Wesgro & SATSA partner to showcase Western Cape tourism
Cape Town – SA Tourism (SATSA) and Wesgro, the Western Cape Tourism, Trade and Investmen t Promotion Agency, recently joined forces to coordinate the Overberg and Garden Route Mega Fam which took place from 20-25 October.The event saw 32 tour operators and DMCs (destination marketing companies) from around the country participate in what was likely the year’s first in-person familiarisation trip, and the largest tour group travelling in South Africa since April.
Tim Harris, CEO of Wesgro says of the event: “The Garden Route is a region with an abundance of nature, a delightful climate and spectacular scenic attractions set amidst wide-open spaces. This follows the inaugural Garden Route Mega Fam in 2018 and last year’s initiative, which was hailed a ground-breaking and resounding success. With the new addition of the Cape Overberg region, this year was packed with some of the best experiences that our world-class province has to offer. Wesgro welcomes the continued collaboration and strong public-private partnership with SATSA that has brought together this amazing group of tourism stakeholders from all along the value chain,” says Harris.
“Since the pandemic hit South Africa, Satsa has been dedicated to sustaining interest and market access to tourism products,” says Hannelie du Toit, COO of SATSA. “So, under the tighter constraints of Covid-19, we reimagined the familiarisation structure to be run virtually with a focus on authentic engagement and crisp content. We have run five virtual fams with great success and have two more in the pipeline—all focussing on different regions and providing a platform of accessibility and inclusivity.”
Take the Blue Train to Sun City
Johannesburg – Bookings are now available to travel on an exciting, activity-filled trip to Sun City onboard the Blue Train. This trip has something for everyone, over two days of absolute luxury. It’s a very unique way of experiencing The Lost City and all it offers. The Sun City experience onboard the Blue Train is available on private charters, that is, group bookings that can be for both business and leisure travel purposes. In business, this can be for meetings, incentives, events and conferences. The Blue Train is well equipped to host these various types of gatherings, with the ability to adapt its setup for conferencing, boardroom and group meetings set ups, complete with multi-media facilities. In leisure travel, this is perfect for family gatherings such as reunions and weddings, trips amongst friend groups, cooperatives and stokvels. For these, the Blue Train can be adapted to meet the personal needs of the guests. If you require more information you can contact the Blue Train’s reservations team at the Pretoria office on +27(0)12-334-8459 or the Cape Town office on +27(0)21-449-2672 or on email email@example.com.
Source: Havas Worldwide Johannesburg
Cape Town Tourism provides support for tourism SMMEs
Cape Town – In response to the growing number of new businesses’ failing, Cape Town Tourism’s annual Board Development Fund (BDF) will once again provide tourism businesses in Cape Town with the support that they so need. Every year, the Cape Town Tourism board hands over what would be their board payment and pools it into a fund to support tourism businesses. The tourism body’s board of directors established the fund in 2013, waiving their monthly board remuneration to instead support and develop tourism businesses. It is no secret that the tourism industry has been hit the hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic and this is a critical time to support tourism businesses. Board chairperson, Brett Hendricks says that providing support for local enterprises during this critical time is crucial. “We all know that a few months ago, travel came to a complete standstill. Tourism businesses are now embarking on the slow journey to recovery, facing minimal visitor numbers and depleted cash reserves. Initiatives to support SMMEs now could be the difference between closure and survival. Enver Duminy, CEO of Cape Town Tourism explains: We established the BDF to support SMMEs carefully chosen through an internal selection process. Benefits of this programme include customised business interventions designed around the specific needs of each business. The programme supports the sustainability of small to medium tourism businesses and creates a marketing and media platform which improves the profile of these businesses. We also support them by connecting them to our Cape Town Tourism members, partners and executive leadership.”
Fancourt Hotel and Country Club voted Africa’s Best Golf Hotel
George – Fancourt Hotel and Country Club has been voted Africa’s Best Golf Hotel 2020 and South Africa’s Best Golf Hotel 2020 in the 7th annual World Golf Awards. The World Golf Awards, which is part of World Travel Awards, aims to celebrate and reward excellence in golf tourism. Judging by this year’s response, golf tourism is booming despite the pandemic. Peter Dros, the Sales and Marketing Director at Fancourt, said they were grateful and honoured for this recognition. “We are thrilled, particularly since votes were cast by thousands of golfers from around the world, in what has been an incredibly tough year for the golf tourism and the hospitality industry. “It is a wonderful way to start our end-of-year calendar of events and festivities at both the Fancourt Hotel and Country Club. It’s a great reflection of our team’s talents, hard work and dedication,” he said. Chris Frost, Managing Director for the World Golf Awards, said despite the many challenges faced this year, votes came in from hundreds of thousands of golf consumers from a record 129 countries. According to Frost, strong support also came from leading golf industry professionals and media from every single participating nation in the programme. “The appetite for golf tourism has never been as keen, as golf fans pushed for the World Golf Awards to continue, and for the leaders in our industry to be acknowledged and rewarded. This bodes well for golf tourism’s future as the global recovery begins,” he said.
Source: Fancourt / IOL
Responsible tourism takes centre stage in SA
Cape Town – The global travel and tourism industry has contributed significantly toward global economic growth over the years. This all changed when the outbreak of COVID-19 brought the world to a standstill and the tourism market to its knees, as one of the worst-affected of all major economic sectors. As the world takes steps to recover, it will be necessary for the South African tourism sector to empower and build local tourism, and to ensure that the pillars of sustainable travel and innovative recovery measures are in place. For some time now, the awareness of responsible travel has been increasing. The current crisis has forced us to adopt a more accountable, sustainable way of travelling that minimises carbon emissions, protects the environment, instils good hygiene practices, focuses on visitor safety and maximises the contribution to local economies. Since 1929, the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMACC) has safely transported visitors over 700 metres along its iconic cableways to the lofty peak of this symbolic site, deeply emblematic of South Africa, her people, her history, and her flora and fauna. The level of stewardship with which TMACC has nurtured the mountain is in full compliance with international ISO health and safety, and environmental management standards, for which it has garnered numerous accolades over the years. The company continues to build a reputation that focuses on best practice, ultimately ensuring that our visitors enjoy a world-class experience. As a responsible operator, it is important for TMACC to keep a careful approach to operations, specifically in the social and physical environments that are the backbone of our establishment. During the lockdown period, they developed stringent recovery support measures and safety protocols for the planned reopening of operations, including the launch of a hiker safety service in July. There is ongoing communication to staff, suppliers and visitors, focusing on health and safety along with reinforcing our commitment to social and environmental sustainability.
Source: Wahida Parker/Daily Tourism Update
Airlink shows its new colours and name
Johannesburg – Just ahead of the holiday season, the South African Government has opened international borders again and, though we need to still be careful and sensible when it comes to following COVID-19 regulations, we have, once again, so many options to choose from! Emerging from the incredible challenge that 2020 has been, it’s now possible to look forward to an end-of-year break – something we might have taken for granted before – and the potential of a new year. Airlink is staying ahead of the curve with a number of updates, including launching new corporate livery and branding on 12 November. The new livery will be applied to Airlink’s fleet over the coming months, with the repainting coinciding with each aircraft’s next scheduled deep maintenance overhaul. This will avoid disrupting the airline’s operations. As CEO and Managing Director Rodger Foster explains:
“We have officially changed our company name from ‘SA Airlink’ to ‘Airlink’, as part of our strategy to distinguish Airlink as a totally independent airline. The subtle name change is a key element of our re-positioning, recovery and growth strategy after Airlink ended its 23-year franchise agreement with South African Airways and began operating and issuing tickets on its own ‘4Z’ airline identification code and designator (via travel agencies as well as our website flyairlink.com). It should be seen together with recent commercial developments, including: interline agreements with relevant global airlines, such as Qatar Airways, Emirates, British Airways, KLM, Air France and United; and the launch of our new Johannesburg – Cape Town and Johannesburg – Durban services and new regional routes linking Johannesburg with important southern African destinations such as Maputo and Windhoek as well as Lubumbashi (commencing 30 November) and Dar es Salaam (commencing 1 December), with more to be announced soon. Today, Airlink is a financially sound, self-sustaining and robust business.”
Delheim strikes Platter five-star hat trick
Stellenbosch – On the eve of its re-opening on 12 November, the iconic Delheim estate has seen three of its wines awarded five-star status in the 2021 edition of Platter’s South African Wine Guide, arguably the country’s most widely referenced wine authority. Enviable five-star ratings were awarded to the Grand Reserve 2017, Vera Cruz Pinotage 2017 and the Edelspatz Noble Late Harvest 2019. Each a pinnacle wine of the Delheim portfolio and a Simonsberg Stellenbosch icon in its own right. The Grand Reserve is the winery’s apex bottling and its first vintage was produced back in 1981. It is a true reflection of what the terroir of Stellenbosch can deliver for some of the best “Bordeaux style” red wines of South Africa. A single-vineyard wine, the Vera Cruz Pinotage has added to the diversity of the top portfolio of Delheim proving over many years that it is counted amongst the best Pinotages of South Africa. The wine recently added distinction to the country’s line up of definitive Pinotages as a 2020 ABSA Top 10 winner. Produced since 1979, the Edelspatz is one of South Africa’s most beloved noble late harvest wines. As of next year, the wine will join the Old Vine Project (OVP), the South African initiative certifying wines made from vines older than 35 years – the first Riesling vineyard to be registered with the OVP. This wine was also among the Top 10 selected in the most recent Prescient Dessert Wine Report by Winemag.co.za. Earlier this year, the Vera Cruz Pinotage 2017 and the Edelspatz 2019 scored 95/100, whilst the Grand Reserve 2017 scored 93/100 in UK based Master of Wine Tim Atkin’s 2020 South Africa Special Report. The timing of this news is fortuitous co-incidence for wine-lovers eager to re-stock their collections with Delheim’s age-worthy wines. Delheim is set to welcome visitors for lunch again on Thursday, 12 November, after being forced by lockdown into months of temporary closure. The estate now looks forward to sharing its refreshed Cellar Door Experience, its slogan – Worth The Journey – echoing in this unveiling, in time for the summer season. Wine tastings on the property can be enjoyed outside on the garden patio from where Table Mountain can be seen; or in the cool Downstairs Cellar.
Source: 5 Star PR / Delheim
Emirates expands its reach into Southern Africa
Johannesburg – Emirates and Airlink have announced an interline agreement, widening Emirates’ reach into Southern Africa as countries begin opening their borders for travellers. Emirates’ agreement with Airlink will provide its customers enhanced connectivity via its gateways Johannesburg and Cape Town to more than 25 domestic destinations in South Africa and more than 20 regional destinations in Southern Africa. The unique connections enabled by this new partnership provide customers with onward travel options not offered by other airlines. Emirates and Airlink will offer the ease of single-ticket travel and one-stop baggage check-in for customers transferring from Johannesburg and Cape Town to domestic points including Bloemfontein, George, Upington, Nelspruit, Hoedspruit and Port Elizabeth, as well as points across Southern Africa like Gaborone, Kasane, Vilanculos, Maun, Victoria Falls, Maputo, Windhoek, Harare, Lusaka, Ndola, Bulawayo and Livingstone amongst many others. Customers can book their travel with both airlines on emirates.com, through online travel agencies as well as with local travel agents.