Tag Archives: backpackers

Corona Virus: ‘Racist’ criteria for support from Tourism Relief Fund leads to AfriForum court action against the Department of Tourism!

 

In following a number of topics related to the Tourism industry, and being a member of the industry as a recently qualified Tourist Guide whose income has ground to a halt, the Tourism Relief Fund offered to the Tourism and Hospitality industry as financial relief during the COVID-19 pandemic is of special interest to me. Earlier this week the Department of Tourism was sent court papers by civil rights organisation AfriForum, for its alleged discrimination based on race in its funding criteria. Industry talk also is that the Fund benefits larger formal tourist companies, and does not provide relief for hundreds of informal freelance operators such as Tourist Guides, the unofficial face of South Africa, in showing international travelers the highlights of our country. Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 18 March

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The City of Cape Town has cancelled its R234 million contract over a seven year period (entered into in 2011) with Lumen Technologies for the operation of the MyCiTi Bus control centre.
The contractor was responsible for tasks such as scheduling and monitoring the buses by GPS to check on their punctuality relative to the schedules, reports The New Age.  The Cape Times reported today that Lumen Technologies denies that it has underperformed, and plans to sue the City if it does not reinstate the contract.

*   A seminar on Tourism and Air Connectivity in Africa, together with the 56th Meeting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Commission for Africa, is scheduled to take place in Luanda with tourism industry representatives in Africa from 28 – 30 April.

*   The Youth Market is growing at 9% compared to the average tourism market growth of 2%.  It is a valuable market segment, these travelers staying in an area for longer.  On Facebook travel posts are in second place after relationship changes in number of posts, highlighting the importance of  travel for young persons.  In Cape Town backpackers are doing exceptionally well, followed by self-catering accommodation, and guest houses, Cape Town Tourism has found.

*   Wines of South Africa (WOSA) is celebrating the 20th anniversary of our country’s democracy this year with an animated video, which refers to the Rainbow Nation to Continue reading →

New Cape Town liquor trading by-law put on ice!

The City of Cape Town has lost face with its planned introduction of the new Liquor Trading Days and Hours By-Law today, in that it has had to backtrack twice in the past few days, demonstrating the lack of professionalism of the City’s Liquor Policy Task Team, which worked on the by-law for the past two years, and thereby one questions if they can be taken seriously going forward.

The long-awaited City of Cape Town Liquor by-law was meant to become effective today, and many outlets selling alcohol are unhappy about what is perceived to be draconian legislation to curb liquor sales, in the interest of reducing accidents due to drunk driving, a problem particularly prevalent in the Western Cape – however the City’s by-law ads do not mention this reason for the city’s new Liquor by-law! 

A UCT student in Social Development, Policy and Management, Rowan Dunne, discovered earlier this week that the by-law has not been fully gazetted, in that three amendments made since it was gazetted in September 2010 have not yet been gazetted, and will only be so on 14 January, making any attempt by the City to apply the liquor regulations illegal until then, reports the Cape Times.

In addition, the new by-law would have meant that all pubs, hotels and restaurants selling alcohol would have had to close their sales at 2h00 this morning, the new time limit meant to have been introduced by the by-law.  But given that it has not been gazetted, outlets could stay open as late as they liked on this longest party night of the year.

From today, the by-law was meant to have prohibited the selling or drinking of alcohol in hospitality establishments before 11h00, and after 23h00 in residential areas, and after 2h00 in CBD areas.   The City already had to amend the 11h00 morning deadline, to accommodate champagne breakfasts.   Sparkling wine may be used for such breakfasts, on condition that it is served with food.

Ironically, the number of deaths due to accidents has fallen dramatically this festive season, compared to the previous two years, due to stricter roadside controls by the traffic authorities, and strict new laws regarding fines/imprisonment due to excessive speeding, and driving drunk.   In addition, the Cape Argus has commenced a “Name and Shame” campaign, publishing on its first page names of persons who have been convicted of drunk driving.

Strangely too Mayor Dan Plato said in an interview on Kfm earlier this week that the City did not have enough law enforcement officers, and that these would initially be visiting establishments to educate them about the new by-law.   The City has also advertised the by-law regulations in the local Cape Times and Cape Argus newspapers.

The times at which alcohol may be served and drunk are as follows:

Residential areas:  B&B’s, guest houses, backpackers, pubs, taverns, restaurants, night clubs, theatres, places of entertainment, sports clubs –  11h00 – 23h00  (Hotels until 2h00)

“Local or neighbourhood business centres”:   B&B’s, guest houses, hotels, backpackers, pubs, bars, taverns, restaurants, night clubs, theatres, sports clubs, places of entertainment – 11h00 – 23h00    (Sports clubs until midnight, rezoned Hotels until 2h00.  Liquor stores and specialised wine shops may sell alcohol from 9h00 – 18h00 Mondays – Saturdays)

“General Business centres” : B&B’s, guest houses, hotels, backpackers, pubs, bars, taverns and restaurants – 11h00 – 2h00 (Supermarkets, specialised wine shops and liquor stores may sell alcohol from 9h00 – 18h00 Mondays – Saturdays) 

Industrial areas: Pubs, bars, taverns, restaurants, night clubs, theatres, places of entertainment, sports clubs – 11h00 – 2h00 (Liquor stores and specialised wine stores 9h00 – 18h00 Mondays – Saturdays)

Agricultural areas (i.e. wine farms): Guest accommodation, pubs, bars, restaurants, ‘tourist facilities’ and sport clubs – 11h00 – 2h00.  Wineries may sell and serve wine from 11h00 – 24h00 every day of the week, and may sell it for off-consumption from 9h00 – 18h00 every day of the week.

Small Holdings:  Guest accommodation, pubs, bars, restaurants, ‘tourist facilities’, sports clubs – 11h00 – 24h00 (Wineries as for agricultural areas above).

On Tuesday this week, Councillor Taki Amira had announced that the City was going ahead with the introduction of the by-law, and that it applies from today.  Outlets with liquor licences were threatened that they could lose their licences.  On Thursday, he did an about-turn, after a meeting with city club and bar owners, as well as with Dunne.   “The City would like to allay fears of club and restaurant owners with regards to the enforcement of the City’s new Liquor Trading Days and Hours By-Law.   The by-law will be phased in over the next few months and will not be stringently endorsed until all role players have been extensively informed about the new legislation.”  Club owners are uncertain of their zoning, and which time limit therefore applies to them in respect of the closing time.  

The City’s by-law is likely to become a benchmark for other municipalities in the Western Cape.   The City’s by-law advertisement already warns that “the new Western Cape Liquor Act takes away the automatic right of renewal for an annual licence”.   The ‘policing’ of the by-law by the public is encouraged in the City’s by-law advertisement, and could lead to misuse for ‘political’ or ‘points-scoring’ purposes, and lead to bad neighbourliness. 

The City’s Clubs, Bars and Restaurant Association is planning legal action, and plans to approach the Cape High Court on Monday, to fight the by-law.

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

Cape Town Tourism response to Private Home registration questions

We asked Cape Town Tourism on Saturday why they had not informed members of Cape Town Tourism of the Private Home Registration program they have launched.   Lianne Burton, spokesperson of Cape Town Tourism, has apologised for this communication error, and sent the following statement to Cape Town Tourism members today: 

“With regard to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, as Cape Town’s official tourism authority, Cape Town Tourism’s role is to ensure that the expectations of World Cup visitors are met and exceeded to ensure a lasting tourism legacy for Cape Town. Hence our decision to offer full paid membership to Cape Town Tourism for temporary accommodation providers, covering the costs of assessing their accommodation to ensure that it meets our minimum requirements, advising owners on visitor services and guest relations standards, and offering potential visitors an assurance that there is comeback via Cape Town Tourism if they are unhappy.

This is our role as the Visitor Services organisation for Cape Town and we are committed to fulfilling it for the benefit of Cape Town’s tourism sector as a whole. Bad visitor experiences, even if they are as a result of temporary accommodation promises not being delivered on, will hurt Cape Town’s reputation for offering exceptional accommodation for every budget; from 5 star Hotels to Backpackers, B&Bs and private homes or tented villages. Great visitor experiences during the 2010 FIFA World Cup will ensure repeat business for the tourism sector. Ours is a long-term view and we are committed to this vision.”

Lianne also replied to our questions addressed to Cape Town Tourism regarding the Private Home registration program:

Why have you not informed us as members of Cape Town Tourism about this?

“I agree that we should have informed Cape Town Tourism members first of this
strategic decision to extend our regular membership program to temporary
accommodation providers. I apologise for the communication oversight and am
sending out a newsflash today to all members to fill them in on our
reasoning.
However, it¹s important to note that we have not introduced a new membership
program or a temporary program for temporary accommodation establishments.
We are simply extending our full current membership program to temporary
accommodation providers, which means that the same cost implications and
responsibilities apply to temporary accommodation providers as they do to
established members. This decision is to acknowledge the contribution and
loyalty of our established members. It is also the reason why we rejected
requests to offer temporary membership at a discounted rate to accommodation
providers operating purely during the World Cup period.
Why are you taking business away from your membership base, who have
supported you loyally over the years, when professional accommodation
establishments are not yet fully booked for the 2010 World Cup?   Do you
need additional income so badly that you have to include private home owners
into your membership base?
Our decision to extend full membership to temporary accommodation providers
is not a financial one. It arises out of our strategic decision to focus on
the following priority areas regarding the 2010 World Cup:
    1. To host a remarkable World Cup through meeting and exceeding visitor
expectations in every way, including in terms of the accommodation on offer
in Cape Town, whatever form it takes.
    2. To maximise the legacy potential of the World Cup for Cape Town and
Cape Town’s tourism industry by ensuring that World Cup visitors are
converted into brand ambassadors for Cape Town.
Our role as Cape Town’s official tourism authority is to ensure that the
expectations of World Cup visitors are met and exceeded to ensure a lasting
tourism legacy for Cape Town. Hence our decision to offer full paid
membership to Cape Town Tourism for temporary accommodation providers,
covering the costs of assessing their accommodation to ensure that it meets
our minimum requirements, advising owners on visitor services and guest
relations standards, including their accommodation listings on our webste,
and offering potential visitors an assurance that there is comeback via Cape
Town Tourism if they are unhappy with their temporary accommodation. This is
our role as the Visitor Services organisation for Cape Town and we are
committed to fulfilling it for the benefit of Cape Town’s tourism sector as
a whole.

Bad visitor experiences, even if they are as a result of temporary
accommodation promises not being delivered on, will hurt Cape Town’s
reputation for offering exceptional accommodation for every budget; we are
known for our excellent accommodation standards, and we would like this to
apply over the World Cup period, whether for 5 star Hotels, Backpackers, B
and Bs, private homes, university residences or temporary tented villages.

The established tourism industry stands to suffer if unscrupulous temporary
accommodation providers aiming to make a quick buck take advantage of
unsuspecting World Cup visitors. The entire tourism sector will then be
tarred with the same brush and Cape Town’s reputation as a quality
destination will be damaged, to the detriment of everyone working in
tourism.

In contrast, great visitor experiences during the 2010 World Cup will ensure
repeat business for the established tourism sector, since most temporary
accommodation providers are purely focused on the World Cup opportunity and
will not be operational beyond June and July 2010.  Hence the repeat
business generated as a result of Cape Town¹s standards of excellence in the
established and temporary accommodation sector during the World Cup, will
greatly benefit established accommodation providers.

Cape Town Tourism’s is certainly a long-term view and we are committed to
this vision.”

What survey have you done to establish what our availability is for the
World Cup, especially if we have not contracted with MATCH?

“Cape Tourism in the process of refining our online accommodation and tour
operator listings and booking system and will be advising members of the
strategy shortly. Our contact centre is currently fielding 2010
accommodation booking queries and passing on all enquiries to members who
meet the criteria outlined in the requests in terms of number of rooms,
proximity to the stadium, budget etc.

Why would you want to divert attention from your stated objective, i.e. to
market Cape Town and its products, to advise and organise non-professional
private home owners in their marketing?

“We believe it is our responsibility as Cape Town Tourism to ensure that
World Cup visitors get what they are promised, and more. It has been found
worldwide that temporary accommodation plays a significant role (though
secondary to established accommodation) in meeting World Cup accommodation
demand, especially in the middle-market price range.
Hence, it would be true to say that temporary accommodation will be offered,
marketed and booked with or without Cape Town Tourism’s support and
guidance. We would rather encourage temporary accommodation providers to be
assessed and to become members of Cape Town Tourism than simply do nothing,
to ensure that this temporary sector upholds the excellent reputation we
have all done so much to build as an established tourism sector.
We believe that there will be more than enough bookings to go around. Cape
Town Tourism is committed to marketing all member products and services to
ensure that maximum benefit is derived for our members from the World Cup
opportunity, and that visitors get the accommodation they expect and deserve
‹ ie. Excellent standards and great value”.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio : www.whalecottage.com