Thursday, August 26, 2010

The End Of The Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe?

Transnet Limited has announced that the Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe train service operating between George and Mossel Bay will be terminated as it has become financially unviable.

In its announcement Transnet said that it identified the Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe service as one of its non-core assets in 2007. Following extensive studies and stakeholder consultation, the company decided to follow an open tender process to find a new operator for the service. ”Unfortunately, this process could not identify a new operator and as a result, Transnet was left with no option other than to terminate the service subject to the required approval by the Minister of Public Enterprises in terms on the Public Finance Management Act – this has since been finalised.” the statement said.

Commenting on the announcement Alan Winde, Western Cape MEC said that despite Transnet’s announcement, he remains resolute in his commitment to reviving the Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe service and ensuring that it remains a vital part of the South Cape’s heritage and tourism offering. Winde continued to say that Transnet’s decision comes after an open tender process did not yield any positive applicants to take over its operations, which they state have become financially unviable.

Friday, August 20, 2010

SA Tourism Hosts 100 German Travel Agents

German tourist arrivals to South Africa has grown impressively this year. In the first three months of 2010, German arrivals grew 24% compared to the same period last year, giving every indication of a market starting to recover from the global recession and eager to begin long haul travel again. This trend is set to continue on this course with the arrival in South Africa this week of 100 DERTOUR delegates on a fact finding and familiarisation visit that will last nine days.

The objective of the DERTOUR visit is to give German travel agents the confidence they need to sell South Africa through personal experience of the destination.
DERTOUR is a major affiliation of German travel and tour operators. The delegates begin arriving in South Africa on August 24. They are here on invitation of SA Tourism and DERTOUR and they represent travel agencies across Germany who sell DERTOUR products and itineraries.
Their familiarisation trip of the country takes them to places as diverse as Zululand and the KwaZulu-Natal coast; the Kruger Park and adjacent private wildlife reserves; Cape Point; Oudtshoorn; the Western Cape winelands, Johannesburg and Soweto.

DERTOUR has approximately 10 000 retail travel sales offices across Germany. South African Tourism’s partnership with DERTOUR extends way beyond mega familiarisation visits. The DERTOUR delegation meets in Fourways on Tuesday and Wednesday (24 and 25 August) for an intensive destination workshop and for meetings with South African trade and product representatives. The mega familiarisation visit and associated workshops have been made possible through partnerships with DERTOUR, South African Airways, Southern Sun, AVIS and Drifters Adventours.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mauritius Launches Campaign To Attract German Market

The Mauritius Tourism Promotion Agency (MTPA), in co-operation with Dertour and Travelzoo, has intensified its marketing efforts through a special flyer and an online campaign appealing to German travellers to visit the destination.
The special Mauritius flyer was enclosed as a supplement in each Dertour Indian Ocean winter catalogue for 2010/11. The catalogue has a circulation of 220 000 copies and will be distributed to all travel agencies of Dertour. The flyer contains eight pages of general information about Mauritius pertaining to nature, culture, cuisine, sport activities and other activities.
The online campaign is conducted with Travelzoo and aims to boost sales for the low season. The Mauritius destination page was sent out along with a newsletter to over 700 000 subscribers.
Source: SA Tourism Update

Thursday, August 5, 2010

BA Passengers Pick Cape Town As Favourite Destination

British Airways has announced that its passengers worldwide have identified Cape Town as their favourite destination.

As of November this year, British Airways will offer a second daily flight between Heathrow and Cape Town ahead of the 2010 summer season due to increased popularity. The additional flight will see the introduction of BA’s new Boeing 777 for the Cape Town route.
British Airways Commercial Manager in South Africa, Sue Botes, says demand for flights to Cape Town was on the rise even before the FIFA World Cup, and the airline is accommodating the increasing demand by offering an additional daily flight.
Cape Town Tourism CEO, Mariette du-Toit Helmbold says, “An additional daily British Airways flight is very good news for Cape Town’s tourism industry. Cape Town’s popularity has been rising steadily over the past few years and with all of the positive 2010 FIFA World Cup coverage and word-of-mouth recommendations, the city’s popularity has sky-rocketed.”

Source: SA Tourism Update

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Cape Town is Cool

Cape Town Tourism has launched a winter season campaign, ‘Cape Town is Cool’, to boost post-World Cup tourism and counter seasonality, enticing domestic and international visitors with value-for-money deals on accommodation, tours and car hire.

Sending the message that Cape Town is trendy (not cold), the campaign will run until the end of September, predominantly on the Internet through CTT's website and supported by broadcasts on Radio 702 and billboards in Gauteng. Through it will focus on key European markets and new markets such as Brazil, India and the Middle East. CTT says e-marketing proved its worth during the World Cup when its website received more then 135 000 visits compared with 60 000 visits in May. Almost 7 000 of these were via mobile phones and CTT's ‘mobi’ site. CTT's Facebook fan page grew by 28 000 fans during the tournament.

CTT CEO Mariette du Toit-Helmbold says 69,7% of accommodation providers surveyed during the World Cup said visitors found the Cape weather to be much better than they had expected. "Winter in Cape Town is wonderful. There are warm fires, gourmet foods, excellent wine, theatre, art, music and more. As we move into spring, visitors will enjoy all of these things and also whale watching and the burst of flowers in our neighbouring regions. With value-for-money specials making the proposition all the more alluring, it’s a great time to be visiting Cape Town.”

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Focus on sharks during Discovery Channel's Shark Week

In conjunction with the beginning of the 23rd year of Discovery Channel's annual Shark Week, Humane Society International and The Humane Society of the United States celebrate recent advances in shark conservation and urge the public to take action to protect these magnificent ocean predators.

Sharks are disappearing from the oceans at an astonishingly rapid rate as overfishing and burgeoning demand for their fins, a main ingredient in shark fin soup, have led to the depletion of many populations and some entire species.

It is our resposibility to inform restaurant owners, managers and staff that it is totally unethical to serve shark fin soup.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Van Schalkwyk to woo Moscow on tourism?

Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk is off to Russia, along with President Jacob Zuma, the ministry said on Sunday.

"The Russian Federation is one of the fastest growing outbound tourist markets in the world," van Schalkwyk said in a statement. "We would like to make sure that we extend our co-operation in the field of tourism." Van Schalkwyk said he hoped to tackle issues such as direct air links, visa processes and the marketing of South Africa as a tourist destination.

Russia is bidding to host the Fifa World Cup in 2018 and South Africa would share its experiences with Moscow. South Africa and Russia signed a tourism co-operation agreement in 1998. The agreement was never implemented and as such, discussions will be held between the two countries on how to revive the signed agreement.

In 2009, South Africa saw 10 214 arrivals from the Russian Federation.