* The Tourism Business Council of South Africa has welcomed the appointment of new Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom, and has thanked the former Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk for his contribution to growing the Tourism industry in his ten year tenure. Minister Hanekom previously served as Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs, and most recently as Minister of Science and Technology. (received via media release from the Tourism Business Council of South Africa)
* South Africa is against an Africa Tourism Tax, the Ministry of Tourism has stated, deeming it to be an ‘unworkable plan’. Taxes are country-specific and cannot be levied across the continent, the department said. Last week the African Union called for a tourism levy on flights and accommodation, which has also been opposed by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation. IATA has added its voice, saying that the proposed taxes would make travel within Africa even more expensive.
* SA Tourism has admitted that the number of visitors to Indaba earlier this month had declined relative to past years, but blamed it on a reduction in the number of show days from four to three, excluding consumers from attending the exhibition, and stricter selection criteria for hosted buyers, reports The New Age. The number of exhibitors fell by 20% to just short of 5000. World Travel Market Africa, held in Cape Town a week before Indaba, had shifted 500 exhibitors from Durban to Cape Town. The number of buyers decreased by 7%.
* A British survey has found that tourists no longer wish to see killer whale and dolphin shows, for ethical reasons, given that the mammals are kept in captivity.
* Two Spier wines (a Shiraz and a Sauvignon Blanc) have been made for a British Help for Heroes campaign by PLB Group, of which £1 per bottle of the £7,95 price goes to a charity fund for injured servicepersons. The wines will be launched at the London Wine Fair on 2 June.
* The Peninsula All-Suite Hotel is partnering with Steenberg for its 5-course Wine & Dine dinner in its Sunset Restaurant this Thursday 29 May, at a cost of R225. Each course will be paired with a Steenberg wine. (received via media release from Communication Services Africa)
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage