* 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!
* The largest part of Camp Bay Drive, a major road connection between the city, Camps Bay, and Hout Bay, is to close for road widening and surface improvement for 5 months from 20 April, at a cost of R20 million. Between Rontree Avenue and Geneva Drive Camps Bay Drive will be widened by 1,4 meters, and sharp curves will be softened. It will be the first upgrade of Camps Bay Drive in 30 years.
* ACSA is introducing new hand luggage regulations at its airports from Monday onwards, which are expected to cause check-in delays initially. If the hand luggage does not conform to regulations, it will have to be checked in. Each piece of hand luggage will now be weighed, not to exceed 7 kg. Passengers are allowed a handbag OR a ‘slim-line laptog bag‘. The carry-on bag dimensions may not exceed 36 cm x 23 cm x 56 cm.
* SA Tourism captured attention for our country on Times Square in New York last week, with Hugh Masekela and Sindiswe Nxumalo, a cast member of ‘The Lion King’, performing on a double decker bus to publicise the ‘Ubuntu: Music & Arts of South Africa‘ Festival being held at Carnegie Hall until 5 November. Masekela and Vusi Mahlasela are headline artists for the Festival, which celebrates the 20th anniversary of our democracy, and aims to position South Africa as offering more than the Big Five, in having ‘the most hospitable people in the world‘ as well as the most resilient, given the country’s 350 year history.
* The Franschhoek-based Bhabhathane (meaning butterfly in Xhosa) charity promoting childhood development and education Continue reading →
* Travelers have barely heard of ‘sharing’ servicessuch as Uber and Airbnb, and they are not yet a threat to established accommodation and taxi services, a Travel Weekly Consumer Trends survey has found. More than two-thirds of the respondents had not heard of the services, and only 8% had used them. The target age group of sharing services appears to be the 18 – 23 year olds, highest users of these services.
* Western Cape Minister of Tourism Alan Winde has announced the new members of the Board of the tourism, investment, and trade agency Wesgro: Professor Brian Figaji (previously of Pentech) is the new Chairman, while other Board members are Paul Continue reading →
* New York has the best wine lists in the world, ahead of those of London. San Francisco, and Chicago, according to the UK World of Fine Wine. Rust en Vrede won best winelist in Africa. The wine list at Palais Coburg Residenz was judged to be the best in the world.
* Germany’s record 7-1 win over Brazil in the Soccer World Cup semi-final on Tuesday set new records on Twitter, with 35,6 million Tweets being the highest ever for a sports match. When Sami Khedira scored the fifth goal for Germany in the first half, Twitter reached a new record of 580166 Tweets per minute!
* Andrew Bird, Marks & Spencer Head of Trading, which includes wines, non-food, and ambient grocery, is moving to Woolworths for a two year contract as Trading Headnext month. He helped drive Marks & Spencer to be named best retailer at the International Wine Challenge in four out of the past six years. Bird is said to become head of the ‘wine and soft drinks teams‘ at Woolworths locally.
* The Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) was part of a consortium that completed Terminal 3 at São Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport,on time and on budget, for the 2014 soccer World Cup, reports The New Age. The project is described as one of the World Cup successes, the new terminal processing all international flights to the city. The capacity to handle an additional 12 million passengers to the 30 million handled annually has been created. ACSA is also part of a consortium that Continue reading →
* Tourists do not want to ‘face administrative hurdles‘ in their visa application process when travelling in Africa, said Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairman of the African Union Commission, at Indaba at the weekend. Making visa applications easier, liberalising air routes, and acting against animal poaching could increase tourism to Africa, she added. Joint visas to travel within Africa are being considered. The African Union is working on making Africa the preferred travel destination in fifty years from now! Another goal is to motivate Africans to travel within Africa.
* Indaba 2014, which closed its exhibition doors today, attracted significantly fewer buyers than in previous years, and was criticised for having become ‘stale’, and for not having re-invented itself as was promised last year by SA Tourism’s Marketing head Jan Hutton. While larger than the recent World Travel Market Africa exhibition held in Cape Town, it disappointed attendees, many especially smaller tourism players not planning to return next year. The speed networking sessions were a shambles on Saturday and Sunday, with many buyers not present. Costs of catering were said to be prohibitive.
* The Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism Awards is open to entries for the 2015 Best of Wine Tourism Awards, in the Continue reading →
* Cape Town tops the list of the New York Times 52 places to go in 2014! In its accolade to Cape Town, the influential newspaper writes that the late Nelson Mandela drew inspiration from Table Mountain, which he could see from Robben Island, and it became ‘a beacon of hope’. The article also highlights Cape Town hosting the World Design Capital 2014.
* Passport control at OR Thambo airport is inefficient and marred by staff shortages, leading to complaints from arriving passengers. ACSA says it is not its responsibility, while the Department of Immigration is not responding to feedback providing.