A three-week writing focus at Apricale in Italy saw me complete the writing of a book within the time period I had allocated to this first-ever writing challenge. As the catalyst for The Book was Chef Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen, in that I met a special man at his book launch in March last year, and that The Book tells the story of the transformational effect of the meeting, there was no better restaurant to eat at on Saturday, to celebrate the completion of The Book, than at JAN Restaurant in Nice! It felt like Christmas, it being exciting to experience JAN Restaurant again, my third visit in two years! Continue reading →
It was Futurist Faith Popcorn who predicted a trend of ‘Recareering’ back in the ‘Seventies, one having multiple careers in a lifetime, at a time when I myself was in my first career as a Futurist. I could not have foreseen that my career path from Futurist to Market Researcher, Marketing Lecturer, Research Consultant, Food PR Consultant, and then Guest House owner for the last 19 years would lead me to my new and seventh career, to that as a Continue reading →
The Sweet Service Award goes to the Post Office in the V&A Waterfront, and its staff member Jacques Jordaan. I went to the Post Office to check why a ring, which I had lost at a B&B in Brockenhurst in the UK, still had not arrived, 6 weeks after it had been posted. I had a tracking number, and was told that it was sitting at CapeMail, the postal head office for our area. Jacques called them, and said that the customs officials there needed a purchase invoice, before releasing it. As I had inherited the ring from my late mother earlier this year, there was none. I had to go to the Waterfront branch to present my passport in proof of having been in Europe in June/July! The ring was then sent to the Waterfront branch, costing R20 to receive! All the way through the process, Jacques kept me informed by email, with amazingly quick response time to my emails. I had not received any communication from CapeMail that my ring was with them, and that they needed the invoice! Continue reading →
The Sweet Service Award goes to Apricus Locanda B&B in a tiny village called Apricale in Liguria in Italy, just over the border of France, and its vivacious Dutch owner Jeanette. I was introduced and driven to the establishment by Jan restaurant Owner/Chef Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen with his mother, one of his favorite places to get away from his high-pressured lifestyle. On our way there, Chef Jan took us to see the Cours Saleya market in Nice, and stopped at various spots for us to see Nice, St Jean Cap Ferrat, and Monaco. B&B owner Jeanette has a great decor touch, her breakfasts over the five days were excellent, she was informative, her rates are reasonable, she is located in a very quiet area overlooking green hills, and even asked her husband to drive me to the nearest train station in Ventimiglia without accepting payment for it! Continue reading →
* Loadshedding has returned with a vengeance, starting with Schedule 1, and switching to Schedule 2 during the course of yesterday afternoon, due to ‘unforeseen technical problems’, according to Eskom.
* A Scottish B&B owning couple is taking TripAdvisor to court for refusing to divulge who is posting ‘bogus’ reviews about their establishment, so that they can sue for defamation. The review company says that it must be sued in the USA, where the company’s headquarters are.
We asked Cape Town Tourism on Saturday why they had not informed members of Cape Town Tourism of the Private Home Registration program they have launched. Lianne Burton, spokesperson of Cape Town Tourism, has apologised for this communication error, and sent the following statement to Cape Town Tourism members today:
“With regard to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, as Cape Town’s official tourism authority, Cape Town Tourism’s role is to ensure that the expectations of World Cup visitors are met and exceeded to ensure a lasting tourism legacy for Cape Town. Hence our decision to offer full paid membership to Cape Town Tourism for temporary accommodation providers, covering the costs of assessing their accommodation to ensure that it meets our minimum requirements, advising owners on visitor services and guest relations standards, and offering potential visitors an assurance that there is comeback via Cape Town Tourism if they are unhappy.
This is our role as the Visitor Services organisation for Cape Town and we are committed to fulfilling it for the benefit of Cape Town’s tourism sector as a whole. Bad visitor experiences, even if they are as a result of temporary accommodation promises not being delivered on, will hurt Cape Town’s reputation for offering exceptional accommodation for every budget; from 5 star Hotels to Backpackers, B&Bs and private homes or tented villages. Great visitor experiences during the 2010 FIFA World Cup will ensure repeat business for the tourism sector. Ours is a long-term view and we are committed to this vision.”
Lianne also replied to our questions addressed to Cape Town Tourism regarding the Private Home registration program:
Why have you not informed us as members of Cape Town Tourism about this?
strategic decision to extend our regular membership program to temporary
accommodation providers. I apologise for the communication oversight and am
sending out a newsflash today to all members to fill them in on our
program or a temporary program for temporary accommodation establishments.
We are simply extending our full current membership program to temporary
accommodation providers, which means that the same cost implications and
responsibilities apply to temporary accommodation providers as they do to
established members. This decision is to acknowledge the contribution and
loyalty of our established members. It is also the reason why we rejected
requests to offer temporary membership at a discounted rate to accommodation
providers operating purely during the World Cup period.
supported you loyally over the years, when professional accommodation
establishments are not yet fully booked for the 2010 World Cup? Do you
need additional income so badly that you have to include private home owners
into your membership base?
is not a financial one. It arises out of our strategic decision to focus on
the following priority areas regarding the 2010 World Cup:
1. To host a remarkable World Cup through meeting and exceeding visitor
expectations in every way, including in terms of the accommodation on offer
in Cape Town, whatever form it takes.
2. To maximise the legacy potential of the World Cup for Cape Town and
Cape Town’s tourism industry by ensuring that World Cup visitors are
converted into brand ambassadors for Cape Town.
expectations of World Cup visitors are met and exceeded to ensure a lasting
tourism legacy for Cape Town. Hence our decision to offer full paid
membership to Cape Town Tourism for temporary accommodation providers,
covering the costs of assessing their accommodation to ensure that it meets
our minimum requirements, advising owners on visitor services and guest
relations standards, including their accommodation listings on our webste,
and offering potential visitors an assurance that there is comeback via Cape
Town Tourism if they are unhappy with their temporary accommodation. This is
our role as the Visitor Services organisation for Cape Town and we are
committed to fulfilling it for the benefit of Cape Town’s tourism sector as
Bad visitor experiences, even if they are as a result of temporary
accommodation promises not being delivered on, will hurt Cape Town’s
reputation for offering exceptional accommodation for every budget; we are
known for our excellent accommodation standards, and we would like this to
apply over the World Cup period, whether for 5 star Hotels, Backpackers, B
and Bs, private homes, university residences or temporary tented villages.
The established tourism industry stands to suffer if unscrupulous temporary
accommodation providers aiming to make a quick buck take advantage of
unsuspecting World Cup visitors. The entire tourism sector will then be
tarred with the same brush and Cape Town’s reputation as a quality
destination will be damaged, to the detriment of everyone working in
In contrast, great visitor experiences during the 2010 World Cup will ensure
repeat business for the established tourism sector, since most temporary
accommodation providers are purely focused on the World Cup opportunity and
will not be operational beyond June and July 2010. Hence the repeat
business generated as a result of Cape Town¹s standards of excellence in the
established and temporary accommodation sector during the World Cup, will
greatly benefit established accommodation providers.
Cape Town Tourism’s is certainly a long-term view and we are committed to
What survey have you done to establish what our availability is for the
World Cup, especially if we have not contracted with MATCH?
“Cape Tourism in the process of refining our online accommodation and tour
operator listings and booking system and will be advising members of the
strategy shortly. Our contact centre is currently fielding 2010
accommodation booking queries and passing on all enquiries to members who
meet the criteria outlined in the requests in terms of number of rooms,
proximity to the stadium, budget etc.
“Why would you want to divert attention from your stated objective, i.e. to
market Cape Town and its products, to advise and organise non-professional
private home owners in their marketing?
World Cup visitors get what they are promised, and more. It has been found
worldwide that temporary accommodation plays a significant role (though
secondary to established accommodation) in meeting World Cup accommodation
demand, especially in the middle-market price range.
Hence, it would be true to say that temporary accommodation will be offered,
marketed and booked with or without Cape Town Tourism’s support and
guidance. We would rather encourage temporary accommodation providers to be
assessed and to become members of Cape Town Tourism than simply do nothing,
to ensure that this temporary sector upholds the excellent reputation we
have all done so much to build as an established tourism sector.
Town Tourism is committed to marketing all member products and services to
ensure that maximum benefit is derived for our members from the World Cup
opportunity, and that visitors get the accommodation they expect and deserve
‹ ie. Excellent standards and great value”.