On Tuesday evening I was fortunate to enjoy a stay-over at the beautifully located five-star Tintswalo Atlantic on the Atlantic Ocean, at the foot of Chapman’s Peak in Cape Town. The invitation was to try out the newly rebuilt hotel, of which the public rooms were destroyed by a devastating fire in February this year, with accommodation suites renovated, and to provide feedback and suggestions ahead of the reopening of Tintswalo Atlantic on 1 October. A number of media representatives, travel trade representatives, as well as past guests have been invited to experience the Hotel during September. Continue reading →
* The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is encouraging its members to use IT to improve the customer experience, saying that airlines ‘fly people and cargo, not planes‘. Consistency of customer experience is not yet satisfactory for airlines, with little differentiation. Customers would like to use IT to check in online, tag luggage themselves, board themselves, and collect bags themselves, an IATA survey found last year. IATA’s goal is that 80% of passengers have a ‘self-service suite based on industry standards‘ available to them by 2020.
* PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is not known as a Tourism consultancy, so its prediction about our country’s tourism future is a surprise. Its report presents growth of 4% in international tourists 2013, far lower than the 10% growth in 2012. Growth is said to be solid and good, but ‘not fantastic growth‘. Almost three quarters of international visitors to our country are from Africa, the report confirms. Nigeria would become the leading source market for our country, the PwC study predicts. The Guest House category is the fastest growing in respect of room availability. South Africa’s strength is that it attracts leisure as well as business travelers.
* France must be feeling the tourism pinch, having announced plans to become more welcoming to tourists, English speaking ones in particular. The country hopes to increase tourist numbers to 100 million, Continue reading →
Franschhoek will be hosting the third annual ‘Magic of Bubbles’ Cap Classique and Champagne Festival at the Huguenot Monument from 4 – 6 December, sponsored by Investec, allowing bubbly lovers to taste the best of both French and South African sparkling wines.
The imported bubbly brands represented at the Festival will be Billecart Salmon, Joseph Perrier, and Laurent Perrier, while local brands are Avondale, Bon Courage, Boschendal, Bramon, Cape Chamonix, Colmant, Dieu Donne, Du Preez, Genevieve Mcc, Graham Beck, Groote Post, JC le Roux, Krone, Hout Bay Vineyards, Kumkani, La Motte, L’Avenir, Morena, Morgenhof, Nitida, Pierre Jourdan, Seidelberg, Silverthorn, Simonsig, Steenberg, Topiary, Villiera, Weltevrede and Woolworths.
Not only will the visitors taste the best of bubbly, but they will also be able to taste delicacies of the Franschhoek restaurants, which include Cafe Allee Bleue, Dieu Donne, Haute Cabriere, La Petite Ferme, Le Franschhoek, L’Ermitage, Mange Toute, Monneaux, Grande Provence, and Salmon Bar.
Tickets cost R 180 for a tasting glass and 10 tasting coupons, and can be booked at www.webtickets.co.za. The dress code for the Festival is ‘white with a touch of black’. The Festival runs from 18h00 – 22h00 on 4 December, and from 12h00 – 18h00 on 5 and 6 December.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com