* Chef Roger Jones of Michelin star restaurant The Harrow in Little Bedwyn in the UK, is set to pop-in and pop-up at a number of dining events in the Capein January next year. He will be seen in action at the Vineyard Hotel on 9 January, offering a 6-course dinner with a South African and Australian premium wine pairing. He will also be at 96 Winery Road with Ken Forrester and other top local winemakers, and is doing a ‘foraging dinner’ with Adi Badenhorst. The chef is known for his wine knowledge as well as cooking skills.
* Wesgro and Cape Town NPC, the company organising World Design Capital 2014 for Cape Town, will present Cape Town’s design industry at 2014 Vienna Design Week from 26 September – 5 October. Local designer Heath Nash will represent Cape Continue reading →
* It is unbelievable that, after almost three months of pressure on Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, he has relented today, and agreed to delay the implementation of the unabridged birth certificate until 1 June 2015, just two weeks before the new Immigration Regulations were meant to apply from 1 October. The requirement of the permission of the other parent for the child to travel with one parent has also been delayed to June. On Friday the Minister announced at a media conference that the Regulations would be retained, and that a task team would evaluate the most effective implementation of them! One wonders what swayed the Minister to change his mind, after having been so stubborn for the past ten weeks! The personal application of biometric visas remains in place from 1 October.
* Western Cape Minister of Tourism Alan Winde has been quick to welcome Minister Gigaba’s announcement, but demands more: ‘It is my intention to ensure that a full impact study is conducted on them and handed to Minister Gigaba prior to them being reintroduced. The regulations that have already been implemented are threatening livelihoods in the sector. I will continue to push for their postponement too, until such time as a regulatory impact assessment has been conducted. Gigaba has now shown a willingness to work with other government departments and industry to mitigate the effects of his legislation on our economy and jobs, and I hope he will continue to take positive steps in this regard. The decision to place these two regulations on hold opens the door for South Africa to explore ways of becoming cutting edge. Through the use of smart technology, such as electronic visas, we can solve the problem of illegals while at the same time making our region more attractive to business and leisure tourists’. (received via media release from Minister Winde’s office)
* The 2014 Unilever Food Solutions Senior Chef of the Year is Germaine Esau from Delaire Graff, while the Junior Chef title went Continue reading →
* SA Tourism has announced that from the 2015/2016 financial year it will read arrivals to our country as ‘Tourist Arrivals’ only, and not as all ‘foreign arrivals’. In the past arrival statistics have been criticised for being inflated and inaccurate. This means that the new tourism arrival figures will be lower than those read currently.
* Uber has been temporarily banned from operating in Germany, by a court in Frankfurt, for not meeting that country’s Passenger Transportation Act. Uber has vowed to continue operating in Germany, the taxi association having taking it to court.
* Woolworths is feeling the effect of the boycott against the retailer by Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel in South Continue reading →
* Wines of South Africa (WOSA) has announced that CapeWine 2015 will be held from 15 – 17 September 2015. (via Twitter)
* Franschhoek resident Nolan Hoffman has won the 2014 Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Momentum Cycle Tour. (Via Twitter)
* While online accommodation evaluations are much more responsibly handled, about half of travellers feel that a substantial part of accommodation reviews have been ‘manipulated‘, a Tourism professor told the travel industry at ITB, the international travel expo which ended in Berlin this weekend.
* The most child-friendly airports in the world, according to Travel News Weekly, are Heathrow (number one on the list, and offers children play areas, a quiet room, and a game zone), Zürich (with child minders), Frankfurt (with boarding passes for teddies too!), Munich (with touch screen terminals to explain how an airport works, and German TV series shown), Singapore (with a Butterfly Garden, arcade games, a four storey slide, and internet terminals), and Chicago (with an interactive educational play area).
* The flagship MCC Villiera Monro Brut 2008 won one of 20 Bacchus Trophies at the 16th Annual Taj Classic Wine Trophy Continue reading →
* At the Cape Town Art Fair last week, child visitors were asked to vote for their favourite work of art, by placing a sticker next to it, the most popular children’s choice being bought by The Sovereign Group, which sponsored the Cape Town Art Fair. A colourful Continue reading →
The Arctic freeze that has hit the United Kingdom and Europe in the last three days is placing a further damper on the already depressed accommodation industry in the Cape. Passengers making their way to Cape Town for their summer holiday are struggling to get onto planes at Heathrow in particular but also in Frankfurt. This could cost Cape Town R 10,5 million per day in lost revenue, estimates the City of Cape Town’s Mansoor Mohamed, Director for Economic, Social Development and Tourism, reports the Cape Argus.
As if the delayed or non-arriving guests is not a bad enough blow, this summer is seeing one of the poorest occupancy levels. The Times reports that such Cape Town’s top 5-star hotels as the Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Grace and Table Bay Hotel are seeing occupancy levels decreased by 10 – 20 %, according to Cape Town Routes Unlimited CEO Calvyn Gilfellan. He attributes the reduced occupancy to the opening of twelve new hotels in the past one and a half years.
Gilfellan is quoted as saying that big events are needed for the city, to fill hotel beds. He also said that the positive effect of the World Cup was overshadowing the recent tragic event in a township. He said that bookings were more last-minute, and that tourists were trading down, into camping sites and staying with relatives. A price shake-up could be on the cards, Gilfellan added.
Bed & Breakfasts and Guest House have not been spared the poor booking scenario, which has been impacted upon by the strong Rand and the poor UK economy. Cape Town has not been booked out for the festive season period.