After a few weeks of closure for a complete renovation and expansion of its facilities, the Grand Café & Beach has re-opened, ready for the summer season lying ahead. Yesterday a number of writers was invited by Manley Communications to experience the Grand, on a perfect sunny summer beach day. Continue reading →
* Pernod Ricard, international marketer of Absolut, Mumm, and Martell, has seen a 18% decline in sales in China in the first half of its financial year.
* The Karoo is one of the world’s top nine stargazing destinations, which includes the Algarve in Portugal, Ayer’s Rock in Australia, Atacama Desert in Chile, Jasper National Park in Canada, Mauna Kea in Hawaii, Grumeti in Tanzania, Kitt Peak in Arizona, and Gülpe in Germany.
* SAA has applied to introduce new routes, and new codeshare agreements with a host of new destinations, including Moscow, Asuncion in Paraguay, Lomé in Togo, Praia and Ilha do Sol in Cape Verde, Jakarta, Kingston, and Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago. The airline has also applied to increase the frequency of its African routes, including Lagos, Blantyre, Lilongwe, and Accra.
* Twitter now has 5,5 million users in South Africa, up by 129% in just one year. (via Twitter)
At the media launch yesterday of the 15th Cape Town International Jazz Festival at the Cape Town International Convention Centre Mayor Patricia de Lille said that the goal of Cape Town is to become the Events Capital of Africa, and with it the Capital of Jazz in Africa, attracting 37000 Festival goers. An exciting line-up of international and local jazz artists was announced at the launch.
The launch was addressed by a number of speakers. Billy Domingo, the Chief Operating Officer of espAfrika, the events company organising the Jazz Festival, was a witty MC for the event. Rashid Lombard organises the musical side of things, and announced that since ticket sales opened last month, all two-day passes have been sold,. There are about 500 day tickets available for each of the two days. The event is a team effort, within their company (of mainly ladies he joked) and also with the City of Cape Town. They want to create a legacy through the event, which includes a training and development programme which has already seen six students study at the Berklee College of Music in Boston in the USA. Job creation is another goal. Lombard proudly shared their Social Media statistics, having more than 14000 Twitter followers, close to 9000 Likes on Facebook, and 140000 YouTube views.
Lombard also presented the eagerly awaited line up for the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, which includes top international jazz artists Level 42, Shakatak, Eryka Badu (but not mentioned in the media release), and Abdullah Ibrahim and Ekaya. Other international artists are Andreya Continue reading →
As writers we get spoilt, with invitations to hosts of functions, and exposure to numerous PR companies and their client brands. The first event invitation of the year, to the Cape Town launch of Absolut Vodka’s #AbsolutBlackBox at the entrance to the V&A Waterfront last night, was an Absolut disaster, with poor food, few attendees, no one to interact with invited guests, poor lighting for photographs, and a general feeling that no one knew what was going on. It felt like Johannesburg-comes-to-Cape Town, so-lets-cut-corners-for-the-B-team!
It started with Capacity Marketing Pty Ltd from Johannesburg sending a media release, and then Simphiwe Majola from the consultancy calling to ask if they could deliver a parcel. We managed to find a suitable time, and a cocky delivery person dropped off a cardboard box. The box outer looked totally uninviting, so I only opened it once I came back from the function last night. Inside the box was a black wooden three box-in-a-box Russian doll type box set with a tiny invitation to attend the Cape Town launch of the ‘True Transformation’, claiming that ‘the Absolut Black Box has been transforming the social scene in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban with mini-events in the trendiest venues. Now, the main event has arrived. It’s invite-only. And you’re invited‘. The invite promised ‘mystery Djs, the country’s leading transformative artists (unnamed) and free-flowing Absolut, all inside a giant Black Box’.
The invitation stated that the location for the event was Gateway Canal in the V&A, which I had not heard of before, and Simphiwe explained telephonically Continue reading →
* The days of printed travel guides are numbered, delegates at the e-Tourism Africa Summit were told last week. The Triposo app was introduced to delegates, which allows the traveller to aggregate real time on line tourism information assimilated from different sources.
* South African hotels offer the best customer service, and it is on a par with hotels in other countries. Unsurprisingly Government departments and utilities are at the bottom of the list.
* Boschendal’s Grand Cuvee Brut 2009 has won the Best Vintage Brut at the 2013 Continue reading →