Entries tagged with “heritage”.


 

In an interesting move not seen before, La Colombe announced that its Restaurant Manager Jennifer Hugé would be leaving, after 14 years, to join a new city centre restaurant, but without providing details. Yesterday, the details were revealed, Hugé joining forces with Chef Ashley Moss in Chef Peter Tempelhoff’s new FYN Restaurant. The La Colombe restaurant group has no link to the new restaurant. 

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Last Friday I joined a media table to experience the new High Tea offered at Harbour House Constantia Nek, the first and only High Tea offering in Constantia. (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  SAA Chairman Dudu Myeni has refused to follow Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown’s instruction that its CEO Monwabisi Kalawe be reinstated, after having been fired last week!  Technically the Minister is not allowed to interfere with Board matters, but Minister Brown has intimated that anyone not co-operating to create stability at SAA will be fired.

*   Corné Koch has been appointed as Head of the Wesgro’s Convention Bureau, having previously worked in promoting Gauteng, and the Advertising Standards Authority.

*   Trendtalk#9 will focus on design trends, with speakers being Trevyn McGowan of Southern Guild, who curated the new Watershed at the V&A Waterfront, and John Sanei of Future Collective.   The talk will be held on 11 November at the ICIC (more…)

The Blue Cafe Exterior Whale CottageThe Blue Café opened in Tamboerskloof on Saturday, after a few months of renovation, having operated as The Daily Deli for 18 years.  The small building with attitude has a heritage dating back to 1904, and is set to become the new secret food treasure in the hood of Tamboerskloof.  Pricing is very reasonable.

I drove past yesterday afternoon, having seen a Tweet referring to its opening, and met the charming Murray von Hirschberg, co-owner with his wife Jeanne, with input from her mother Lynda Loubser.  Jeanne started working at Melissa’s Kloof Street as a teenager, first as waitress during weekends and school holidays, and then joined them full-time doing product development, having worked there for 13 years, The BLue Cafe Murray and Jeanne 2 Whale Cottageand giving up a dream to study medicine.  She told me that she loved working for Melissa van Hoogstraten.  It is Jeanne’s distinctive handwriting that was used for all price labels at Melissa’s for all the years that she worked for them. Murray told me proudly that Jeanne was accepted to do an MBA at UCT without a base degree, that she received a scholarship to study Organisation Development at Cornell University in the USA, and will start working on her PhD shortly.   Murray was an investment banker in New York, owns a massage company Enmasse, and has launched a unique Enmasse rooibos tea blend, telling (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The theme song ‘Ordinary Love’ of  ‘Mandela; Long Walk to Freedom’ won a Golden Globe last night for Best Original Song, written and performed by Bono and U2, reports The New Age.

*   SA Tourism USA has launched a new website, with the theme ‘What’s Your Big 5?’, highlighting the top travel experiences our country offers in addition to safaris.  The focus now is on ‘Big 5 Ambassadors’, focusing on ‘celebrities, tastemakers and travel influencers’.   The website accessibility has been improved, making it easier to search, navigate, and book the next South African holiday.  The website also provides travel itineraries by theme: Adventure and Exploration;  Culture and Heritage;  Safari and Nature;  Entertainment and Lifestyle; and Luxury and Romance.

*   Western Cape Minister of Tourism Alan Winde is delighted by two top accolades for Cape Town, being top listed by the New York Times and The Guardian.  He reacted as follows: ‘This is great news for our city’s tourism sector and excellent publicity for our destination.  These awards will no doubt help to elevate Cape Town to the top of (more…)

Anthonij Rupert entrance Whale Cottage PortfolioYesterday we visited the Anthonij Rupert Tasting Room, one of two tasting rooms at Anthonij Rupert Wines, which previously belonged to Graham Beck Wines, and was bought by Johan Rupert from L’Ormarins next door, to enhance his access to water.  Anthonij Rupert Wines has five wine brands, and 25 sub-brands, the largest range in Franschhoek, to our knowledge.   Our invitation via PR consultancy Smart Communications & Events was to see the new tasting room and to try their new High Tea.

It was a grey wintry day, and the lit fire in the lounge was welcome and made the room cosy.  Hospitality Manager Gidi Caetano, whom we know from her days as Manager of Salt Restaurant at the Ambassador Hotel, and then as GM of  the previous French Toast Wine & Tapas Bar, explained the tasting room and company structure to us while we enjoyed the treats from the three tier High Tea stand, Anthonij Rupert High Tea close up Whale Cottage Portfoliowhich consisted of scones, cream and jam, chocolate cupcakes, and candied orange and gooseberry tarts, prepared by Chef HW Pieterse  and his team, beautifully decorated with rose buds, lavender, and pansies. We were served The Wellness Group teas,  with its tea leaves in muslin bags.  A range of flavours is available.   One can book the High Tea with 24 hour notice, and organise a tea party to celebrate a special birthday, anniversary, stork tea, or just a special spoiling. Anthonij Rupert Cutlery Whale Cottage Portfolio The High Tea will usually include smoked salmon blinis, and cucumber, dill and horseradish sandwiches too.  The treats offered change regularly, and could also include orange infused koeksisters, mini chocolate and hazelnut mousse pots, chocolate salami, and red berry tarts.  Gidi told us about the herb garden growing alongside the manor house, with 32 medicinal (for educational use) and cooking herbs, the latter used in the food preparation on the estate.  It was started from scratch a year ago.

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Green Point Track Whale Cottage PortfolioOn Saturday Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille officially opened the Green Point Track, a new sporting facility which is hidden on the cul de sac road that leads away from the Cape Town Stadium, across the road from McDonalds.  Given that the launch has been very low key, with barely any information to be found via Google, we requested Artvark, the creators of ten urban art sculptures made for the Green Point Track, to let us have more information about the project.  It was interesting to read the motivation for the sculptures created, linking Cape Town’s sporting and recreation past and present.

On the cards since 2009, the urban art project was deemed to be an important part of the upgrading of the Track, to commemorate its history specifically, and the sporting and cultural history of Cape Town generally.  Landscape artist Darryl Pryce-Lewis conceptualised the idea of negative and positive panels made from metal, all to be positioned in a straight line, creating a ‘visual effect to be able to look through a negative space of an individual sculpture towards the positive, the symbolism of this already touch upon the diverseness and challenges faced in our country‘, explains Artvark. (more…)

After huge protests about the poorly run Indaba 2012, Africa’s top tourism and travel exhibition appears to have improved its organisation, and has promised a larger number of international trade visitors for Indaba 2013, taking place in Durban this weekend. SA Tourism has stated that 3000 international ‘buyers’ are attending, as are more than 13000 delegates, according to the Daily News. The majority of the delegates are involved with tourism product stands.  The country’s world heritage sites, culture, arts, design and music are on display, in addition to tourism products and services.  Cape Town’s tourism product appears unfocused and fragmented at Indaba!

Cape Town is being represented by the Western Cape government (its party headed by Alan Winde, Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism); the ineffective Western Cape tourism and trade development agency Wesgro, which has not delivered at all in the first year of taking over the role of marketing tourism in the province; Cape Town Tourism, SA National Parks; the city’s Big Six attractions; the Cape Higher Education Consortium (what on earth are they doing at a tourism exhibition?); Cape Town World Design Capital 2014; and The City of Cape Town’s Arts and Culture department. Odd is that the City of Cape Town’s Tourism, Events and Marketing department is not represented in Durban.

Minister Winde said in a media statement that this year’s Indaba theme is ‘heritage and culture’, and that he ‘hoped’ that Robben Island and the San cultural landmarks of our province will be featured on the ‘South African Heritage Cultural Pavilion’, an odd comment as one would think that the Minister’s tourism department or his marketing arm Wesgro would have ensured their inclusion on the national stand! ‘Foreign visitors want to see more of what do (sic) and how we live, they want authentic local experiences. The Western Cape has a rich and diverse history and is home to iconic heritage sites such as Robben Island. The Western Cape Government is currently devising a cultural and heritage tourism strategy, which will be aligned with that of the national government. We are pleased the Tourism Indaba profiles this offering so prominently this year’, the Minister is quoted as saying!  Disappointing is that the Minister believes the misleading tourism information put out by Cape Town Tourism, in claiming that ‘the sector experienced its best ever summer season‘! The Minister clearly does not know that the last good summer season was in 2007!

The Western Cape has developed a new slogan which has not been seen before, but will be on show at Indaba, in an interactive stand showcasing the province’s top sights and activities, such as shark diving, the top restaurants, the Winelands, paragliding, and river rafting. ‘Adventurously yours…naturally ours’ appears contrived as a slogan, and there is no Western Cape branding in it!  The Western Cape World Heritage sites Robben Island, the Cape Floral Region, and the Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape will be on show on the Heritage Cultural Pavilion.

On the same Cape Town stand the City of Cape Town (according to the Cape Town Tourism media release but quoting Councillor Grant Pascoe, Mayoral Committee member for Tourism, Events, and Marketing, extensively) ‘will reflect Cape Town’s position (sic) as a value-for-money destination famed for sporting, entertainment and arts events but will also examine (sic) its focus on golf and adventure tourism, as well as Responsible Tourism‘, states yet another poorly written media release by Cape Town Tourism PR and Communications Manager Skye Grove (our underlining)!  The Councillor added that Cape Town will also focus on ‘the fastest growing markets’ (one wonders where he obtained this information, as Cape Town Tourism and Wesgro have not ever referred to them in the past) of Arts and Culture tourism, Muslim travel, youth travel, and sports tourism!

Cape Town Tourism has compiled a ‘Love Cape Town City Breaks‘ winter packages broadsheet in conjunction with Thompson Holidays, which will be handed out at the stand, on Mango flights, at Cape Town Tourism information centres, and at Cape Town events (not that there are any upcoming ones other than some soccer matches to keep the Cape Town Stadium alive, and to make Cape Town soccer lovers happy, the Liverpool friendly match against Ajax Cape Town just having been cancelled)!   Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, Cape Town Tourism CEO, said that her organisation’s role at Indaba is to represent a place that is a hot bed (sic) of experiences, hidden gems and adventures‘, not even mentioning Brand Cape Town (our underlining)!

As tourism players we know that the presence of Cape Town and Wesgro at Indaba will do little to improve what is already a very bleak winter season, which cannot even be blamed on the rain, as there has been barely any to date!

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

Table Mountain is the icon of not only Cape Town, but also of our country and even Africa.  It was made a New7Wonders of Nature a year ago, and inaugurated as such a month ago.

Recently the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company proudly bragged that it had the highest number of visitors ever in November, with 90000 visitors in that month, or 3000 per day on average, assuming there were no closures due to bad weather days in November.  This would mean that in that month an average of 1500 cars went up the curvy and steep Tafelberg Road every day, in the hope of parking.  Dropping guests off at the lower Cableway station yesterday morning, I couldn’t help but think how antiquated and tourist-unfriendly this leading tourism destination is:

*  The parking ‘facility’, if one can call it that, is wholly inadequate.  Yesterday the parking alongside the road was full to just past where the taxis park, near the traffic circle on Kloofnek Road, which would mean a strenuous uphill walk to the lower Cableway station for anyone arriving from about 10h00 onwards.  On our way up, we saw that there still is no pedestrian facility, and that tourists have to walk in the already narrow road to get to the Cableway station.   One would have thought that a shuttle service would have been introduced to take tourists from the parking area at the traffic circle to the ticket office.  Clearly the parking area near the traffic circle is wholly inadequate to accommodate all the cars destined for the mountain tour. The City Sightseeing Hop On Hop Off bus stops at the Cableway station, and this has alleviated some of the pressure on parking, as guests can get off and hop on again once they have been to the top of the mountain, but this trip would cost them R250 for the day ticket, in addition to the R205 for the Cableway return ticket.

*  The electronic board at the Kloofnek traffic circle is a useful information service, indicating if the Cableway is operating or not.   This has alleviated unnecessary traffic up Tafelberg Road. Yesterday the billboard was not operating, but it was clear that the Cableway was open, given that it was a beautiful wind-free day.

*  A solution introduced by the Cableway company was the online booking of tickets.  This service has been marketed as alleviating queues that Table Mountain was notorious for, many visitors in past years having to queue for up to four hours to buy their ticket, and then to queue for the cablecar.   Our guests had pre-booked their tickets (they are valid for 14 days), but when we arrived at the Cableway, the service seemed to be so efficient that not one person was at the ticket office, but there was an incredibly long queue to get into a cablecar.  The online ticket purchase was therefore of no benefit at all.  Even odder was that other guests of ours who wanted to go up the mountain as well, could not go, because the allocation of online booked tickets had run out for the day by lunchtime, even though they could have bought tickets at the ticket office.  All this does not make sense and is customer-unfriendly.

*   Visitors coming down the mountain cause severe traffic blockage on Kloofnek Road in the late afternoon, the road widening done in winter not alleviating the traffic problems. Two days ago we drove into town, and saw that there were no traffic officials to regulate the traffic flow, or lack of!

The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company has done little to upgrade its facilities in many years since it introduced new cablecars, with the exception of a repaint of its cablecars, probably sponsored by its advertiser VISA, and the erection of the electronic billboard earlier this year.   One cannot understand that the parking situation has not been addressed, that there is not a dedicated safe pedestrian path, and that there is no suitable undercover protection for tourists having to stand in the sun for many hours to get into the cable car, at temperatures such as 36°C yesterday, especially as the CEO of the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company, Sabine Lehmann, is the Chairman of Cape Town Tourism!

POSTSCRIPT 27/12: Our guests reported the disaster of the rest of their trip up Table Mountain this morning.  The queue was a shambles, being a general one for both online ticket holders and non ticket holders. The non ticket holders were then sent to the ticket office, to buy their tickets.  Standing in the queue in the heat for so long, the daughter of our guest fainted.  A Cableway staff member saw this, but did not react at all, nor call for help with first aid.  Part of the congestion is that the lifts only take 12 passengers at a time, and that the cablecar only took about 40 passengers at a time instead of its capacity of 64. The guests had to queue for an hour to get into a cablecar to get back down the mountain.  Our UK guests said that this has been their only negative experience in Cape Town.

POSTSCRIPT 28/12: This morning I took another guest up to the Cableway station, and this time the traffic was even worse than on Boxing Day.  It took an hour to drive to the station and return to Camps Bay! The police (NOT traffic police) were directing the traffic at the Kloofnek Traffic Circle, which caused an even greater traffic jam.  I saw the odd umbrella for the queue waiting to get into the Cablecar.  There is a wooden pergola all the way up the steps where the queue has to wait, but there is no awning over the pergola, therefore not protecting the tourists against the sun and heat at all.

POSTSCRIPT 28/12: Sabine Lehmann, CEO of the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company, has responded to this blogpost via a Comment.  We were shocked to hear that she had been on leave from 20 – 27 December, returning to work today.  She admits that Boxing Day was their busiest day.  One wonders how a CEO can be away from her business at the peak of the tourist season!  This is her detailed reply:

“The 26th of December was our busiest day this year and our facilities were severely under pressure. We find that in the mornings the Cableway is at its busiest and remind visitors and tour operators alike, that even on our very busy days (such as today), it tends to be much quieter from 3- 4pm onwards.

Parking:
I agree, we do not have enough parking on Tafelberg Road. But as the road is in a nature reserve it is unlikely that more parking will ever be built. The Taxi’s offer a shuttle service from Kloof Nek @ R5 per person. We are also in discussion with the City of CT to assess whether the MyCiti Bus could connect from Kloof Nek to the Cableway. I am hopeful that this may have a positive outcome by season 2013.

Upgrade of Facilities:
During shutdown each year, the Cableway completes the upgrade of facilities. These are almost always dependent on permissions from a number of parties (City of CT, SANParks and Heritage) so in most cases projects are 2-3 years in the planning before they can be completed.
Some of the signficant investments and upgrades that have taken place over the past 5 years include:
Complete Table Mountain Cafe overhaul including all back of house facilities, top station ablution block upgrade and new sewage system, shading at the lower station on Tafelberg Road, shading at the lower station on the ramp, new ticket system to allow us to sell on line, rehabilitation of Tafelberg Road, completion of a pedestrian boardwalk either side of the Lower Cable Station, completion of a new turning circle at the lower Cable Station and the electronic sign board on Kloof Nek. We have more planned over the next 3 years but are awaiting final sign off of necessary permissions and need to time projects with our shutdown over the next few years.

Pedestrian Safety
The Cableway invested R3.5 mill this year to rehabilitate Tafelberg Road, build a new turning circle and build the pedestrian Boardwalk. Tafelberg Road is a public road and not owned nor managed by us.

Online Tickets:
Online tickets were introduced 3 years ago. They have helped spread demand throught out the day (as has the Sunset Special after 18h00). The Cablecar unfortunately will always remain the bottle neck but visitors who do hold on line tickets do get through quicker. Due to the fact that we are so weather dependent and cannot predict when we will open nor whether there will be a view, we only sell a set number of on line tickets per day”.

POSTSCRIPT 31/12: Forwarding this blogpost on to Cape Town Tourism demonstrates that having Ms Lehmann (CEO of the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company) as Chairman of Cape Town Tourism will never result in any action against the Cableway Company.  This is the reply we received from Enver Duminy, Executive Manager Tourism Services of Cape Town Tourism, reflecting that mediocrity rules in Cape Town’s tourism authority:

I note the detailed response received from Sabine Lehmann, MD of Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMACC) on the referred blog post and trust that her feedback is satisfactory. We have also liaised with TMACC and we are satisfied that everything possible is being done to ensure the best-possible service to visitors. I hope you find the above in order?”

Our reply was that it is not in order!

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

Once a year Cape Town Routes Unlimited and the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism host a Tourism Destination Conference, inviting a broad spectrum of tourism players across the Western Cape to be recharged and stimulated, after a long and busy summer season.  The theme on Tuesday was ‘Cultural Tourism: Bringing the past, present and future together’, and it was Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille who pleaded for an expansion of this type of tourism, to embrace a broader spectrum of cultures in the Cape.  The current contribution of Tourism to the provincial GDP of 10 % can grow to 15% by 2015, Western Cape provincial Tourism Minister Alan Winde predicted.

A short media conference generated more valuable information than many of the morning Conference speakers, who indulged badly in over-running their time allocation, over-powering the audience with slide information, and having technical presentation issues.  There were no themes to address in the media conference, and attendees could ask questions, allowing more relevant tourism issues to be discussed with Minister Winde, Mayor de Lille, Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs & Sport Dr Ivan Meyer, new Chairman of Cape Town Routes Unlimited Deon Cloete from ACSA, and Cape Town Routes Unlimited CEO Calvyn Gilfellan.  Interesting was the news that Peter Bacon was not available to continue as Chairman of Cape Town Routes Unlimited, moving to Mauritius. One had high hopes of Mr Bacon, coming from the hospitality industry, but he made little visible progress for the organisation.  From next week Cape Town Routes Unlimited will move in with Wesgro, and both bodies will evaluate how they can market Cape Town as a tourism and an investment destination, without duplication of marketing monies. The joint collaboration will enable operational costs to be reduced, to allow more funds to be available for marketing. The Western Cape Tourism Act and the Wesgro Act will be rewritten, to allow the amalgamation of the two bodies. A Transitional steering committee has been formed, and an Annual Performance Plan has been prepared for the next year, defining the expected deliverables.

Cultural Tourism will become a focus to counter Seasonality in the Western Cape, we were told, with more events and conferences planned in the winter months.  But Minister Winde was quick to remind us that solutions to Seasonality do not lie with his department, but with the private sector, in creating the events and conferences. The provincial Tourism authority can support and help market them.  It is clear that too few such events are held in winter.  Mr Cloete said that Seasonality has been addressed, in that the peaks and off-peaks have grown, and that airlines are extending their length of season of flying to Cape Town. Minister Winde also encouraged the tourism industry to use the ‘Green Season’ to recharge one’s batteries, to train staff, to pay attention to maintenance issues, and to take annual leave at this time of the year, and not over the Festive Season, when Cape Town and the province are at their busiest, a commendable call.

Mayor de Lille spoke passionately about Cultural Tourism, saying that ‘Cape Town has a rich tapestry of culture’, but she called on the Cape Town tourism industry to become more comprehensive in reflecting all past and current cultures through routes, i.e. a Malay Route, Slave Route, San/Khoi Route, and also going back further than 360 years in talking about the history of Cape Town. She added: “The future we are trying to craft as a leading city of Africa and the developing world is tied to where we have come from.  Our future starts from our past and, as is fitting for our great society, the building blocks from which we make our city tomorrow are strong and varied…. we share our heritage with those who want to build the future together with us”.

Minister Winde also said that we should show more pride in our culture and resources, and used the example of a harvest festival in Dijon, celebrated in most towns in France, but rarely seen locally.  The Minister had clearly been to the Oesfees at Solms-Delta last weekend, raving about how the farming staff and local community celebrate the end of the harvest with local music and food.  He also highlighted Robben Island, the West Coast Fossil Park, and other cultural treasurers, raising the question of how such treasures could be ‘commercialised’, to make them accessible to visitors and be marketed to them.  He said that ‘we must own each other’s history to become one nation‘.  The Minister had an interesting plan for the Robben Island ferries not running on bad weather days, in that tourists would be shown an Imax film in The Pavilion Conference Centre in the V&A Waterfront.  Dr Meyer spoke about a new slogan R2D2 (Redress, Reconciliation, Diversity, and Delivery) in Cultural Tourism being expanded, ‘to heal our nation’, we were told.  The change in street names in Cape Town is another form of Cultural Tourism.

Minister Winde was asked about cruise tourism, and a cruise liner terminal in the Cape Town port.  Given the seasonality in cruise tourism, a new terminal building would have to be a multi-use one, to make it financially viable. He said this would not happen in the near future, and someone would have to claim ownership in creating such a building.  The Minister said that he is continuing with discussions at a provincial and national level.

Quinton Coetzee was the star speaker of the day, with his well-spoken and entertaining presentation about the San people, drawing parallels between their community and how we run companies.  One always has high expectations of Dr Nikolaus Eberl, who has been closely involved in the German and South African World Cups, but talking about the Berlin polar bear Knut for a second year had no Cultural Tourism learning points. New SA Tourism CEO Thulani Nzima paid his first official visit to Cape Town since his appointment, and his presentation was embarrassing, in taking twice as long as the time he had been allocated, the slides were over-full with information, and the speaker had not done any technical tests before his presentation.  He spoke about the Domestic Tourism Strategy, being ‘collaborative and not the exclusive domain of any body’, he said.  Statistics presented showed that domestic tourism showed no growth between 2007 and 2010.  The potential target market of 18+ year olds earning an income of R3000 per month is 8,2 million. Fourteen segments were identified, and reduced down to five priorities.  The largest segment of these was named ‘New Horizon Families’, a potential market of 1,8 million, about 35 years old, ‘Black, Coloured and Indian’, earning R5000 – R10000 per month, and spending R10000 on a ten-day trip for a family of 2 adults and 2 children. They stay in 3-star Bed & Breakfasts or self-catering accommodation, and go on holiday every 2 – 3 years. They are attracted by airline specials, and enjoy heritage-related activities and educational trips.  The goal of travel is to educate their children, to spend quality time together as a family, and is a reward for their hard work.  The Domestic Tourism strategy should persuade 2,6 million locals to visit other regions in their country, with a pay-off line “See your world as the world sees it”!  Provincial meetings are held, to prevent duplication of marketing activities, Mr Nzima said.  He seemed to evade a question as to the size of the Domestic Tourism marketing budget, but did confirm a ring-fenced R50 million allocation to market to Africa this year, and R84 million for each of the two years thereafter, setting up SA Tourism offices in Angola and Nigeria as a start.

Minister Winde has been encouraged to move this annual conference to the ‘Green Season’, so that more can attend in general, and attend for a larger part of the day, given that tourism businesses cannot spare their management for a full day before the end of the season.  The food of The Pavilion in the V&A Waterfront could be vastly improved, and perhaps wine estates and top restaurants could be invited to present their products to the industry at the Conference next year.   Not one speaker kept to the allocated half an hour, and therefore the Conference ran very badly over time, and many presentations became boring as a result. Cape Town Routes Unlimited will have to be far harsher in its time management of the Conference, and should introduce more variety of speakers, not repeating the same speakers every year. The organisation should not shy away from controversy, in allowing important industry issues to be debated in open forums through questions and discussions.  Successful industry case studies in surviving the recession etc. could be of greater value than a presentation of the marketing of (now deceased) Knut the Berlin polar bear!

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