MARCH 2009

 
An astoundingly busy February has passed and the credit crunch certainly felt like something from the past for Whale Cottage Camps Bay (with 98 % occupancy) and Whale Cottage Franschhoek. March too is well booked, although not at the level of February.
 
We wish to thank our many guests for their support, and we salute BMW for their large booking for the launch of their new 7 Series, which was in part hosted in Franschhoek; Ester Welthagen for celebrating her 30th birthday with 11 friends at Whale Cottage Camps Bay; the Grahams for booking their family at Whale Cottage Camps Bay for their son's wedding; the Hinds and Pitsillis families who stayed at Whale Cottage Camps Bay to settle their first-year sons into UCT; and Anne Wright who celebrated her marriage with four other couples, all of whom stayed at Whale Cottage Camps Bay;
 
We also salute our Whale Cottage-loyal guests Mats and Anne Persson, who stayed at each of the four Whale Cottages, while the Koewuis and Bending/Wollen parties and Heinrich Holzer stayed at three of the four Whale Cottages in the past six weeks. Also, the long stays by Frank Seibel and Clement St Georges at Whale Cottage Camps Bay are acknowledged with gratitude. We salute the brave Argus Cycle Tour participants, who battled the toughest tour ever.

A whale of a thanks goes to Mickey McMonagle, for singing the praises of our beautiful city Cape Town, and of our Whale Cottage Camps Bay in the Sunday Mail in Scotland a week ago - read more. He did not indicate that he is a journalist when he made the booking, and paid for his stay in full.

We thank S A Garden and S A Tuin for featuring Whale Cottage Franschhoek and its garden in their March issues.
 
While the petrol price has been rising monthly since the beginning of the year, the Reserve Bank's 1 % cut in the interest rate was welcomed in February. Another cut is expected this week, when the Reserve Bank's Monetary Policy Committee meets.

Chris von Ulmenstein
Owner, Whale Cottage Portfolio


IN THIS MONTH'S NEWSLETTER
Cape Town Marketing Confusion
World's Top Chef in Cape Town
S A Tourism Loses its Head
Cabernet Sauvignon Receives Highest Praise

2010 Ticket Sales Kick Off

Sweet & Sour Service Awards

Cape Town Marketing Confusion
 

CAPE TOWN MARKETING CONFUSION

 

  

A recent article in both Cape Town dailies reported on the tender that the City of Cape Town is requesting for marketing the City, even though this task was allocated to Cape Town Tourism six months ago. It gave the province another opportunity to publicly lament the loss of the City's funding of Cape Town Routes Unlimited (CTRU).
  
The Cape Times reported that the marketing of Cape Town had only been awarded to Cape Town Tourism (CTT) for a six month period, in a caretaking role, until “the city could find a permanent solution”, according to the City’s Theuns Vivian, of its Economic, Social Development and Tourism department. The City acknowledged that it was unable to do the marketing of Cape Town internally. Confusion was particularly created with the paragraph:”The consultants said that while there was some advantage in keeping CTT as the marketing agency, it could create confusion. CTT was also not “currently geared” to act as destination marketing organisation.” The Cape Argus wrote that the City was looking for an external body to market Cape Town. It also referred to Cape Town Tourism conducting this task for the City “in the interim”.
 
Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, CEO of Cape Town Tourism, reacted to the Cape Times article by saying that “it is a misrepresentation by a journalist of the City’s public participation process undertaken to determine whether marketing and visitor services must be outsourced or internalized in future.” The City had approved the outsourcing of the marketing. “I have double checked with Mansoor Mohammed (head of the City’s tourism department), and he has put the story into perspective." she wrote.
 
Du Toit-Helmbold did indicate that Cape Town Tourism does have to apply, through an open tender, to be appointed the marketing agency for the City, in order to prevent any future questions about the legality of the appointment. While this process is in place, the appointment of Cape Town Tourism is contractually agreed until 30 June, with the view that the public participation process will have been completed, and Cape Town Tourism can then be appointed on a three year contract. Cape Town Tourism is in full swing in offering Marketing services for Cape Town, according to its contract with the City and the mandate from its members to do so.
 
In the mean time, the City’s Economic Development and Tourism department has been found to ”not be up to its task”, reports the Cape Argus, and therefore a R 1,2 million review is to be undertaken of the department’s activities. Called Project Rejuvenate, the organisation structure of the department is inadequate in allowing the Department to meet its mandate. The project includes retraining existing staff and sourcing new staff.

MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Garth Strachan, wrote to Mayor Helen Zille, asking the City to reconsider its withdrawal of funding from CTRU. He wrote: “For inexplicable reasons the City of Cape Town has set up a parallel structure to the destination marketing organisation, Cape Town Routes Unlimited (CTRU) and withdrawn its funding from CTRU and Wesgro, the provincial trade and investment promotion agency. “ “This appears to make no constitutional, economic or practical sense. Efforts by the provincial government to resolve these issues to the mutual satisfaction of both province and city have come to nought. I therefore publicly appeal to you, in the interests of the people and the Province, to reconsider these actions.”

“The Premier specifically instructed that whatever reservations the City may have had with regard to structure, functioning and operations of Wesgro and CTRU should be addressed and resolved to the mutual satisfaction of both city and province. This could include restructuring the Boards of both organisations, and any other changes that might be reasonably accommodated. We hoped the departure of former ID Councillor Simon Grindrod might signal a change of heart and a commitment to co-operation between the two governments. But no change has been forthcoming now that the DA’s Councillor Nielsen has taken control. It is difficult to make sense of the City’s approach to these matters. How can the duplication of costs, personnel and programmes be justified?"
 
“In the case of CTRU, an agreement to ensure shared custody by the Province and City to promote Cape Town and the Western Cape as a tourist destination is underpinned by Provincial Legislation, which is now being flouted. Cape Town Tourism, hitherto responsible for tourism information centres, has been tasked with marketing Cape Town on its own and distinct from the Province as a whole. By so doing the City will duplicate costs, personnel and marketing operations aside from the fact that there will of necessity be a long time lag as new staff are employed and programmes put in place. In fact, Cape Town Tourism has not been able to spend the approximately R11 million which would have otherwise been spent on international marketing by CTRU since the withdrawal of funding by the City. “
 
“We cannot afford the confusion of two marketing organisations. It is impossible to market Cape Town without including the wine routes of the Boland or whale watching in Hermanus. Confusion has been created in the tourism market place and great harm is being done to 2010 marketing because CTRU is now under-resourced and CTT is unable to spend the City’s funds allocated to it.“
 
“Tourism is the jewel in the crown of our provincial economy. It depends on competitive marketing in a world where international tourists are being lured by competitors with huge marketing budgets. There is no doubt that the City’s moves in relation to CTRU will harm tourism numbers and we will lose ground in the special opportunity to market the destination for the long term that 2010 represents. The provincial government has avoided going the route of court battles with respect to the City withdrawal from CTRU and Wesgro. After numerous failed efforts in meetings and in correspondence and in the interests of all the people of the Province, I publicly appeal to the City to reconsider its actions.”
 
Strachan’s letter to Mayor Zille is a surprise, as it comes nineteen months after the City gave notice of its intention to withdraw its funding from CTRU, and seven months after the actual withdrawal. The City of Cape Town was justified in withdrawing its funding from CTRU, as a report by consultants appointed by the City had found the organisation to be inefficient in meeting its mandate to market the City and the province. Premier Lynne Brown held Strachan’s position before she became Premier, and did not appear to make any great effort to bridge the divide between Cape Town Tourism and CTRU at that time. In fact, the Province was seen to be the dominant partner in the relationship.
 
Originally, CTRU was formed to avoid duplication in marketing Cape Town and the Western Cape. However, CTRU persists in marketing Cape Town, even though the City of Cape Town has withdrawn its funding and Cape Town Tourism is designated to do this job. CTRU has a representative on the Board of Cape Town Tourism, and this should allow close co-operation and should prevent duplication.
 
Cape Town Tourism’s handling of the marketing for Cape Town is constitutional, as the association amended its Constitution to take on this role and was supported by its membership in voting for it to do so. Cape Town Tourism has had a participative and open discussion about its Marketing strategy, and has allowed various tourism representatives to provide input to the formation of the Marketing strategy for the City. Cape Town Tourism is appointing new Marketing staff, but appears to be doing so in a constructive and economic manner, and not building a 'fat cat' organisation that was CTRU.
 
The Tourism Act of 2004 for the Western Cape is in urgent need of replacement. The Act was designed to legally decree the design of what was to become CTRU. It is an established body now. No guidance is given in the Act about the organisation of and relationship between CTRU and the tourism bureaus in every city and town in the province. Cape Town Tourism’s marketing activities are not a “parallel structure” to CTRU - Cape Town Tourism is not replicating CTRU.
 
Last but not least, the marketing of Cape Town and World Cup 2010 cannot be endangered by the divide, as claimed by Mr Strachan.

World's Top Chef in Cape Town

 

WORLD'S TOP CHEF IN CAPE TOWN

 

  

Ferran Adria, owner of the famous El Bulli restaurant in Spain, which has been rated as the top restaurant in the world for a number of years, addressed the Design Indaba in Cape Town earlier this month, reports the EatOut newsletter. Adria is well known for his deconstructionist approach to preparing meals. He is guided by creativity, he says, and is himself amazed that the creative inspiration still comes to him, after so many years of owning the restaurant. His current inspiration is Japan, not for its food but “the soul of the country”. ”Creativity is not copying”, he said, but acknowledged that everyone is influenced by past experiences. Adria demonstrated his controlled gellification of liquids and how to prepare soya spaghetti using a syringe. El Bulli has crockery and cutlery especially designed to match its creative food.
 
Gordon Ramsay of maze restaurant is making a shaky start to his restaurant opening in Cape Town, owing $5 million to the Royal Bank of Scotland, and his suppliers about $ 7 million. A recent expansion programme at the time of the global credit crunch has affected turnover. The first African branch of maze opens in the One&Only Cape Town on 3 April.
  
A mix of top chefs and French champagnes and Cap Classiques from Franschhoek are on the menu in Franschhoek for an indulgent “Chefs & Champagne” weekend from 27 - 29 March. Chefs and their restaurants have been matched with Champagne and Cap Classique brands, and will be offering private chef’s table dinners and lunches, reflecting the “lavish lifestyle” of Franschhoek, the ad for the event says. So, for example, Le Franschhoek is serving a five course dinner with Pierre Jourdan for just 18 persons, at R 720 per head, on 27 March. Mange Tout at Mont Rochelle is serving a 5 course dinner for 20 persons with Billecart Salmon Champagne, the most expensive dinner of them all, at R 1 350 per head, on 27 March. Ruebens is pairing with Graham Beck and serving a 6 course lunch on 29 March at R 940 per head, for 20 persons. Bookings can be made by e-mailing Darielle at events@franschhoek.org.za.

The second Taste of Cape Town food show will be hosted from 2 - 5 April at the Jan van Riebeeck sportsfield off Kloofnek Road in Tamboerskloof. Chef and writer Justine Drake is co-ordinating the event again. Eighteen top restaurants, including Reubens, Aubergine, Bouillabaisse, Crepe Suzette, Jardine, La Colombe, Nova, Overture, and Terroir, many of these on the EatOut top ten restaurant list, will display their fine food fare, alongside premium drink brands and live entertainment. The ‘Taste of Cape Town’ event will include a Pick ‘n Pay Fresh Living Chef’s Theatre, a Beer Academy at which food and beer pairing will be done, and the Checkers Wine Route Taste Experience.
 
More details can be obtained from
www.tasteofcapetown.com. Entrance costs R 170, inclusive of tasting vouchers, or R 80 without the tasting vouchers.

Madame Zingara is dead! The ‘Theatre of Dreams’ circus theatre restaurant, which was created as a result of a fire in the original Madame Zingara premises in Loop Street in Cape Town, went into final liquidation earlier this month. Madame Zingara owner and “ringmaster', Richard Griffin, appears to have over-extended himself, in taking his Madame Zingara to London in December, at the same time that he opened Mojolena, a sister theatre restaurant, but on a much smaller scale, in Cape Town, so that he could continue employing the staff that could not get visas to go to the UK. His backers in the UK pulled out due to the credit crunch, while unpaid debts in Cape Town led to the liquidation.
 
Whilst Madame Zingara opened to sold-out nights at the Battersea Power Station in London in December, it was a fantastic “advertisement” for South African creativity, and the culinary and cultural marriage. However, the marketing damage of the closure in London is bad for the country, as the Time Out website, which had featured a very favourable review, is filled with comments from persons who had booked and paid for the dinner and show, but who do not appear to be able to receive their money back. Griffin’s South African origin is mentioned in the comments. Griffin has had his share of bad luck. The first Madame Zingara restaurant, which opened in Loop Street eight years ago, was destroyed by a fire, which challenged Griffin to buy a Spiegelpaleis circus tent in Belgium and set up his Theatre of Dreams underneath the highway at the entrance to the port in Cape Town.
 
Melbourne restaurant Rusk will be serving Cape Food for a dinner it is serving during the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival this month, reports the Australian Hospitality magazine. Rusk owner, Lance Rosen, is a South African who draws on the Cape Malay heritage of South African food, which he calls “Cape Food”. He recently visited his mentor Cass Abrahams, who has a Cape Malay restaurant on the Seidelberg wine estate outside Paarl. S A Tourism has appointed Rosen as a Food Ambassador for South Africa, and he will cook for a S A Tourism cocktail party and lunch for travel media from Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia. Rosen’s menu will include biltong, “boebotie”, ‘frikadelle”, “sosaties”, tipsy tart and “koeksusters”.

S A Tourism Loses its Head

 

S A TOURISM LOSES ITS HEAD

 
  

Bad news for the marketing of South Africa, especially with 2010 lying ahead, is that Moeketsi Mosola has resigned as CEO of S A Tourism, reports TravelHub. A report in The Mercury speculates that Mosola had to leave as he has been a volunteer for COPE, the new political party contesting the general election next month, since November. Mosola will be the Elections Manager for COPE, reports the Mail & Guardian. With just 15 months to go before World Cup 2010, Mosola’s departure is most unfortunate at the most crucial time of South Africa’s international marketing for what will be the biggest sport event it has ever hosted. Mosola had served at the helm of S A Tourism for eight years, and was impressive for speaking his mind. He was critical of the industry when necessary. Didi Moyle, the COO, will take over as acting CEO with immediate effect.
 
Frommer’s travel guides have selected Cape Town as one of their top twelve destinations, described as “value picks that’ll wow you”, reports www.sagoodnews.co.za. The publishers write about Cape Town: “South Africa is gearing up to host the world's best football (or soccer, if you’re from the U.S.) teams during the 2010 World Cup, and Cape Town promises to have one of the grandest venues for the event. Get here before the crowds do to take advantage of a spruced-up city. Truthfully, though, the city has one big advantage: Cape Town, the oldest city in southern Africa, is regularly heralded as one of the most beautiful on earth. The massive sandstone bulk of Table Mountain, often draped in a flowing “tablecloth” of clouds, forms an imposing backdrop, while minutes away, pristine sandy beaches line the cliff-hugging coast where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. You can visit African Penguin colonies at Boulders Beach along False Bay or take the ferry to Robben Island, the former prison home to political prisoners such as Nelson Mandela.”
 
The other destinations on the Frommer’s top list are Belfast, Berlin, Waiheke Island in New Zealand, Istanbul, Cambodia, Cartegena in Columbia, Lassen Volcanic National Park in Alberta in Canada, the Civil Rights Trail from Selma to Montgomery in Alabama in the USA, Saggara in Egypt, Washington DC, and Waterston Lakes National Park in Alberta in Canada.
 
S A Tourism’s advertising campaign for South Africa has won an international advertising award for CNN. The International Awards for Innovation in Media awarded a gold award to the S A Tourism promotion run on CNN, called “My South Africa”. Viewers were asked to send photographs, moving images and stories that reflected their experiences of South Africa, which were featured on the “My South Africa” website. Call-to-action vignettes were also created, the first featuring well-known singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka. The campaign is to be used as a case study at Oxford University’s Business School. The campaign will run until 2010, to support the World Cup.

Matt Damon was the most high-profile VIP riding in the Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour, together with 35 000 other cyclists. The Cape Argus reports that Francois Pienaar, ex-Springbok Rugby captain, inspired Damon to participate in the Cycle Race. Damon plays Pienaar in the movie ‘The Human Factor’, which is about the 1995 Rugby World Cup win for South Africa, and is being filmed in Cape Town at the moment.

The Cycle Tour has been successfully hosted in Cape Town for many years, and is estimated to have contributed R 400 million to the economy of Cape Town and the Western Cape through entry fees, accommodation and restaurant costs, and travel costs. Part of the monies generated by the race will go to charities. The Tour also plays an important tourism marketing role for the city and its environs. Scenic Chapman’s Peak was re-opened especially for the Argus Cycle Tour. Race participants had to sign a special indemnity, and agree to use the road at their own risk. The reason for the continued delays in re-opening Chapman’s Peak, a popular tourism route, and important link to the city for Noordhoek residents, is to be investigated.
  
Prince Albert of Monaco chose Fresnaye in Cape Town as the location for the celebration of his South African girlfriend Charlene Wittstock's 31st birthday in Fresnaye on 25 January, reports Bunte, Germany’s leading society magazine. The hoped-for engagement did not happen. The Prince’s party was disrupted by the police at 2 am, after neighbours in the suburb complained about the noise. The magazine shows a photograph of the Prince’s friend’s house, high up in Fresnaye, and also a photograph of Clifton beach, which it says can be seen from the friend’s house, but this is not possible!
 
The author of ‘Q & A’, Vikas Swarup, Deputy High Commissioner for India in South Africa, will be one of the speakers at the third Franschhoek Literary Festival, to be held from 15 – 17 May. His book was the inspiration for the Oscar and other film industry award-winning movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. The book tells the story of an orphan from the backstreets of Mumbai who is falsely accused of cheating in a television game show. Swarup’s novel ‘Q&A’ has won various accolades.

Cabernet Sauvignon Receives Highest Praise
 

CABERNET SAUVIGNON RECEIVES HIGHEST PRAISE

 
  

“Forgive me if I’m excited, but I can’t help it. I want to tell you straight out that South Africa, of all places, is one of the greatest sources for moderately priced cabernet sauvignon on the planet today”. So began Eric Asimov’s story in praise of this country’s Cabernet Sauvignon wines in the 21 January edition of the New York Times. Asimov’s verdict resulted from a tasting of 25 South African Cabernet Sauvignon wines, he and his panel voting the De Trafford 2004 as the top scorer, followed by the 2004 Rust en Vrede, and the 2003 One Stroke One from Graceland. The remaining top ten Cabernet Sauvignons, were 2004 Bon Cap, 2004 Thelema, 2004 Neil Ellis, 2004 Bilton, 2005 Waterford, 2005 Alto, and 2005 Stark-Conde Jonkershoek Valley Twin Peak. All but the Bon Cap are from Stellenbosch.
 
Asimov was less kind to Boekenhoutskloof : ” …the 2006 Boekenhoutskloof cabernet from the Franschhoek region was, at $ 47, the most expensive wine in our tasting. While the winemaker is critically acclaimed, we rejected the wine for its generic vanilla-cherry cheesecake flavours, which I often taste in New World red wines that are intended to please an international audience.”
 
Asimov, a wine critic not easily pleased, is somewhat sceptical about the future of South Africa’s wines. “Yet the track record is slim. We don’t know yet how these wines will age. Many of these producers are too new to have shown consistency over time.” Yet, he says that “South Africa has the potential for greatness. In the snapshot offered by these 25 bottles, we found a region offering wonderful values and lovely wines.” Wines of South Africa (WOSA) are delighted with the article, and say that it should have a strong impact on marketing South Africa’s relatively unknown wines in the USA.
 
Franschhoek’s Rupert & Rothschild Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon has been selected as the third most successful wine in Germany, reports The Big Pond blog. Weinwirtschaft published a list of “the 100 Most Successful Wines of 2008”, and three South African wines made the list – the Rupert & Rothschild, Nederburg Merlot Foundation at number 23, and KWV’s Roodeberg at number 58. The criteria for being judged was wine sales in Germany of 10 000 bottles or more. Seven hundred wines were submitted for judging on sales success, value for money, and marketing image.
 
Franschhoek winery Solms-Delta was one of two South African wine estates featured in the third programme of a BBC Four documentary series called ‘Wine’ earlier this month, reports www.blog.winecountry.co.za. “Called “WINE: The Future”, the episode focused on two wine producers who are each re-tooling post-apartheid South Africa on their own respective estates”. The segment follows the story of Mark Solms, a world-renowned neuroscientist who has brought black empowerment and sweeping social changes to a 320-year-old farm. The colourful culmination is a Franschhoek valley first: a Harvest Festival for the workers hosted by the farm’s owners, complete with the vernacular music of the rural Cape. A performance by the farm’s very own Delta Optel Band is a touching high point.” says the website. “It’s hard not to be moved by what the two South African wineries, both at least partially black owned, are trying to achieve,” said The Observer wine writer Tim Aitkin, after watching a preliminary screening.
 
The wines of Solms-Delta have received positive nods from several UK wine writers. Solms-Hegewisch Africana 2005 was included by Neil Beckett in his “1001 Wines You Must Taste Before You Die”. Wine critic Jancis Robinson includes Solms Hiervandaan (2004) among her ‘Franschhoek favourites’. Writing in the Financial Times, she says: ““Mark Solms … has fast drawn attention to the Solms-Delta winery on his family property on the road in to Franschhoek since he moved back there from London five years ago … With ex-Boschendal winemaker Hilko Hegewisch, Solms is … experimenting with winemaking techniques suggested by his reading of ancient texts – which makes for some seriously distinctive wines.”

The other estate featured in the programme was M’hudi Wines, owned by Oupa Rangaka. The BBC website claims that Oupa is the “only black people to own a vineyard in South Africa’, which is not true, as Tokyo Sexwale is the proud owner of the Oude Kelder wine estate in Franschhoek.
 
The 2008 Paul Cluver Noble Late Harvest from Elgin has been selected as the top South African Riesling at a recent Just Riesling winetasting, with local and German judges on the panel. Just Riesling has been established to increase the profile of Riesling, and to communicate how suited it is for “the South African way of life, climate and cuisine”, reports the Hermanus Times.

The hospitality industry in Cape Town is up in arms about the proposed changes to the by-law the City of Cape Town is wishing to make to liquor trading days and hours. The City has the right to stipulate the trading hours of alcoholic beverage sales, in accordance with the recently promulgated Western Cape Liquor Act. The proposed by-law regulates that B & B’s and guest houses that are situated in residential areas, that have not been rezoned for commercial use, may not sell any alcohol at all. Those that are located in “local/neighbourhood business areas/nodes (including mixed use areas consisting of single/general residential interspersed with business uses)” may sell alcohol from 11h00 – 23h00, as are hotels, pubs, restaurants and even supermarkets. Accommodation establishments in the CBD are allowed to sell alcohol from 11h00 – 2h00. Wine farms are only allowed to sell alcohol from 9h00 – 18h00, closing off the very lucrative weddings market to them.
 
The by-law changes are designed to reduce alcohol abuse and violence against women and children induced by alcohol abuse, the City says.
 
Both FEDHASA Cape and SATSA have requested the City publicly to reconsider its by-law, in that some of its members would have to close their alcohol sales at 21h00 if they are located in predominantly residential areas. FEDHASA said that the City has not consulted the association, and that the proposed by-law will damage Cape Town’s image as a world-class destination, especially in view of the city hosting the 2010 World Cup, and many international tourists preferring to eat later rather than early.. It also says that patrons will stock up on alcohol prior to the 21h00 deadline, to last them throughout the evening, which could lead to binge-drinking, which is exactly what the City wishes to avoid. Alternatively, more restaurant patrons could be bringing their own wines, to get around the by-law, which is disadvantageous to the profitability of restaurants. SATSA says that it does not believe that the proposed trading hours will solve the social problems related to alcohol abuse, and invited the City to consult with the tourism industry before passing the by-law.
  
The by-law could set an unwanted precedent for municipalities in the Western Cape to follow the example of the City of Cape Town, in a province that has tourism as its major source of revenue. It has a further problem in that the definitions of “B & B’s” and “guest houses”, and the criteria for rezoning, are very vague. Another department in the City is working on these criteria, having received input from industry players early last year, but its final unified rezoning policy for Cape Town is yet to be seen. The City is considering the considerable input it received in a public participation process about the draft by-law, most of which was negative.

2010 Tickets Sales Kick Off

 

2010 TICKET SALES KICK OFF

 
  

More than 200 000 FIFA 2010 World Cup tickets were sold within the first 24 hours of ticket sales going live on-line last month, and the majority were sold to South Africans, reports the Sunday Argus. This figure excludes applications for tickets via branches of First National Bank.
 
Ticket applications came from 125 countries, and the highest number of applications, after those from South Africa, were from the UK, the USA, Germany, Brazil, Australia, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Switzerland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain and Argentina. The ticket sales are by application, and the successful applicants for the first round of ticket sales until the end of March will be notified in April. South Africans are eligible to buy 15 % of the 3 million tickets via the www.fifa.com website, or to go to a branch of First National Bank, where they can fill in an application form. The prices of tickets have been kept low for South Africans, and range from R 140 for category 4 matches to R 6 300 for the final. The ticket sales are by application, chosen on a random ballot. In Germany the World Cup 2006 ticket applications were oversubscribed more than 20-fold. Each person may only apply for a maximum of four tickets per match, for a maximum of seven matches. Further ticket sales open on 4 May, 5 December and 9 February 2010. FIFA’s David Will, chairman of the ticketing committee, said that the impact of the global credit crunch on ticket sales for 2010 is uncertain.
 
FIFA has expressed its satisfaction with the ticket application response. It appears less happy with the low level of Confederations Cup ticket sales, given that the Cup will be contested in South Africa in three months from now. Ticket sales for the Confederations Cup, due to be hosted in South Africa from 14 June this year, are slow, with less than a third of the 646 000 tickets sold to date. The Confederations Cup is a “warm-up” for the 2010 World Cup, and will be contested in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Bloemfontein, and Rustenburg. Countries that will play are the USA, Spain, Brazil, Iraq, New Zealand, Egypt and South Africa. FIFA Secretary-General Jerome Valcke has criticised South Africa for the poor marketing of the event, especially at public spaces such as airports.

The head of the 2010 World Cup Local Organising Committee, Danny Jordaan, has appealed to the hospitality industry to charge fair prices for the largest sport event ever to be hosted in South Africa, reports Engineering News. Jordaan urged the tourism industry to see the 2010 World Cup as a window for the world to experience South Africa, and to help achieve the target of 19 million visitors by 2015. He cautioned the industry against seeing the 2010 World Cup as a once-off “windfall”, and it should not seek to “profiteer” from the event. Opportunistic price increases over the time of the event could damage repeat business and referrals from soccer fans.

He also stated that South Africa was hoping to attract 450 000 visitors to the 2010 World Cup, ambitious relative to the 284 000 visitors that attended the Sydney Olympics. From a marketing perspective, the 32 participating teams will attract attention to South Africa, many of the teams coming from markets previously not receiving marketing attention from S A Tourism. Jordaan reiterated that South Africa is ready for 2010, and that “Plan B is dead”. All new 2010 World Cup stadia will be completed by the end of this year, which is better timing than that achieved by Germany in 2006.
  
Germany’s most prominent society magazine Bunte has started a South Africa blog, in preparation for the 2010 World Cup. The magazine has a large and high profile readership, and the new blog should have a strong marketing benefit for the country. However, the blog writer, whilst a guest of S A Tourism, is not completely positive, if one reads his first two posts. Although advertised as being a daily blog, only two posts have appeared since 5 March. The first post praises the one-hour time shift between Germany and South Africa; describes an uncomfortable night’s sleep on SAA; covers a visit to the newly built Rustenburg stadium, which makes the writer question whether the construction will be completed in time for June 2010, but is assured by the construction management that he should not be concerned; and his stay-over at The Lost City, which the writer refers to as a South African “Disneyland”, he questions whether it is not a little too “kitschig” and comments about the note in the room that he has to close his windows to prevent monkeys from getting into his room at night!
 
The second post describes a safari in the Pilansberg game reserve, and that he does not get to see lions; and refers to a soccer match between Orlando Pirates against Bay United, at Ellis Park, in which match the referee allows 8 minutes of extra time, on which the writer comments cynically, as he does about hardly seeing any whites attending the match, and refers to the stampede at the stadium in 2001, in which 43 persons died! Read more.

Sweet & Sour Service Awards

 

SWEET & SOUR SERVICE AWARDS

 
   

Three months ago the Sweet & Sour Service Awards were introduced on the Whale Cottage Portfolio blog www.whalecottage.com/blog. Nominations for Sweet and Sour Service Awards are welcomed , and can be sent to info@whalecottage.com.

Recent Sweet Service Award winners are: 

Cape Stay, for reversing a decision to split Camps Bay into two on its website - read more
Mercedes-Benz Culemborg, for offering excellent service for a bulb replacement - read more
BMW, for assisting in getting around the corporate procedures to enable payment to be received - read more
Chrysler Jeep Dodge, for the Service Manager coming to the rescue after two service assistants showed lack of care to the customer - read more
Allee Bleeue, for lifting its boom, to welcome visitors, and for introducing a free wireless internet service at its restaurant - read more
Multichoice, for most efficient and friendly service in sorting out a customer's account problem - read more
Nedbank in George, for delivering credit card imprint forms within two hours of being ordered -
read more

Sour Service Award recipients in the past six weeks are the following:

Woolworths at the V & A Waterfront, for slow service at the till, and for a manager not being able to do anything about it - read more
Taylor Blinds, for good debt collecting but poor installation service - read more
Metropolitan Life/Tourvest Travel Services, for threatening to have Whale Cottage blacklisted due to it canceling a booking with an administrative burden - read more
Department of Home Affairs' branch in Paarl, for exceptionally slow service in providing a document for a 93-year old resident - read more
V & A Waterfront, for its parking ticket machines that are often out of order - read more
Deukom, for only having one person on duty in the call centre on a Sunday morning, and the resultant long wait to receive service - read more
TELKOM, for taking two months to fix the Whale Cottage Camps Bay ADSL line - read more -
read more
 
WHALE COTTAGE
FRANSCHHOEK

  
WHALE COTTAGE
HERMANUS

  

WHALE COTTAGE
PLETTENBERG BAY


      

   
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