Yesterday I attended the launch of Yumcious Café in the DeVille Centre in Durbanville, the second restaurant of Chef Jenny Morris, her first one being the very successful Yumcious Café in the Cape Quarter. Continue reading →
* Mayor Patricia de Lille has launched a Beach Safety campaign, handing out goody bags containing sunscreen, a frisbee, and beach safety pamphlets at Clifton 4th Beach, Camps Bay, Silwerstroom, Gordon’s Bay, Muizenberg, and Monwabisi. The campaign includes a ‘I love my Beach’ promotion, aimed at keeping Cape Town’s 83 beaches clean, safe and free of alcohol. The City has budgeted an additional R 22 million to keep the beaches, scenic routes, and business areas clean until February.
* The Minister of Tourism is inviting tourism players to apply for a three-year position as Non-Executive directors on the board of SA Tourism. Entries close on ‘23 January 2014′ (sic).
* The Wall Street Journal has slated South African Pinotage as a wine variety to avoid buying as a gift over the festive Continue reading →
* The introduction of low prices by domestic airlines when FlySafair takes off next month will not be permanent, its competitor Mango has stated. Prices of all airlines may be lower for the first few weeks, but these are not sustainable in the long run, the competitor spokespersons have said.
* ‘At the present moment, the clock has not stopped’, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba told a media conference on Friday, meaning that the new Immigration Regulations will be implemented on 1 October. There is no timeframe for the completion of the work of the task team, which will be appointed to evaluate how the regulations can be better implemented. The Minister confirmed on Friday that the Regulations themselves will not change.
* When asked about the sudden resignation of Jan Hutton, Chief Marketing Officer at SA Tourism, Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom said there ‘are many sides of a story’, and said that he did not want to interfere with the SA Tourism’s Board handling of Continue reading →
* Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and Minister of Tourism Alan Winde will launch three wifi hotspots next week, in Atlantis, George, and Robertson, with Delft to follow two months later, connecting 50000 residents in the province to the internet. (received via media release from Minister Winde’s office)
* Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown is talking about ‘collapsing’ SAA, SA Express, and Mango into one airline, which would have one Board of Directors, and create a ‘leaner and meaner‘ airline. Privatisation is not being considered.
* Western Cape Minister of Tourism Alan Winde has issued a media statement regarding the new Immigration Regulations and their effect on Tourism for the first time. Acting on feedback from hoteliers, travel agents and tour operators in the province, he Continue reading →
* Etihad Airways has bought a 49% share in Alitalia. The investment will benefit Alitalia as follows: ‘The recapitalized Italian national airline will now be able to invest in a comprehensive strategic business plan which will see new long-haul routes from Rome and Milan, a revitalized brand, and a greater focus on Italian tourism and trade promotion’.
* The award-winning winemaking team of Andrea and Chris Mullineux, of 2014 Platter’s Winery of the Year Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines, now has access to the Roundstone wine farm inRiebeek-Kasteel, on which they will plant new vines (with viticulturist Rosa Kruger) as well as Continue reading →
* SA Tourism CEO Thulani Nzima seems to have making a rare visit to Cape Town, the jewel in the tourism crown, where he has come to attend the Mercedes-Benz Cape Town Fashion Week at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. He is upbeat about tourism to our country, saying it is ‘the new mining‘! It is good to hear him compliment our city, which receives the bulk of international tourists to our country: ‘It is endowed with natural beauty. No matter how other provinces want to compete, they don’t have Table Mountain, Robben Island, the wine routes’. Good media coverage for Cape Town, as well as its conference facilities benefit Cape Town. When asked about the new Immigration Regulations he said that he would wait for the Ministers of Tourism and Home Affairs to discuss the impact of the Regulations on tourism.
* Lovers of the MasterChef cooking series can now join a MasterChef Cruise around the Caribbean from 8 – 15 November, passengers being put through their paces in a number of challenges including Pressure Tests and Mystery Boxes. MasterChef judge Graham Elliot, and past winners of the series will be taking the passengers through the cooking programme, which includes blind taste tests, making macaroons, sushi, pasta, cocktails, all leading to a winner chosen as the MasterChef Cruise Champion.
* The Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition 2015 has kicked off, seeking the best cocktail in the country. The competition Continue reading →
It is disappointing that new Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom did not address this country’s most burning tourism issue, namely the changed Immigration Regulations, in his first official communication to the industry in the latest SA Tourism newsletter. Instead he deals with transformation of the industry.
The Minister’s maiden speech shared his goals to ‘grow tourism at local government level, and to identify growth opportunities‘. Transformation will be addressed at grass roots level, and will focus on rural tourist attractions receiving more support, getting local communities more involved in tourism initiatives, and enhancing financial resources of local communities.
The Minister is active on Social Media, which was not visible from his predecessor Marthinus van Schalkwyk. Minister Hanekom Tweeted ‘Must say, this beautiful South Africa of ours is a great product to sell. Let’s do it together!’! Van Schalkwyk promised a smooth transition to the new Minister. The Department of Tourism Director General Ambassador Kingsley Makhubela said ‘We look forward to taking tourism to new levels under Minister Hanekom’s guidance’. Continue reading →
The Sweet Service Award goes to Alan Winde, Western Cape Minister of Tourism and avid cyclist, for resurrecting the Midnight Mass cycle, which takes place on full moon night once a month. The informal fun cycle, which has been running for a year and attracts about 4000 cyclists, was closed down earlier this month by the City’s Tourism, Events, and Marketing Directorate due to safety concerns, required for events of 2000 participants or more. Minister Winde met his City of Cape Town counterpart Grant Pascoe, Member of the Mayoral Committee for Tourism, Events, Continue reading →
* The Brass Bell in Kalk Bay has to remove all its deck extensions, the City of Cape Town has dictated.
* Vida e Caffe is said to be opening at Shell forecourts, rolling out with 40 outlets initially, and a total of 300 is planned!
* Russia is now South Africa’s third largest export market, especially in bulk wines.
* The Hermanus Wine & Food Festival will be held at the outskirts of the town this weekend, on Friday and Saturday.
* Bistro Sixteen82 is focusing on South Africa in its Tapas themed dinners in August, with its ‘Bringing Tapas Home’ theme being traditional South African dishes with a contemporary twist. The ten local dishes include Bobotie, Bunny Chow, Malva Pudding, and Koeksisters. So far the Tapas themes have been Italy and Turkey, and Mexico and the Orient will follow. (via media release from Communication Services Africa)
* The Robertson Wine on the River festival takes place for the eighth consecutive year, over the weekend of Continue reading →
Marthinus van Schalkwyk, national Minister of Tourism, returned from a marketing trip to Australia last week, where he promoted South Africa as the ideal leisure and business tourism destination. Australia ranks sixth in long-haul source markets, and its tourism numbers to South Africa grew by 39 % between 2005 and 2010, to reach 107000 visitors.
Minister van Schalkwyk is looking to grow the Australian market: “We are aiming to achieve and exceed the target of 120000 Australian tourist arrivals in the next two years. We actively need to work at improving seasonality by exposing and promoting South Africa’s all-year, easy-to-do and value-for-money experiences”. The Minister said that Australian tourists look for ‘unique, memorable destinations with amazing wildlife, incredible beaches and coastlines, urban centres and warm, friendly people‘.
SA Tourism opened an office in Sydney nine years ago, and has invited the travel trade on familiarisation trips to South Africa, and has conducted joint roadshows and workshops with the travel trade in Australia. Business Tourism to South Africa was marketed too, the Minister referring to the successful lnternational Olympic Committee and COP17 Climate Change conferences held in Durban last year. The Minister visited the Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo, at which our country was promoted as a ‘highly accessible and value-for-money destination’, and its successes since hosting the 2010 World Cup were highlighted.
The Australian tourism market is attractive, with its visitors staying 15 days and spending R11800 per person per trip on average. It has a strong word-of-mouth communication network with so many former South Africans living in Australia, although not all of them are positively predisposed to their former homeland.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage