Tag Archives: Expedia

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 8 April

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   German competition authorities have reacted strongly against Booking.com, which prohibits accommodation establishments from offering better rates to clients booking with them directly relative to the rate they charge via Booking.com.  Action is also being taken against a similar booking site Expedia.com

*   The contribution of Tourism to the economy nationally has remained at 2,9% in both 2012 and 2013, reaching a total of R104 billion.   Just more than half of the spend was Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 10/11 January

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   SA Tourism is going on another India Road Show this year, visiting Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, and New Dehli in February. Franschhoek Wine Valley and Paarl & Wellington Tourism are some of the local Road Show participants. India Country Manager for SA Tourism Hanneli Slabber said that some 24000 tourists from India visited our country between January and March last year.

*   ‘Rear seat kickers’ are the worst type of passengers on an airplane, an Expedia Airplane Etiquette Study has found! Other annoying passengers are inattentive parents, ‘aromatic passenger’,audio insensitive’, and ‘boozer’!

*   Qantas is the world’s safest airline, out of a total of 449, included in the latest Top 10 AirlineRatings.com safe airlines list, which Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 22 May

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   After having focused on Cape Town earlier this week, Huffington Post has included Hermanus in an article entitled ‘5 Lesser-known African wonders you have to see’.  Whale-watching is recommended, from July – November, with twenty to thirty whales being seen in Hermanus on average per day in that period, announced by the whale crier on his kelp horn.  The other wonders are the lunar rainbow in Zambia, the South Carmine Bee-eater migration in Zambia, wildebeest calving in Tanzania, and the Fruit-bat migration in Zambia.

*   South Africa’s premium wines over £10 a bottle were praised at a blind tasting held in London on Tuesday, offering quality and value for money.  The tasting was organised by the drinks business and the Premium Independent Wineries of South Africa, a collective of 15 local wine producers, promoting premium wines costing £10 or more.  Only 4% of wines are bought at that price-point, warned Tesco’s South African wine buyer, but he praised the quality of our wines, saying that they are ‘fantastic‘.  He said that our country’s premium wines need to promote their credentials.    Local wines tasted were Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc 2000, Beaumont Hope Marguerite 2009, Journey’s End Destination Chardonnay 2012, Mulderbosch Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2010, Radford Dale ‘Nudity’ Syrah 2013, Mullineux Syrah 2012, Mvemve Raats de Compostella 2012, Jordan Cobblers Hill, South Africa 2011, Newton Johnson Family Vineyards Pinot Noir 2012, The Drift ‘There are still mysteries’ Pinot Noir 2012, and Paul Cluver Pinot Noir 2012.

*   Italian anti-trust and competition authorities are investigating TripAdvisor for its Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 11 April

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The MyCiTi Bus service has announced that it is using another bus size for its Cape Town International airport run from Monday onwards, to allow it to use the larger buses on its new Atlantis route, which opens tomorrow.   Buses which had been ordered for the Atlantis route have not been delivered!  It would appear that the City’s planning of its bus service, and continuous introduction of new routes is straining its service, with numerous complaints by commuters of buses not running according to schedule.  The change in bus size impacts on the route to the airport, and excludes certain bus stops temporarily.

*   USA-based Domino’s Pizza, a ‘world leader in pizza delivery‘, with 10800 outlets in 70 countries,  has signed a license agreement with Taste Holdings, owners of 150 Scooters and St Elmo’s pizza outlets in South Africa, to rebrand to Domino’s.

*   Google is looking to accept direct accommodation advertising on its site, in direct opposition to booking sites such as Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 12 December

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   A TripAdvisor TripBarometer survey has found that hotel guests expect free wifi, free parking, and free breakfast.  Items which guests are most likely to take home with them are toiletries, tea and coffee, towels, clothes hangers, and TV remote batteries. Guests are interested in learning more about the culture of the inhabitants of the town in which they are visiting, in visiting a unique icon of the town, trying new food but also wanting to eat food from their home country, as well as watching TV and movies in their home language.

*   London hotels have received the lowest ratings of hotels in 30 European destinations on the measure of recommending a hotel to others, according to a survey in the last 24 months on bookings made via Expedia, scoring even more poorly than Paris and Nice. Berlin tops the recommendation rating.

*   Grande Provence in Franschhoek is celebrating its 2014 harvest with a Harvest Festival on 22 February, starting the day with coffee and muffins, followed by a talk by the vine grower, winetasting, and then a country feast.  Cost is R450. (received via e-mail from Grande Provence)

*   It is sad to see how the death of Mr Mandela is being used by his daughter  Dr Maki Mandela and his granddaughter Tukwini Mandela to market their House of Mandela wines, saying that his legacy lives on through their wines! Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 2/3 December

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  The Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) is planning to extend the runway at Cape Town International, to allow larger aircraft and more planes to land.

*   About one fifth of accommodation bookings in the USA will be last minute, same day ones next year, made via smartphone or tablet.

*   While European traveller numbers are showing a small 2% growth, the fact that they are taking more shorter and shorter distance holidays rather than long haul ones is worrying for tourism to South Africa.

*   hotel.info has beaten TripAdvisor, British Airways, Expedia and booking.com in being named most popular travel and leisure website of the year.

*   Cybercellar has sold a 24% share of its business to Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 11 September

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Hotel prices are increasing, and are close to 2006 levels, just prior to the global economic prices, a sign of a recovery of the world economy.

*   The Cape Winemakers Guild will accept real time online bidding at the auction of its wines at Spier on 5 October. The biggest selection of 59 wines in the 29 year history of the Auction will go under the hammer.  A Final Pre-Auction Tasting for prospective auction buyers will be held at Spier the day prior. (via media release from GC Communications)

*  American travelers are expected to travel more but spend less next year, traveling in their own country in the main, an international survey has found.

*   Is sugar as addictive as cigarette smoking or drugs was a questions asked at the Sugar Association of South Africa conference.

*   Frankfurt airport saw 5,8 million passengers pass through its doors in August, an increase of 3,6 %. and the highest passenger number ever.

*   As the world focuses on South America for the FIFA World Cup 2014 and Continue reading →

Tourism sees strong UK dip in January 2013, after strong international growth in 2012!

SA Statistics has released the January 2013 tourism arrival statistics, and it is clear that our tourism industry is in trouble, the traditional source markets of the UK and Europe strongly down relative to the same month a year before, and American arrivals showing a minimal increase, as reported by Southern African Tourism Update.  Two of the BRICS countries, India and Brazil, continue to show strong growth.  In total tourism numbers declined by 4% to 202548 in January 2013, relative to a year ago.

The 19% decline in UK tourists is no surprise, as we have picked up the dramatic demise of UK tourists in the past two summers, due to that country’s economic recession, but still is ranked top as source country at 34393. America is the second largest source market, with 21330 arrivals. German tourists numbered 21101, a surprising decline of 6%.  France is in 6th place as a source country, with a slight decline in its arrivals. The Netherlands, another important source market. showed a decline of 18%, and is now in 8th place.

The decline in the UK arrivals is confirmed in an article in Breaking Travel News, which showed that UK travelers would be affected by the exchange rate in most countries, given the weak pound sterling, affecting their travel costs to the USA, Australia, and Europe.  Countries in which British travelers will not suffer the exchange rate so badly are Argentina, Brazil, and South Africa.  However, the higher cost of flights to these countries may cancel out the benefit of the lower exchange rates.

China surprisingly showed its first decline, by 4 %, and is ranked 4th on the tourism arrivals list, while arrivals from Brazil jumped by close to 13%.  Given tour operator Colin Bell’s discovery that the tourism arrival statistics include transit passengers, spending at least 24 hours in our country to be defined as such, it is interesting to note that about 40% of the Chinese and Brazil ‘tourist’ arrivals were in fact transit passengers travelling to another country from South Africa.  This does not apply to Indian tourists, the 15% increase in arrivals from this country reflecting the great work which is being done by SA Tourism in that country.  Its head, Hanneli Slabber, has just been recognised as Safari India National Tourism ‘Best Professional in Marketing’.

These depressing tourism arrival statistics were announced after Marthinus van Schalkwyk, national Minister of Tourism, shared at Indaba earlier this month that South Africa’s digital marketing activities have reached 1 billion people, reports themovechannel.com.  ‘Our video, banner and text adverts were displayed to the targeted audiences over 1,1 billion times’, in addition to marketing programs with CNN, National Geographic, Expedia, Facebook, TripAdvisor, and WAYN.com.  The Minister may not understand that duplication of exposure of South Africa’s advertising message would reduce the audience size.  The value of South Africa’s editorial coverage in international media is estimated at R4,6 billion.

Minister van Schalkwyk has reacted to the news that a development bank is being set up by the BRICS countries, and has said that it ‘will boost tourism among the nations’.  The increased business trips related  to setting up the development bank will be ‘prompting other tourists to follow suit’, the Tourism Minister said, according to The Telegraph. A Goldman Sachs report shows that the BRICS countries generated half the global economic growth in the last ten years.  Currently inter BRICS trade is valued at $230 billion, and is estimated to double in the next two years.

Minister van Schalkwyk was invited to lead a new United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) commission on tourism and development, at a meeting yesterday of its Executive Council in Belgrade, working with a working group of France, Germany, Kenya, Jamaica, Egypt, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Mauritania, and Belgium, reports the Southern African Tourism Update.

We appeal again to Cape Town Tourism and Wesgro to market Cape Town and the Western Cape nationally and internationally, to counter the frighteningly low bookings for June and July, one of the worst winter seasons we have seen.

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

Hotel marketing should be global and local!

International booking agency Expedia has advised South African hotels to compete globally against other destinations and not against other local hotels, reports Travel News Weekly.

Diego Lofeudo, Expedia Marketing Management Director for the Eastern Mediterranean and Africa, commenting on 30 South African hotels having closed their doors since the beginning of this year, said: “South Africans tend to compete with the hotel next door rather than competing with another destination, for example Cape Town competing against Sydney”.  He added that overcapitalisation of rooms by South African hoteliers has led to over-pricing.  He advised against ‘flash sales’, as it ‘simply degrades the market‘.   In his opinion, the domestic market should become the focus of local hoteliers, and the country’s tourism product has to compare itself globally, and then set prices accordingly.

Lofeudo also encouraged hoteliers to stop relying on travel agents and tour operators, and to become their own sales managers, taking control of their stock, and managing the online content of their property. This includes checking what is being said about them on social media platforms.

Expedia has 2000 hotels on its books, and is setting up a co.za site in the next year and a half.  Once low-cost carriers service Africa, the continent should see an explosion of business, given political stability and safety.  The booking site offers hoteliers more profit in selling empty rooms than selling them through other distribution channels, it claims.

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

Tourism News: Clifton on world’s Top 10 Beach list!

Excellent news for Cape Town and tourism is that the four Clifton beaches have made it to 8th place on the Expedia world’s most popular beaches list, reports the Cape Argus.

Clifton’s First, Second, Third and Fourth Beaches are praised for their Twelve Apostles’ backdrop, and for being a glamour spot, despite their chilly Atlantic Ocean water.

The other Top 10 most popular beaches in the world are:

*   Cable Beach in Broome, West Australia

*   Ao Nang Beach, Krabi, Thailand

*   Nha Trang Beach at Nha Trang, Vietnam

*   Paradise, Champagne and other beaches on Yasawa Island, Fiji

*   Azeda Beach, Buzios, Brazil

*   Lanikai Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

*   Isole Bella Beach, Sicily

*   Seven Mile Beach, Jamaica

*   Mughsayl Beach, Oman

Clifton’s 4th Beach is also a Blue Flag beach.

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