We have already predicted that Cape Town and our country will be overrun with German tourists in the next few months, given a documentary screened on 3sat German TV last week (‘Reisen in Ferne Welten: Kapstadt‘), as well as two movies about South Africa (‘Südafrika: Der Kinofilm‘, and ‘Der Geilste Tag‘ ) showing in German movie theaters (more…)Tweet
Entries tagged with “Waterfront”.
Wednesday 13th January 2016 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Wednesday 21st October 2015 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Eight South African Lodges count amongst the Conde Nast Traveler Top 100 Hotels & Resorts in the World Readers’ Choice Awards, which were announced yesterday.
The South African Top 100 lodges, with the ranking, are as follows:
3. Bushman’s Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat (photograph) (more…)Tweet
Wednesday 18th February 2015 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
* The inflation rate has dropped to 4,4%, a three year low, and down from 5,3% in December. The lower petrol price and slower food price increase benefited the inflation rate. The price of petrol is expected to increase in March.
* SAA is two-thirds through its 90 Day Action Plan, with a ‘business unusual’ approach to turn the airline around. ‘Cost-compression‘ measures have helped to achieve relative stability. Loss-making flights (to China and India) are to be cancelled, taken over by Middle Eastern airlines, and linked to SAA via code-share arrangements. More flights to Mauritius, Maputo, and Harare have been scheduled.
* The new visa regulations for tourists from China and India are hurting the South African tourism industry, said (more…)Tweet
Sunday 23rd November 2014 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
* The Reserve Bank Monetary Policy Committee has kept the repo rate unchanged at 5,75%, the new Governor Lesetja Kganyago has announced. The rate did not change due to the reducing inflation rate, the lower international oil prices being an inflation benefit, and the weak economy.
* The Vancouver Sun writes about ‘Sensational South Africa‘, highlighting its ‘Big Five must-see list’. It includes Cape Town (‘the country’s prettiest city‘, Bo-Kaap, the City Bowl market – certainly not the best Cape Town has to offer – Table Mountain and its ‘tram ride‘, the Mount Nelson Hotel, and Robben Island), the Winelands (Franschhoek and its Wine Tram), Himeville and the Drakensberg, Durban, and Safaris.
* The City of Cape Town has announced its extensive plans for the safety of the city and its visitors over the Festive (more…)Tweet
Thursday 11th September 2014 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
* In the World Travel Awards 2014 Cape Town was named Leading Destination as well as Leading Cruise Port (ironic as its facilities in the harbour to receive cruise line guests are so poor) in Africa. For Africa The Pepperclub Hotel & Spa was named Leading City Hotel; Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront Leading Conference Hotel; Cape Royale Luxury Hotel & Spa Leading Hotel Residences; Ellerman House Villa One Leading Luxury Villa; and Table Mountain Leading Tourist Attraction. (received via media release from Cape Town Tourism)
* Top Stellenbosch chefs Tanja Kruger of Makaron at Majeka House, Christiaan Campbell of Delaire Graff, Bertus Basson of Overture, and Michael Broughton of Terroir, as well as Somerset West-based Chef Gregory Czernecki of Waterkloof will be preparing the food for Stellenbosch at Summer Place, a showcase of the best wines, art, and food from the Winelands town, which will be held on 15 October at Summer Place. Entrance costs R500. (received via media release from Random Hat Communications)
* Ultimate Braai Master ‘Time for Tough‘ 13 series Season 3 starts sizzling on etv this evening, at 20h30. It is described as the (more…)Tweet
Tuesday 19th August 2014 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Last night’s episode 6 of ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa’ was set in beautiful Knysna, showcasing its timber industry, being the Oyster Capital of our country, and home to Ile de Pain, one of the best bakeries in South Africa. It is a pity that beautiful Plettenberg Bay, and the fertile farming region of George, Sedgefield, and Wilderness were excluded.
The episode opened with Hayden meeting Markus Farbinger, the Austrian baker who opened Ile de Pain a number of years ago on scenic Thesen Island, baking breads and pastries, which one can buy to take away or to enjoy in their coffee shop. Schoon de Companje owner Fritz Schoon worked with Markus for a year, and learnt all he knows from Markus, before setting up De Oude Bank Bakkerij in Stellenbosch, now renamed. Fritz featured in Stellenbosch episode 2 with Hayden, showing him how to bake mosbolletjies, and went zorbing with him at De Morgenzon! Liezie Mulder is the chef and Markus the baker in their business, having a restaurant in the town centre too. Markus had baked some lavash flatbread in his woodfired oven, which Chef Liezie used to make South African Boerewors Wraps for breakfast, adding scrambled eggs, boerewors, and sheba, a salsa made from tomatoes, onions, garlic, cayenne pepper, red pepper, sugar, salt, and pepper. This was followed by a surfing (more…)Tweet
Sunday 9th March 2014 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Yesterday the respected Sydney Morning Herald published a super article about Cape Town and its food and beverage entrepreneurs in the main (‘Cape Crusaders‘), the visit by its writer Rachel Olding having been sponsored by SA Tourism. Containing two errors, one significant in its incorrect name for Table Mountain, it raises the question as to whether SA Tourism should insist on seeing copy first before it is published, not a popular nor common offer made by writers!
The writer’s focus was on the entrepreneurs in Cape Town, ‘bringing fresh new energy to Cape Town‘. She adds: ‘In Cape Town, like so many international cities, they’re increasingly clad in plaid shirts, plugged into the hottest global trends and leading a hipster revival mixing the best of different eras and cultures with their own Capetonian touch’. She quotes a tour guide that Cape Town has baboons to remind one that Cape Town is in Africa, feeling more European in its nature!
Yours Truly on Kloof Street and on Long Street (owned by Daniel Holland); the Grand Daddy Hotel; Royale Eatery (described as ‘hip new‘ which it is not!); Deluxe Coffeeworks (owned by Carl Wessel and Judd Francis) on Church Street and in Gardens; the Old Biscuit Mill; A Store is Good on Kloof Street (owned by Dario Lette); Supremebeing and Wardrobe on Kloof Street; Frankie Fenner (more…)Tweet
Saturday 25th January 2014 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
As writers we get spoilt, with invitations to hosts of functions, and exposure to numerous PR companies and their client brands. The first event invitation of the year, to the Cape Town launch of Absolut Vodka’s #AbsolutBlackBox at the entrance to the V&A Waterfront last night, was an Absolut disaster, with poor food, few attendees, no one to interact with invited guests, poor lighting for photographs, and a general feeling that no one knew what was going on. It felt like Johannesburg-comes-to-Cape Town, so-lets-cut-corners-for-the-B-team!
It started with Capacity Marketing Pty Ltd from Johannesburg sending a media release, and then Simphiwe Majola from the consultancy calling to ask if they could deliver a parcel. We managed to find a suitable time, and a cocky delivery person dropped off a cardboard box. The box outer looked totally uninviting, so I only opened it once I came back from the function last night. Inside the box was a black wooden three box-in-a-box Russian doll type box set with a tiny invitation to attend the Cape Town launch of the ‘True Transformation’, claiming that ‘the Absolut Black Box has been transforming the social scene in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban with mini-events in the trendiest venues. Now, the main event has arrived. It’s invite-only. And you’re invited‘. The invite promised ‘mystery Djs, the country’s leading transformative artists (unnamed) and free-flowing Absolut, all inside a giant Black Box’.
The invitation stated that the location for the event was Gateway Canal in the V&A, which I had not heard of before, and Simphiwe explained telephonically (more…)Tweet
Tuesday 31st December 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Today ends one of the less nice years, and the number 13 in it should have been a warning of how bad it could become. While it has many negative associations, it also was a year of highlights, from our perspective.
For me personally the year was overshadowed by the passing of my father, and while I was lucky to have him in my life for such a long time, reaching the ripe old age of 97, it still was a shock when he went in April. He brought our family to South Africa, and specifically to the Cape, for which I will be eternally grateful. He helped shape my interest in the business world, and took a keen interest in my Market Research, Public Relations, and hospitality careers. Added to this was the further loss of our beloved Madiba, who passed away on 5 December, a shock when it happened, despite one knowing that it was just a matter of time. It felt like a double whammy loss year. Heaven has gained two truly great gentlemen.
2013 has had some positive aspects: we celebrated the fifth anniversary of our Blog, well established and with more than 30000 unique readers per month. We thank our loyal readers and commenters, as well as the Public Relations companies which feed us with up to date information and invite us to launches, particularly in the wine industry. We particularly commend Waterford Communications for its professionalism in dealing with us as friends as well as writers, never taking any coverage for granted, always being willing to assist with more information, having a knack for choosing excellent weather days for client functions, and saying ‘thank you‘ for coverage received, a rare treat! The PR company leads an industry plagued by poor writers, who bombard one with media releases (often being irrelevant), repeating information already written about, and demanding proof of coverage granted to the client brand! (more…)Tweet
Wednesday 31st August 2011 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
We have previously written about Cape Town Tourism embracing the ‘100 Women 100 Wines’ competition, promoting it actively, and listing it in its ‘Strategic Plan’ as a means to ‘stimulate domestic tourism demand’. The competition brought 100 women to the V&A Hotel in the Cape Town Waterfront on Saturday for one day, hardly a major boost to domestic tourism, especially as a number of the participants were from the Cape anyway! The wine industry has slated the event as ‘frivolous’, ‘patronising’, and a ‘joke’!
Sceptical as I tend to be when it comes to the marketing activities of Cape Town Tourism, I checked what information was available via Google, as we have not received information about this event as members of Cape Town Tourism. Not much was written about the competition – only two blogposts by organiser Clare “Mack” McKeon-McLoughlin (why does she not use her real surname?) of Spill Blog, a media release and two website posts by Cape Town Tourism, and three participant blogposts. Sponsors of the competition were TOPS by Spar, Newmark Hotels (V&A Hotel), Destiny magazine (with a circulation of 26128 ‘black diamonds’), and Cape Town Tourism. The aim of the competition was to generate “South Africa’s Best 100 Wines” list, a ludicrous claim made by Cape Town Tourism in its media release.
The competition premise was that 80% of women buy wines in supermarkets, thus making the brand decision, which is largely made on the basis of word of mouth recommendation by friends. On the basis of this statistic, Ms McKeon-McLoughlin devised a competition whereby 50 women could enter, by motivating by e-mail why they and a friend should be invited to be a ‘judge’ in a wine competition “where you choose and pick the wines that you prefer, wines that suit your palate and mood, and that you would be more than happy to recommend to a friend”. The ‘judging’ took place at the V&A Hotel in the Waterfront, with participants having been flown to Cape Town (if not from the Cape); attending a lunch, a cocktail party, and a gala dinner; participating in the ‘judging’; and spending the night in the V&A Hotel. About 30 % of the group of hundred women were from Cape Town and the Winelands, judging from Twitter. Cape Town Tourism refused to confirm the geographic breakdown.
The patronising media release written by Cape Town Tourism stated that ‘this event will see women from different backgrounds being empowered as opinion leaders in the field of wine, and will set in motion the debunking of the myth that this right is reserved for the connoisseurs and the ‘bourgeois” (who writes stuff like this?!). Their website post also stated that the participants reflected the South African demographic profile, but the ‘black diamonds’ dominated. Cape Town Tourism appears to have forgotten that this country has four ‘demographics’, and not just two, as is visible from their delegate photograph. Categories in which wines were selected are ‘Girls Night Out’, ‘Celebration’, ‘Sunday Lunch’, ‘Braai drinking’, ‘The in-laws are coming’, The Big date – romance is in the air’, ‘Long lunch’, ‘Mid-week easy drinking’, Posh Present, ‘Baby it’s cold outside, ‘Bubbly’, and ‘Kiss and Make Up’. Ten wines were allocated per each of the ten categories, hardly a ‘judging’, and more of a classification of the 100 wines, information not provided as to how the original list of 100 was selected! The Cape Town Tourism media release quoted its CEO Mariette du Toit-Helmbold as follows: “The innovation of food and wine is an integral part of what makes Cape Town an inspirational city. We are looking forward to welcoming 100 women from across South Africa to Cape Town, and sharing our best wines and gourmet offerings with them. Winter is the perfect time to explore our wine culture and our partnership with 100 Women 100 Wines demonstrates our commitment to unlocking Cape Town’s superb winter offering to the domestic market. We look forward to celebrating this as an annual event”! We do not believe that the event met the stated goal at all, as only the food of one hotel was experienced by the delegates, and mainly non-Cape Town wines were ‘judged’!
We asked Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariette du Toit-Helmbold two questions about her organisation’s involvement in the event: what would its benefit be for domestic tourism to Cape Town, and how much did Cape Town Tourism pay for sponsoring the event. This is the rude response we received on Twitter to our e-mails from Mrs Helmbold (she has not replied to our e-mails about the event):” For info on role in #100women event follow @CapeTownTourism‘s tweets. Event fund = R20 000″.
We question Cape Town Tourism’s sponsorship of the event, which will have gone to the organisers. If Cape Town Tourism pays R20 000 for each of the 70 local and international events (we did not know that there are so many events in Cape Town in a year) it claims to support, it would be paying a precious R1,4 million, which it could use to greater benefit to attract more tourists to Cape Town by means of fewer, more fundamental events. It is unheard of for a tourism bureau to pay a sponsorship fee, it being usual for them to just endorse an event, to give it credibility. One wonders how Cape Town Tourism could have seen so much benefit in the event that they paid for it, and had the time to handle the (poor) publicity for it! It is clear that Cape Town Tourism has little knowledge of the wine industry, and blindly endorsed an event without credibility in the wine industry, and without any tourism benefit. No local media (radio or newspaper) covered the event.
Mrs Helmbold did not attend the event at all, spending the weekend in Pringle Bay, and Cape Town Tourism’s PR Manager Skye Grove appears to have only popped in at the sponsored event. However, Mrs Helmbold was at great pains to Tweet about the event on Saturday, overstating the ‘benefits’ of the event for tourism to Cape Town as follows:
* “#100women is 1 of many good examples of how partnerships can be used to accomplish much through events without investing a lot of money”.
Cape Town Tourism Tweeted ‘comments’ from delegates about how good they felt about being in Cape Town, but these were prescheduled via Tweetdeck, and do not appear to have been ‘live’ comments from delegates, making one question their credibility. In its website post at the conclusion of the event, Cape Town Tourism wrote ‘testimonial’ comments about Cape Town, quoting senior executives who apparently had never been to Cape Town before. Some ‘justification’ Tweets were sent by them during the weekend event:
* “#100women 100 wines event proving that South African women love their friends, their wine, their food…. and Cape Town” (no delegate Tweets proved this!)
* “City Press & Sunday Times at #100women event – this is how we do business. Unlocking CapeTown’s stories through national & int (sic) media” (City Press sent only a Trainee Journalist, and the Sunday Times was represented by their wine writer Neil Pendock, who in fact was one of the organisers! There were no international media representatives).
* “We are loving the vibe at #100women 100wines. Women from all over SA falling in love with the Mother City and our food and wine offering” (not supported by delegate Tweets)
Pendock is known to be a good friend of Mrs McKeon-McLoughlin, and wrote about the event twice on his The Times ‘Pendock Uncorked’ blog in two days. He was the scorer at a previous round ‘judging’ event, as well as at the weekend event, at which the list of 100 wines was finalised. He ‘shyly’ discloses in his first blogpost that he ‘advised 100 Women 100 Wines on selection of wines for the event’, vastly understating his involvement, and he makes no disclosure of his involvement in the second blogpost. He praises the ‘seminal’ idea of the ‘revolutionary’ competition (these two descriptions seem a gross exaggeration), alliteratingly (as he is fond to do) writing that “Mack” (whose real surname is known to him) gathered ‘ordinary women’ (not ordinary at all, from the descriptions of their careers) from ‘Pretoria, Porterville and Putsonderwater’ (maybe his creativity to alliterate town/city names with Johannesburg and Stellenbosch was limited!). Pendock gives sponsors 1Time Airlines, V&A Hotel, Destiny magazine, and ‘Spar’ (not getting its bottle store brand correct) a punt in his blogpost, but does not mention sponsor Cape Town Tourism nor brand ‘Cape Town’ in his blogpost at all! Pendock is known as a very critical wine writer, and would have slated such a frivolous competition, had he not been involved in its organisation, especially as the wines were ‘judged’ sighted at the weekend event, his biggest criticism of Platter judging.
On Twitter only 55 Tweets were generated by 15 Twitterers over the two days, a poor tally. The ‘black diamond’ Destiny delegates from Johannesburg appear to not have embraced Twitter yet. Newmark Hotels probably received the best benefit of the exposure on Twitter, with some Tweets praising its V&A Hotel. The sponsors airline 1-Time, Cape Town Tourism, and Destiny, and TOPS at Spar came off worst, in receiving no acknowledgement at all from the delegates! Only eight wines out of the 100 tasted and tested, being Graham Beck MCC, Stellenrust Timeless, Warwick The First Lady, Nederburg Riesling, JC le Roux, Miss Molly, Le Bonheur Sauvignon Blanc, and De Morgenzon Sauvignon Blanc, received Twitter mentions during the tasting. Distell sponsored the wines for the dinner, and the Fleur du Cap wines appeared to receive more favourable comments on Twitter than did the wines in the 100 Wines testing collection!
Nigel Cattermole, fearless wine-knowledgeable owner of Wine @ the Mill, laughed about the event, and called it patronising and a joke. He said that most of the 100 wines in the collection were bulk mass-produced wines, being ‘mediocre to poor’. ‘There is no providence in these wines’, he added.
The ‘100 Women 100 Wines’ competition is a farce in more ways than one: The results, in generating a ‘Top 100 best wine list for women’, will hardly be an accolade winemakers would strive to achieve, not having any credibility. Cape Town Tourism’s involvement in the competition is questioned, given that its energy should be focused on attracting as many tourists to Cape Town as possible, a group of 100 (of which many were from Cape Town or Stellenbosch anyway) making only a negligible impact on tourism in our city, if any at all, given that the delegates stayed at the V&A Hotel, had all their meals and drinks there, and all activities took place at the hotel, meaning that there was little spend by them in the rest of the V&A or in Cape Town. The association with the competition is a serious dent to the credibility of Cape Town Tourism, in supporting a competition that is patronising to women; is frivolous and lacking credibility in its results; was poorly marketed; benefits the Winelands more than Cape Town; does not meet its intended goal of growing ‘domestic & intl (sic) markets’; does not meet the goal of ‘building winter brand, food/wine tourism and domestic tourism’, and makes no contribution in addressing the tourism crisis in Cape Town!
POSTSCRIPT 31/8: Cape Town Tourism has sent us a comment in reaction to this blogpost, in the name of ‘Thandiwe’, with a false e-mail address email@example.com, in defence of Cape Town Tourism’s sponsorship of the ‘100 Women 100 Wines’ event, using similar yet contradictory information contained in its Media blogpost and a Tweet about the event. A Google search confirmed that the only reference to ‘Thandiwe Motse’ is from two mentions on the Cape Town Tourism website. We have not allowed the false comment, and we are surprised that Cape Town Tourism’s PR department would stoop so low in trying to justify their involvement.
POSTSCRIPT 1/9: The latest Spill blogpost brags about the success of the ‘100 Women 100 Wines’ event, quoting all feedback it has received on Twitter and its blog, even from its co-organiser ‘Dr Neil Pendock’! Interestingly, the blogpost refers to ‘Thandiwe Moitse’, with a different spelling of the surname compared to the way Cape Town Tourism spells it. There are no Google entries for this business executive, on either spellings of her surname! The Cape Town Tourism spelling in its Tweets and media blogpost is the same as the spelling in the Comments posted to this blogpost!
POSTSCRIPT 3/9: A ‘judge’ of the first stage of the event, who was given a voucher for a meal at Societi Bistro by the organisers, and who expressed her dissatisfaction on Twitter with the poor quality of the meal and the service, was called by Mrs McKeon-McLoughlin and asked to remove her Tweet, as she had promised Societi Bistro that they would receive good publicity if the restaurant donated the vouchers!
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottageTweet