Entries tagged with “Turkey”.


CapeTownSA Tourism must be delighted that Telegraph Travel is doing its marketing at no charge! What better publicity than to get an article with ’25 reasons to visit South Africa right now’ written for free!

Obviously the benefit of the weak Rand relative to the pound sterling (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   German competition authorities have reacted strongly against Booking.com, which prohibits accommodation establishments from offering better rates to clients booking with them directly relative to the rate they charge via Booking.com.  Action is also being taken against a similar booking site Expedia.com

*   The contribution of Tourism to the economy nationally has remained at 2,9% in both 2012 and 2013, reaching a total of R104 billion.   Just more than half of the spend was (more…)

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 (more…)

Food Trends

American restaurant consultants Baum + Whiteman have predicted twelve food and beverage trends for this year, reports Fine Dining Lovers:

1: Restaurants in Retail Stores:  restaurants will be used as a means of attracting more shoppers into malls, department stores, hotels, airports, and museums.

2: Tasting-Only Menus:  Tasting menus are increasingly replacing à la carte menus in fine dining restaurants, the diners having a more exact idea of what they are in for in terms of cost.

3: The Rise of Fine Dining Chicken (Posh Chicken):  Chicken is predicted to become as desired as a good steak when eating out, ‘cooked Sous Vide and served alongside foie gras, black mission figs or quail eggs’.

4: Out with Food Courts, In with Food Halls: Food Halls serving fine fresh foods in malls, even if more expensive, will replace the fare of fast food chains dominating shopping malls currently.

5: The Rise of Fish:  Oily fishes such as anchovies, sardines, and mackerel are increasing (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  Premium South African wines are increasingly being  exported to other African countries, Nigeria in particular, as well as to Ghana, Angola, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

*   American travelers are likely to rate service satisfaction highest, and the Japanese tourists the lowest, with French, German, Italian, Spanish and British tourists falling in between these satisfaction rating spectrums.  This finding comes from a multicountry service satisfaction study conducted amongst a sample of 200000 travelers.

*   We have it all wrong – the most popular travel time for the UK and German market is August, tourists taking about 10 days off, and traveling to the Balearic islands, Turkey, or Greece in Europe, and Mexico on long haul trips, a TUI study of its bookings for 2013 has found.

*   ACSA is planning to introduce a service whereby one can buy duty-free goods on (more…)

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 (more…)

Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, CEO of Cape Town Tourism, will be leaving the organisation in July, she announced on Thursday, after nine years at its helm. While she wrote in the media statement that she had not renewed her contract with Cape Town Tourism, we believe that it is her organisation’s funder, the City of Cape Town, that may have decided to not renew her contract, Councillor Grant Pascoe finding her to be ‘inedible’, as per its original media release!

Mrs Helmbold took over the reins at Cape Town Tourism when the previous Section 21 Cape Town Tourism company was closed down by the City of Cape Town by bleeding it dry financially.  At that time Sheryl Ozinsky was the CEO of the organisation, and I served on the Board as its Deputy Chairman. I remember the sad day for Mrs Helmbold at that time, when the V&A Waterfront’s Tourist Information Centre, headed up by her, was closed down, and we tried to help mop up her tears.  Much has changed since then, Mrs Helmbold having grown in confidence when she was lucky to have been appointed as CEO of Cape Town Tourism, to step into Ms Ozinsky’s shoes.  Mrs Helmbold is a friendly person, and a good networker, but she never had the energy of Ms Ozinsky, who was able to generate reams of free publicity for Cape Town with a close to zero marketing budget at the time.  In the nine year period Mrs Helmbold became very powerful, and received support and protection from the DA powerfrau team of Premier Helen Zille and Mayor Patricia de Lille. She must have felt very safe with the support, allowing herself to slip in her performance levels over time, especially in the past two years:

*   She took long maternity leave for the birth of her daughters, over two busy summer seasons, and little marketing happened in her absences.  Her priorities had clearly changed, and she increasingly ‘mommy Tweeted’ photographs of her children, on a Twitter account that is widely read by the tourism industry as she uses it when she comments about Tourism.  Her personal Twitter account has a link to the Cape Town Tourism website.  These days she hashtags her #MommyTweets, almost in proud defiance!

*   She has had inappropriate relationships with some of her staff, treating Skye Grove and Vel Corcoran as friends rather than as colleagues.  Ms Grove took photographs of Mrs Helmbold’s children at birthday parties, and was thanked via Twitter.

*   She appears to not have been able to reprimand her staff, particularly Ms Grove, who does not hide her personal agendas relative to others in the tourism industry, in retweeting disparaging Tweets, blocking tourism players, not retweeting all positive Tweets relating to Cape Town but only those of a select few, completely unacceptable in her role as the PR and Communications Manager of Cape Town Tourism.   She allowed Ms Grove to work for outside events, such as ‘100 Women 100 Wines’ two years running, in handling the media coverage for the organisers,  and even paying a R20000 sponsorship towards the event in the first year.

*   She appointed Ms Grove to handle Public Relations, without testing her capabilities. The media releases, written by Ms Grove, have been poor, with grammatical errors, inane comments attributed to Mrs Helmbold, and poor proof reading!  The media release announcing Mrs Helmbold’s departure contained a major error, which led to a correction having to be issued, Councillor Grant Pascoe not having found Mrs Helmbold to be ‘inedible’, as per the original media statement sent out.  The media statement should have been checked by Ms Grove, Mrs Helmbold, Councillor Grant Pascoe, and Cape Town Tourism’s PR company Rabbit in a Hat Communications, yet it still was issued with the error!

*   She threatened legal action against ourselves for the criticism we and tourism commenters posted on our blog about her organisation’s poor marketing performance, using Cape Town Tourism’s limited financial resources to brief the organisation’s lawyers to issue a legal threat, which came to nothing. She tried to have our membership of Cape Town Tourism cancelled, at a time when it had expired and we had decided to not renew it, due to the poor marketing performance by Mrs Helmbold’s marketing team, despite the appointment of Mrs Corcoran as its Marketing executive.  Similarly, Mrs Helmbold allowed Ms Grove to brief the same legal firm to threaten us with legal action recently about our blog and comments posted by others.

The real thorn in Mrs Helmbold’s side has been the establishment of the City of Cape Town’s own Tourism, Events and Marketing department, in opposition to Cape Town Tourism, one could say.  This meant that Destination Marketing was removed from Cape Town Tourism’s mandate, and with it a few million Rand from the budget too, seen by many in the industry as a vote of no-confidence by the City in Mrs Helmbold’s leadership. The City is using the reduced Cape Town Tourism monies to fund its own marketing of the City (none of its work is visible yet)!  At the time that Mrs Helmbold went on the Turkey trip last September we had already heard that the City was considering not renewing Mrs Helmbold’s contract.

While one can speculate that Mrs Helmbold’s departure will be good for tourism as there can only be more marketing done than by Mrs Helmbold, and less Tweeting and politicking, as Mrs Helmbold had increasingly taken to. What is a concern though is that Mrs Helmbold leaves in five months, and the City will be advertising her position.  We know from Wesgro, the provincial tourism marketing body, that it is extremely difficult to find a suitable tourism leader, Wesgro still not having found a Tourism CEO in the past ten months since the previous Cape Town Routes Unlimited was amalgamated into Wesgro!  This is bad news for Cape Town and the Western Cape, if both bodies are leaderless – even with leaders no marketing has been visible for our region, so this will just get worse, one can predict!

The Cape Town Tourism media release highlighted Mrs Helmbold’s achievements, including the amalgamation of the various tourist information bureaus across the City and Somerset West, and many marketing campaigns she is praised for, which we have seen generating little benefit for our tourism industry!  Sabine Lehmann, Chairman of the Cape Town Tourism board, described Mrs Helmbold as ‘fearless’ (the context is not explained and we can not think of examples), and passionate about Cape Town (yet she did an intensive PR job for Istanbul when she was part of the Turkey delegation, and Tweets about Pringle Bay all the time).  Councillor Pascoe thanked Mrs Helmbold for her ‘leadership, commitment, and dedication to (sic) promoting Cape Town, both locally and internationally.  She has left an indelible mark on Cape Town and the tourism industry’, as if Mrs Helmbold has left the organisation already!

Mrs Helmbold leaves Cape Town Tourism at the end of July, the media statement says, but her contract expires at the end of June.  She will still present the organisation’s Annual Report at its AGM in October, where she will ‘hand over the reins to the new CEO‘!  She is said to start her own tourism consultancy business.

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

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

While many in the Cape Town tourism industry are shaking their heads about yet another change at Cape Town Tourism, the City of Cape Town taking away the role of Destination Marketing from Cape Town Tourism four years after having given it to the tourism body, one can be grateful for two things: that a change can only be better than the little and ineffectual marketing being done by Cape Town Tourism, and that one could not wish for a better Marketing Director for brand ‘Cape Town’ than Rory Viljoen, Place Marketing Director in the new Tourism, Events and Marketing (TEAM) Directorate of the City of Cape Town.

It was a bumpy start to meeting Rory, who has only been working for the City for ten weeks, and is still suffering temporary staff in setting up his appointments.  It was third time lucky, despite a time error, to finally meet him and Daylin Mitchell, the Executive Support Officer for Councillor Grant Pascoe, the Mayoral Committee member for Tourism, Events, and Marketing, in Rory’s office in the TELKOM Tower adjacent to the Civic Centre.

Rory gave little away in the interview, instead turning the tables by asking what should be done in marketing Cape Town.  We discussed the impact of Seasonality on our businesses, and how we have been made promises in this regard by both Cape Town Tourism and the ex-Cape Town Routes Unlimited (now amalgamated into Wesgro); sharing information with the industry; generating coverage in traditional media locally and internationally with Social Media support (and not the other way around, as practised by Cape Town Tourism); Events in the winter months; addressing the lack of airline seats from Johannesburg to Cape Town on Fridays; the extreme airfares to get to Cape Town from international destinations; the confusion that has resulted amongst the tourism industry about the City’s new destination marketing directorate which some mistakenly seeing it to be Wesgro’s new marketing department; the reduced bookings via Cape Town Tourism’s tourism bureaus as tourists are booking most requirements on-line, before they leave or on their iPads; the ‘Mommy’ Tweeting by Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariette du Toit-Helmbold; the role of the V&A Waterfront in the tourism portfolio of Cape Town; the controversial trip by ten Cape Town Tourism and City of Cape Town executives to Turkey (clearly a sensitive issue, judging by Rory’s body language when the topic arose – he was not part of the delegation); the renewal of Mrs Helmbold’s contract as CEO next year; and much more.

While Rory has chosen to call his portfolio ‘Place Marketing’, he said it is just another name for Destination Marketing.   His private sector experience in marketing Distell’s brands in Africa and Europe, as well as having been South African Marketing Director of Coca Cola during the 2006 and 2010 World Cup soccer championships, shadowing the Beijing and Vancouver World Cups, and his involvement in the European Championships played in Germany and Switzerland, gives him an excellent insight in hosting events, and in creating marketing linkages.  He said that he does not know the Marketing Budget yet (we have seen that the Tourism, Events and Marketing Directorate, headed by Anton Groenewald, has a budget of R500 million per annum!), as he needs to finalise his Strategic Plan, translate that into the Marketing Budget, and then appoint the staff to execute his Marketing Strategy.  He said that he likes to work in an organised manner, step by step, ‘every chapter must stand like a book’, he said.  His biggest challenge is to find a measurement of success for his department, currently believing that arrivals at Cape Town International would be the most reliable measurement of marketing success at this stage, despite Cape Town International Service Standards Manager and outgoing Cape Town Tourism Chairman Ian Bartes warning that there would be no growth in tourism arrivals via our local airport in the next two years.

While Daylin is active on Twitter, Rory and Mr Groenewald are not.  Currently Digital and Social Media Marketing of Cape Town rests with Cape Town Tourism in their new mandate of only focusing on Tourism Marketing (with Visitor Services), but Rory indicated that they are looking to appoint a strong Media person, who will be responsible for Media Relations, Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and the writing of Speeches.  One can assume that the Digital Marketing of Cape Town will move from Cape Town Tourism to the City of Cape Town once the position has been filled.

It will be interesting to see how brand ‘Cape Town’ will be packaged, with a new logo, a pay-off line, and an extensive communication campaign to support new events, the focus being to make the Cape Town Stadium commercially viable by hosting more events there, and ultimately to attract more visitors to Cape Town.

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

The AGM of Cape Town Tourism was so bizarre, that it has taken some time to understand exactly what happened on Thursday evening at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. It appears that a number of aspects of the AGM are unconstitutional!

Having been a Board member and Deputy Chairman of the previous section 21 Cape Town Tourism until 2004, and having seen the power of the City of Cape Town in using its financial funding muscle to achieve what it wants, I went back to the Constitution of Cape Town Tourism, reading the version last updated after the AGM in 2011 (the resolution amending some typing errors in the Constitution, ‘approved’ on Thursday evening, has not yet been implemented).  I discovered the following AGM procedures to be in breach of the Constitution of Cape Town Tourism:

1.  Clause 8.1.2 states: “The notice convening the annual general meeting must state in broad terms the business to be transacted at the meeting and must specify the terms of any resolutions to be proposed”. The wording of the clause seems clumsy, but it would appear to mean that members should receive the resolutions when they receive the notice of the AGM.  This was not the case, making the adoption of the Resolutions by show of hands at the meeting unconstitutional.

2.  Even more odd was that no Annual Report was presented nor adopted at the meeting, the constitutional requirement (clause 8.1.5.2) being that ‘the presentation and adoption of the annual report of the Chairperson of Cape Town Tourism and the budget and business plan for the forthcoming year‘.  As reported, outgoing Chairman Ian Bartes spent most of his talk focusing on the City of Cape Town’s changed Budget allocation of R36 million (from R42 million), and the removal of the Destination Marketing responsibility from Cape Town Tourism.  He did mention that staff costs had reduced by 3%, and all other costs by 4% in the past financial year, and intimated that retrenchments may be on the cards, in answer to a question.  No Business Plan was presented.

3.  Similarly, in clause 8.1.5.3, ‘the consideration of the draft annual financial statements of Cape Town Tourism, as approved by the Board’ is specified in the Constitution, but no motion was moved to adopt the Financials!

4.  The biggest shock of the AGM was the announcement that Cape Town Tourism is to lose its role of Destination Marketing, and has been left with only the duties of ‘Tourism Marketing’ and Visitor Information Services. Clause 5.1 of the Constitution defines the role of Cape Town Tourism as follows: The main object of Cape Town Tourism is to provide destination marketing services and visitor services and thereby to provide services for the benefit of Cape Town Tourism members and the wider tourism industry’. ‘Destination Marketing’ is the role allocated to Cape Town Tourism, and there is no reference to a separate category of ‘Tourism Marketing’!  In 2008 the members of Cape Town Tourism had voted to accept Cape Town Tourism’s expanded role of Destination Marketing, which had led to the appointment of a Marketing Manager (the current incumbent is Velma Corcoran).

The City’s decision to take ‘Destination Marketing’ away from Cape Town Tourism is therefore in breach of the Constitution of Cape Town Tourism.  I challenged Mr Groenewald about this after the AGM, and he quickly responded that the resolutions presented at the AGM had taken care of this.  There was no mention of a resolution relating to the changed role of Cape Town Tourism at the AGM. This is the record of the 2012 Resolutions on the Cape Town Tourism website:

“RESOLUTIONS TO BE TABLED AT THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF CAPE TOWN TOURISM (“CTT”) TO BE HELD AT THE CAPE TOWN INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CENTRE ON 18 OCTOBER 2012

RESOLVED:

1. Finances

That, in terms of clause 15.2.1 of CTT’s Constitution (“the Constitution”), membership fees for the 2013/14 financial year be increased by 6.5% (six comma five percent).

2. Allowances

That, in terms of clause 16 of the Constitution, the following allowances and re-imbursements be paid to the members of the Board of CTT for the 2013/14 financial year:

2.1 Allowance: R400.00 per month;

2.2 Travel and parking: in accordance with CTT’s conditions of service for staff members.

3. Appointment of auditors

That, in terms of clause 15.5 of the Constitution, PKF be re-appointed as the auditors of CTT for the 2013/14 financial year.

4. Constitution

That the following amendments to the Constitution be approved, with effect from 18 October 2012:

4.1 By the deletion of clause 1.3 and its replacement by the following:

“In 2011 and in 2012 it was decided by the members of Cape Town Tourism to effect further

amendments to the Constitution.  These amendments have been incorporated in a revised

Constitution, approved as provided for in clause 20 hereof.”

4.2 By the deletion in clause 5.2.2 of the words “Destination Marketing Organisation, known as Cape Town Routes Unlimited (“CTRU”)”, and their replacement by “Destination Marketing, Investment and Trade Promotion Agency for the Western Cape, known as WESGRO (“WESGRO”)”.

4.3  By the deletion in clause 8.1.5.7 of “far” and its replacement by “for”.

4.4 By the deletion in clause 8.2.2 of “Specify” and its replacement by “specify”.

4.5 By the deletion in clause 14.2 of “6 (five)” and its replacement by “5 (five)”. 4.6 That the designation at the end of the Constitution be deleted and replaced by the following:

“Thus adopted unanimously at a special general meeting of Cape Town Tourism held at the Ritz Hotel, Sea Point on 14 August 2008 and amended at the Annual General Meetings of Cape Town Tourism held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on 17 October 2011 and 18 October 2012.”

it is clear that no Member approval was called for in regard to the future role of Cape Town Tourism, and that a Special General Meeting will have to be called, to make the removal of ‘Destination Marketing’ from Cape Town Tourism’s role constitutional.

Forcing members to vote for three of six ‘Black’ Board nominees, due to the constitutional requirement that three of its Board directors be ‘Black’, was a step backward in voting on the basis of skin colour and not on merit, in our opinion, but was in accordance with the Constitution.

Interesting to note is another clause (12.2), not related to the AGM, in which the Constitution states that ‘Only the Chief Executive Officer or the Chairperson or, in his/her absence, the Vice-Chairperson, are entitled to issue public statements on behalf of Cape Town Tourism’.  Once again the wording is ambiguous (what does ‘issue’ entail?). We have noted that two recent media releases issued by Cape Town Tourism have quoted Councillor Grant Pascoe, in one instance combined with a quote from the CEO Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, and in another instance with no reference to her, which would appear to be unconstitutional.  In hindsight, given the shock AGM announcement, it is clear that the City of Cape Town is now hijacking Cape Town Tourism’s PR activity (the little that there is) for its own glory!  It would appear that quoting only Councillor Pascoe would make such media statements in breach of the Cape Town Tourism Constitution!

Something else that appeared odd was Chairman Bartes’ almost apologetic acknowledgement that he had signed the City of Cape Town’s amended Service Level Agreement, to prevent a ‘qualified audit’, and to ensure ‘stability’, both aspects unexplained.  It sounded as if he had signed the Agreement without Board approval, which may be a breach of the Constitution, as no such power is vested in the Chairman as far as we can see.

The breaches of the Constitution of Cape Town Tourism in its handling of the AGM would appear to reflect an organisation that lost its focus when the City of Cape Town broke the news about its slashed Budget and its changed role in September, coincidentally the same time as the trip to Turkey, which 10-member delegation included Mr Groenewald from the City, and Cape Town Tourism Chairman Bartes, CEO Mrs Helmbold, and more. The breaches are unforgivable, and are a poor reflection on the Board of Cape Town Tourism, and its legal advisers!

Cape Town Tourism will have to call a Special General Meeting to fix its constitutional breaches, to:

1.  Obtain approval of the Financial Statements (circulating them in advance to members)

2.  Obtain approval of the Resolutions again (circulating them in advance)

3.  Obtain approval of the Annual Report, with a Budget and Business Plan (circulating them in advance)

4.  Change the description of the role of Cape Town Tourism, deleting its role of Destination Marketing, in its Constitution.

Clause 20.1 states that the Constitution can be amended by calling a general meeting of its members, with 21 days’ notice to be given to the members of Cape Town Tourism.

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