Tag Archives: Sao Paulo

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 29 September

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   ‘The Bachelor’ Australia is featuring Cape Town (with Table Mountain), the Winelands, and Pilanesberg Game Reserve in the last two episodes of the dating series, in which bachelor Blake Garvey shows the final three dates the beauty of the Cape.  The series has been produced by Channel Ten in Australia, in conjunction with the Australia country office of SA Tourism.  The publicity shot appears to have been taken at Delaire Graff.  Three complete series of ‘Der Bachelor‘ Germany have been shot in Camps Bay in the past three years.

*   A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Brazil and South Africa last week, to enhance the tourism relationship between the two countries.  Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom visited Sao Paulo to attend the opening of the new SA Tourism office in that city, and to visit the ABAV Travel Tradeshow.  Brazil is the last of the BRICS countries with which South Africa has signed such a Memorandum of Understanding.  Last year tourism from South Africa grew by 8%, and from Brazil close to 6%.

*   South African winemakers are getting younger, writes Wall Street Journal‘s Will Lyons, agreeing with UK wine writer Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 20/21 September

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   An increasing number of Indian TV shows and series is being filmed in countries outside of India, and South Africa is one of the countries benefiting too (see the promo for Dare2Dance, shot in Cape Town).  SA Tourism Country Manager for India Hannelie Slabber said: ‘We have seen a great increase in films and television channels approaching us for associations over the last few years’.  Most of the shooting has been in Gauteng, the Western Cape including the Garden Route, and KwaZulu-Natal, while the Kruger National Park is a popular film location too.

*   Domaine des Dieux won the 14th Amorim Cap Classique Challenge 2014 with its Claudia Brut 2009, a Pinot Noir Chardonnay blend, for Best Brut Blend and Best Producer against 100 other Cap Classique entries.   Graham Beck and Lord both took the top honours in the Blended Brut category.  The former MCC producer also won Best Vintage (2009) and Best Non-Vintage Rosé.   Laborie won Best Vintage Blanc de Blancs (2010), and Colmant the Best Blanc de Blanc non-Vintage category.  Simonsig won the Museum Class for its Kaapse Vonkel 2004.  Judging panel chairman Allan Mullins of Woolworths said that the sparkling wines showed more consistency this year, and were of a higher quality. Mullins was named the inaugural recipient of the Frans Malan Legacy Award.

*   South Africa has dropped in its rank on World  Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 11 July

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Mercedes-Benz South Africa will be taken for a ride by the V&A Waterfront for the next 12 months,  as a member of the V&A Waterfront Partners Programme, which comes with a number of exclusive rights to connect with the V&A’s visitors, including receiving their e-mail addresses, using their venue for events, outdoor advertising, and business to business campaigns.  The V&A sees the advantage as being increased footfall, which it overclaims at 23 million per year!   For Mercedes-Benz the deal is an opportunity to become ‘visualised at the V&A Waterfront to aspirational consumers‘.

*   Fodor’s Travel has written a comprehensive article entitled Wine Lover’s Guide to South Africa, praising our country for its excellent terroir suited to wine farming, and becoming ‘world-renowned’, especially our indigenous Pinotage.  Linking food and wine, the Western Cape is becoming increasingly associated with food excellence too. Wine tasting in Stellenbosch is recommended, at Kanonkop, Tokara, and Waterford Estate, while Indochine, Delaire Graff Restaurant, and Jordan are recommended restaurants.   In Franschhoek La Petite Ferme, Haute Cabrière, Môreson, and the unique Franschhoek Wine Tram are recommended.  The Tasting Room and Bread & Wine are recommended restaurants. In Paarl KWV is recommended, with Bosman’s Restaurant, which is overpraised as ‘one of the best restaurants not only in South Africa, but in the world’ (sic)!  Groot Constantia is mentioned as being the oldest wine estate, and La Colombe and The Greenhouse are recommended restaurants.

*   A clever and cheeky reply to EFF Commissar Andile Mngxitama, who wrote to Sir Richard Branson, saying that the Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 17 June

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Women business travelers want to ‘feel safe, comfortable, empowered, and pampered’, says an American research report. About 50 % of business travelers are women, and they control up top 85% of business travel expenditure.

*   Actress Claire Danes is in Cape Town for the filming of the fourth season of the TV series ‘Homeland’. She and her husband have been spotted eating at Harbour House in Kalk Bay, dining at The Test Kitchen, shopping at the Biscuit Mill, and walking down Kloof Street, near Yours Truly.   Cape Town is doubling up for ‘both Istanbul and Turkey‘ (sic)!

 *   Chenin Blanc was praised by Greg Sherwood of Handford Wines in London, at a tasting of Chenin Blanc and Pinotage wines, organised by Wines of South Africa (WOSA). Sherwood led the Chenin Blanc tasting, and said about the varietal:  ‘Chenin is a massive and unique selling point for South Africa.  It has a variety of styles and gives you a Burgundy textural experience without having to pay Burgundian prices. The days of too much oak and batonnage are now in the past. These practices have Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 24/25 May

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Andrew Bird, Marks & Spencer Head of Trading, which includes wines, non-food, and ambient grocery, is moving to Woolworths for a two year contract as Trading Head next month.  He helped drive Marks & Spencer to be named best retailer at the International Wine Challenge in four out of the past six years.  Bird is said to become head of the ‘wine and soft drinks teams‘ at Woolworths locally.

*   The Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) was part of a consortium that completed Terminal 3 at São Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport, on time and on budget, for the 2014 soccer World Cup, reports The New Age. The project is described as one of the World Cup successes, the new terminal processing all international flights to the city. The capacity to handle an additional 12 million passengers to the 30 million handled annually has been created.   ACSA is also part of a consortium that Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 26 March

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Durbanville Hills Rhinofields Chardonnay 2012 has been selected as one of the world’s Top 10 wines in the 2014 Chardonnay du Monde, achieving this accolade against 794 wines from forty countries.  Cellarmaster Martin Moore attributes the rolling of the barrels to the complexity and success of the wine.   He also says that he does not allow the wine to be overpowered by wood.  Minimal rain during the 2012 summer season also contributed to the wine’s success. (received via media release from De Kock Communications)

*   Düsseldorf is the new international wine capital of the world, after its successful hosting of ProWein 2014, which was attended by 48000 delegates from Sunday until yesterday.   ProWine China will be held for the second time, in Shanghai, from 12 – 14 November.

*   SAA has warned passengers to ignore any e-mails purporting to come from the airline and seeking personal and/or banking details via links, requesting passengers to delete any such e-mails.

*   Helena Rizzo from Mani in São Paulo in Brazil has been named the Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef in the Continue reading →

Wesgro Chief Marketing Officer Judy Lain a breath of fresh air for Tourism!

Wesgro Judy Lain Whale Cottage PortfolioI was recently told that Wesgro had finally appointed a Marketing head after looking since April 2012.  I called Judy Lain, its new Chief Marketing Officer, and was able to set up an appointment to meet her after her trip to South America.  We agreed to meet last Friday at Café Paradiso, on Judy’s recommendation.

All I knew about Judy was that she was better known as Judy During, and had run an advertising agency called 34 Woman, focusing on generating information about women’s purchasing behaviour, being responsible for not only FMCG but also big ticket brand decisions in their households.  Prior to that she worked at Inviseo Media, at Bester Burke Underground, and at draftfcb, therefore having a practical marketing and advertising background.   Our telephonic interaction in setting up the meeting was very different to the bureaucracy I experienced when I arranged to meet with Wesgro CEO Nils Flaatten.  Judy answered the phone herself, sounded friendly and bubbly, and decided that we should meet over lunch.

We had forgotten to describe one another over the phone, but we both Continue reading →

Wesgro’s marketing of Western Cape: around the world in 80 days already!

After having met Wesgro CEO Nils Flaatten two months ago, a week after he had taken over the responsibility for marketing the Western Cape from Cape Town Routes Unlimited, which organisation was incorporated into the trade and investment promotion agency on 2 April this year, we requested feedback about the progress made in marketing the region. Mr Flaatten had asked the industry to give him a month to get the organisational integration completed. An e-mail request for feedback on the marketing progress earlier this month led to an invitation by Mr Flaatten to meet with him on Tuesday.

The most exciting news for the local tourism industry, and Mr Flaatten’s first major challenge, is the 5 July meeting called with SAA’s General Manager Theuns Potgieter by Wesgro with 15 players in the Western Cape, including local and city government, an Eastern Cape tourism marketing body representative, and larger tourism companies, to discuss SAA’s decision to cut its Cape Town-London route as of 15 August. The airline will be asked to motivate its decision in culling the route.  Joint destination marketing between the Western Cape and SAA in bringing in tourists from destinations such as Beijing, Sao Paulo, Mumbai, Melbourne, various African destinations, and Buenos Aires will be discussed too.   Subsequent meetings will be held with the airlines which will continue to serve the Cape Town-London route, including BA, Virgin, and Emirates, to discuss bringing in more flights to Cape Town.

The parking organisation was perfect, and Mr Flaatten chose for us to go to Doppio Zero on St George’s Mall for the meeting.  He had copies of the slides which he used for his recent presentation at FEDHASA Cape’s AGM, which I had requested via his secretary, but the wait was worthwhile, as Mr Flaatten was able to explain his points in greater detail.  Mr Flaatten is a very precise person, and he referred repeatedly and proudly to the progress that he and his new team have made in the ‘two months and 19 days’ since their integration. In the past 80 days Wesgro has undertaken the following Marketing activities:

*   Mr Flaatten and Solly Fourie, Head of the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, accompanied an (unnamed) Chairman of a JSE-listed hotel company to Buenos Aires, to meet six outbound tour operators. Mr Flaatten praised their product knowledge of the Western Cape. He said that the withdrawal of the Cape Town-Buenos Aires Air Malaysia route is a serious blow to tourism from Argentina. His journey from Cape Town to Buenos Aires via Johannesburg took 24 hours, previously a direct flight of 7 hours flying west.

*   Bjorn Hufkie from Wesgro’s Conventions Bureau accompanied the (unnamed) Managing Director of a JSE-listed hotel company to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait

*    Participated in exhibitions: Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, IMEX 2012 in Frankfurt (incentive travel, meetings and events); and Indaba in Durban. Mr Flaatten said that all six the RTOs were represented on the Western Cape stand, and that they will ‘raise the bar’ for 2013.

*   Debbie Damant has been part of SA Tourism’s marketing mission to China and Japan

*   Met with Cape Town Tourism, the largest RTO (regional tourism organisation) of the six in the Western Cape, asking some ‘tough questions’ of them

*   Met with Eden RTO, and some of its LTO’s (local tourism bureaus)

*   Met with SAA at Indaba (prior to SAA’s bombshell announcement about the Cape Town-London route)

*   The Western Cape Tourism Barometer for the fourth quarter of 2011 was released.

*   The Wesgro website has been updated, incorporating its new additional Destination Marketing role, clicking through to the tourism information previously on the Cape Town Routes Unlimited website

*  One of the greatest achievements is the detailed listing of over 100 events in the province in the next six months, with detailed information about each event

*   Organisationally, the activities and marketing focus of the six RTOs (Cape Town, West Coast, Eden, Cape Winelands, Central Karoo, and Overberg), and its tourism bureaus within the municipalities within the RTOs have been captured, within a Customer Relationship Management program.  An intensive Facebook campaign to interlink and like the LTOs and RTOs is underway.

Looking ahead for the next 10 months the focus will be to deliver on the Annual Performance Plan in respect of destination marketing; create operational efficiency, effectiveness and cost savings, which savings will go into the Events budget, Mr Flaatten said; fill staff vacancies; strengthening relationships with the RTO’s and LTO’s, international airlines operating from Cape Town International, tourism trade bodies, SA Tourism, and other national tourism bodies; ‘impactful marketing and advertising of the destination’, website integration and marketing strikes in respect of tour operators, to keep up the ‘share of mind’; aggressively market the Conventions Bureau, pushing conferences into the provincial towns and villages too; stimulate Events and fund smaller events; and SMME development.   Wesgro is pitching to host SIAL Cape Town, which would become a fantastic new food event creating a ‘Global Food Marketplace’, already held in Paris and China, and is planned to be hosted in our winter months, to address Seasonality.  The Western Cape Tourism Marketing Plan is expected to be ready by September.  Inter-provincial travel within the Western Cape will be an important focus.  Mr Flaatten was requested to provide feedback on what Wesgro is doing for the tourism industry as frequently as possible, all media communication to ourselves having been terminated since Wesgro took over.  We fed back that the Tourism Bureaus are not passing on Wesgro’s information to its members, which seemed to surprise him.

Mr Flaatten provided a copy of the latest Tourism Barometer, surprisingly signed off by Calvyn Gilfellan, former CEO of the ex-Cape Town Routes Unlimited. In the last quarter of last year 216000 international tourists arrived in Cape Town, a welcome increase of 15% over the same period a year before.  Domestic arrival growth was far lower in the same period, at 4%, with just under 1 million visitors.  A large part of the report contains statistics of visitor numbers to the province’s key tourism attractions, and to the RTO’s local tourism bureaus, a very unreliable tourism barometer, given that fewer visitors require the information or booking services of tourism bureaus, doing most of their bookings at home via the internet before their departure.

Organisationally, the integration between the ex-Cape Town Routes Unlimited staff is complete, section 197 of the Labour Relations Act having been followed, in that all staff (also the Wesgro staff) were offered staff benefits at the higher level of those offered by Wesgro and Cape Town Routes Unlimited, so that all Wesgro staff now receive the same benefits.  A Memorandum of Understanding, a Memorandum of Agreement, and a budget have been signed by the Joint Working Committee guiding the integration. The Annual Performance Plan of Cape Town Routes Unlimited has been transferred to Wesgro.   For the financial year April 2012/March 2013, Wesgro now has a total budget of just more than R51 million, 45% being for Cape Town Routes Unlimited funding.  All ex-Cape Town Routes Unlimited staff now have Wesgro contracts, e-mail addresses, and business cards.  Staff have been grouped by functionality and accommodated on the 7th and 12th floors of the Waldorf building.  Provincial Tourism Minister Alan Winde’s department is working on repealing the Tourism Act of 2004, which will close down the Board of the ex-Cape Town Routes Unlimited, which currently has to remain operative as long as the current Act is in place.

Wesgro needs to start from the beginning in gaining the confidence of its Western Cape tourism constituency, which had little faith in its predecessor Cape Town Routes Unlimited. The outcome of the 5 July SAA meeting will be a crucial test of its negotiating skills. In addition, it will be judged on its ability to communicate with the tourism industry on a regular basis, via traditional media channels as well as Social Media marketing.

Wesgro, Waldorf Arcade, 80 St George’s Mall, Cape Town.  Tel (021) 487-8600. www.wesgro.co.za Twitter: @Wesgro

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

World Tourism Day: Cape tourism does salsa and tango in South America!

Today is World Tourism Day, and therefore it is fitting to laud Cape Town Routes Unlimited for the marketing work it is doing for Cape Town and the Western Cape in South America.

One welcome advantage of the tough tourism times is that Cape Town Routes Unlimited is proactively sharing what it is doing for the Cape tourism industry, via almost daily media releases.  Cape Town Tourism, by comparison, is Tweeting torrentially, and does little for its media coverage and member communication.

A Special Edition of the Cape Town Routes Unlimited CEO Update provides interesting information about a recent trip to South America by its CEO Calvyn Gilfellan, who visited Buenos Aires in Argentina, and Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, earlier this month.   The 2010 Soccer World Cup got the ball rolling in developing relationships with the two countries. Two events took Gilfellan to South America:

* SAA São Paulo Workshop, which was attended by 33 Brazilian tour operators, wholesalers, and incentive houses.  At the workshop a ‘speed-dating’ approach was used, whereby the Cape exhibitors and the Brazilian tour operators were each given 15 minutes to represent their tourism products, resulting in 841 business connections

.   Visit SA Expo in Buenos Aires: Organised by the South African Embassy (headed by ex-DA leader Tony Leon), the Expo invited free participation by South African tourism players, including those involved in language schools, sports tourism, business tourism, and luxury travel.

Only one day was spent in Buenos Aires, and here Cape Town Routes Unlimited was encouraged to get involved in a special rugby match in honour of Nelson Mandela on 2 November, identified an opportunity for the creation of a West Coast Rooibos Tea Route on the initiative of the South American offices of South African Rooibos Tea, and the opportunity for tourism players to provide information via the South African Embassy offices in Chile, Uruguay and Buenos Aires.  The number of tourists from Argentina doubled in one year to reach 22000 in 2010, albeit off a low base and many of the tourists coming for the Soccer World Cup.

More time was spent in Brazil, and here Cape Town Routes Unlimited picked up the positive perception that our country has ‘extraordinary tourism offerings, friendly people, a safe environment and top-class infrastructure’.  Their economic growth at 5% per annum appears to have been more resilient to the world recession, and tourism to South Africa grew by 69 % in 2010 (no numbers provided).  With its massive population of 200 million it has fantastic potential for Cape tourism marketing.  Brazilians travel for language training, events, wildlife, golf, adventure, and surfing in the main.  They are ‘habitual’ travellers, enjoying returning to destinations that they have had good experiences in.   Marketing collateral is recommended to be provided in Portuguese, and SA Tourism is commended for having a website in Portuguese.  The BRICS inclusion of South Africa will open a platform for tourism, investment, trade, sport and cultural exchanges, writes Gilfellan.  Online Travel sells packages to Brazilians visiting South Africa, and 120000 brochures will be provided by the tourism body to the South African embassy.  Media visits are on the cards, and host sponsors are sought.  A group of 100 golfers is visiting our country next month, and one hopes that the Cape is on their agenda.  Wine and golf workshops are planned for next year with Brazilian tour operators.  A jazz exchange programme between the Cape Town International Jazz Festival and the Bourbon Street Jazz Festival in Brazil is being considered, allowing performers from each festival to perform at the other festival.  A Memorandum of Understanding is to be signed between Cape Town and Rio de Janiero, and a twinning agreement to be established between Robben Island and Ilha Grande, a former political prison island in Brazil.  An African Fan Village is being considered in Rio de Janiero for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, 2014 FIFA World Cup, and 2016 Olympic Games.

It is time for Cape tourism players to brush up on their Portuguese and Spanish language skills, to welcome tourists from Brazil and Argentina.  With excellent flight connections via Air Malaysia from Buenos Aires and from Brazil via SAA, Cape Town and the Western Cape are sure to benefit from a new tourism market, sorely needed as the traditional tourism source markets are still depressed due to the global recession.

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

Kulula.com Sweet and SAA Sour Service Awards

The Sweet Service Award goes to Kulula.com, nominated by Hilary Djolov.  Hilary writes: Kulula … put us onto a BA flight when our flight was delayed by two hours and upgraded us to business class, because we were travelling with a three-year-old who otherwise would have made it home after midnight.”

 

 

The Sour Service Award goes to SAA, who seem intent on discouraging tourists to visit South Africa in the afterglow of the goodwill created by the recent World Cup.   Robert Landecker wrote that last December he paid about $800 for a ticket from Sao Paulo to South Africa – now he has been quoted $1500 for the same journey in January next year.

 

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 info@whalecottage.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.