Tag Archives: 2010 World Cup

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 17 August

imageTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   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!

*   SA Tourism CEO Thulani Nzimi has advised the tourism industry Continue reading →

Divas Unite celebrates Women’s Day 2015, benefits women’s cancer charity!

imageWomen’s Day is a unique public holiday, celebrated only in South Africa. Yesterday our country’s women were celebrated with an almost all-women cast of musical performers at Divas Unite, held at the City Hall in Cape Town.

The event was organized expertly by Opulent Living’s Barbara Lenhard, overcoming severe obstacles in making the event happen so smoothly. When we arrived, Frey chocolates greeted us with bowls of their chocolate balls, while main sponsor Infiniti offered imageguests packets of jelly beans. My friend Jenny Stephens and I were extremely grateful to have been allocated such fabulous Continue reading →

Bunte magazine: Boerewors highlight of Cape Town’s culinary offering!

Bunter Cape Town das-mussen-sie-gesehen-haben_256410_960x644If 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 →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 29 April

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  South Africa, and the Cape specifically, has two The World’s 50 Best Restaurants on the top 100 list: The Test Kitchen at 48th position, and The Tasting Room at 72nd position.

*   A Schengen-type visa may be introduced for the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries, to make travelling easier for tourists.   This suggestion is on the agenda of the WTTC Global Summit, and it is planned to increase the tourism market share of the continent to a double-digit one by 2020, from the current 4%.   Our country is pushing for such a visa, but only a handful of the other SADC countries Angola, Botswana, Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe is expected to sign the visa agreement initially.

*   Surprising is to read that Distell ad agency The Bester Burke Slingers Group is closing its doors in July, the partners saying that they have had enough of the advertising industry, and that they are no longer able to guide clients in their marketing.

*   SA Tourism CEO Thulani Nzima appears to know the outcome of the Oscar Pistorius case, telling journalists attending Continue reading →

Freedom Day 2014: reflecting on 20 years of democracy!

SA FlagIt 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 →

African Nations Championship (CHAN 2014) soccer tournament kicks off in Cape Town today, a non-event?!

0910PH0366The 2014 African Nations Championship, referred to as CHAN 2014, kicks off at Cape Town Stadium today, with few tickets sold, and a scandal surrounding South Africa Football Association (SAFA) Cape Town Vice President Vernon Seymour.

CHAN 2014 is the first international soccer tournament to be held at the Cape Town Stadium since the 2010 World Cup.  Sixteen African teams will participate in 32 matches across the country, playing matches at stadia in Cape Town (including Athlone Stadium), Bloemfontein and in Polokwane.  The tournament theme is ‘Celebrating Africa’s Home Champions’.

The African Nations Championship will commence with the Opening Ceremony at 16h00 today, which includes performances by Jimmy Dludlu, The Soil, Mi Casa, and Zolani Mkhiva.  The New Age reports that more than 300 dancers and models will form part of the Opening Ceremony  At 18h00 the first match of the tournament kicks off, with local team Bafana Bafana playing Continue reading →

Tourism Business confidence index reaches normality for first time!

For the first time since its introduction in 2010, the Tourism Business Council of South Africa FNB Tourism Business Index has reached its highest score and exceeded 100, the norm level, for the second time, with a score of 104 measured for the last quarter of 2012, a significant improvement on the 89 score at its inception two years prior.  Tourism business confidence for 2013 is forecast to be similar to 2012.

The Tourism Business Index (TBI) was introduced in the last quarter of 2010, and its 89 score, against the norm of 100, confirmed what we all knew, namely that the tourism industry was in serious trouble just three months after the 2010 World Cup. The lowest TBI was measured in the second quarter of 2011, with a score of 75, the tourism industry at that time operating at only 75 %  of its potential!  The latest score of 104, marginally up from the 101 measured in the third quarter of 2012, hints at a small upward movement in tourism business confidence.  The increased index was reported to come from the increase in domestic tourism, rather than from international tourist bookings.

Tourism Business Council of South Africa Chairman Mavuse Msimang commented on the most recent index, stating that ‘the latest index results provided relief for a sector that has been through two very tough years….. and is a clear indication of the extent to which business is recovering from the recessionary impact and excess of supply it suffered post the 2010 Soccer World Cup’.  One would have thought that it was the low demand rather than accommodation oversupply that has been responsible for the poor tourism performance in the past two years!

The Tourism Business Index is a national measure of current and future performance of the tourism and travel industry, and sub-sectors within the sector.

One hopes that the forthcoming winter will not be as devastating as the last two have been.  It is too early to forecast the winter performance.  Cape Town and the Western Cape are still experiencing summer seasonality, with two good weeks and two average weeks per month since October.  Only February looks close to fully booked, while March looks very quiet to date!  A TBI at around 100 only indicates that the tourism industry is still far from the good times it last experienced in 2007!

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

Cape Town plans three fanparks, but none near Cape Town Stadium!

The City of Cape Town plans to create three Fan Parks to allow public viewing of international events such as the Olympic Games, soccer World Cups, and soccer matches in particular.  Surprisingly none of the Fan Parks are planned near the Cape Town Stadium, the nearby Fan Mile and Fan Park outside the City Hall being so popular during the 2010 World Cup.

A report in the Cape Argus shares the City’s plan to set up fan parks in Khayelitsha’s Wetland Park, Mitchells Plain’s Westridge Park, and the Nelson Mandela Park in Delft. Free entrance will be offered to residents in these areas, ensuring that parks already set up in these suburbs will be used ‘more creatively’.  Township TV has already erected 30 large TV screens in parks in George, Durban, and Johannesburg. A TV screen costs R500000, and DStv has agreed to sponsor each park with R 1million, on condition that it gets branding rights for Premier Soccer League matches at the parks. 24 hour security will be provided at the parks. According to the three year contract, the City will receive the TV screens at the termination of the contracts. The choice of Fan Park venues is based on the number of people that can be attracted, offering maximum advertising reach for the companies involved, the City has motivated. The full council of the City of Cape Town must approve the Fan Park proposal.

Given the popularity of the city centre Fan Park ad Fan Mile, and the amount of money spent by the City in creating walkways to the Cape Town Stadium, and the public transport facilities created to make the city centre accessible to Capetonians, it is a surprise that no mention is made of including the city centre Fan Park and Fan Mile.

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

Africa Cup of Nations 2013: City of Cape Town Tourism foul deserves red card!

The tourism industry is astounded that the City of Cape Town has fouled up its opportunity to generate revenue during the 29th Africa Cup of Nations championships (AFCON), which will be hosted in our country between January and February next year.  The winners of the Championships qualify for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil.

Last week the soccer stadia hosting the 32 matches for the Championships were announced, Soccer City in Johannesburg hosting the opening and closing ceremonies and matches.  The other matches will be played at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, Nelson Mandela Stadium in Port Elizabeth, Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, and Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. Cape Town Stadium is conspicuous by its absence, the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee member for Tourism, Events, and Marketing, Grant Pascoe, once again showing what a burden he is to the city’s tourism industry!  The city had expressed its opposition to hosting the event, due to the cost burden, and sought a guarantee from the government for at least 50% of the hosting costs to be covered.  The City was also looking to the Confederation of African Football and/or Local Organising Committee to cover 25 % of the costs.  Costs for the host city include the preparation of the pitch, fencing, security, the accommodation of the teams and officials, as well as transport plans, according to the Cape Argus. The City also was unhappy that the event would mean that other events could not be held at the Cape Town Stadium, meaning a loss of income, a poor motivation, given how few events are held at the stadium, less than one per month on average! However, four events have been booked for the mid-January to mid-February period next year, it is reported. In addition, the City of Cape Town’s new Executive Director of Tourism, Events and Marketing, Anton Groenewald, and reporting to Councillor Pascoe, naively expressed the concern of the public liability of the players in case of an accident, something every event organiser is insured for!  The City accused the organisers of ‘bully tactics’ and that it was being held to ‘ransom‘!  The City did not present the approval for funding to its full Council meeting, the deadline date for the bid having preceded the Council meeting date at the end of April.

The South African Football Association (SAFA) agreement placed the financial burden solely on the bidding cities. The Minister of Sport Fikile Mbalula said that the cost of hosting the matches would be funded by the government, private enterprise, and the Confederation of African Football.

Even more astounding is the city’s decision, given that Councillor Pascoe’s portfolio includes the Cape Town Stadium, which is running at a significant loss, the City not having been able to find an operator to generate an income from the stadium other than a few local soccer matches, religious gatherings, and pop concerts! Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille prepared a statement in reaction to the Host City announcement, as published in Politicsweb: “The City of Cape Town notes with deep disappointment the decision not to include Cape Town as a host city for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2013. From the outset, the City expressed the desire to be part of what we truly believe is a celebration of African football. However, at each stage of the process, we have highlighted a number of serious legal, financial and other concerns that needed to be negotiated in order for the City to comply with our legal responsibilities and to ensure that we do not compromise the interests of the ratepayers and citizens of Cape Town”. The Mayor added that the City’s concerns had not been responded to, and that it had to hear via media reports that it had not been successful in its bid.  She also reiterated the City’s commitment to hosting ‘high profile national, regional and international football matches’, and intimated that a ‘high profile football tournament’ would be hosted next month, rather short notice one would think, given that it is a month away and has not been finalised nor announced!

Johannesburg had also balked at the cost of hosting the event, and therefore its involvement has been reduced to the first and last day of the Championships, the government stepping in to help bear some of the costs.  One wonders why the government did not help Cape Town with its concerns about the cost of the event, and whether politics led to the DA-led City of Cape Town having been excluded, or whether it is a reflection of the poor negotiation skills of Councillor Pascoe. We would assume it is the latter, given Mayor de Lille’s complaint that the City did not receive any written response to its concerns!  This is reinforced by the statement of Mvuzo Mbebe, the AFCON 2013 CEO, in which he questioned why the City of Cape Town was communicating with his organisation via the media instead of with him directly!

Libya had originally won the bid to host the African Cup of Nations 2013, but the political turmoil in the country led to the event being moved to South Africa two years ago.

The Cape Chamber of Commerce does not usually receive our support, due to its communication gaffes, but the association supported an AFCON bid by Cape Town, stating that the cost involved was worth the price tag, reported the Sunday Argus.  Its President Michael Bagraim said last month: “The costs of the tournament are unknown at this stage, and the city will almost certainly take an initial loss. But the Afcon could open up many other venue (sic) streams in the long term”.  The benefits for the tourism, transport and accommodation sectors were clear, he said (perhaps not understanding that the accommodation industry is part of the tourism sector!). Bagraim added that the event would have the economic benefit of a Two Oceans Marathon or a Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour, being good examples of event tourism, which the tourism industry recognises the valuable impact of.  A further tourism benefit was that the event would have created exposure for Cape Town in Africa, sorely needed to reduce the burden on the traditional European source markets. The Chamber expressed its disappointment that Cape Town had not been included as a host city, after the announcement last week.  Oddly, the tourism industry has not spoken out against the City of Cape Town’s handling of the AFCON bid.

COSATU provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich was quick to make political capital out of the AFCON bid debacle, and for once we must agree with him, saying that the bid problems were similar to those of the Saracens versus Biarritz Heineken Cup match, which cost the city dearly when the match scheduled to be held in Cape Town in January this year was moved to another country, due to the City of Cape Town’s inability to make a decision about whether to host the event at Newlands or at Cape Town Stadium. Ehrenreich has threatened to take the City of Cape Town, of which he is an (ANC) Councillor, to the Equality Court over the AFCON bid!

We have previously questioned Councillor Pascoe’s ability to manage his portfolio of Tourism, Events, and Marketing, and ask how the performance, or lack of in the case of Councillor Pascoe, is evaluated, and how much more damage the Councillor will cause before any action is taken against him and he be removed from this position!  Councillor Pascoe has no business experience, and it is showing!  What is interesting is that Mayor de Lille motivates her administration’s decision on the basis of her care for ratepayers and the citizens of Cape Town – the former were not consulted in preparation for the 2010 World Cup involvement, creating a long term rates burden for its ratepayers. Capetonians were also not consulted about AFCON.  Many of the residents of Cape Town would welcome a big soccer event in the city, given the beneficial bonding the soccer event created two years ago.  The estimated cost that the City of Cape Town was protesting about was R27 million, which was expected to grow to R40 million or more, reported Southern African Tourism Update.  This figure is less than the City’s annual budget spent on Cape Town Tourism, and may be a far better investment in tourism than the predominant Tweet-Marketing done by the tourism body!

The AFCON booby prize goes to Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Polokwane, and Kimberley, in hosting the 2014 African Nations Championships (CHAN), it has been announced.  No dates have been announced for the Championships in 2014, and one wonders if the City of Cape Town will blow the whistle on this event too!

POSTSCRIPT 7/5: The Cape Times today has a lead story entitled “City slams Safa over soccer Cup snub”, writing that Councillor Grant Pascoe is blaming SAFA for treating the City as ‘palookas’, shocking that a Councillor in general, and the one heading up Tourism, Events, and Marketing, could use such unprofessional language. The article also quotes Safa as stating that ‘the losers will always cry foul’!  SAFA stated that the four soccer stadia were chosen in cities that ‘are winners’, a terrible criticism of Cape Town, by default!  The 2014 CHAN games are described as B team matches, an even worse slap for Cape Town.

POSTSCRIPT 7/5: The Cape Argus this evening reports that the City of Cape Town has four events booked for the Cape Town Stadium for January/February 2013, which it would have had to cancel had it been an AFCON host city. The events include an international pop concert, an international rugby match, and two film shoots.

POSTSCRIPT 14/5: In his Cape Argus column, Mike Wills last week both praised the City of Cape Town for its financial fiduciary concerns, and slammed it for its ‘tonality of the approach’, in spending too much time in telling SAFA what to do!  He concluded that the end result, other than a tourism loss and an empty Fan Walk, is the entrenchment of the Cape Town stereotype of ‘Cape Town Hates Soccer’, expanded into ‘Cape Town Hate Things That Black People Like’!

POSTSCRIPT 18/6: The Times has reported that the African Cup of Nations will cost R400 million to host next year, including R20 million to accommodate the VIPs, and R25 million for marketing.  The cost to the four host cities collectively will be R90 million.

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