Tag Archives: tourism industry

Corona Virus: South African Government announces drastic measures to contain and reduce COVID-19 infections!

 

At 19h40 today President Cyril Ramaphosa announced our country’s retaliatory and preventative measures against the Corona Virus, of which there are 61 cases to date, following an emergency Cabinet meeting earlier today. A National State of Disaster was announced. The President described the measures to be implemented as ‘urgent and drastic’.  Continue reading →

Mango Sweet Service and Café Delicieux Sour Service Awards!

MangoThe Sweet Service Award goes to low-cost airline Mango, which is the first local airline to pass on fuel savings to its passengers, due to the decrease in the cost of crude oil.  Mango announced this week that it was dropping fares by up to 25%, with immediate effect.  The tourism industry is more than delighted.

 

 

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Tourism industry in Cape Town salutes Fabulous February!

FebruaryFebruary is the best month for the Tourism industry in Cape Town, mainly driven by the Mining Indaba, as well as Valentine’s Day, which falls on a Saturday this year.

The following events will boost the coffers of the Western Cape in the next three weeks:

*   The Cape Town Electronic Music Festival runs from 3 – 8 February.  The website reflects that the City of Cape Town is sponsoring the event, no doubt in providing the City Hall at no charge.  This is how the venue is described: ‘Voted number 1 global destination by New York Times (that was in Continue reading →

SA Tourism media extravagance in New York criticised as inappropriate!

Le Bernardin private roomIt was interesting to read a critical article about the perceived extravagance and inappropriateness of a recent media lunch hosted by SA Tourism and Marthinus van Schalkwyk, our Minister of Tourism, in New York.

The article was posted on eTurboNews, but the writer is not identified.  Looking at the editorial panel of the online newsletter, one can assume it was written by Dr Elinor Garely, who is the only journalist for the newsletter based in New York.

Dr Garely writes that she had previously visited South Africa ‘many years’ ago, and Cape Town in particular, whilst she was working on her doctoral dissertation in international business.   Her overriding impression was the contradiction she saw then:While the hotels were lovely, the restaurants for dining and tasting South African Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 26/27 October

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Auslese Summer Sessions will pair tapas dishes created by Aubergine owner Chef Harald Bresselschmidt, fine wines, and good jazz every second Thursday evening, from 21 November onwards. (received from Auslese via e-mail)

*   The 325th anniversary of the arrival of the French Huguenots was celebrated with a special concert, ranging from classical music to cabaret, last night at the Endler Hall. (received from the University of Stellenbosch via e-mail)

*  Tour operator ‘Great Safaris’  has launched a ‘South African Culinary Treasures Journey’ 7 day tour of the Winelands and Cape Town, which includes learning about wine blending, food and wine pairing, bread baking, and a cooking class ‘in Cape Malay‘!

*   The South African Pinotage restaurant is opening in Beijing.

*   Scandinavia, Russia and the United Kingdom could become the main vine growing regions in Europe by 2050.

*   ‘Franschhoek Uncorked’, the annual event in which the Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 13 September

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   BA is seeing increased business on its Africa routes and has already announced that it is putting ts A380 onto the Johannesburg route from February 2014.  The airline also is increasing its flights to Ghana, Uganda, Liberia, and Serria Leone,  whilst cutting those to Lusaka.

*   Increasing power and staff costs are major threats to the local wine industry, a study by PricewatershouseCoopers has revealed.

*   The Captain DoRegos take-away franchise is to be expanded into the rest of South Africa, and even into Africa, the Spur Corporation has announced.

*  Hein Koegelenberg has written an informative blogpost about how to protect Continue reading →

City of Cape Town Schadenfreude, justifies sitting out AFCON 2013!

Councillor Grant Pascoe has been rubbing his hands with glee since The Times reported the extent of the financial losses the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2013 Host Cities are suffering, when he single-handedly was responsible for Cape Town losing out on being selected as a Host City.  Even Western Cape Premier Helen Zille Tweeted a link to the article, which only quotes DA politicians in the respective Host Cities, despite this being a City of Cape Town and not a provincial issue!

The Times article reflects that it is the smaller municipalities that are struggling in particular, including Nelson Mandela Bay municipality in Port Elizabeth, using R11,6 million of ratepayers’ monies to fund its hosting of the event. The city is still bearing the load of the cost of hosting the 2010 World Cup, having overspent on that event by more than R500 million. Mbombela municipality in Nelspruit is allegedly spending money it does not have on AFCON 2013, not yet having signed a memorandum of understanding with the government to obtain R31,5 million in funding for the event.

Cape Town withdrew from the bid to be a Host City initially, and ‘refused to be bullied’ into the event.  When the city changed its mind about its participation, the door was closed on what was deemed to be too many demands made by City of Cape Town Councillor Grant Pascoe, Mayoral Committee member for Tourism, Events, and Marketing!  This cost Cape Town the bid for Host City!

Reacting to an editorial by the Cape Times, Councillor Pascoe wrote a letter in response, which was posted on the City’s website, justifying Cape Town’s non-participation, sounding very different to his explanation of the Host City snub when it was announced last year.  He wrote this week that the City is supportive of Bafana Bafana (that is not being debated!) and the growth of African football, and that ‘we would have, in principle, been more than pleased to host AFCON matches.  In fact, we did everything in our power to make the hosting of matches a reality’. This contradicts the Local Organising Committee feedback about Cape Town’s failed bid at the time.

He continued:However, as a responsible government, this administration needed to weigh the service delivery needs of all our residents with the benefits of hosting AFCON. Our mandate remains to make every cent of our ratepayers’ money count. And our commitment to caring and providing for our citizens, particularly the poor and vulnerable, remains paramount. We must always ensure that money spent by the City, is done so to drive economic growth, development and inclusion.  We had entered the negotiations with AFCON in good faith and were committed to the process. But it became clear we could not accept demands which could place an unfair burden on Cape Town’s ratepayers. At the time, costs to the ratepayer for the tournament were estimated to exceed R50 million.  Your editorial refers to the “enthusiastic support” Cape Town’s soccer fans displayed at last week’s friendly encounter. This event was hosted by the City as a show of support for Bafana Bafana before their participation in AFCON. It is just one indication that the City of Cape Town and its residents remain highly supportive of Bafana Bafana and AFCON.  While Cape Town will not host AFCON matches, we wanted Cape Town sports enthusiasts to experience live international soccer in the run up to the tournament. Ticket sales were in excess of 37 000.  The City remains committed to the hosting of high profile national, regional and international football matches. We are currently in negotiations with a range of partners to this effect”.

He also expressed a touch of Schadenfreude to a Cape Times journalist on Friday, saying that Cape Town had ‘dodged a bullet’ financially ‘by being snubbed from the tournament’, and ‘sympathised’ with the Host Cities’ financial woes and poor ticket sales.  ‘I think that we have dodged a bullet because the government guarantees came too late. There was no clarity on how much host cities would have to spend.  I’m really sorry that the host cities are battling with money for the tournament. It is something that we were concerned about because we had to think about our service delivery obligations’, Pascoe told the journalist.

Ticket sales have been sluggish across all matches, and only the opening match yesterday between Bafana Bafana and Cape Verde resulting in a goalless draw, was sold out.  The television coverage showed that not all ticket holders had arrived at the stadium, with lots of empty seating, possibly due to the torrential rain which Johannesburg experienced yesterday. Umbrellas were listed on the banned list of dangerous items!  It appears that one way that the municipalities can make their money back is via beverages.  Yesterday a Tweet of the beverage prices at the (AFCON 2013 renamed) National Stadium in Soweto showed a 500ml bottle of water costing an exorbitant R45!

The City of Cape Town is conveniently hiding behind the financial problems of the two smaller municipalities, which have not been reported for Durban and Johannesburg, being more comparable to Cape Town. The loss in tourism revenue at a time when Cape Town is almost devoid of tourists over the next two weeks, and the international television coverage for AFCON 2013, would have been valuable for brands Cape Town and the Western Cape and its tourism industry, and soccer fans too.  It is hard to believe Councillor’s Pascoe supposed concern for ratepayers’ monies when he knows that he was part of a 10 person sightseeing tour of Turkey last year, of which no Turkish tourism benefit has been seen locally, he allows Cape Town Tourism to squander ratepayers’ monies, and he organised the loss-making Bafana Bafana vs Norway friendly at the Cape Town Stadium two weeks ago!

POSTSCRIPT 20/1: The Times reported on Friday that an estimated 1 billion television viewers will have seen the Opening Ceremony yesterday, reflecting the AFCON 2013 theme of ‘Celebrate Africa – The Beat at Africa’s Feet’. The newspaper also reported the concern about the African invader fly being an unwelcome visitor to South Africa for AFCON 2013, food (fruit especially) brought along by soccer fans from Africa potentially being contaminated with the fly.  On Friday Spar took a full page advertisement in The Times to apologise ‘to all our loyal customers for any inconvenience created by the AFCON voucher/ticket redemption process’. However, it is not clear what problems the retailer is referring to.

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

Cape Town Tourism reassures its members about Marketing role, causes further confusion!

In order to reassure its members about its future role, Cape Town Tourism issued a media statement late yesterday afternoon, the content of which will make the tourism industry even more confused.

At the AGM of Cape Town Tourism on Thursday, preceded by an e-mail sent to members the day before, it was announced that the City of Cape Town is taking over Cape Town Tourism’s role of Destination Marketing, and that the tourism organisation would focus in future on Visitor Services and on Tourism Marketing, even though it was not clear what the difference is between Tourism Marketing and Destination Marketing.

The media statement says that Cape Town Tourism as an ‘organisation will remain a dynamic industry organisation delivering tourism destination marketing and visitor services in line with its Constitution’. On Monday we wrote that taking away the Destination Marketing function of Cape Town Tourism is in breach of Cape Town Tourism’s Constitution.

While the City of Cape Town’s Executive Director of Tourism, Events, and Marketing (TEAM), Anton Groenewald, had been clear that Cape Town Tourism will only handle ‘Tourism Marketing’ with Visitor Services, Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariette du Toit-Helmbold is quoted in the Cape Town Tourism media statement as referring to ‘tourism destination marketing‘, a term not used by the City of Cape Town in its presentation at the AGM.  Interesting too is the reference to the Constitution, which may make the City’s move, even if the ex-Cape Town Tourism Chairman Ian Bartes signed the Service Level Agreement with the City, agreeing to it shedding its role, unconstitutional in itself – we question whether the Constitution allows Bartes to sign such an agreement without Board approval, as intimated at the AGM.

Interesting is that Mrs Helmbold praises her own organisation, as if to plead to the City for a rethink: ‘Cape Town Tourism was the best vehicle to deliver tourism destination marketing and visitor services for Cape Town’, but it would appear that the City of Cape Town does not agree, a number of media reports agreeing with our interpretation that the events at the AGM were in fact a vote of no confidence in Cape Town Tourism’s ability to market Cape Town!

The media statement changes tack, and contradicts its earlier paragraph about its future role, and explains that Cape Town Tourism will perform a support role to the new Places Marketing  division in the City’s new TEAM directorate, headed by Mr Groenewald: “The City of Cape Town introduced their new Tourism, Events and Marketing (incorporating Arts & Culture and Strategic Assets) Directorate to the industry at the Cape Town Tourism AGM. The function of the new directorate includes Place Marketing – a department that will, in future, take care of destination marketing at large for the city. Cape Town Tourism will focus on tourism marketing, whilst supporting the directorate with Place Marketing programmes”.

The media statement defines the future role of Cape Town Tourism as representing Cape Town at international exhibitions, hosting local and international media, digital marketing (i.e. lots more Tweeting!), and any further tourism marketing requirements of the City of Cape Town, for which it would have to pay extra!

History has shown that Cape Town Tourism cannot but accept the City’s directive, otherwise it will be bled dry by the City of Cape Town, as happened to the previous Cape Town Tourism section 21 company in 2004.  Mrs Helmbold confirmed her organisation’s acceptance of the new directive: ” We are encouraged by the City’s commitment to conclude a three year visitor services and tourism marketing agreement with Cape Town Tourism before June 2013. We are committed to work with the City of Cape Town to co-design our future partnership with the City and agree on Cape Town Tourism’s role and responsibility within the broader Place Marketing agenda of the City. Tourism, the third largest contributor to the global economy, after the automobile and banking sectors, is a sector that really matters. As the world prepares to witness one billion arrivals by the end of 2012, we will never lose sight of the fact that tourism makes a significant contribution to shaping Cape Town’s future and a better life for its citizens. The partnership between tourism and local government must realise growth and opportunities for the tourism industry and those that work in and provide services to the sector.”

Mrs Helmbold also acknowledged that her organisation had not delivered on tourism growth, as we have pointed out on numerous occasions: “Cape Town Tourism is ready to work with the City on a new destination marketing model for Cape Town. We remain single-minded in our belief that we can help to turn the tide on shrinking demand and seasonality and will continue rolling out cutting edge visitor and tourism destination marketing programmes. Some elements will have to be delayed or reimagined in lieu of our reduced funding and ever changing trends. We will cut our cloth according to our available resources, but we will stay future-minded, never compromising innovation, creativity and excellence. We will improve the balance between “bricks and mortar” and digital visitor service delivery, and focus a lot more on marketing in partnership with the tourism industry and business at large.”

The rest of the long media statement was an encapsulation of information presented at the AGM, but did not explain the muddled definitions of ‘Destination Marketing‘ and ‘Tourism Marketing’, nor why Mrs Helmbold has given her organisation the new mandate of ‘tourism destination marketing’. One hopes that Cape Town Tourism and the City of Cape Town will clarify their exact roles and relationship, and will get on with the much-needed job of marketing Cape Town as a world class tourist destination!

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