For the first time in the Western Cape a Tourism Ambassador has been appointed. Bob Skinstad, South African rugby hero and commentator, is the new Tourism Ambassador for the Overstrand, encompassing the municipal region stretching from Kleinmond-Hangklip to Gansbaai, via Hermanus and Stanford. The area is also known as the Cape Whale Coast.
The concept of a Tourism Ambassador was the idea of Wesgro CEO Nils Flaatten, who felt that Bob’s interaction with top rugby fans locally, as well as internationally would stand the Overstrand region in good stead if it was recommended by him as a holiday destination on his travels. Bob grew up in ‘Southern Rhodesia‘, but loved coming on holidays to Hermanus with his parents, and they now live in the seaside town (with his parents-in-law too), giving Bob’s endorsement even greater credibility. A Memorandum of Agreement has been signed for 12 months between Bob and the Overstrand municipality, confirming which services he will render, and how many packages of products from the area he can use for marketing purposes. He wants the region to become more Social Media savvy, and recommended ‘We Chat’ as a huge free Continue reading →
Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines
* Perfect China is sending 700 of its salespersons to Cape Town next month. The collaboration between Perfect China, and Leopard’s Leap/La Motte was born from a friendship between the two companies’ leaders and their complementary focus on social responsibility.
* Australia, the USA, and South Africa export more than half of their wines in bulk, and bottle them in the countries in which they are sold.
* Close to 800000 Botswana residents visit South Africa annually, a market which SA Tourism, is targeting.
* The Overstrand Municipality is spending more than R6000000 in its Continue reading →
A unique new Bicycle Taxi service will be rolled out in Hermanus from Monday, offering visitors and locals a free service to get to the different businesses in the centre of Hermanus.
Introduced as an employment project for local Hermanus unemployed residents, the tourism-friendly service to benefit Hermanus retail and tourist businesses has been launched in conjunction with the Overstrand Municipality. It will operate on a three month trial basis, from Mondays to Saturdays between 9h00 – 17h00, three Bicycle Taxis seating two guests at a time operating on a Hop On Hop Off basis at designated stops.
The Overstrand Municipality’s Tourism Department has done the training to develop the drivers into tourism ambassadors, receiving a thorough training in the tourist attractions of the town. They have also been trained in road safety. Their bicycles have 18 gears, lights, indicators, and brakes to ensure their safe operation.
The joint public-private project is a commendable one, and one hopes that other tourist towns will take a leaf out of the Hermanus book to also offer such a tourist-friendly service!
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
The Sweet Service Award goes to Woolworths and its Customer Experience Manager Anita Scott, who took over dealing with our complaint about the W Café at the V&A Waterfront, after Tribeca, the external operators of the W Café, did not contact us as promised. A 3-cheese toast with mustard looked unappetising, the bread having fallen apart on the plate when served, and it had unidentifiable red bits. There was no manager on duty. The supervisor was out of his depth. The Woolworths Store Manager logged the call, but it did not reach Tribeca, they claim. After 10 days of non-response, it was a delight to speak to Ms Scott, who was frank about what steps would be taken with Tribeca (she herself had experienced the toasted cheese on another occasion). I asked her why Woolworths is allowing Tribeca to destroy their brand name with such poor service and poor quality food, as experienced in their Paarl, V&A, and Sea Point Piazza St John branches. She diplomatically did not answer, but it seems that some serious action is on its way.
The Sour Service Award goes to the Overstrand Municipality, and is nominated by property owner Sybille Rutherford. It has been edited to reduce the length: “I herewith wish to raise the issue of the changes made to the refuse collection being shifted from Mondays to Fridays in the Voelklip -and Hermanus area. We are saddened that this has been made without consulting anyone – as to what the implications would be. Most of us homeowners have the second homes as weekend retreats- we dont stay there permanently. The previous refuse collection day on Mondays was a perfect solution, as the mainstream of visitors to Hermanus is always on a weekend. There have been a few baboons around our area in 09th Street-and I fear that the collection of rubbish on Fridays (leaving the bins and bags open in the Street for some 5 days) will attract the troops of baboons from the caves in the mountains behind our properties en masse- and even if they cannot open some of the special bins provided- there is always the overflow of rubbish in bags which gets placed alongside the bins for collection. Apart from being a definite “draw card” for baboons and bergies – there is also the mess that dogs make when they scrounge in the bags, littering the sidewalks and roads, as well as a stench which will accumulate from all the rubbish lying there for 5 days waiting for collection. In summer arrives this will make matters worse with the heat.It will also attract flies to the area. Are we really wanting to create problems for our beautiful, clean, well run Hermanus town, which is becoming more and more popular with tourists-and people wanting to rent houses for the weekend to spend some time away from home or international guests who rent homes there on a regular basis, be it for families or golfers,hikers or mountain bikers? Once they discover that troops of baboons descend from the mountains and gravitate towards the rubbish – they will feel threatened and more than likely find another little “safe” town to spend their holidays in“.
The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog. Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at email@example.com. Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog, and in the WhaleTales newsletters on the www.whalecottage.com website.