Tag Archives: Grant Thornton

Film Cape Town to reposition itself (again) as the SA Film Capital!

The City of Cape Town has announced that the Film Cape Town website has been launched, a joint venture between itself and the Cape Town film and media industry. This is excellent news for the tourism industry in Cape Town and surrounds, to revitalize an industry which brought thousands of film industry tourists as well as millions of Rands to our city, but which declined due to the closure of the Cape Film Commission due to a cut in grants from the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape provincial government in 2016, the water crisis, local rising costs, as well as an industry which battled within itself and the City and province. Continue reading →

Visa Regulations: ‘A R2,6 bn mistake’!

imageTourism consultancy Grant Thornton has calculated that the impact of the Visa Regulations, introduced in part in 2014 and in part this year, will cost our economy R2,6 billion and 5800 jobs this year, contrary to the government’s goal of growing the economy and aiding job creation.

The inter-ministerial committee consisting of representatives of the Departments of Tourism and Home Affairs, chaired by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, appears to be close to a ‘compromise‘, but details have not been announced officially by the Department of Home Affairs. The Committee has Continue reading →

Rosé Rocks 2015 Top10 winners announced, ‘fantastic future’ for Rosé!

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The winners of the inaugural Rosé Rocks competition have been announced, with Tamboerskloof Katharien Syrah Rosé 2015 named the overall winner.

The 160 Rosé and MCC Rosé wines were evaluated by a panel of judges, which was chaired by Woolworths’ Allan Mullins. Wines were tasted blind, without information provided about the vintage, wine estate, and technical analysis. The results were audited by Grant Thornton South Africa. Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 29 June

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  Horror forecasts about the effect of the Immigration Regulations, and how they will affect tourism from China and India in particular, abound, according to meetpie.com. Destination Management Companies are reporting a 70% decline in bookings, incentive travel is affected, and the following forecasts for the following year say it all: 100000 fewer Continue reading →

Chenin Blanc Association announces 2014 Standard Bank Chenin Blanc Top 10 Challenge winners!

Chenin Blanc Top 10 Logo Whale CottageThe inaugural Standard Bank Chenin Blanc Top 10 Challenge winners were announced yesterday at a cosy function on a wet Winelands day at the ever smart Delaire Graff.  The function and competition, combined with the recent three-year sponsorship by Standard Bank of the Chenin Blanc Challenge, are giving Chenin Blanc the recognition it deserves, said Ken Forrester, Chairman of the Chenin Blanc Association.  ‘Chenin Blanc is a wine whose time has come’, he said,Chenin Blanc Top 10 Ken Forrester Whale Cottage adding that ‘Chenin Blanc is THE white wine of South Africa‘!

A total of 126 wines was entered for the Challenge, and assessed blind by a panel of judges which included chairman Christian Eedes, Jamie Goode, Alan Mullins, Carrie Adams, and Higgo Jacobs. Interviews were conducted with the judges,  Allan Mullins of Woolworths saying that Chenin Blanc has been underrated for so long. He lauded Standard Bank for the support of the competition, and as Chenin Blanc drinks so well, it should be drunk by all.  It is a gem of a wine variety, and ranges in price between R25 – R 300 in retail outlets.   British wine writer Jamie Goode said that our country has a variety of Chenin Blanc styles, ‘ranging from the ‘VW Beetle to a ‘Rolls Royce’! Eedes said that he was honoured to chair the judging panel, and while he may be ‘shot down‘ for the results, having the auditors made the results indisputable. Out of the wine Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 9/10 August

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom said that he does not have the power to change the new Immigration Regulations which come into effect on 1 October, when he addressed the Southern African Tourism Services Association (SATSA) this weekend.  He admitted that ‘new regulations could have unintended, negative consequences for the tourism industry‘!  However, the new regulations are the responsibility of the Department of Home Affairs, he said.  Some concessions have been made by the Department, including that the unabridged birth certificates of child travelers no longer have to be translated into English, and that more visa application centres (in India and China in particular) will be created.  Fortunately tourists from Europe, the UK, and USA do not require visas to travel to our country, and are therefore not affected.  Tourism consultancy Grant Thornton is to conduct a study to measure the impact on Tourism of the new regulations.

*   Cape Town has been rated as 8th friendly international city, while Johannesburg has been ranked as the most unfriendly city in the world by Conde Nast Traveler!  Auckland and Melbourne were jointly voted as the most friendly cities in Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 15 April

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*     More direct flights between Cape Town and Luanda in Angola could create close to 4000 jobs and close to R400 million for the economy, an Air Access strategy study has estimated said Alan Winde, Western Cape Minister of Finance, Economic Development, and Tourism.  The province’s Air Access strategy is to improve our competitiveness and we will focus on routes into Africa. Research shows a direct link between economic growth and improved air access. We are serious about investment, exports and tourism and direct routes play a major role in stimulating growth in these areas‘, the Minister said.  Two years ago the value of trade between Angola and our country was R31 billion, almost half of this from the Western Cape.  An increased number of direct flights would benefit tourism, and the oil and gas industry.  The Minister said that his department will work on increasing the number of flights. (received via media release from Minister Winde’s offices)

*   Tourism performance in the first quarter of 2014 (at 114.6) dipped slightly from the last quarter of 2013 (112.4),  despite the weaker exchange rate and international leisure tourism demand, the Tourism Business Council of South Africa FNB Tourism Business Index has measured, in a study conducted by Grant Thornton.  Tourism businesses’ optimism remains for the period ahead.  Interesting is that the study found that the tourism industry sees the general election on 7 May to have a negative impact  on tourism. (received via e-mail from the Tourism Business Council of South Africa) 

*   The Van Ryn range has won a double gold for the Van Ryn 15 Year Old, and two gold medals for its 12 Year Old and 20 Year Old at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. (received via media release from De Kock Communications)

*   The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa sister hotel Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat will host a 5 course Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 5 December

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Wine judge and writer Tim James, and winner of a number of wine writing competitions, including the inaugural Du Toitskloof Wine Writer of the Year as well as the Franschhoek Literary Festival wine writing award, has expressed his strongest criticism of the announcement of the 2014 Franschhoek Literary Festival wine writing competition.   It has been announced that the competition and its prize money will be split into short writing (less than 1500 words) and long writing (3000 – 4000 words).  No award will be given to any writing submitted of between 1500 – 3000 words!  Earlier this year the Franschhoek Literary Festival, and the convenor of its wine writing judging committee John Maytham, were lambasted when they chose to not award the prize at all, stating that no entry was of a good enough standard. (Note: the category definitions have subsequently been changed to under 1000 words, and 1000 – 4000 words)

*   Only 8% of South African tourism and hospitality businesses plan to appoint more staff, according to tourism consultants Grant Thornton, compared to 25% by their global counterparts.

*   South African restaurant brands operating in the United Arab Emirates include Nando’s, Butcher Shop, Meat & Co, Mug & Bean, and Debonairs Pizza.

*   Argentina is encouraging its citizens to stay home with a punitive 35% tax on all credit card payments made outside the country, to protect its monetary reserves.

*   The Stellenbosch Wine Festival will take place from 24 January – 2 Continue reading →

Tourism spend in Cape Town grew by 5,6% p.a. since 2009, claims (misleading) Grant Thornton study!

cape-town-with-table-mountain-and-stadium1It is interesting to see how Councillor Grant Pascoe, City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee member for Tourism, Events, and Marketing, has interpreted the results of a Grant Thornton survey of ‘spend on tourism in Cape Town‘, to obtain maximum PR spin out of the survey results.

While the Grant Thornton study shows that the average rate of growth between 2009 and 2012 was 5,6 % per annum, there were increases and decreases in revenue in this period, the revenue generated having peaked in 2010 at R16 billion, growing from R12,4 billion in 2009 to R14,6 billion in 2012, a City of Cape Town media release reveals.  Fascinating is that the value of the tourism industry in Cape Town in 2009 was quantified at R 17,3 billion, when the City announced the appointment of the consultancy in conducting the study.  Now the 2009 value has been reduced by R5 billion – could this have been done to make the tourism industry show growth instead of a loss in revenue over the 2009 – 2012 period?! 

The tourism consultancy was contracted to conduct a three year study on the Continue reading →