* WOSA (Wines of South Africa) CEO Siobhan Thompson has described the wines of our country as using ‘fusion wine-making’, the ‘newest generation of wines‘ being made with confidence in the Continue reading →
* SAA is pursuing a new procurement policy of aircraft parts, services, and supplies from ‘Black industrialists’. A funding pool is to be established, to help such industrialists to set up their businesses.
* All passengers travelling with children, arriving in or departing from one of our country’s airports, are subject to the new Immigration Regulations from 1 June onwards. This applies to South Africans too, and not just to Continue reading →
* Despite the disaster in Cape Town harbour earlier this week, our country has a lucrative future as far as cruise tourism goes. Nine cruise ships have scheduled stops off our coast for 2015, in Cape Town, Durban, Richard’s Bay, Port Elizabeth, and East London, a 70% increase in cruise liner passengers. A number of the cruise ships are returning to the country, after previous visits. The Queen Mary 2 will return for a second visit next year, and the Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth will visit in 2016. Vital to the expansion of cruise tourism is world-class terminals in ports, and Cape Town’s inefficiency as far as Customs staff goes was in the spotlight this week. Cape Town is one of the most popular stops in the region, for American tourists in particular.
* National Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom will lead a local delegation representing our tourism industry to World Travel Market (WTM) in London this coming week, one of the largest (after ITB in Berlin) tourism trade exhibitions in the world. More than 50000 tourism players are likely to attend WTM. The Minister said: ‘The WTM is one of the premier events where South Africa engages with the global travel trade. Besides maintaining excitement about our destination, and all that we have to offer, this platform is about doing business and growing international tourist arrivals to our country. We will be promoting the variety of experiences we offer in South Africa, and build on our reputation as a unique, diverse, friendly and accessible destination‘. The Minister will address a summit relating to mega-events and tourism at WTM, based on our country’s FIFA 2010 World Cup experience.
* Due to a cracked silo storing 10000 tons of coal, Eskom has announced load-shedding from today onwards, which is Continue reading →
* Western Cape Tourism Minister Alan Winde has announced the launch of a R6,5 million Design Innovation Seed Fund to kickstart its new Design Park, to find the province’s next Mark Shuttleworth. The Design Park will be housed in the Cape Craft and Design Institute. Applications for funding to make local design ideas a reality are now open to students, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. The value of the Cape’s design industry is R14 billion, which could rise to R20 billion with the launch of the Fund, and employ 14000 persons, said Minister Winde. (received via media release from Minister Winde’s office)
* Kleine Zalze Wines has appointed Alastair Rimmer as its new winemaker. He studied viticulture in Stellenbosch, and has worked locally at Overgaauw, Agusta, Vergelegen Wines, and Darling Cellars, as well as internationally at wineries in Spain, California, Australia, and in New Zealand. (received via media release from Manley Communications)
* Creation has introduced a new 10h00 Brunch Pairing, 8 courses paired with wines costing R 125. Continue reading →
* The Reserve Bank has increased the repo rate by 25 basis points, giving a new interest rate of 5,75%. Governor Gill Marcus blamed inflation for the rate increase.
* Brazil welcomed more than 1 million visitors during the Soccer World Cup, almost double the estimated 600000 travelers. Most tourists had never been to Brazil before, visiting from more than 200 countries. The infrastructure and tourism services generally, and the hospitality and cuisine specifically, were praised by the visitors. The soccer matches were seen by 3,4 million soccer fans in the stadia over the month-long event. Visitors stayed in Brazil for 13 days on average. Brazilians were good soccer fans too, more than 3 million travelling around their own country during the soccer tournament.
* Melanie Verwoerd has compiled a book ‘Our Madiba: Stories and Reflections from those who met Nelson Mandela‘, containing short stories of numerous persons that met the late Nelson Mandela, including Pieter-Dirk Uys/Evita Bezuidenhout, Adam Small, Francois Pienaar, Amanda Strydom, Sir Richard Attenborough, and many by Mrs Verwoerd herself.
* Globally spirit sales barely grew in 2013, after a growth of 6,5% between 2007 – 2011. Vodka is the largest selling spirit category, at 496 million cases. Whisky/whiskey sales grew the fastest, and stand at 361 million cases. Rum sales were 146 million, a decrease on the year prior. Whilst the largest market for spirits is Asia, at 1,9 billion cases, growth was minimal.
* More than 70 World Design Capital 2014 projects are on display in the Civic Centre as the project reaches its halfway mark, reports the Cape Times. The projects on display include the MyCiTi Bus, Green Point Urban Park, and the Buitengracht Pedestrian Bridge. There is no entrance fee to view the display, which runs until the end of this year.
* Michelin star Chef Heston Blumenthal’s The Perfectionists Café has opened at the new Heathrow Terminal 2, serving burgers, fish and chips, and pizzas prepared in the first ever wood-burning oven in an airport, as well as molecular liquid nitrogen ice cream.
* American travellers are booking last-minute, something that became a habit in 2008 during the economic crisis, but has remained and is now a booking trend, despite the recession being something of the past.
* Tourists often are better informed about the tourism attractions and highlights of a city than are the local residents of the city, given their ability to use technology to garner information about and make bookings for the destination that they are visiting. Nick Hall, Head of the Digital Tourism Think Tank, says: ‘So, what we have witnessed so far will accelerate. We can expect far more change, far faster. In this light the rise of mobile technologies is poised to change the industry as much as it has already. Visitors will be innately digital. They will be hyper-informed and seamlessly connected throughout their travel. The challenge this poses to existing tourist businesses is immense, as is the opportunity it holds out‘. While technology is important, tourists still want the ‘reality of the experience, not the virtual reality’.
* Three Ships Premium Select 5 Year Old won gold at the 2014 International Spirits Challenge in London. The whisky is blended Continue reading →
* Professor Russel Botman, Rector of the University of Stellenbosch and Chairman of the Board of Cape Town Design NPC, the company which is administering Cape Town’s hosting of World Design Capital, has passed away.
* ‘Enter the Ninja‘ by Die Antwoord, one of South Africa’s most successful groups, stars in the TV commercial for Dior Addict. Lien Botha has written an interesting evaluation of the use of Die Antwoord’s music in the commercial, based on a collage of different views.
* MyCiTi Bus fares increase today, the minimum cost being R 4,80 and the maximum peak fare being R8,90, both for a 5 km distance on a Mover package, now seemingly charged on a distance basis. The MyConnect card cost increases from R25 to R35, a 40% increase! The City of Cape Town media release states that every effort has been made to contain the rate increase, Continue reading →
* The price of petrol will drop by 15 cents a litre on Wednesday, well-timed with Election Day some say cynically!
* MasterChef Australia, for many South Africans the benchmark of MasterChef programs, is facing the threat of being closed down if audience numbers don’t improve in its sixth season.
* The ANC is taking the City of Cape Town to court over its new logo, claiming that there was no public participation process for its approval. The City had previously announced that the new logo would not be implemented until after the election on Wednesday, but it is being used on all new communication material already! The cost for its design is also being disputed by the political party, for being exorbitant!
* A Canadian wine writer chose Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé (no vintage revealed) as one of nine Rosé wines from around the world, and a (KWV) Cathedral Cellar Chardonnay 2012 for one of his four white wine recommendations.
* Franschhoek has been named as our country’s favourite Winelands destination, and the third most popular Continue reading →
On Friday The Guardian published a very lengthy article about Cape Town’s role as host of World Design Capital 2014 (WDC), and highlighted the unusual locations of design gems in Cape Town, including the townships and previously run-down city areas, as opposed to art galleries. Unfortunately this is the second international article about Cape Town in two days with errors! The article highlights what a visitor to Cape Town should see during this design-centred year, and contains shocking news for the Tourism industry.
Journalist Lisa Grainger anticipated visiting upmarket galleries, style emporiums, and seeing craft art, but instead she spent most of her week in Cape Town in townships with guide Fernie, to experience real creativity born from poverty. ‘Because it is in these townships that some of the most inspiring people live: people who are incredible, positive, engaging, brave. And I want visitors to see the good there is here, the real heart of South Africa’, he explained to her.
She was told by Priscilla Urquhart, PR and Media Manager of Cape Town Design NPC, the company responsible for implementing World Design Capital 2014 for Cape Town, that our city’s budget (supplied by the City of Cape Town) is R 40 million, compared to close to R60 million spent by Helsinki two years ago, when that city carried the honour. Budget constraints prevented the creation of City-led design projects in Cape Town, but allowed the city’s design industry to offer its design projects for consideration, and about 450 have become official World Design Capital 2014 projects, summarised in a fold-open brochure. There is no showcase for these projects, the Design Indaba and Guild design fair having been the only two exhibitions where some of the work linked to some of the projects could be seen, unfortunately having run concurrently at the very busy end of February.
A shock is reading Urquhart admit to the journalist that ‘the WDC programme wasn’t designed to attract tourists, but to try to Continue reading →