* Cape Town will host the 14th World Summit of the Noble Peace Prize Laureates from 13 – 15 October, the first time that it will be held in Africa, report the Cape Times and Weekend Argus. A total of 1500 delegates is expected to meet at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, with the topic ‘Peace: living it’. Previous Noble Peace Prize recipients such as Mikhail Gorbachev and Lech Walesa will join FW de Klerk and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
* The largest number of international visitors to Cape Town in the third quarter of last year, ranked by figures just released by Wesgro, were from Germany, the USA, the UK, and Italy. Gauteng was the largest source of local visitors, followed by those from other parts of the Western Cape.
* Rio de Janeiro received close to 900000 visitors during the Soccer World Cup, spending $4,4 million, with more than half of the visitors planning to return in two years to attend the 2016 Olympic Games. The city hosted the closing Final, which was viewed by 3 billion TV viewers, and its iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer against a sunset was shown during the broadcast, as Continue reading →
* Brazil welcomed more than 1 million visitors during the Soccer World Cup, almost double the estimated 600000 travelers. Most tourists had never been to Brazil before, visiting from more than 200 countries. The infrastructure and tourism services generally, and the hospitality and cuisine specifically, were praised by the visitors. The soccer matches were seen by 3,4 million soccer fans in the stadia over the month-long event. Visitors stayed in Brazil for 13 days on average. Brazilians were good soccer fans too, more than 3 million travelling around their own country during the soccer tournament.
* The 2014 World Cup is done and dusted. Official airline sponsor Emirates received a last minute ‘branding’ boost when its distinctly uniformed stewardesses brought the medals to be awarded to the teams of Germany and Argentina. They remained on the stage, standing behind German President Joachim Gauck, Chancellor Angela Merkel, and the winning German team, guaranteeing excellent coverage for the airline. A viewership of more than 1 billion is estimated.
* New Social Media records were set during the World Cup Final last night. The number of Tweets peaked at 618275 per minute, up from the 580166 peak in the Semi Final against Brazil. However, the total number of 32 million Tweets during the Final failed to beat the record of close to 36 million set in the Semi Final. German player Lukas Podolski’s selfie of him kissing Bastian Schweinsteiger was retweeted 88620 times, and was favourited 78169 times. His selfie with German Chancellor Angela Merkel was retweeted 25000 times, and favourited almost 30000 times. Similarly the sporting event was the most written about event on Facebook, with 280 million posts, likes, and comments during the Final last night coming mainly from the USA, Brazil, Argentina, Germany, and Indonesia. Its previous record was 250 million for the Super Bowl last year.
We are on the eve of the closure of what many describe as the greatest World Cup, and tonight the world will see Germany and Argentina fight for the title of World Cup Champion.
An interesting survey was conducted, to establish which were the best advertisements made for the 2014 World Cup, by interviewing top advertising industry executives in the USA. These were the brands that were rated as having the best TV commercials, most of them closely linked to the world’s best soccer stars:
1. Brazil: as a host country it was described as a ‘proud country being the perfect host’, in its welcoming nature to the soccer fans, and its team losing with such good spirit in the semi-final against Germany earlier this week
2. Adidas trainers: Using the pay-off line ‘all in or nothing’, the latest commercial is called ‘The Final‘, and it predominantly focuses on the Final tonight, with Lionel Messi and Thomas Müller. It asks who wants the World Cup more, with ‘two teams, one trophy’. The ‘Wake Up Call’ commercial was posted on YouTube on 12 June, at the start of the World Cup, and already has in excess of 7 million views! It focuses on Argentinian Lionel Messi preparing on his own, with less airtime give to Bastian Schweinsteiger, representing the German team. The commercial shows excerpts of a number of the earlier matches, and some of the soccer greats in action, including Mesut Özil scoring for Germany, Manuel Neuer defending so boldly for Germany, as well as Luis Suárez of Argentina, and Dani Alves of Brazil. Continue reading →
The Sweet Service Award goes to the Soccer World Cup 2014, which has been entertaining, full of surprises in winning and losing teams, lots of goals scored, new records set (the Germany – Brazil match being the most remembered in future, one would expect), and dominating Social Media for the past four weeks by setting new Twitter records. The crowning highlight will be the Final between Germany and Argentina on Sunday evening. Continue reading →
* The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is encouraging its members to use IT to improve the customer experience, saying that airlines ‘fly people and cargo, not planes‘. Consistency of customer experience is not yet satisfactory for airlines, with little differentiation. Customers would like to use IT to check in online, tag luggage themselves, board themselves, and collect bags themselves, an IATA survey found last year. IATA’s goal is that 80% of passengers have a ‘self-service suite based on industry standards‘ available to them by 2020.
* PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is not known as a Tourism consultancy, so its prediction about our country’s tourism future is a surprise. Its report presents growth of 4% in international tourists 2013, far lower than the 10% growth in 2012. Growth is said to be solid and good, but ‘not fantastic growth‘. Almost three quarters of international visitors to our country are from Africa, the report confirms. Nigeria would become the leading source market for our country, the PwC study predicts. The Guest House category is the fastest growing in respect of room availability. South Africa’s strength is that it attracts leisure as well as business travelers.
The Soccer World Cup 2014 has kicked off, and one would have thought that Cape Town restaurants and pubs would have shown more ‘gees’. We have only seen one restaurant on Kloof Street ‘advertising’ its soccer allegiance, with three flags on the outside of Cocoa Oola In general the soccer event appears to be a damp squib for locals. A number of restaurants are offering free viewing, some with special menu items that reflect the countries playing on the day.
Check the closing times of the restaurants and pubs before choosing them, as their licence will influence how late they are allowed to stay open. It is surprising how hard it is to find Soccer World Cup 2014 information on the websites of those restaurants and bars attracting soccer fans. We will update this list as we find new information about offers linked to the Soccer World Cup 2014:
* Mondiall – this restaurant is commendable in being one of the most creative and focused on the Soccer World Cup 2014. Each day it chooses a lead game, offering a tapas dish and a main course from the countries, with a complimentary drink, of each of the two teams playing each other on the day, at a cost of R180. For today, for example, with Germany playing Portugal, the German tapas dish offered is potato soup with crispy pork and chives, while the main course is Bratwurst, and the complimentary drink a CBC Weiss. The Portuguese tapas is peri peri chicken wings, the main course a prego roll, and the complimentary drink sangria. The country dishes for the chosen matches over the next ten days are as follows:
* Food and ‘foodball‘ have a close relationship, and just like VIPs, the international soccer teams have specific food requirements for their players: the Australian team requires a coffee machine in each player’s room; the Ecuadorean players require a freshly filled basket of bananas imported from Ecuador every day; and the USA team will have fruit and honeycake in each player’s room every day, and they will have their meals prepared by a two star Michelin chef. Germany has a ‘Nutella-Fluch‘, a curse that seemed to effect each soccer player’s career used in the chocolate spread’s advertising, the players’ careers plummeting after featuring in the advertisement. Needless to say the advertising campaign has been canned!
* Western Cape Tourism Minister Alan Winde has ordered his Red Tape unit to evaluate whether the new Department of Home Affairs’ Immigration regulations are constitutional, and to meet with the national Department of Tourism as well as with Home Affairs to ‘find a way forward that will mitigate their negative impact’! The Minister said: ‘In the past week, my office has received numerous complaints from industry stakeholders whose businesses are already suffering losses’. The new legislation was not published for public feedback before proclamation. South Africa is the only country in the world requiring an unabridged birth certificate to accompany all travelling children!
* Load shedding appears to be rearing its ugly head again, with freezing conditions throughout the country this week, with snowfalls spread between the Helderberg in Somerset West to the Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal. Last night a sms warned of load-shedding in Hermanus, Gansbaai, and Stanford, 15 minutes before it was due to commence at 20h00, but its commencement was delayed later into the evening. The City of Cape Town has posted possible scheduled times for load-shedding, but seems confident that it will not happen any time soon. Camps Bay is not marked as a load-shedding area, nor is the airport understandably, and the townships and residential areas to the east of the airport also appear load-shedding-free!
* The Two Oceans Aquarium in the V&A Waterfront is adding a multi-million Rand development in the previous parking area Continue reading →
* Booking for the World Cup 2014 in Brazil has been very last minute, with most airline tickets bought in May. More bookings have come from the northern Europe countries Germany, France, and the UK, while the Mediterranean countries Italy and Portugal have seen far more cautious support.
* For the second year running the Bordeaux wine region has been hard hit by hail and strong wind, the storm over two days earlier this week damaging vineyards to such an extent that farmers want the French government to declare the devastation a ‘national catastrophe’. About 1500 ha of vineyard have been completely destroyed by the storm.
* The new visa application regulations for families with children travelling to our country has caused an upheaval. New Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom is speaking to his Home Affairs counterpart Malusi Gigaba, and the introduction has been delayed. Continue reading →