November 2001
CAPE TOWN BEST VALUE FOR MONEY DESTINATION IN THE WORLD

Cape Town has been selected by the readers of the highly respected travel journal Conde Nast Traveller as the best Value for Money Destination in the world in its October 2001 edition. South Africa was ranked 6th best Holiday Destination in the world in the same edition.

Given the decline in the Rand, it is no surprise that Cape Town has won this acclaim. From guest feedback, it would appear that South Africa is almost synonymous with Cape Town. Cape Town already is extremely well booked for the summer season, and this accolade will attract an even greater numbers of visitors to the most beautiful city in the world!

CAPE TOWN CRUISING

A surprise result of the tragic events in America in September, and the resultant war in Afghanistan, is the re-routing of cruise liners from the Suez Canal to take them around the Cape.

In the next five months 39 cruise liners are expected to dock in Cape Town, and the Crystal Symphony and QE 2 already have called on the city in the past month.

According to Cape Town Tourism Manager Sheryl Ozinsky, more than 100 cruise liners could be calling on Cape Town per year, compared to the average of 11 per year prior to September.

FLIGHTS TO SOUTH AFRICA INCREASE

While the number of airlines servicing South Africa has declined from 74 in 1997 to 52 this year, the frequency and capacity of many airlines servicing the South African route has increased.

British Airways has switched from Boeing 777's to the larger Boeing 747's, while Air France is also using larger aircraft for its flights to Johannesburg. Lufthansa is adding three extra flights a week from Munich to Johannesburg as of December, LTU is adding an extra flight from Munich to Cape Town, KLM is increasing its number of flights from 7 to 9 per week, Olympic Airways is increasing its flights between Johannesburg and Athens to three per week, and Virgin Atlantic has added two extra flights to Cape Town and London. Swissair has also announced that it will continue servicing the Zurich-Johannesburg route with a daily flight.

SOUTH AFRICAN TOURISM FRANKFURT TOPS

The Frankfurt office of South African Tourism was awarded the first prize by the Stiftung Warentest, an independent quality control body, in its ranking of foreign tourism boards operating in Germany.

Media coverage generated for South Africa by South African Tourism in Frankfurt has been exceptional, with the destination being positioned as a "trend tourism destination".

One of the October editions of the weekly Bunte magazine highlights South Africa as a "winner" in its article on new travel destinations since the September tragedy.

WHALE TOURISM BOOSTS ECONOMY

Whale watching in South Africa is worth R 600 million per annum, and one of the fastest growing whale-watching tourism countries, with an annual increase of 112%.

South Africa's Southern Right population this year has been estimated at between 2500 and 3000 whales.

Southern Right whales off the South African coast are to be satellite tagged, to monitor their movements when they leave the area in early December each year. It is believed that they head for the Antarctic, and this will be confirmed through the research of the Mammal Research Unit.

PATHWAYS TO THE SUN

An exciting new tourism service is available to visitors to Cape Town and the Garden Route.

Sunpath Tours offer their guests a fascinating discovery and insight into the 800 kilometre area stretching between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. Being on the 34 degree latitude, and the most south-westerly and south-easterly points of Africa, respectively, they house scores of recorded celestial observatories, all perfectly mathematically and geometrically aligned to observe the light pathways of the sun, moon and the stars. This makes Cape Town quite literally the "Land of the Setting Sun".

Discovered by Dean Liprini, and the subject of research spanning more than 20 years, the observatories, consisting of marker stones and sundials, are even more fascinating in that they are near rocks and mountains that have been sculpted, probably by an ancient culture living in this area, in the shape of human face profiles. During certain times of the day these profiles are visible, and a unique play of sunlight and moonlight also literally lights up their eyes.

More than 50 such observatories are in the Table Mountain chain alone. Some of the mountain profiles which have been recorded by Liprini include the section of Table Mountain to the right of the Cableway station, the Twelve Apostles, Lion's Head, Leeukoppie and The Sentinel in Hout Bay, the Robberg in Plettenberg Bay, and the Kareedouw and Tsitsikamma mountains near Port Elizabeth

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WhaleTales is a newsletter issued by the Whale Cottage Guest House Portfolio and is edited by Chris von Ulmenstein.
Christiane von Ulmenstein
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