WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 6 June

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WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  Michelin star Chef Heston Blumenthal’s The Perfectionists Café has opened at the new Heathrow Terminal 2, serving burgers, fish and chips, and pizzas prepared in the first ever wood-burning oven in an airport, as well as molecular liquid nitrogen ice cream.

*   American travellers are booking last-minute, something that became a habit in 2008 during the economic crisis, but has remained and is now a booking trend, despite the recession being something of the past.

*   Tourists often are better informed about the tourism attractions and highlights of a city than are the local residents of the city, given their ability to use technology to garner information about and make bookings for the destination that they are visiting.  Nick Hall, Head of the Digital Tourism Think Tank, says: ‘So, what we have witnessed so far will accelerate. We can expect far more change, far faster. In this light the rise of mobile technologies is poised to change the industry as much as it has already. Visitors will be innately digital. They will be hyper-informed and seamlessly connected throughout their travel. The challenge this poses to existing tourist businesses is immense, as is the opportunity it holds out‘.  While technology is important, tourists still want the ‘reality of the experience, not the virtual reality’.

*   Three Ships Premium Select 5 Year Old won gold at the 2014 International Spirits Challenge in London.  The whisky is blended from grain and malt whiskies by Andy Watts, master distiller at The James Sedgwick’s Distillery in Wellington.  The whisky has a peaty and fruity character, which comes from maturing it for five years in oak. (received via media release from De Kock Communications)

*  Chef Michelle Theron, taking over from Chef Chris Erasmus at Pierneef à La Motte in ten days, spent time and worked in Michelin star restaurants Chapeau!, De Bokkedoorns, De Vrienden van Jacob, and Specktakel in Holland in May.   The chefs she worked with were impressed with our country’s focus on sustainability in growing vegetables and in only using SASSI green-listed fish; the chefs she worked with focus on quality produce, innovation, and respect for ingredients; she said there is no limit to the chefs’ creativity, based on classic cooking skills;  team work and respect for each other in the kitchen;  many Michelin star restaurants are only open for dinner;  fewer elements on the plate, and more natural flavours; vegetarian menus are in fashion; and the role of the sommelier is vital in a top restaurant. (received via newsletter from La Motte)

*   The cost of airfares is unlikely to increase, and in fact should decrease by 3,5% this year compared to the 2013, according to an Economic Performance of the Airline Industry report presented at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) earlier this week. The rate decrease could come from the cost pressures the airlines are facing, fuel costs in particular, needing to remain competitive.  The association has called on governments to recognise the value that the airlines contribute to tourism and the economies of their countries, by reducing the tax pressures. 

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