Tag Archives: Great Wine Capitals

2014 Mercedes-Benz Eat Out Top 10 Restaurants: who will make it tonight?

Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards logo 2It’s the highlight of the restaurant industry tonight, and 1000 restaurant staff, food lovers, suppliers, and media will be at Thunder City to salute and celebrate the Mercedes-Benz Eat Out Top 10 Restaurants.

It must be one of the most oddball years for the Mercedes-Benz Eat Out Restaurant Awards 2014, the goalposts changing in August and September, as more and more Top 20 calibre chefs left their restaurants of employ, to join other restaurants, or to open their own establishments. Some Eat Out judges had already been sent to evaluate potential Top 20 candidate restaurant before the chef departures were announced, wasting time and money for New Media Publishing and its judges Abigail Donnelly (Editor of Eat Out), Andy Fenner (Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants, supplier to a number of Top 20 restaurants, a Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 8/9 November

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Moody’s has downgraded our country’s debt rating to Baa2, one level lower, due to ‘poor growth prospects and rising public debt’, a rating on a par with the company’s ratings of Russia and Brazil, and two notches removed from ‘junk status‘. Electricity shortages were highlighted as one specific reason for the downgrade.

*   The Volvo Ocean Race yachts have arrived in the V&A Waterfront, and a host of activities are planned until the yachts head for Abu Dhabi on 19 November.  Only seven teams are participating in the world’s leading offshore sailing race covering four oceans and five continents.   An inaugural Open Ocean Festival runs in this period, but has been very poorly publicised (shoppers to the V&A Waterfront received brochures yesterday as they entered the underground parking).  Events of the Festival include the Open Ocean Film Festival this weekend, Fly Boarding today, Xtreme Water Polo from 10 – 12 November, Canoe Polo today, a Sunset Mile open ocean swim on 12 November, and the third day of the IRC National Regatta today.

*   Waterford Wine Estate has been named a Global Winner in the categories Wine Tourism Service and Sustainable Continue reading →

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

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Tourists do not want to ‘face administrative hurdles‘ in their visa application process when travelling in Africa, said Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairman of the African Union Commission, at Indaba at the weekend.  Making visa applications easier, liberalising air routes, and acting against animal poaching could increase tourism to Africa, she added.  Joint visas to travel within Africa are being considered.  The African Union is working on making Africa the preferred travel destination in fifty years from now!   Another goal is to motivate Africans to travel within Africa.

*   Indaba 2014, which closed its exhibition doors today,  attracted significantly fewer buyers than in previous years, and was criticised for having become ‘stale’, and for not having re-invented itself as was promised last year by SA Tourism’s Marketing head Jan Hutton.  While larger than the recent World Travel Market Africa exhibition held in Cape Town, it disappointed attendees, many especially smaller tourism players not planning to return next year.  The speed networking sessions were a shambles on Saturday and Sunday, with many buyers not present. Costs of catering were said to be prohibitive.

*   The Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism Awards is open to entries for the 2015 Best of Wine Tourism Awards, in the Continue reading →

Franschhoek set to twin with St Helena, Napa Valley

Following a recent visit to the USA by the Franschhoek Wine Valley Tourism Association CEO Jenny Prinsloo, a proposal for a twinning relationship between Franschhoek and St Helena in the Napa Valley is to be evaluated, reports the Franschhoek Tourism Bureau in its latest member newsletter.

According to Ms Prinsloo, the proposed twinning relationship is justifiable on the basis of both towns being members of the Great Wine Capitals, their similar demographic profile, their same high-end real estate offering, their compatible tourist target markets, their location in premier new world wine regions, their shared reputation as gourmet destination towns, their similar accommodation offerings, their similar business profiles, their shared niche speciality shops and art galleries (St Helena is one of two top shopping destinations in California), sharing being high quality lifestyle destinations, and a shared focus on wellness tourism.

The benefits in twinning are overwhelming, with a group of St Helena Chamber of Commerce members  set to visit Franschhoek next year.  Marketing information is to be exchanged, and ideas relating to festivals and events to be shared.   Wine estate and restaurant intern exchanges could result; environmentally sustainable initiatives for the wine estates can be applied in Franschhoek, from the experience gained in this regard in St Helena; school cultural exchanges could follow; social media marketing could be strengthened in Franschhoek, already advanced in St Helena but still poorly adopted in Franschhoek;  guidance in setting up a culinary school in Franschhoek, by the St Helena’s Culinary Institutes of America branch; and Franschhoek expanding its focus on wellness tourism, with the guidance of St Helena’s experience in this field.

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