* SATSA CEO David Frost is concerned about the Department of Home Affairs misleading the tourism industry with incorrect arrival statistics from Statistics South Africa. The Department is using apple-and-pear data (2013 figures inclusive of transit passengers and 2014 figures excluding them), to try to prove that factors other than the new Continue reading →
* Passengers traveling by plane may be faced with hand luggage size reductions by up to 40%, it was announced last week. The new dimensions have not yet been announced, but 50 airlines have agreed in principle, reported German TV channel ZDF. Should the hand luggage not meet the new size guidelines, a charge of $25 may be levied.
* Do hotel star ratings still matter, when TripAdvisor has become the Continue reading →
* Uber and Discovery Health are partnering in a flu vaccination drive on Friday 22 May, between 10h00 and 16h00, a Discovery Health accredited nurse coming to one’s home or work and offering five vaccinations to persons 18+ years for R100. The promotional code is UBERHEALTHSA. The nurse will also bring a flu prevention pack with some surprise items. Discovery Vitality members receive 1000 Vitality points, while DiscoveryCard holders will receive a refund of the R100. (received via media release from Uber).
* KWV has won 35 international awards in three competitions in the past week: At the International Wine Continue reading →
* South African wines won more than 300 medals at the 2015 International Wine Challenge held in London, which included 28 Gold (double the number compared to last year), 111 Silver, and 175 Bronze medals. The organisers said that South African white wines had ‘an outstanding year‘, while Shiraz was the top SA Red wine performer. Stellenbosch wines won the most SA Gold Awards.
* The 2015 Bollinger Wine Exceptional Service Award is now open for entries, which must be in by 31 May. The first Continue reading →
* The number of visitors to World Travel Market (WTM) Africa 2015 increased by 18% relative to 2014, making it Africa’s largest Business to Business tourism trade exhibition, the organisers claim. No actual attendance figures have been revealed. With sponsor City of Cape Town, which should have not accepted its Best Stand Award due to its sponsor status, the organisers have announced that WTM Africa 2016 will be hosted from 6 – 8 April. (received via e-mail from WTM Africa)
* SAA has denied that it is selling any parts of the airline, as has been claimed in media reports, stated its Acting CEO Nico Bezuidenhout. Continue reading →
* The Cape Town International Convention Centre has appointed Julie-May Ellingson as its new CEO. Ms Ellingson has been CEO of the Durban Convention Centre for the past three years.
* With the assistance of Wesgro and the Department of Trade & Industry, local wine exporters Robinson & Sinclair have secured a national listing with Walmart Sams Club Brazil. The company represents 18 family-owned wine estates.
* TripAdvisor ‘reviewers’ have voted Cape Town second best in the world in the categories ‘Best for Restaurants‘ (after New York) and ‘Helpful Locals‘ (after Tokyo), in its World City Survey 2014. Helena Egan, Head of TripAdvisor Destination Marketing for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said about our country and its people: ‘Everyone is friendly and it’s a genuine friendliness. It comes from the heart. It’s natural. The joy and happiness of the people are key to your destination success’. Velma Corcoran, Executive for Marketing at Cape Town Tourism, added: ‘Any accolade awarded by destination users is a fantastic barometer for us. The fact that we have been voted second to New York as one of the world’s top restaurant cities is truly a testament to Cape Town’s talented and visionary chefs and restaurateurs. It is a moment to celebrate, and luckily Capetonians and visitors can do this at great value this winter as excellent specials abound. On behalf of the destination I would also like to thank each and every person who smiled at, assisted or shared their stories with our visitors. We are so proud to be Capetonian‘.
* British Airways is offering Winter’s Drift Shiraz 2011 in Business Class on its South African routes in June and July. The wine spent 11 months in French oak. Grapes came from Glen Elgin, and the wine was made by Kobie Viljoen at the Gabriëlskloof Cellar. The 2011 vintage is sold out, but the 2012 is freely available. (received via media release from Hazell Public Relations and Wine Consultants)
* Intoxication of passengers is the biggest cause of unruly behaviour on board airlines, and 8000 incidents were recorded in 2013. The International Air Transportation Association (IATA) wants airport ground staff and bar staff to help prevent excessive drinking by passengers before flights, it being the right of crew and other passengers to travel without disturbance.
* An economist has disputed that South Africa is heading for a recession, the macro economy doing better than the GDP data suggests. A growth rate of 4% is estimated for the next two years, coming from Tourism, a revision of labour legislation, and electricity supply improving. Strikes and salary demands are contrary to foreign investments.
* The price of petrol increases by 36 cents a litre at midnight on 5 March.
* To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Amarula brand, Distell is launching a new spirit Amarula Gold this month. The new 30% spirit is described as ‘aromatic and vibrantly fruity with intriguingly spicy notes and a very smooth texture’.
* Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk is attending the second World Tourism Forum Lucerne Think Tank in Switzerland this weekend. This year the focus is on ‘Infrastructure and Investment’, with attention on financing tourism and travel infrastructure.
* The Franschhoek Literary Festival will be held between 16 and 18 May, and 170 authors will speak on various topics. Speakers include poets Adam Small and Breyten Breytenbach; heavy-weight writers Damon Galgut and Mark Gevisser; and controversial writers Andre Brink, Max du Preez, and Tim Noakes. Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Mpho, as well as former FNB MD and now Mxit Chairman Michael Jordaan will also participate in the pregramme.
* The 4000 strong penguin colony at Betty’s Bay is under threat from a diesel spill Continue reading →
* Johannesburg teenager Filipa da Silva has won a competition launched by American Idols presenter Ryan Seacrest, for the best rendition of One Direction’s ‘Story of my Life’, beating former Eurovision Irish twin contestants Jedward.
* The Tourism Indaba, held in May for the past 24 years, could be threatened by three trade and travel shows held in Cape Town under the Africa Travel Week umbrella the week prior to what is the country’s largest tourism and travel show, organised by SA Tourism and held in Durban.
* Johannesburg was the most popular tourism destination in Africa in 2012, according to the MasterCard Third Annual Global Destination Cities Index, and should be the continent’s most visited city too, with an estimated 2,5 million visitors spending R35 billion.
* The inaugural AfrAsia Bank Cape Wine Auction 2014 will be held over lunch at Delaire Graff on 15 March. It will be preceded by a Barrel Tasting and Auction Preview at Waterford Estate the evening before, and the funds will go to funding education in the Winelands, benefitting Pebbles Project, the MAD Charity, and the Click Foundation. The Cape Wine Auction Trust has been created, and its founding Trustees are Michael Jordaan, Ken Kinsey-Quick, Wendy Appelbaum, and Mike Continue reading →
* Cape Town has been named the winning city (ahead of Vancouver and Venice) in the Telegraph Travel Awards 2013. Describing all three cities as water-based, Cape Town’s point of difference is its ‘Michelin-starred restaurants’ (sic), staying in traditional as well as modern accommodation, climbing mountains, surfing the Atlantic Ocean, and relaxing at the beach. The city’s status as World Design Capital 2014 is also highlighted. ‘This really is a city that everyone who visits it loves: an English-speaking destination that offers sun, sea and culture in one place – and all just 11 hours’ flight away, with no jetlag’.
* The inaugural World Travel Market Africa, to be held in Cape Town from 2 – 3 May, is planning to sign up 700 exhibitors.
* Alan Wong, Jamie Oliver, and Gordon Ramsay are the world’s richest chefs!
* Stellenbosch Street Soirees will be held again to demonstrate the town’s Continue reading →