Tourism 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 →
* The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has reacted to the additional Immigration Regulations introduced on Monday, requesting our government ‘to act in the best interests of the country and review‚ modify‚ and if necessary‚ rescind‚ the new measures if they do not have the desired effect and if they act as a handbrake on travel‚ tourism and economic growth‚ not just for South Africa — which is experiencing its weakest GDP performance in decades — but for the entire region. From a commercial and economic perspective‚ the industry is concerned that the harsh and onerous requirements South Africa has prescribed for travellers will negatively impact on the sustainability of air services‚ travel‚ trade and tourism to‚ from and via South Africa‘!
* The inaugural Cabernet Franc Carnival will be held at Avontuur on 20 June, with thirteen producers presenting their wines to taste, including Ridgeback Wines, Avontuur, Lynx Wines, Hermanuspietersfontein, Camberley Wines, Cape Chamonix, CK Wines, Doolhof Wine Estate, Druk-My-Niet Wine Estate, Mont du Toit, Ormonde Vineyards, Raats Family Wines, and Nelson Family Vineyards. Entrance R120.
* The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has introduced a customer protection programto allow stranded passengers flying to or from or within Europe to be guaranteed a flight back home in the case of the airline going bankrupt.
* The best-selling red wine in Sweden is South Africa’s Umbala, a Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, and Pinotage blend from Mare Magnum, while Zumbali Chenin Blanc box wine is a top seller too, reports Euromonitor International. The country’s wine sale grew by 2% last year, and value is important to Swedish wine drinkers. By 2018 wine sales are expected to grow by 6%.
* Cape Town Tourism has launched a campaign focused on Capetonians, to celebrate Tourism Month this month, encouraging locals to experience their own city. Based on the view that locals may not always appreciate the beauty of the city, they have been invited to photograph the yellow frames giving a different perspective on Table Mountain, erected to celebrate World Design Capital 2014 throughout Cape Town (in the V&A Waterfront, at Look Out Hill in Khayelitsha, as well as in Blaauwberg), with their friends and family. The winning photograph will win a Cape Town experience valued at R30000. (received via media release from Cape Town Tourism)
* Western Cape Tourism Minister Alan Winde hopes that the forthcoming tourism season will be the best yet, despite the damage that the Immigration Regulations can do to families wishing to visit our province. He will be hosting a ‘Tourism Plenary‘ later this month, to draft a Western Cape Cycling Tourism Strategy, in how to attract 100000 cyclists to the province annually. New tourism routes in rural areas of the province are on the cards. (received via media release from Minster Winde’s office)
* The Eat Out Gala Dinner, at which the country’s Top 10 Restaurants will be announced, will be held at Thunder City on 16 November. Mercedes-Benz is the new title sponsor of the Awards.
* The charity ‘Chefs who Share’ dinner, to be held in the City Hall on 11 September, will have seven pairs of top local chefs cooking for guests, each team paired with a local sommelier as well as an international Michelin star chef. The international chefs are Gerd Kastenmeier from Kastenmeier Dresden, Alfred Miller from Wirtshaus Schöneck Innsbruck, Andreas Meyer from Schloss Prielau, Christoph Geschwendtner from Schlosshotel Fiss, Anton Schmaus from Restaurant Storstad, Bernard Reiser from Restaurant Würzburg, and Christian Grainer from Christian’s Restaurant. (received via media release from Amplicon PR)
* The South African Wine Tasting Championships 2014 will be held at the Hilton Hotel on 2 August. Each participant will taste 50 wines, whereafter they must identify 10 wines tasted blind, out of the 50. The 50 highest scoring participants will participate at the World Championships at Champagne Bollinger in October. (received via media release from Jean-Vincent Ridon)
* The International Air Transportation Association (IATA) has warned that the new Immigration Regulations could affect the profitability of airlines serving South Africa, in that they ‘might stop people travelling‘, even if they were ‘well intentioned‘.
* London is the most visited city in the world for the third time in four years, according to the MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index. The survey estimates that the city will receive 18,7 million visitors this year, beating Bangkok, which was ranked first last year. Paris, Singapore, and Dubai also fall into the Top 5 visitor cities list. 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.
* Tourists often are better informed about the tourism attractions and highlights of a city than are the local residents of the city, given their ability to use technology to garner information about and make bookings for the destination that they are visiting. Nick Hall, Head of the Digital Tourism Think Tank, says: ‘So, what we have witnessed so far will accelerate. We can expect far more change, far faster. In this light the rise of mobile technologies is poised to change the industry as much as it has already. Visitors will be innately digital. They will be hyper-informed and seamlessly connected throughout their travel. The challenge this poses to existing tourist businesses is immense, as is the opportunity it holds out‘. While technology is important, tourists still want the ‘reality of the experience, not the virtual reality’.
* Three Ships Premium Select 5 Year Old won gold at the 2014 International Spirits Challenge in London. The whisky is blended Continue reading →
* The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has seen only a minimal improvement in the growth in revenue passenger kilometers of 5,6% in the first quarter of this year, compared to 5,2 % for the same quarter in 2013. Global passenger growth in March 2014 was half that in February. Most regions showed minimal growth in March compared to February, with the exception of the Middle East, which had a 10% passenger growth and Latin America a 4,7% passenger growth in March relative to February. Africa was the only region with an outright passenger decline (2,6%), and South Africa’s passenger decline is said to be to blame due to poor economic conditions in our country.
* De Grendel Merlot 2011 has won a Gold and its Shiraz 2012 a Silver Award at the SAKURA Awards held in Tokyo. Entries were received from 33 countries, and 1900 wines were evaluated on a 100 point scoring system. Continue reading →