Tag Archives: Skye Grove

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

imageTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*.  Despite the Rand exchange rate being at its best ever for international visitors, no surge in tourism bookings is being seen. The after-effect of last year’s Ebola crisis, and the new visa regulations, have affected tourism numbers from China, India, and Brazil in particular. Hotelier Arthur Gillis said that the golden opportunity of the exchange rate was negated by the visa regulations, and said that we ‘shoot ourselves in the foot’.

*   Cape Town was featured in ‘Leute Heute’ on ZDF German TV this afternoon, with actor Kai Schumann Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 7 September

imageTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*.  Ad agency J.Walter Thompson subsidiary Innovation Group has identified trends in the beverage industry. Consumers are supporting trends to regional and seasonal foods and beverages. In the USA cocktails have added Kobe beef fat and cheese liquor, for example, demonstrating that consumers are willing to experiment more. ‘Hybrid drinks’ are on trend too, wines being aged in whisky barrels, and a ‘Bourbon-infused Continue reading →

World Design Capital 2014 & New7Wonders of Nature: have Cape Town ratepayers been conned?

Cape Town StadiumIn the Cape Times on Tuesday Glenn Babb, a former Director General of Foreign Affairs, and a commissioner for our country at the Venice Biennale in 1993 and 1995, wrote a lengthy article about the City of Cape Town having paid millions of Rands to support two money-making organisations handing out accolades to those cities prepared to pay for them, and which most had not been heard of previously.  The City had justified the expenditures, funded by means of ratepayers’ monies, on the basis of the tourism benefits these accolades would hold for Cape Town.

Bitingly entitled ‘Cape Town’s Devious Designs’, Babb focused on Table Mountain becoming one of the New7Wonders of Nature.  He writes that the Swiss-based company New7Wonders of Nature Foundation, which drove the campaign, makes its money from the sms-revenue generated when the citizens of cities are encouraged to vote to get one’s landmark onto the top seven list.  The company claimed that it had received 100 million votes, each of which had generated income for the company. The City of Cape Town had spent extensive monies on advertising to support the campaign to get Capetonians to vote. Continue reading →

Cape Town overwhelmed by one of busiest Festive Seasons ever!

Cape Town Festive Season Cape Town PartnershipCape Town experienced one of its busiest Festive Seasons ever, so much so that the city can be said to have been out of control as far as access to its attractions, beaches, shopping malls, and roads was concerned.  Perfect weather and a weak Rand attracted locals to the Mother City.  Once again the Atlantic Seaboard was the most attractive location for tourists in terms of restaurants, beaches, and accommodation, with resultant chaos in this area in particular at all levels.

The Festive Season period was a very short ten day period, from 27 December – 5 January this year, and almost every accommodation establishment, especially those on the Atlantic Seaboard, was fully booked.  Guests were predominantly from Johannesburg, or living overseas with South African family connections, meeting up in the city.  At Whale Cottage Camps Bay our international visitors were Norwegian, British, and Dutch during this period.

While it felt fantastic that Cape Town was so popular, one felt that the city was doing itself a disservice in that tourists had to experience: Continue reading →

2013: looking back on a tough year, with some highlights!

2013Today ends one of the less nice years, and the number 13 in it should have been a warning of  how bad it could become.  While it has many negative associations, it also was  a year of highlights, from our perspective.

For me personally the year was overshadowed by the passing of my father, and while I was lucky to have him in my life for such a long time, reaching the ripe old age of 97, it still was a shock when he went in April.  He brought our family to South Africa, and specifically to the Cape, for which I will be eternally grateful.   He helped shape my interest in the business world, and took a keen interest in my Market Research, Public Relations, and hospitality careers.   Added to this was the further loss of our beloved Madiba, who passed away on 5 December, a shock when it happened, despite one knowing that it was just a matter of time.    It felt like a double whammy loss year.  Heaven has gained two truly great gentlemen.

2013 has had some positive aspects: we celebrated the fifth anniversary of our Blog, well established and with more than 30000 unique readers per month.  We thank our loyal readers and commenters, as well as the Public Relations companies which feed us with up to date information and invite us to launches, particularly in the wine industry.  We particularly commend Waterford Communications for its professionalism in dealing with us as friends as well as writers, never taking any coverage for granted, always being willing to assist with more information, having a knack for choosing excellent weather days for client functions, and saying ‘thank you‘ for coverage received, a rare treat! The PR company leads an industry plagued by poor writers, who bombard one with media releases (often being irrelevant), repeating information already written about, and demanding proof of coverage granted to the client brand! Continue reading →

Cape Town Tourism tries to market Cape Town via Bloggers yet again! Unlikely to be successful!

 Cape Town TourismCape Town Tourism is hosting three bloggers over a three week period, as a repeat of the 2012 Travel Blogger visit, attempting to reach international and domestic travelers and to encourage them to visit Cape Town.  This campaign failed to achieve its goal in 2012, and the new campaign could follow the same route!

We were very critical of the visit by the four bloggers last year, after the New York Times questioned the ethics of travel blogging, and focused its article on Keith Jenkins, the Velvet Escape blogger who led the Blogger team coming to Cape Town last year.  The Bloggers were seen to have blogged little before, during, and after their visit to Cape Town, and to have little credibility in not declaring that their visits were sponsored by Cape Town Tourism and its members, and that there was little that they paid for themselves.  This led to ‘advertorials’ written, mainly about their accommodation in Camps Bay.  Most of what was posted by the bloggers was ‘photoblogs’, a blogpost consisting of a photograph only!

Cape Town Tourism issued a very brief media release about the pending blogger visits, and claimed incorrectly that the ‘inaugural #lovecapetown blogger hosting programme contributed to Cape Town Tourism winning a Travel + Leisure SMITTY Awards (Social Media in Travel + Tourism Awards) in the category Best Overall Use of Social Media, CVB, Global‘.  The awards which were won by Cape Town Tourism (a Gold Loerie added on Continue reading →

New Cape Town Tourism CEO Enver Duminy accommodates his members, listening and learning!

enver-duminy-cape-town-tourismOn his 46th day in the hot seat as CEO of Cape Town Tourism, Enver Duminy was generous with his time yesterday, and we covered a lot of ground, each interviewing the other! I was impressed with his ability to listen, really wanting to know my views on tourism and Cape Town Tourism, even though many of them have been documented on this blog.

Enver and his predecessor Mariette du Toit-Helmbold could not be more different. Enver is very much quieter, more reserved, gentle,  interested in others and their views, is not opinionated in presuming to know all the answers, is friendly, is diplomatic, is not focused on himself but on his job to attract more tourists to Cape Town, and surprised me when he gave me a hug on leaving instead of shaking my hand!  He didn’t want the interview to be about him alone, and he took the opportunity to ask about me as well, and I realised that he knew little about me (he did know that I enjoyed MasterChef SA, and has read this blog, being intrigued about how I see things so differently!).

Enver grew up in Mitchell’s Plain, studied Computer Sciences and Mathematical Statistics, and his first job took him to IBM in Johannesburg.  He returned to Cape Town, working at ESKOM, running a computer training company with friends, working at Nedbank in their ATM, software and home loans departments, and at Integer, a home loans company.  All along his career he has done management courses, believing in ‘educating yourself’, but with a focus on ‘how to apply the knowledge‘, as ‘anything is possible‘, he says.  He is currently doing a 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 →