Entries tagged with “Big Five”.


CapeTownSA Tourism must be delighted that Telegraph Travel is doing its marketing at no charge! What better publicity than to get an article with ’25 reasons to visit South Africa right now’ written for free!

Obviously the benefit of the weak Rand relative to the pound sterling (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The Reserve Bank Monetary Policy Committee has kept the repo rate unchanged at 5,75%, the new Governor Lesetja Kganyago has announced. The rate did not change due to the reducing inflation rate, the lower international oil prices being an inflation benefit, and the weak economy.

*   The Vancouver Sun writes about ‘Sensational South Africa‘, highlighting its ‘Big Five must-see list’.  It includes Cape Town (‘the country’s prettiest city‘, Bo-Kaap, the City Bowl market – certainly not the best Cape Town has to offer – Table Mountain and its ‘tram ride‘, the Mount Nelson Hotel, and Robben Island), the Winelands (Franschhoek and its Wine Tram), Himeville and the Drakensberg,  Durban, and Safaris.

*  The City of Cape Town has announced its extensive plans for the safety of the city and its visitors over the Festive (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine new headlines

*   The Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has announced that its profit has increased to its highest level ever, at R1,7 billion, a 73% increase on the year before.  The profit increase was achieved despite the decline in passenger numbers.  The airport infrastructure is to be improved, without any ‘significant’ increases in passenger tariffs.

*   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 (more…)

Hayden Quinn 12 Rhinos Whale CottageLast night’s episode 12 of ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa‘ showed many South Africans an area of the country they have little exposure to, being Shakaland, a Zulu Cultural Centre, where Quinn was exposed to Zulu stick fighting, dancing, and traditional food and beer. The link to Woolworths in rhino spotting and to Shakaland is not clear, other than that Woolworths sells Rhino-themed shopper bags.

The Wildlife ACT (African Conservation Trust) Rhino monitor guide Zama Ncube took Quinn and Justin Smith, Head of Sustainability at Woolworths, to track black and white rhino, finding fresh dung and tracks of the rhino in the thick grass, and they were able to spot them too. Woolworths’ shopper bags with rhino visuals were plugged, as was the My Planet shopper card, proceeds of which go to the Wildlife ACT program.  Hayden Quinn 12 Justin Smith and guide Whale CottageThe link between Woolworths’ Sustainability focus and Wildlife ACT was not explained.  Quinn then took to the skies in a helicopter, flown by pilot Etienne Gerber of the Zululand Anti-Poaching Wing of Project Rhino KZN, making it far easier to see the rhinos from above, and to control their movement and protection.  Quinn was spoilt with sightings of zebra, giraffe, and buck.  He was told that there are 20000 rhinos now.   (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   British Airways has launched a You Tube video ‘On Top of the World’, which probably is a TV commercial for its A380 flights to South Africa (it does not say if they are flying to Cape Town too),  and was filmed exclusively in Cape Town, including on top of Table Mountain, on Camps Bay beach, with Lion’s Head as a backdrop, at Boulders Beach, and showing a Cape Town flower seller, a rugby player, and a cyclist.

*   SATSA (Southern African Tourism Services Association) CEO David Frost says that tourists should be encouraged to see more of South Africa than the Big Five, Cape Town, the Kruger National Park, Johannesburg, and the Garden Route. Attractions in other provinces are not known to travelers.  Repeat visits to our country should be increased, and the deceased time spent should be reversed, he added.  He encouraged SA Tourism to develop trade deals that draw visitors to lesser known attractions.  Travelers are not only visiting South Africa, but are also incorporating Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique into their itineraries.

*   Wellington Wines is planning to treble its sales of bulk wine to the UK to 6 million litres by next year, and projects (more…)

The Guardian has accepted a SA Tourism-sponsored series of ‘My Mission’ articles, written as ‘celebrity blogposts’ by four UK media personalities, each of them reporting back on their visits to experience their ‘mission’ of interest, creating good exposure for Cape Town, the Western Cape and other parts of the country.

The first to visit the country, in September,  and to write about his experience was TV presenter, wildlife expert, photographer and author, Chris Packham, whose Mission was Wildlife and Safari.  His journey started at Klaserie Nature Reserve, on the border of the Kruger National Park, doing game-viewing on foot in a guided walking safari, and a game drive.  He also experienced the highly regarded Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, with further games drives, guided walks, and night drives.  Packham writes about the ‘diary written in the sand’, being the spoor left by animals and telling a story.  He has visited the country before, and praises the friendly locals and good roads.  Packham saw white rhino, saddle-billed stork, giraffe, a pack of wild dogs, and a herd of elephants.  He concludes positively: “Back then, safari meant Kenya. Today, for me, South Africa is by far the best place to come on safari. There is incredible biodiversity – everything from savannah to tropical forest, as well as a huge surfeit of animal life from great white sharks to lions to raptors, all within a couple of hours’ drive of each other”. Packham also praised the accessibility of the country, its good roads and flights, and well-trained guides. Despite his  mission having been accomplished, Packham writes that he will be back, as there is more to see and learn in the bush.

TV presenter Jamie Theakston is a sport- and music-orientated TV and radio presenter, whose Mission was Adventure and Sport, which he experienced in KwaZulu-Natal.  He started off with a walk in the UNESCO World Heritage site iSimangaliso wetland park, seeing a Red duiker, and a family of vervet monkeys.  He went out to sea, and the boat was surrounded by eight humpback whales: ‘..the actual experience exceeds my anticipation in thousands of ways.  It is a a few minutes of rare and special wonder‘, he wrote. His next adventure was game viewing in Phinda game reserve, and he was excited to see a young cheetah.  Dinner was in a clearing in the bush, a surprise venue, ‘creating the prettiest restaurant I have ever dined in’. Tracking white rhino on foot at Phinda concluded his visit to South Africa, his heart beating: ‘…I realise just how lucky I am to be given the chance to view these animals – one of South Africa’s famous Big Five – up that close and that personal’.

Last month we wrote about TV presenter Gloria Hunniford’s visit to Cape Town and the Winelands. She visited Camps Bay, Bo-Kaap, Chapman’s Peak, and New7Wonders of Nature Table Mountain in Cape Town, and Delaire Graff, Warwick, and Spier, where she stroked a cheetah.  Her Mission was ‘Affordable Luxury’. Hunniford visited the Western Cape stand at World Travel Market in London this week, said Calvyn Gilfellan, CEO of Cape Town Routes Unlimited, in a media release.  She is quoted as saying: “I had a most amazing time. The weather was perfect! I was amazed at the flowering landscape on one of the wine estates, it was like a piece of heaven”. She must have been referring to Delaire Graff in the Helshoogte Pass, whose garden was created by Keith Kirsten.

Monty Don is also a TV presenter, and a writer and speaker on Horticulture.  He is yet to visit the Cape, and to write his blog posts for The Guardian. His mission is Flora, Fauna and Culture. Don will start his visit at Babylonstoren outside Franschhoek, to see its fruit and vegetable garden, inspired by the Company Gardens of the Cape when Cape Town was a halfway station between the East and Holland for the Dutch East India Company.  Then he will visit Grootbos, between Hermanus and Gansbaai, close to shark cage-diving, and Southern Right whale watching.  He will be taken to the Harald Porter National Botanical Park in Kleinmond, to see its wealth of fynbos, and will conclude his tour with a visit to Kirstenbosch National Botanical garden.

The UK celebrity endorsements of the tourism highlights of our country are powerful, and do not appear to have lost credibility in that they have been sponsored by SA Tourism.  It seems a shame that so much energy and money will be spent on this campaign, when so few British tourists will be travelling this summer.

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

A R32 million three-year advertising campaign to promote Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg is in the pipeline, if the three city tourism bodies approve their contribution of R8 million each to the campaign, reports the Daily News.

Designed by controversial Cape Town Tourism’s Australian Strategetic Consultant Ian Macfarlane, the campaign is said to be flighted on Discovery (a client of Macfarlane, as we reported previously, but not mentioned by the newspaper) and on National Geographic channels, with ‘billions of TV viewers’.   The viewership figure is widely exaggerated, Wikipedia reporting that Discovery Channel has 431 million and National Geographic Channel 160 million viewers internationally.

The Daily News refers to Macfarlane’s ‘success with tourism ventures in New Zealand, Australia and Abu Dhabi’. We have previously written about the failure of Macfarlane’s Tourism Australia campaign.  The campaign is said to start in April 2012, meaning that it will not benefit the tourism industry for summer at all.  While it would be noble for the timing of the campaign to address seasonality that Cape Town suffers from specifically, it could be a failure if flighted only in our winter months.

Discovery Channel is said to make an hour-long movie about South Africans’ lifestyles, and National Geographic will produce a 30-minute programme.  For Durban, the joint campaign would counter the loss of 1,9 million tourists in the last five years, translating up to R2 billion, the article reports. SA Tourism will also be requested to contribute R8 million to the marketing campaign.

Information about the presentation by Macfarlane to Durban Tourism about the new joint marketing campaign appeared in The Mercury too last week, but no reporting about the approval of the funds has been seen in Cape Town and Johannesburg-based media, nor national media.  The Mercury listed Macfarlane’s experience with the ‘Pure New Zealand‘, the failed Tourism Australia campaign, his association with Gold Coast Tourism, and marketing for Sydney and Abu Dhabi.  It also mentions campaigns for Auckland and India, which did not appear on Macfarlane’s Strategetic Consultants’ website (and surprisingly contains no information about the consultancy anymore), nor can they be found on a Google search. In The Mercury, Macfarlane is quoted as saying that Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban are not well known globally. He is also said to have expressed the view that SA Tourism’s marketing of the country is focused around the ‘Big Five’ and natural beauty, when 78% of the world’s tourists are ‘urban travellers’. His criticism of the marketing by SA Tourism is interesting, given that SA Tourism is expected to be one of the four funders of the joint city marketing programme. Macfarlane said:“Our campaign through this three cities joint tourism marketing initiative aims to put South Africa’s three top urban hubs in the global spotlight. We have negotiated agreements with major channels such as National Geographic and Discovery, which will see a dedicated programme created for Durban, Cape Town, and Joburg (sic), interesting in that the agreement has been negotiated  without clarity of funding from all four the parties. “It’s an unbelievable package that we have negotiated and an opportunity that should not be missed. I am optimistic the cities will secure the funds and hope SA Tourism will come on board”, he concluded.  Macfarlane added that the cities would get more than R32 million in value from the proposed programme.

Today Cape Town Tourism reveals to its members its advertising campaign, designed by its advertising agency Ogilvy Cape Town.

POSTSCRIPT I7/10: I spoke to Phillip Sithole, CEO of Durban Tourism, who was featured in the articles, after trying to reach him six times during the day.  Each time he made me call back.  He was evasive in providing further detail, saying that the campaign is still confidential.  He did not know which of the cities have had their contribution to the campaign approved, and said that they were meeting SA Tourism next month, to discuss it with them.  He said that each city was to get an hour-long programme, which would be flighted regularly over the three year period.  He emphasised the Lifestyle content of the programme, focusing on the urban lifestyle each city offers, including restaurants, entertainment, events, accommodation, education, music festivals and more.  Coverage would not only be on the TV channels but also in the affiliated magazines of the channels.  He became very agitated and defensive when I asked him if he knew about the failure of the Tourism Australia campaign, saying that failure was good, and meant that Macfarlane would have learnt from it!  He said that he believes in the proposed campaign, and supports it.

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

After a long period of reduced travel by Germans, due to the recession in the past few years, they are ready to travel again, and it would appear that the much improved German economic performance, coupled with the excellent coverage of South Africa’s tourist gems during the World Cup, appears to have led to a marked increase in enquires and bookings from Germany.

Southern African Tourism Update  reports that the ADAC Reisemonitor survey, conducted in July amongst a sample of 4 000 ADAC members (similar to the Automobile Association), shows that 71 % of Germans interviewed plan to make a long-haul holiday next year, up by 6 % compared in last year’s survey.  The article quotes a tourism player Dr Martin Buck as saying that “…the tourism industry is picking up speed once again.  The worst of the recession is now over and German citizens are again living up to their reputation as the world’s most travelled nation”.   Almost 60 % of Germans surveyed said they would go on holiday before the end of the year, irrespective of their financial situation, and that they expect the prices of tourism products and services to increase.   The most popular holiday destinations for Germans are Germany, Italy and then Spain. 

It was good to see an advertisement for South Africa in the leading lifestyle magazine Bunte at the end of September, with the headline “Südafrika Hautnah” (South Africa – up close), followed by a sub-headline relating to the Cape: “Zum verlieben schön – das Land am Kap strahlt eine Faszination aus, die seine Gäste nie wieder loslässt” (To fall in love with – Cape Town radiates a fascination, that never leaves its guests).  The ad focuses on German TV presenter Ruth Moschner, sharing her favourite things to do and places to visit when in South Africa.  She mentions Cape Town, with Johannesburg and Durban, but of the six photographs in the ad, two are of Cape Town (Boulder’s Beach and V&A Waterfront), as well as a Cape Dutch house in the Winelands.  Moschner raves about the country as a tourist destination, yet praises its people even more, saying that she has seldom experienced  being welcomed with such heartiness.  The ad is part-sponsored by SAA, and advertises a special package of € 599 from 8 November – 16 December (www.askSAA.com).   A tiny “schoolboard”-style ‘South Africa: Alles ist möglich’ (South Africa: everything is possible) concludes the ad.

A follow-up SA Tourism ad in Bunte last month featured Michael Mittermeier, a German comedian who performed at the Cape Town Comedy Festival last year.  He has been to South Africa three times, and raves about the generous ‘host country’, as he describes it (“Besucher werden in Sued-afrika in den einmaligen Rythmus des Landes integriert” (Visitors are drawn into the unique rhythm of the country).  He expresses the regret that Bafana Bafana dropped out of the World Cup so early.   He highlights the 10 hour travel time between Germany and South Africa, without time difference, as positives, and recommends a safari to see the Big Five, and the beautiful coastal beaches.  Three photographs of the rocks at Camps Bay beach, Cape Town from the top of Table Mountain, and of a Cape Dutch homestead make up half the photographs featured, a weighting towards the region that most tourists describe as the most beautiful of all in South Africa.

During the World Cup the leading German TV station ZDF broadcast an hour-long tourism documentary about South Africa, presented by the charming ex-Miss South Africa Jo-ann Strauss, prior to each match in which the German team played.  Accommodation bookings from Germany flowed in from July onwards as a result, more than we have seen in many years.

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

Speaking at the celebration of World Oceans Day and International Year of the Shark in Gansbaai this week, new Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Buyelwa Sonjica announced that South Africa’s marketing is set to be adapted to move from marketing its Big Five ( lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino) to the Big Seven, to include the great white sharks and the Southern Right whales, reports the Cape Argus.