In his State of the Nation address last week, President Jacob Zuma announced that SA Tourism will spend R100 million per annum to stimulate Domestic Tourism. Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom said that Continue reading →
Despite the weaker Rand, international tourist arrivals have not increased dramatically as one would have expected. Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom has encouraged locals, Continue reading →
A Western Cape trade, tourism, and investment delegation is currently visiting China, led by Premier Helen Zille and Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde. Exports to China from the Western Cape were valued at R2 billion in 2013. The delegation’s goals include doubling Continue reading →
More than a year since the introduction of the first onerous Visa Regulations in June last year, an Inter-Ministerial Committee chaired by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced changes to the regulations, tremendous news for the Tourism industry.
The new improved revised Visa regulations: Continue reading →
*. Noma owner Chef René Redzepi has announced that he is closing down the tasting menu Noma on 31 December 2016, moving to the Christiania suburb in Copenhagen, where he will build a glass house over a derelict skating park for a new restaurant, and create an urban farm. The produce served as well as the place settings will change as the seasons change. In January next year Noma sets up a pop-up restaurant in Sydney for 10 weeks.
* The Western Cape Government’s Tourism department has made a detailed analysis of the new visa regulations, and their Continue reading →
Almost daily we see a new report about the damage that the new Immigration Regulations are causing to our country’s Tourism industry, with drastic reductions in the number of tourist arrivals despite a very favorable exchange rate. Interesting too has been the defensive reaction of the Department of Home Affairs to the criticism raised by the Tourism industry, its Minister Malusi Gigaba not wishing to admit to ‘the unintended consequences of South Africa’s new visa regulations‘.
Now Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is to chair a meeting between the two departments, welcome news if he is able to quickly find a solution to the Tourism disaster. The meeting was due to be held today, but has been cancelled as it does not suit the Deputy President’s diary.
Earlier this week Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom admitted to the South African Association for the Conference Industry congress that the visa regulations ‘have had an impact on tourism’. He referred to the Ministerial committee which was appointed to ‘consider and review the unintended consequences‘, and requested the conference industry to commit to work together ‘and make the best of the growth opportunities emerging around us’. He added: ‘I am confident that we will approach that meeting with an intention of finding solutions. I don’t think we should downplay the impact that this has had on our industry‘.
Minister Hanekom suggested that the industry focus on Domestic Tourism, to compensate for the decline in international tourist arrivals. Conferences should be used as a marketing opportunity for promoting leisure tourism to business delegates attending conferences. He referred to the 177 association conferences which will be held in our country in the best five years, to be attended by more than 250000 delegates.
Home Affairs Minister Gigaba has denied that the visa regulations have affected tourist arrivals, as we reported last week. The Tourism industry has been disappointed that it has taken Minister Hanekom so long to publicly take a stand about the visa regulations, and their effect on Tourism, referring to the ‘worrying drop‘ in tourism numbers. He highlighted the 40% decline in tourist from China in the first quarter of this year. The Minister has become bolder in criticising his Home Affairs colleagues, accusing them of using over-inflated numbers to dramatize the ‘child-trafficking‘ problem. He said: ‘Trafficking is a problem, it [the numbers] probably was exaggerated. Some of the figures mooted were not very accurate’.
* The FNB/Tourism Business Council of South Africa Tourism Business Index has plummeted in the second quarter of this year, dropping to 84 relative to its estimated Index of 97. It is the lowest Index score since 2011! Reasons for the Index drop are the reduced international tourism demand, electricity and water shortages, the Immigration Continue reading →
* Radford Dale Freedom Pinot Noir 2012 was paired with one of the courses at the dinner for the wedding of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia of Sweden last weekend, reports The Drinks Business!
* Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom has announced in Parliament that a survey is to be conducted by the government, to establish the Continue reading →
* The DA Shadow Minister of Tourism James Vos will lodge a complaint against Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom to the Tourism Portfolio Committee, for not calling a review of the controversial Immigration Regulations, having previously said that he would review them. Last week the Minister said: ‘we need to review the regulations to find the right balance, …, hurting South Africa‘.
* Internationally the accommodation sector is bemoaning the impact of Airbnb, for its ‘illegal’ advantage of lower costs, and operating illegally, short-term rental being prohibited in many American city centres, and the accommodation not complying with insurance, fire, and disability access regulations which apply to the formal Continue reading →