Despite a promise in October that the major impediments to tourism created by the notorious Visa Regulations would be addressed within three months, little progress appears to have been made. Continue reading →
* The inaugural Cape Town Cup 2015 football challenge will be held at the Cape Town Stadium on 24 and 26 July. Local team Ajax Cape Town will play Sporting Clube de Portugal, Crystal Palace FC, and Super Sport United, the City of Cape Town has announced.
* Ethiopia is the best tourist destination, according to the European Continue reading →
* The Department of Home Affairs has ‘rubbished‘ the claim of SATSA (SA Tourism Service Association) that it is seeing a decline in airline ticket sales to our country of 30%, saying that the association is only trying to ‘cause confusion‘. SATSA CEO David Frost has described the Department’s reaction to the decline as ‘insulting’. The Department has stated that its priority is the safety of children, and not tourism!
* Qatar Airways will be increasing the frequency of its flights to Cape Town, offering daily flights to Cape Town in summer and in winter. Cape Town Tourism CEO Enver Duminy welcomed the larger number of travelers Continue reading →
I drive down Rose Street in Bo-Kaap almost every day, and have been watching the slow progress made in a restaurant opening in what was one of my favourite coffee stops. After about six months of Haas having moved out, Batavia Café opened two weeks ago.
Old Haas fans may be disappointed with the lightweight decor, and design items for sale, following a similar concept as Haas in promoting not only its food at the Batavia Café, but also design in the Batavia section, by Cape Town designers such as Issa leo (menswear), Lazuli (womenswear), BO.NE nature made (African animal skulls), work by artists Annette Visser and Ina Grobbelaar, Gruparte (graphic posters and prints), and Oh dear Megan (jewellery designer). The first floor which housed the Haas ad agency has been let. The seating area in the little courtyard offers the most privacy. Many mixed-colour bunches of flowers, or a single stem in a Continue reading →
* Ghanaian rapper D Black has been holidaying in Cape Town, his Instagram and Twitter (with 146000 followers!) shows. He visited Robben Island, Table Mountain,CampsBay, and the V&A V & A Waterfront. He also recorded with local musician Donald in Denial.
* Cape Town has been named by National Geographic as the second best Beach City in the world, the Clifton beaches mentioned specifically for their protection against the wind and expensive accommodation. The False Bay beaches, as well as Milnerton and Blouberg, are referred to. Number one is Barcelona, with its Barcenoleta Beach. The rest of the Beach City ranking is Honolulu (Waikiki Beach), Nice’s three beaches, Miami Beach, Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, Santa Monica, Sydney’s Bondi, Tel Aviv, and Vancouver’s ten beaches.
* SA Tourism, host of INDABA 2015, is describing the trade show as one which will exceed the expectations of both Continue reading →
From number one in the New York Times ‘52 Places to go in 2014‘, Cape Town has fallen right off the list of ‘52 Places to go in 2015‘. In its place, Durban has made 7th on this prestigious list this year! Cape Town too has lost out to Los Angeles as the home for filming the German reality series ‘Der Bachelor’.
The South African stories for the New York Times are written by Sarah Khan, an American writer who now lives in Cape Town. Having become proudly-Cape Town, Khan has written many articles about Cape Town, even though her restaurant recommendations for Cape Town in Travel + Leisure left much to be desired Continue reading →
What an amazing experience it was to sit next to Clem Sunter at the 5th anniversary of the Thursday Club lunch at Buitenverwachting yesterday, the guest of the wine estate’s PR consultant Sandy Bailey. At the lunch Sunter’s new book ‘21st Century Megatrends: perspectives from a Fox‘ was launched. Sunter was the first speaker at the Thursday Club at its launch five years ago.
We were welcomed with a choice of a glass of Buitenverwachting Blanc de Noir or Meifort (a blend of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon). Sunter was already in the restaurant, and was happy to pose for a photograph, volunteering to move away from the glass door so that the light did not affect the photograph, clearly an old hand at this. We started chatting before the lunch started, and I received a quick overview of his talk, and learnt a lot more about him.
Christopher Sunter was born in the UK, the only son of a mother he was very close to, and went to school at Winchester College. At school Sunter played the guitar, and the first song he sang was ‘Oh my Darling Clementine‘, which led to his classmates calling him ‘Clem‘ after the song, and the name stuck. He went to Oxford, and there he started a band with his friend, called the Clem & John Band. His biggest claim to fame is the fact that the band co-headed a concert in Oxford at which the Rolling Stones performed as well, in June 1964, and he ended off his talk with this information. We were lucky to have Clem sing for us at the table, his face lighting up as he did so. He shared that he performed with eleven other CEOs at a concert at The Barnyard in Johannesburg last year, organised by Reg Lascaris, the proceeds going to charity. He sang ‘Peggy Sue‘ and ‘Blue Suede Shoes‘ at the concert, and ‘Peggy Sue‘ for us at the table too. Should his career as a scenario planner ever fail, which is highly unlikely, he can fall back into a career as singer! Sunter also is very funny, saying that every year for three weeks he lived in the home in which his mother lived before she passed away. Every evening they were served a glass of wine, and he told a funny story about the residents of the home which brought the house down as he started his talk. Sunter joined Anglo in London after university, and moved to Anglo Zambia in 1971, and then to Anglo South Africa two years later, serving as a Non-Executive Director of the company now, as well as consulting to corporates around the world as a scenario planner, and writing books. Sunter has owned a holiday house in Simonstown for a number of years already, and he and his wife plan to move to Cape Town next year, a ‘semi-gration trend’, he said. They live in Rosebank in Johannesburg and he said that he loves living in Africa, and feels completely at home in this country. Two of his three children live outside South Africa, one of them in Perth, which caused a laugh as I had asked him whether we need to pack for Perth again, which he now refers to ‘parched Perth’ due to the impact of climate change on Australia. Continue reading →
* British Airways has launched a You Tube video ‘On Top of the World’, which probably is a TV commercial for its A380 flights to South Africa (it does not say if they are flying to Cape Town too), and was filmed exclusively in Cape Town, including on top of Table Mountain, on Camps Bay beach, with Lion’s Head as a backdrop, at Boulders Beach, and showing a Cape Town flower seller, a rugby player, and a cyclist.
* SATSA (Southern African Tourism Services Association) CEO David Frost says that tourists should be encouraged to see more of South Africa than the Big Five, Cape Town, the Kruger National Park, Johannesburg, and the Garden Route. Attractions in other provinces are not known to travelers. Repeat visits to our country should be increased, and the deceased time spent should be reversed, he added. He encouraged SA Tourism to develop trade deals that draw visitors to lesser known attractions. Travelers are not only visiting South Africa, but are also incorporating Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique into their itineraries.
* Wellington Wines is planning to treble its sales of bulk wine to the UK to 6 million litres by next year, and projects Continue reading →
* The South African wine industry should be more assertive, and not try to please everybody, says Johann Krige, owner of Kanonkop and outgoing Chairman of Wines of South Africa (WOSA), who has handed over the reins to Dr Michael Jordaan. Transformation in the industry of 680 members of WOSA and exporting collectively 550000 litres of wine is vital, Krige said. He said that the two windfalls of the ‘Mandela factor’ and a weak rand may have been bad for the industry, despite benefiting it financially, allowing inferior wines to be produced too. The Board of WOSA has the five largest ‘black exporters‘ on its Board of 15, a positive development, Krige added. He praised his Board members for working together for the ‘good of the whole industry‘. Bulk wine exports are environmentally-friendly, it being more ‘green’ to bottle at the destination. He urged the industry to be ‘terroirists‘, planting cultivars suitable to the soils on its farms. He added that the government sees the wine industry as ‘too white, too male and too Afrikaans‘, and has not acknowledged the transformation that has already taken place.
* Cape Town is praised in the British InStyle, writing with the headline ‘Why Cape Town should be your next holiday destination’ and stating that ‘Cape Town is the place to be’. Focusing largely on the Mount Nelson Hotel, almost sounding like an advertorial, it does encourage visitors to go up Table Mountain and to experience Robben Island; go on a walking tour of the city centre; visit the ‘Boulders Penguin Colony‘; see whales, dolphins, and seals, and even Great White sharks; experience the Neighbourgoods Market on Saturday mornings; and go to Greenmarket Square.
* South Africa, and the Cape specifically, has two The World’s 50 Best Restaurants on the top 100 list: The Test Kitchen at 48th position, and The Tasting Room at 72nd position.
* A Schengen-type visa may be introduced for the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries, to make travelling easier for tourists. This suggestion is on the agenda of the WTTC Global Summit, and it is planned to increase the tourism market share of the continent to a double-digit one by 2020, from the current 4%. Our country is pushing for such a visa, but only a handful of the other SADC countries Angola, Botswana, Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe is expected to sign the visa agreement initially.
* Surprising is to read that Distell ad agency The Bester Burke Slingers Group is closing its doors in July, the partners saying that they have had enough of the advertising industry, and that they are no longer able to guide clients in their marketing.