South Africa

Direct flights from Cape Town to Hong Kong introduced

Cathay Pacific has celebrated the launch of its non-stop service between Cape Town and Hong Kong. Cathay Pacific Flight CX794, operated by the Airbus A350-900 aircraft, departed Cape Town International Airport in November on its first direct flight, marking the commencement of the airline’s second South African route and is the latest in its rapidly expanding network. The new seasonal Cape Town, Hong Kong service, the first direct link between the two prominent business and leisure tourism destinations, boosts South Africa’s accessibility and complements Cathay Pacific’s existing daily non-stop flights between Johannesburg and Hong Kong.

Source: Business Report


New trade training specialist joins SA Tourism in UK

SA Tourism has gained a new trade training specialist in the UK to strengthen its team there. Steven Balderston brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role from years of working in the travel industry. Originally from Australia, Balderston previously worked for Tourism Northern Territory in the UK. He has experience in training travel agents, running roadshows, trade marketing campaigns and as a tour guide in the Outback. Balderston will be developing a training strategy, utilising South African Tourism’s research and insights and ensuring the agents are provided with all the tools and support to sell South Africa. He will build on the use of South African Tourism’s trade Facebook platform, manage an agent programme at Indaba, Africa’s largest travel show, host familiarisation trips in South Africa and implement incentives.



Winners of the 2018 Lilizela Tourism Awards

The sixth annual Lilizela Tourism Awards took place in November, with over 800 finalists congregating in the ballroom of the Sandton Convention Centre to celebrate the best of the best within the tourism industry. The big winners of the night included private game lodge Tintswalo, Afrikaans associated ATKV-Resorts and Limpopo based accommodation, Traditional African Homestays South Africa (TAHS-SA). Other winners of the night included Lebo’s Soweto Backpackers, Tented Adventures, The Oyster Box from KwaZulu Natal, Western Cape’s Saltycrax Backpackers, Cape Town’s International Convention Centre, Kokstad’s La Teranga Accommodation and Conference group for the Emerging Tourism Entrepreneurship award (ETEA), Gauteng’s Valentino Meirotti and Limpopo’s Daniel Mogale won the awards for best tourist guides, and Tim Brown of Tim Brown Tours won the award for best tourist guide in the sub-category of nature.

Source: IOL Travel News


Tech savvy SA travellers increasingly use smart phones for bookings

Travelport’s Global Digital Traveller Research 2018 shows South African travellers are tech savvy, using their smart phones to do their bookings. As many as 16 200 people who had taken at least one return flight in 2017 were surveyed. Respondents were chosen from 25 countries. The research reveals that 46 percent of local respondents research and book their trip entirely on a mobile device and 56 percent say not being able to access booking information on their devices is “very painful and frustrating”. Local travellers also love apps. Travelport’s research reveals that South Africans use 11 different apps while travelling which is higher than the international average of nine. The days of travellers cheques and the like also appear to be drawing to an end with 49 percent of respondents revealing they use a digital wallet or payment app while travelling.

Source: Hypertext


MTN Bushfire 2019 tickets go on sale

MTN Bushfire 2019 tickets are already on sale with the campsite opening on Thursday 23rd May 2019 from 11:00 am. MTN Bushfire is more than a festival, it’s a living, breathing ecosystem deeply rooted in African soil, yet inclusive and welcoming to guests from all over the world. This uniquely African, and yet globally infused festival experience welcomes thousands in an atmosphere of tolerance and passionate commitment to music, the arts and the environment. Every year, over 26,000 attendees hailing from 60 different countries make the journey from near and far to the peaceful Malkerns Valley of eSwatini for an energizing and uplifting weekend that celebrates the music and arts of Africa and beyond. Winner of the African Responsible Tourism Awards Most Sustainable Event Award in 2017, MTN Bushfire was also hailed in 2016 by CNN as one of the “7 African music festivals you really have to see” and listed by BBC as a “Top African festival.”

Source: Press Release


Cape Town is a top destination for sports tourism

Specialist tourism operators are focussing on the sports traveller, and Lance Wynn, owner of Cape Town-based Runcation, has witnessed the growth of UTCT and other trail running activities in Cape Town. The local trail running community has grown hugely in recent years, and with communication driven by social media channels, weekly runs are arranged by groups such as “Tuesday Trails”, and these groups are being noticed by runners planning their travels to Cape Town. Ultra-trail Cape Town (UTCT), now in its fifth year  has established itself as a bucket list race for ultra-distance trail runners, not only locally but now internationally. The event has grown from one with 200 runners in 2014, to 1750 runners across all four of its races in 2018. With its inclusion in the Ultra-trail World Tour since last year, the event is now attracting some of the top international elite runners and their supporters. Over 300 international entries are confirmed for December, and over 300 further entries are from other parts of South Africa – which is good news for tourism.


Source: IOL Travel News





New Maputo Bridge linking KZN cuts travel time

The president of Mozambique recently opened the three-kilometre long Maputo-Katembe bridge, officially the longest in Africa. It now links KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa directly with Maputo.Costing a massive R11.3 billion at current exchange rates ($785 million) with a main span measuring 680 metres, the bridge starts in Maputo and ends in the town of Catembe. The bridge – constructed by the China Road and Bridge Corporation, a Chinese parastatal – also creates a much shorter route between Mozambique and South Africa. Previously, it took South Africans up to six hours to drive from Kosi Bay (SA’s east coast border post in KwaZulu-Natal) to Maputo and surrounding holiday destinations due to ridiculously bad roads – the bridge now reduces this time to roughly 90 minutes, according to Africa Check.

Source: Business Insider


Botswana announces introduction of tourist visas on arrival

Botswana has become the latest country in the continent to announce plans to start offering tourist visas on arrival. The announcement was made by President Mokgweetsi Masisi when addressing the 45th meeting of the High-Level Consultative Council (HLCC) in Gaborone recently. According to Masisi, this is part of the Botswana Government’s efforts to improve the ease of doing business in the country. He added that Botswana will offer tourist visa at the point of entry effective 24 November 2018. Botswana joins Ethiopia, which has since announced its intention to implement visa-on-arrival service for African travellers.


Source: The Southern Times


IATA urges closer cooperation with Africa to maximise aviation safety

The International Air Transport Association (Iata) has urged governments in Africa to maximise the positive social and economic power of aviation by working together to promote safe, sustainable and efficient air connectivity. Speaking at the 50th Annual General Assembly (AGA) meeting of the African Airline Association (AFRAA) in Morocco, Alexandre de Juniac, Iata’s director general and CEO, said African aviation supports $55.8 billion of economic activity and 6.2 million jobs. To enable aviation to be an even bigger driver of prosperity across the continent, there must be closer cooperation with governments, he said. Safety was highlighted as a positive example of progress through collaboration.

Source: Travel & Tourism News