Tag Archives: mobile

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 17 September

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   A travel study conducted on behalf of Google in the USA has found that mobile Apps are less likely to be used to plan and book a trip, multiple devices now being used to book trips.  The ‘Traveler’s Road to Decision‘ is yet to be published, but report highlights have been released.  Search engines are increasingly consulted first in planning a trip, and in searching for car rental, cruises, and accommodation, at the expense of Apps, for leisure travelers, while business travelers mostly use mobile Apps to make travel bookings.

*   Telegraph Travel recommends how to spend 36 hours in Franschhoek, including staying at La Residence, eating at Pierneef à La Motte, The Kitchen at Maison,Grande Provence, and La Residence; tasting wine at Boekenhoutskloof (sneaking in Waterford in Stellenbosch); and visiting the Huguenot Monument, Babylonstoren, the Franschhoek Motor Museum, and the Holden Manz Gallery.

*   The Hospitality Investment Conference Africa (HICA) has held in Cape Town, and became a platform for the launch of a Continue reading →

Cape Town Tourism goes mobile, travels to where tourists are!

Cape Town Tourism ThandoIn a unique definition of ‘mobile marketing‘, Cape Town Tourism has invested in a Mercedes Benz panel van to become a truly mobile Visitors Information Centre, which travels to events, parks at Cape Town’s major attractions, and generally will be visible and available at the popular places where the tourists are in the city.  The new vehicle is called Thando, being the isiXhosa name for love, and was launched at World Travel Market Africa last month as the first mobile Visitor Information Centre in Africa.

Cape Town Tourism CEO Enver Duminy said of the new mobile tourist information service: ‘We have tracked a rising trend of visitors and would-be visitors using our online portals to access information about Cape Town. It is this call for mobility and ease of access that has inspired our move to create a personal interface that will be able to assist Capetonians and visitors at gatherings or in spaces where there is sudden seasonal traffic’.

The mobile Visitor Information Centre allows bookings to be made for Cape Town Tourism member products and services, and for SANParks properties.  Via Computicket and Webtickets one can buy tickets for shows, events, and bus transport. Free wifi is available, and crates covered with colourful African print material offer seating outside the panel van.  A TV screen allows tourists to learn more about Cape Town, and is supported with Cape Town Tourism Visitors’ Guides, and  brochures of some members’ products and services. Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 18 – 21/4

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   CNN has included Cape Town as one of the Best Easter egg hunts around the world, in the company of London, New York, Miami, Vienna, Washington, France, Toronto, and Sydney.  The hunt for the treasure chest of Easter eggs on Table Mountain was guided by clue cards handed out by Mad Hatters Tea Party characters.

*   Fourteen travel bloggers, two from South Africa, will form part of a #MeetSouthAfrica blog campaign by SA Tourism, the bloggers travelling throughout our country and blogging about their journey, culminating in INDABA, the travel expo in Durban in early May.

*   The Banking Ombudsman has reported that 23% of the almost 5000 complaints received in the past year related to ATMs, the number of such complaints close to doubling from the year before, reports The New Age.  About 40% of the Continue reading →

TripAdvisor accommodation survey finds big hotels do best!

On quantifiable measures, the TripAdvisor 2012 Industry Index results of a survey conducted amongst 25517 accommodation establishments around the world from 7 – 14 June, and released to TripAdvisor rated properties yesterday, found that hotels with 50 or more rooms are smarter, and therefore more successful in running their businesses than are smaller establishments.

Questioned about their profitability, more than 80% of accommodation establishments in North America, South America, and Asia reported being profitable, while only 69 % of those in the Middle East and Europe did so. Establishments with 50 or more rooms were more likely to report profitability than smaller ones. The highest optimism about the prospects for the next six months came from establishments in Indonesia, Brazil, Russia, the USA, and India, while those expecting the worst conditions are the Eurozone countries of Greece, Italy, Spain and France, which is not surprising. Not surprising either is that 53% of accommodation establishments indicated that they had reduced their rates for the June – August period (could of course be season related, as would be the case in winter in many Southern Hemisphere countries), and plan to drop rates even further in September and October.

Online booking capability and use of Social Media in marketing were also probed.  The survey found that Bed & Breakfast establishments are very far behind hotels and inns in their online booking facilities (or lack of) offered to guests.  Social Media marketing is applied by 66% of all establishments, but once again hotels with more than 50 rooms are twice as likely to use this form of marketing than are their smaller counterparts.  Mobile devices are most likely to be used to interact with guests in accommodation establishments in China, Turkey, Mexico, Spain, and in the USA, while they are least likely to be used in the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, and in France.

Marketing activities of accommodation establishments include offering discounts first and foremost, followed by offering free wi-fi, free parking, rewarding business with points, and offering free newspapers.

The question group that was at the core of the TripAdvisor survey, and led to some irritation, was that relating to the practice of accommodation establishments inviting feedback from their guests, to which 83% of the establishments replied positively.  The proportion of establishments which invite their guests to provide feedback via TripAdvisor is 78%, the survey claims.  The survey probed whether one wanted TripAdvisor to contact one’s guests proactively, to evaluate their feedback, which must have led to an overwhelmingly negative response as the result is not included in the survey report.

The survey concluded with the environmental concern and practices of accommodation establishments, and those in New Zealand, Canada, Brazil, France, Indonesia, Italy, USA, the Caribbean, Australia and India are most eco-friendly in their operations.  Interesting is that one third of the properties admitted that they do not communicate their green practices to their guests. The most common ways in which the establishments contribute to conserving the environment are to use energy-efficient light bulbs, encouraging the re-use of towels and linen, energy-efficient planning, eco-cleaning, and water-efficient toilets.

Interestingly, Africa as a continent, and South Africa as a country, were not mentioned in the results at all.

From feedback received, many guests still prefer to stay in smaller accommodation establishments such as Bed & Breakfasts, for the ‘home from home’ friendliness and more affordable rates.  This is not reflected in the TripAdvisor survey results.

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