016. Vital to the expansion of cruise tourism is world-class terminals in ports, and Cape Town’s inefficiency as far as Customs staff goeswas in the spotlight this week. Cape Town is one of the most popular stops in the region, for American tourists in particular.
* National Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom will lead a local delegation representing our tourism industry to World Travel Market (WTM) in London this coming week, one of the largest (after ITB in Berlin) tourism trade exhibitions in the world. More than 50000 tourism players are likely to attend WTM. The Minister said: ‘The WTM is one of the premier events where South Africa engages with the global travel trade. Besides maintaining excitement about our destination, and all that we have to offer, this platform is about doing business and growing international tourist arrivals to our country. We will be promoting the variety of experiences we offer in South Africa, and build on our reputation as a unique, diverse, friendly and accessible destination‘. The Minister will address a summit relating to mega-events and tourism at WTM, based on our country’s FIFA 2010 World Cup experience.
* A Red Alert has been issued for Europe air travel, with the imminent eruption of the Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland, the most serious alert indicating an expected ‘significant emission of ash into the atmosphere’. Four years ago the Eyjafjallajokul volcano erupted, and caused international travel chaos, with 100000 flights cancelled at that time, threatening the arrival of passengers for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.
* Sadly MasterChef SA Season 1 Top 4 Finalist Sarel Loots, better known by his Twitter handle @SarelvanSabie, passed away from a heart attack today. In the last episode in which he appeared, he was described by the judges as having ‘a big heart’.
If it depends on Bunte magazine, Germany’s largest selling lifestyle magazine, the Boerewors dishes sold at Gourmet Boerie are a memorable part of a visit to Cape Town!
Guiding visitors to Cape Town, last week’s article about our city is the last substantial one since the 2010 World Cup, when Cape Town was featured in Bunte regularly. Cape Town has fallen off Bunte‘s travel radar, despite Germany now being the largest source country for tourists to Cape Town.
Table Mountain, Camps Bay, and Robben Island are described as the tourist classics of Cape Town. The article advises visitors to see the city from the top of the mountain, so that one can admire the view of the city centre, the other mountains, and the ocean. Views from Lion’s Head and Chapman’s Peak are also praised, as is what is described as one of the longest coastal roads along the Atlantic Seaboard travelling south.
A number of ‘culinary delights‘ are recommended for eating and drinking. Good coffee is recommended at Origin, roasting its own coffees, and is said in the article to be in ‘Cape Quarters’, but obviously meaning De Waterkant! Belthazar is recommended for Continue reading →
The new immigration regulations, introduced late last month, are not only a deterrent to immigrants to our country, but can also seriously affect the R5 billion film industry of Cape Town, reports the Cape Times. The new regulations differentiate between temporary visas and long-term residence permits, and new procedures have been introduced to change from one visa type to another, amidst uncertainty of exactly how the new regulations are to be implemented.
Garreth Bloor, the new City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee member for Tourism, Events, and Marketing, has requested the Department of Home Affairs to review the regulations. He said to the Cape Times: ‘In the tough global economic environment, the country needs to remain competitive in as many sectors as possible‘. The change in the procedures could cost the local film industry R1 billion, and affect the employment of 600 workers in the film industry.
The biggest problem for the film industry is the implementation of the regulations in the case of filming delays. It is also not clear Continue reading →
* Franschhoek Wine Valley has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Barossa Valley, having similar wine tourism goals and characteristics. Both wine regions have excellent wines, top restaurants, and good accommodation. Tourism and wine industry expertise will be shared between the regions, and programs planned include exchanges for chefs, winemakers, sommeliers, and cellar assistants. Experience of festivals, customer service benchmarking, sustainable wine-making, and wine tourism practices will be shared. (received via media release from Smart Communications & Events)
It was the interview with a Cape Argus reporter on Friday that made me reflect on how far not only our country, but also I personally and my business have come in the 20 years since we voted on 27 April 1994. The Argus interview was focused on the progress over the past 20 years I have seen personally, business-wise, and politically.
My very first feedback to reporter Dylan was that 1994 was the first and only time that I was allowed to vote, having a German passport. I do not recall how it was possible for all foreigners (by passport) to be allowed to vote, when it has never been allowed before nor since then. I loved standing in a queue somewhere in Sea Point, being part of the exciting day that would change our country forever, and how much goodwill there was amongst South Africans whilst waiting patiently in the queues. Little did we know that the rest of the world waited anxiously for the outcome of the election, fully expecting a revolution to take place, unbeknown to us residents, with thanks to the SABC in ‘protecting’ us from this world scenario.
I moved to Cape Town in 1990, and transferred my marketing research consultancy Relationship Marketing from Johannesburg, changing its emphasis to Public Relations for food clients such as Baker Street Snacks, Bonnita (now Parmalat), Aylesbury, and more. The late John Harrison was a favourite client when he was GM of the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway. Even Mark Shuttleworth was a client, before he became famous for selling his Continue reading →