*. 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’.
*. 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 →
In 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 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 →
Today 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 →
On 28 September 2008 we posted the first blogpost on this WhaleTales blog, not knowing where this journey would be taking us. Five years and close to 2000 blogposts later, we look back as well as forward.
I had set myself a goal of blogging daily, and while I question my wisdom at times, it has kept the rhythm going, and forced me to find material to blog about. My biggest fear is that I will run out of things to blog about one day!
The statistics from Google Analytics help in casting an eye back: in the five year period we have achieved 1,4 million pageviews, with 759452 unique readers. We were a Finalist for the SA Blog Awards’ The Most Controversial Blog in 2010, and try to stay true to this accolade. We have reached the 5th position on the amatomu.com Popular South African Blogs list. We have been included in the 100 Great SA Travel Twitter Feeds.
Many of the most popular blogposts Continue reading →
Cape 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 →
On 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 →
We are delighted to have been included in the ‘100 Great SA Travel Twitter Feeds‘ list, which was compiled by travelstartblog. The list of 100 top Travel Twitter feeds follows below, in no particular order the blog states, based on the following selection process: ‘To formulate our list, we first had to decide on a few criteria we feel make a travel focused Twitter feed exciting. This isn’t an exact science, but with the help of a few online tools such as Twitter search and our own observations, we’ve been able to arrive at a fairly inclusive list. Active participation on Twitter was a significant part of the selection criteria, as was location (South Africa), number of followers as well as social authority’.
1. Meruschka Govender, @MzansiGirl
2. Cape Town, @CapeTown
3. Gautrain, @TheGautrain
4. South African Tourism, @GoToSouthAfrica
5. Ryan van Zyl, @concierge_ryan
6. Cape Town Tourism, @CapeTownTourism
7. Ben, @sa_tourguide
8. SA Weather Service, @SAWeatherServic
9. CapeTownMagazine.com, @CapeTownMag
10. Table Mountain Cable Way, @TableMountainCa
11. US Embassy Pretoria, @USEmbPretoria
12. Ryan Sandes, @ryansandes
13. Black Coffee, @RealBlackCoffee
14. James Costello, @jamescapetown
15. Ryan Mackie, @SATourismCo
16. SATravelTrade, @SATravelTrade
17. Clare Appleyard, @clareappleyard
18. Clare Townsend, @BloodyClarey
19. William Price, @william_price
20. Jonker Fourie, @FireflyAfrica
21. Mariette dT-Helmbold, @MariettedTH
22. Sarah Duff, @SarahDuff
23. Dawn Jorgensen, @DawnJorgensen
24. Getaway Magazine, @GetawayMagazine
25. Jan Hutton, @janinehutton
26. Narina Exelby, @NarinaExelby
27. Peregrine Magazine, @PeregrineMag
28. Skye Grove, @SkyeGrove
29. Sarah Khan, @BySarahKhan
30. Thando Moleketi, @JoziFoodieFix
31. eTNW, @eTNW_SA
32. Chris Von Ulmenstein, @whalecottage Continue reading →
I 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 →