Contents Issue 7 (July) 2013 PUBLISHER Tourism Tattler (Pty) Ltd. PO Box 891, Umhlanga Rocks, 4320 KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Company Reg.No.: 2006/015252/07 Website: www.tourismtattler.co.za MANAGING EDITOR Des Langkilde Tel: +27 (0)87 727 8631 Cell: +27 (0)82 374 7260 Fax: +27 (0)86 651 8080 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Skype: tourismtattler EDITOR Marjorie Dean Tel: +27 (0)11 886 9996 Fax: +27 (0)11 886 7557 E-mail: email@example.com Skype: satsa-comms ADVERTISING MANAGER Bev Langkilde Tel: +27 (0)87 727 8643 Fax: +27 (0)86 656 3860 Cell: +27 (0)71 224 9971 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Skype: bevtourismtattler SUBSCRIPTIONS Email: email@example.com Skype: subscribetourismtattler Official Media Partner to:
Competition: 4 Night Breakaway in Plett
Business: Africa’s Hospitality Growth
Property Review: Ubizane Wildlife Reserve
Conservation: Economies of Illegal Wildlife
Destinations: Magical Kenya
Marketing: Email Marketing
IN THIS ISSUE
Official Travel Trade Journal of:
The Regional Tourism Organisation of Southern Africa (RETOSA) Tel: +2711 315 2420/1 Fax: +2711 315 2422 Webite: www.retosa.co.za
National Accommodation Association of South Africa (NAA-SA) Tel: +2786 186 2272 Fax: +2786 225 9858 Website: www.naa-sa.co.za
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EDITORIAL From the Editors Desk / Cover Story Article Discussions BUSINESS Africa’s hospitality growth GEPF invests for job creation Germany leads European travel CONSERVATION Economies of illegal wildlife trade Anti-poaching: To rescue or to shoot? Rhino Knights Update COMPETITION Whalesong Hotel & Hydro DESTINATIONS Magical Kenya
Adv. Louis Nel David Smith Des Langkilde The Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA) Tel: +2786 127 2872 Fax: +2711 886 755 Webite: www.satsa.com
Seychelles Hospitality & Tourism Association Tel: +248 432 5560 Fax: +248 422 5718 Website: www.shta.sc
SATSA PROUD SPONSOR
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Kenya Tourism SATIB Insurance Brokers White Shark Projects Globe Lotter Tours Neil’s Transfers Heritage Clothing
EVENTS 20 RETOSA Events Calendar for July HOSPITALITY 22 Property Review - Ubizane Reserve 26 Restaurant Review - BiCE at Hyde Park LEGAL 28 ‘POPI’ Act - Part 3 MARKETING 29 SATSA Market Intelligence Report 30 Email Marketing - Part 3 TRADE NEWS Trade Snippets - visit our website
EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS Isabel Wolf-Gillespie Marjorie Dean Katie Horne Martin Jansen van Vuuren Lindiwe Magana Pieter Philipse MAGAZINE SPONSORS 04 Sports & Events Tourism Exchange 04 World Travel Market (London) 07 Kenya Tourism 21 South Coast Tourism 28 Savage Jooste & Adams Attorneys 31 Kondwana Marketing
Disclaimer: The Tourism Tattler is published by Tourism Tattler (Pty) Ltd and is the official trade journal of the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA). The Tourism Tattler digital e-zine, is distributed free of charge to bona fide tourism stakeholders. Letters to the Editor are assumed intended for publication in whole or part and may therefore be used for such purpose. The information provided and opinions expressed in this publication are provided in good faith and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Tourism Tattler (Pty) Ltd, SATSA, its staff and its production suppliers. Advice provided herein should not be soley relied upon as each set of circumstances may differ. Professional advice should be sought in each instance. Neither Tourism Tattler (Pty) Ltd, SATSA, its staff and its production suppliers can be held legally liable in any way for damages of any kind whatsoever arising directly or indirectly from any facts or information provided or omitted in these pages or from any statements made or withheld or from supplied photographs or graphic images reproduced by the publication.
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From the Editor’s Desk It’s July and here on the southern tip of Africa we are into winter, but apart from being cold at nights, it has been mild so far on the Highveld - great weather for domestic holidays over the winter school break. However, the worst may yet be to come, and that’s when South Africans feeling the chill start looking north into Africa for a bit of warmth. Our lead story this month is on Kenya, a destination that offers many of the same attractions as South Africa but with its own twist. We often see Kenya as a competitor, but looking at tourism from a Pan African point of view, which seems to be happening more and more, there’s no reason why we could not be partners in a Pan African tourism campaign. Something to think about, maybe? It seems that PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) agrees with this view as their recently released ‘South African hospitality outlook: 2013-2017’ report now includes an analysis of Nigeria and Mauritius (pages 08-09). This is a really useful report if you’re looking to benchmark your accommodation rates, as is the SATSA Market Intelligence Report ARR analysis on page 29.
In this edition, we also focus on the desperate issue of poaching, and David Smith’s article takes a long hard look at what we are up against - in short a very well organised a profitable crime industry that has so many people making big money. We look at what can be done to protect the less glamorous species that are poached for the pot from almost all our game reserves. It’s a very contentious issue and we would love to read your views on the subject. We have a great competition for winter; the prize is a stay at the beautiful Whalesong Hotel and Hydro, overlooking Plettenberg Bay in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province. (Page 17, don’t forget to enter.) We have gone out and done a few reviews too, from Ubizane Wildlife Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal’s Hluhluwe area to the ultrasophisticated BiCE restaurant at Tsogo Sun, Hyde Park Hotel in Johannesburg. Africa certainly has it all, idyllic bush wildlife reserves and elegant city places to eat that can rival the best in the world. We love it with a fierce passion. - So now, go out and sell it! Marjorie
Cover Story Our cover picture features Kora National Park in Kenya. This is a country that has come through some tough political times in recent years, but Murithi Ndegwa, Managing Director of the Kenya Tourism Board is determined to ensure that tourism retains its leading edge in contributing to Kenya’s GDP (13% in 2011) and the Kenyan Government is going out its way to streamline legislation, policies and infrastructure, aimed at making the country and easy destination to visit. Kenya has a lot to offer the tourist, especially the “snow birds” who want to escape cold northern climes – even in what they call summer! Its wide open savannah makes for easy game viewing, its beaches are magnificent all along the coast, and its climate varies from sultry summer along the coast to cool and comfortable inland plateau. Kenya is one of the most well-established tourism destinations in sub-Saharan Africa, with tourism having begun during colonial times and emerging as a key growth area postindependence. Tourists visit the Mara for its reputation as a popular destination to view the ‘Big Five’ and the romanticised pastoralists, the Maasai. Mombasa is the closest example of the typical mass tourism model of large hotel resorts and all-inclusive packages. Global tour operators are the critical economic actor, bundling a significant number of Kenya’s inbound tourism service providers
together. The rise of the global tour operator, nonetheless, has also coincided with the rise of national tour operators, based out of Nairobi. The African continent, although still a relatively small player in global tourism, is poised to be a leader in the next wave of tourism to the developing world. According to the UNWTO, Africa was the only region during the financial crisis to display positive figures in 2009, and maintained growth thereafter. With the exposure granted to South Africa due to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Africa has positioned itself as a dynamic tourism market. The importance of tourism for sub-Saharan Africa cannot be understated. Outside of agriculture, tourism is one of the few global industries that has less stringent barriers to entry, needs multiple skilled workers, and, particularly, harnesses local knowledge, so that locals can become self-employed guides, microentrepreneurs, artisans, or fill various low-skilled positions. Sub-Saharan Africa, and Kenya in particular, is also home to some of the world’s most spectacular natural sites, wildlife and traditional cultural groups. The difficult task Africa faces, however, is to foster ‘shared growth’ and to turn ‘survivalist’ and ‘marginal’ micro-entrepreneurs into sustainable businesses. Perhaps it’s time for Africa’s travel trade to ‘Think Global - Act Local’ Read more on ‘Magical Kenya’ on pages 18-19. JULY 2013
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Discussion Forum Article Comments - June
How to contribute to article discussions On the Tourism Tattler website, click on the Article Discussion icon located above the ‘Share’ bar beneath each article - this will open the discussion page in a new browser tab.
DESTINATIONS Not all visas are created equal (www.tourismtattler.co.za/?p=4251) Submitted on 2013/06/09 at 6:12 pm We travelled to the USA last year this time to see our daughter, sonin-law and grandkids. Although the visa application on line was a fairly lengthy process, the questions were easily answered. When we obtained a date for the interview in Cape Town, it all went extremely professional and smoothly, and we were granted tourist visas for 10 years. On arrival in the States through Memphis, the immigration was a breeze, and we even shared a few laughs with the young lady attending to us. All in all a great experience. R. Klumper
Or simply comment beneath the website article. GUIDING Tourist Guides in South Africa (www.tourismtattler.co.za/?p=2474) Submitted on 2013/06/19 at 1:07 pm Hello,
I am looking for service providers who are running NQF certified river training.
Article Comments from May (www.tourismtattler.co.za/?p=3760)
Please will you send me the necessary information.
Submitted on 2013/06/11 at 7:34 am
Rhino Horn and other endangered species,
The Asian footprint in Africa is not a good one. China & Vietnam in particular, the worst culprits. The Serengeti’s days are numbered and in fact the wildlife in general in Africa is on a knife edge, only until we address the cultural ignorance of these and other nations will we see any improvement in rhino, elephant, shark, dolphin etc (let’s face it – I could go on couldn’t I???) numbers. it will be an uphill struggle though, the fact is their regimes don’t give a hoot about human beings, why on earth would they give a stuff about animal or marine welfare????? Roxana Kelly
Submitted on 2013/06/19 at 1:38 pm | In reply to Stephanie. Cathsseta is the body responsible for NQF Certification. However SAMSA is the body responsible for all of South Africa’s maritime activities (and that includes all rivers, lakes and dams – not just the coastline). You can try these two websites but check with CATHSSETA and SAMSA to ensure that are registered NQF training providers: Riverman South Africa (www.riverman.co.za/training) White Water Traning (www.whitewatertraining.co.za)
Make a comment under any article posted on the Tourism Tattler website during the month of July and stand the chance of winning this month’s prize
The winning comment posted on the Tattler website during the month of May 2013 will receive a ‘Relentless Enemies’ DVD with the compliments of Livingstones Supply Co – Suppliers of the Finest Products to the Hospitality Industry. In an amazing place called Duba Plains in Botswana, a relatively new island is home to three prides of lions and just over a thousand buffalo. The interactions that happen each day are intense. Three prides compete for the prey but far from being a one sided relationship where lions hunt from the herd, it has become a battle between them with lions often being chased and occasionally killed as well. The intensity and rawness of this almost exclusively day time hunting is unique. The opportunity to witness these battles is a rare chance to see and analyze what makes Africa so interesting to us, the chance to see life so transparently on the edge and to think about why we are so fascinated by For more information visit: these extremes. A Film by Derek and Beverly Joubert www.livingstonessupplyco.co.za Running Time: 55 minutes
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Congratulations to Rudi Klumper Your comment has been chosen as the prize winner for June. Your prize, a GOVINO CHAMPAGNE 4 PACK – Valued at R154 will be delivered to you with the compliments of Livingstones Supply Co – suppliers of the finest products to the hospitality Industry. Editor.
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Africa’s hospitality sector poised for recovery and growth
According to latest PwC report, Africa’s hospitality sector is poised for further strong growth in the next five years, despite the stagnating economic climate, writes Lindiwe Magana. Nikki Forster, PwC Leader of Hospitality and Gaming, says: “South Africa’s hotel industry is more positive about the outlook for the future of the industry after a difficult period marked by a combination of an oversupply of hotel rooms and expectations of growth in demand. “Hotels are expected to be the fastest-growing category over the next five years. As in 2012, we expect the demand for rooms to again grow faster than supply and for the overall occupancy rate to increase.” PwC’s 3rd edition of the ‘South African hospitality outlook: 20132017’ projects that by the year 2017 the overall occupancy rate will increase to 55.6% Total room revenue is expected to reach R23.5 billion in 2017, a 9.2% compound annual increase from 2012. For the first time the report features information about hotel accommodation in Nigeria and Mauritius. Accommodation sectors in South Africa consist of hotels, guest houses and guest farms, game lodges, caravan sites, camping sites and other overnight accommodation. Despite the recent economic uncertainty, there was a 9.7% increase in visitors to South Africa from Europe, while the number of North American visitors rose 13.9%. Most foreign visitors to South Africa (72.4%) in 2012 came from other countries in Africa and those visits rose 8.5%. More than 200 000 visitors came from China (132 327) and India (106 774), respectively. On the other hand, domestic travel fell 8.5% in 2012 possibly reflecting a slower growing economy. Hotel accommodation In 2012 hotel room revenue increased by 11.4%, “We expect relatively little incremental growth in capacity during the next five years, as demand rises to fill the supply,” says Forster. With just a few new hotels now opening and others being upgraded, the number of rooms is expected to increase by 1.2% in 2013 and to then grow at rates averaging just below 1% annually through 08
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to 2017. By 2017 there are projected to be 63 000 hotel rooms available. Hotel room revenue is expected to expand to R16.8 billion in 2017, up 9.5% compounded annually from R10.7 billion in 2012. The increase in foreign overnight visitors benefited five-star hotels more than any other sector with room revenue increasing by 18.7% to R1.2 billion. “We expect five-star hotels to continue to benefit more than three- and four-star hotels from the increase in foreign tourism during the next five years, the result of continued growth in business travel and an increase in tourism from other BRIC countries,” says Forster. Nigeria is expected to be the fastest-growing market over the next five years, exceeding South Africa and Mauritius in terms of growth. Outlook: South Africa 2013-2017 The growth in visitors contributed to an increase in occupancy rates for hotels in 2012, the first gain since 2007, and prospects for continued growth in people travelling suggest further gains in occupancy rates. The average hotel occupancy rate is projected to increase to 68.7% in 2017 from 56.5% in 2012. Overall spending on rooms in all categories rose 13.4% in 2012 to R15.2 billion, reflecting an increase in stay unit nights and a 5.3% rise in the average room rate. Stay unit nights were up 7.7% in 2012, the largest gain during the past five years. With room availability up only
1.5%, the average occupancy rate increased to 50.2%, the highest average since 2008. Spending is projected to rise to an additional 11% in 2013, boosted by a 5.7% increase in stay unit nights and a 5.2% escalation in the average room rate. The average room will cost R936 in 2017, up 5.4% on a compound annual basis from R718 in 2012, states the report. Outlook: Nigeria and Mauritius 2013-2017 Mauritius is currently a much more developed market than Nigeria in virtually all categories. However, Nigeria is expected to overtake Mauritius within the next five years to become the larger market. Stay unit nights in Nigeria are projected to surpass Mauritius in 2015 and to be 63% greater in 2017. The decline in stay unit nights experienced in Mauritius in 2012 is expected to continue in 2013 before the market recovers. An increase in occupancy rates in Nigeria is projected for the year, which will put it ahead of Mauritius. Furthermore, occupancy rates in Nigeria will continue to be higher than in Mauritius throughout the forecast period. Despite the large number of five-star hotels in Mauritius, the average hotel room in Nigeria cost 27% more than in Mauritius in 2012. Hotel room revenue is forecast to grow much faster in Nigeria than in Mauritius. Challenges facing the hospitality sector The online environment has changed the hospitality industry, particularly that of guests’ behaviour. In the past, discussions of people’s experiences of business and leisure accommodation was limited to speaking to a few friends, either in-person or over the phone. Today the voice of the guest tends to reach a lot further by use of the online environment. Both guests who had good experiences and those who had bad experiences can now comment, tweet or blog about them. Negative guest reviews and bad experiences can be costly for a
business. “Listening to the voice of the guest minimises this risk and provides an opportunity to read guests signals, react to their requests and redesign the experience to give them what they are looking for,” says Forster. She points out that the need to resolve issues as and when they happen has become even more important since the advent of digital technology that may eliminate the checkout process. Although some South African hospitality companies have come a long way in reporting on their businesses in an integrated manner, there is still some room for improvement. The companies that have reported to date, all report on economic, social and environmental issues. Some of the ways in which they have chosen to manage environmental issues include calculating carbon emissions. Conclusion Forster concludes: “Five years on from the financial crisis, there are signs that the world economic environment is beginning to stabilise in certain parts of the world and this is evidenced by the increase in foreign visitors to South Africa. “While the industry within South Africa should be cautious before embarking on further hotel developments, South Africa with its wide range of hospitality offerings, attractions and history, is well placed to take advantage of the improving economic conditions in both the business and leisure tourism markets.” The full report can be downloaded at www.tourismtattler.co.za/downloads/ hospitality-outlook-june-2013.pdf Note: Historical data was derived from PwC’s analysis of Smith Travel Research (SRT) and local country data combined with other information on industry trends. Forecasting models were then developed based on the historical performance for each category, including economic performance for South Africa and the rest of the world, and estimates of domestic and international overnight travel in South Africa. Announced plans for expansion by hotel operators were also taken into account, as well as competition pricing trends and the expected reaction of proprietors to changing occupancy rates. For more information visit: www.pwc.com JULY 2013
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GEPF invests to boost job-creation and economic growth The Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF)has announced the allocation of R13-billion for investment in various sectors of the economy, including the tourism sector, in order to boost job-creation and contribute to renewable energy, food security and broad-based black economic empowerment, writes Katie Horne.
This forms part of GEPF’s long-term developmental investment strategy whereby 5 per cent (approximately R60-billion) of its total assets is allocated for investment in commercially viable South African-based projects that will have positive, long-term impacts on development, in addition to providing the financial return expected by the Board. John Oliphant, GEPF Principal Officer said the sustainability of the GEPF investment portfolio is intrinsically linked to the growth of the SA economy. “With more than R1trillion assets under management, representing a third of the SA GDP, we think it is prudent to invest in projects that contribute to economic growth and job creation. This, we believe, is in the best interest of our investment portfolio in the long term.” GEPF is the largest pension fund in Africa with more than 1.2-million members, 360 000 pensioners and more than R1-trillion worth of assets under management. GEPF and PIC have signed private placement memoranda (PPM) that will ensure guided investment processes in the different investment funds. To date commitments to the following three Funds have been approved: • Environmental Sustainability Fund -R5-billion; • Priority Sectors Investment Fund -R3-billion; and • South African Private Equity Fund -R5-billion. The Isibaya division within the PIC will manage the funds. The Environmental Sustainability Fund will invest in energy renewables and efficiency, energy storage, clean energy and recycling projects.
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The Fund is expected to generate 500MW of new, renewable energy and 300-million litres of biofuel per annum. It is estimated that the Fund will create approximately 3 000 jobs during and after the construction of renewable energy plants and recycling centres. Tourism The Priority Sectors Investment Fund will focus on projects that will have substantial and positive impact on areas such as job creation and food security. These include manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, mining beneficiation and agro-processing. This Fund aims to create more than 3,000 jobs, of which 25 per cent will be in rural areas. The SA Private Equity Fund will concentrate on medium-to-large capital buyouts as well as mergers and acquisitions. The Fund will seek to achieve broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) to levels 1 and 3 over three to eight years measured over the 10-year span of the portfolio. It is expected that commitments will be made to two additional Funds, the Economic Infrastructure and Africa Private Equity during the year. Note: The Isibaya division focuses on economic infrastructure, environmental sustainability projects; social infrastructure; and new enterprise, job creation and BBBEE. Isibaya provides funding to entities and projects that require a minimum of R10-million up to a maximum of R2-billion. For more information contact Katie Horne on 021 421 0430 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Germany leads European travel Research reveals that in Germany, travel agents have a major influence on travel decisions and bookings and that German travellers plan and book their major holidays early. Travel trade promotions have a significant higher importance in Germany than in the UK or in the USA, which indicates that marketers in Africa should promote their destination/product at least three to six month ahead of the peak travel-season, writes Des Langkilde. Key market indicators • Germany has the lowest price index (108, base 100 in 2005) and the lowest unemployment rate among Europe’s outgoing markets (<5%) • Germany has the highest GDP among Europe’s outgoing markets and the highest household income per capita (EUR 23,592 p.a.) • Germany has an increase in gross wages of more than 3% per year The stability of Germany’s economy is the driving motor of German consumer spending and travel bookings. German travellers have the time and budget to travel in 2013. Structure of households • 1/3 of German households are single-person households, 1/3 are more-person households without any children and 1/3 are moreperson households with at least one child. Travel habits • Germany is Europe’s travel champion, spending more than US$ 85 Billion per year on travelling (UK US$52b, France US$42b and Russia US$34b per year). • Two out of three Germans plan their major annual holidays abroad. Of these, 25% holiday outside of the European Union. Facts about the German travel market • 58% of the German travellers plan sun and beach holidays • 49% want to relax in their major holidays while 30% prefer active/ adventure holidays • Germans plan their vacations early: 2 out of 3 German travellers decide at least six months before departure about the destination. Only 10% decide in the last two months before departure. • German travellers book early: 40% book at least three months before departure. Only 17% book four weeks before departure or later. • 80% of the core holiday business is booked, recommended or consulted by a travel agent. Only 20% of holiday trips are online bookings without the influence or help of a travel agent. • The peak booking-season for summer vacations is between January and March. • The peak booking-season for winter vacations (sun and/or snow) is between August and September. • In 2012, the German tour operator business summed up to total of €24.4 billion.
In 2012 the total revenue booked at travel agencies was €24.4 billion. Germans are treating themselves to more luxury on vacation. ‘The desire of Germans to travel has been providing a boost to the industry. More vacations and higher spending have generated an increase in sales. For the 2013 summer holiday, there is a trend towards beach vacations in the Eastern Mediterranean and long-distance trips’. (Extract from GfK survey on travel behaviour of Germans for the ITB in Berlin Nuremberg, 1 March 2013). Last year, Germans made about 100 million trips with at least one overnight stop which they booked in advance, either as complete package deals or booking different aspects such as travel and accommodation separately. In comparison with 2011, the total number of trips was therefore almost 5.6 million higher, or just under 6 percent. Overall, Germans spent €46 billion last year, which is an increase of €1.2 billion. High street travel agencies have also been benefiting from this market growth and also registered rises in the 2011/12 tourism year. Overall, spending has increased by 6 percent in comparison with 2011. This increase can be attributed to a greater willingness of consumers to spend money and is reflected in figures from high street travel agencies. Travels bookings in the higher price categories of more than €1,500 per trip have steadily increased in recent years. To promote your destination or product to German travel agents, contact the Southern Africa regional representative for FVW Mediengruppe on +27 (0)87 727 8631 or email info@ tourismtattler.co.za
How to get more German Tourists to SA Tourism Tattler represents FVW Mediengruppe as their advertising agent for the SA region. FVW TRADE MAGAZINE - www.fvw.de The leading trade magazine for tourism and business travel businesses in Germany. (Subscription rate and reach) Distribution: 31 582
BIZ TRAVEL MAGAZINE - www.BizTravel.de A monthly trade magazine for staff in charge of business travel and event (MICE) planning and purchasing in Germany. Distribution: 30 002
TRAVEL TALK MAGAZINE - www.TravelTalk.de A weekly magazine for travel agents in Germany. TravelTalk.de is the network for travel sales staff. This is where about 14,000 German travel agents discuss latest industry news and exchange knowhow. Distribution: 31 020 Contact: Beverley Langkilde Tel: +27 (0)87 727 8634 Cell: +27 (0)71 224 9971 Email: email@example.com
The facts and figures quoted in this article were derived from sources such as UNWTO, OECD, EUROSTAT/EU Government, German Federal Statistical Bureau, EU Commission, GFK, Deutsche Bundesbank, Dr. Fried & Partner Travel Analysis, TUI/Google ROPO Study. For more research information refer to www.gfk.com JULY 2013
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The Economics Of The Illegal Wildlife Trade The illegal trade of animals or animal parts has become one of the most lucrative black market activities in the world. Driven by the promise of high profit margins, poachers in Africa – namely militias, armed groups, and insurgent groups – have driven rhinos and elephants close to extinction, while murdering hundreds of park rangers in the process. NGOs and governments now face a race against time to reduce demand for, particularly in Asia, as well as to equip those on the frontline to fight a well-armed enemy, writes David Smith. Even going by the lowest estimates, wildlife crime is currently the 5th largest illicit transnational activity in the world, after counterfeiting and the illegal trafficking of drugs, people, and oil. The illicit sale of animals or animal parts is such big business that it attracts large criminal syndicates, as well as militia armed to the teeth. Traffic, the wildlife trade monitoring network, estimates that illegal wildlife trade is worth US$8-10 billion per year, although a 2008 report for the US Congress says it could be closer to US$20 billion.
The direct consequences of China’s ivory obsession are proving deadly for African elephants. In Southern Sudan, the elephant population has fallen from an estimated 130,000 in 1986, to 5,000 today. Tanzania had around 80,000 elephants in 2009, but 10,000 elephants a year are being slaughtered. More than a third of all elephant tusks seized by law enforcement last year came from Tanzania, with neighbouring Kenya a close second.
In Africa, the situation is so dire that animals such as elephants and rhinos are being driven to the brink of extinction. Besides stealing the animals’ horns and tusks, poachers have killed hundreds of rangers who tried to get in their way. A substantial portion of the illegal goods are then shipped to Asia, where demand is driven by the need for specific animal parts to practice traditional Asian medicine, for human consumption, and as symbols of wealth.
Unfortunately, the frontline battle against the ruthless poachers is being lost, as evident by the tragically high death toll among Africa’s poorly resourced rangers. According to Sean Willmore, the President of the International Ranger Federation (IRF), at least 1,000 rangers have been killed in 35 different countries over the last decade, although he says the real figure may be closer to 5,000.
Rhino Horn According to Dr Richard Thomas, the Global Communications Coordinator for Traffic, the demand for rhino horn, for instance, was mainly coming from Vietnam. “Demand kicked off in the mid-2000s when rumours spread about its medicinal properties. It’s become the recreational drug for the nouveau riche to flaunt their wealth. It’s supposed to cure hangovers, enhance virility and even cure cancer. There’s no medical evidence whatsoever for any of that. Rhino horn is made of keratin, the same stuff as human fingernails,” he said. Dr. Thomas says that the Vietnam black market is largely responsible for the rapid increase in poaching rhinos in Africa, particularly in South Africa, where 75 percent of them live. The figures for poached animals in South Africa climbed from 13 in 2007 to 668 last year. This year, the figure is likely to be even higher, around 800. “These are catastrophic figures getting close to the tipping point where animals killed exceed numbers born,” said Dr Thomas. “The trend is reversing major successes of conservation. White rhinos, for example, came close to extinction around the turn of the century, but a concerted effort brought the numbers back up to around 20,000 in South Africa.”
The toll on people
Chris Galliers, Chairman of the Game Rangers Association of Africa, noted: “The rangers never signed up to becoming military personnel so they haven’t traditionally had the skills to confront people who are well-trained and have military capabilities…. Many have nothing but a sharp stick, or a machete to protect themselves, which clearly puts them in great danger. Some of them work in isolation and make incredible sacrifices. The job can put huge pressure on families. Rangers have to be ready 24/7 as you can’t tell the poachers when they’re allowed to come. It’s vital that we find the right guys with the passion for the job. Otherwise, there’s a danger that the poorly paid rangers will take bribes from the militia,” he said. In Mozambique last month for example, 30 rangers were arrested for their role in helping poachers to butcher the nation’s remaining 15 rhinos. The animals were discovered in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, a wildlife reserve along Mozambique’s southern border where rhinos numbered in the hundreds a decade ago. Black-market ivory is worth more than gold. The value of a pair of bull elephant’s ivory tusks on the black market is around 15 times an average ranger’s annual salary. Option
Galliers said that a lot of military instruction had been given to rangers by armed forces from rich Western nations, but to little avail.
Meanwhile, the mass poaching of African elephants is driven by demand from China and Thailand, where the ivory is carved into household ornaments, jewellery and chopsticks by artisans who favour African over Asian ivory. The main buyers are nouveau riche Chinese nationals in prosperous cities such as Shanghai, Guangzhou and Beijing.
“Invariably, it doesn’t work because the African context is so different. Both the mindset and the landscape are so alien that you can’t just apply a military blueprint that works elsewhere for the US, or another international army. What would be more effective is bringing in a UN peace-keeping force to help out where governments cannot ensure the security of their own natural resources,” he said.
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
“The Mozambique Government has now declared there are no more rhinos anywhere,” Galliers lamented. “The Government there has not shown the necessary commitment to fighting the poachers. All African nations have a responsibility to the world, as well as their own people. Other nations, such as Kenya and Botswana, are showing greater political will at the highest level to defeat the problem.” With the demise of Mozambique’s rhino population, the armed militia are now likely to target rhinos in neighbouring South Africa. Sadly, the South African rhinos could be headed towards an equally grim fate. So far this year, 350 rhinos have died and the toll is expected to reach 750 by the end of the year. In May, the Kruger rangers began fighting the poachers using modern technology. They launched the first flight over the park of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, or drone, to search for poachers. The small, lightweight, battery-powered Falcon drones cost just US$23,000, including ground control equipment and training. Operators direct them to poaching “hot spots”, and position the rangers nearby. Fitted with high-resolution infrared cameras, the drones can pick out elephants, rhinos and lions as well as anyone that might be tracking them. Poachers: The Real Heart Of Darkness? Advanced technology was necessary to combat gangs of poachers, who are equipped with equally sophisticated military equipment and tactics. Last year, for example, in Congo’s Garamba National Park, a herd of 22 elephants was gunned down from an army helicopter. Forensic investigations conducted by African Parks found that the elephants were shot using AK-47 assault rifles. Further evidence showed that at least 15 of the herd were shot with a single shot to the top of the head – evidence of professional marksmen firing from a helicopter. A number of different African militias, armed groups, and insurgent groups are profiting from the poaching. During its years of war with Northern Sudan, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army – in what is now South Sudan – poached elephants with grenades and rocket-propeller guns. Meanwhile, Sudanese militias, including the Janjaweed, poached ivory in Chad, Kenya, and elsewhere. Further east, Somalia’s lack of governance makes it the perfect ground for smuggling of all kinds, and Somali poachers have been engaged in significant poaching operations in Kenya. War is often the perfect front for poaching. During the recent war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Congolese Army, the Rwandan Democratic Liberation Forces (FDLR) and the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) all participated in poaching. In addition, Angola’s National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) and the Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO) were two more insurgent groups involved in wildlife trafficking during conflicts in those countries. But the African militia are only part of a complex global network, which ties illegal wildlife traders to drug and people traffickers, and terrorist groups. The close ties to terrorism include providing funding for two Bangladesh-based, Islamic terrorist groups affiliated to Al Qaeda. Both Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Harkat-ulJihad-al-Islami (HuJI) raise funds through the illegal poaching of ivory, tiger pelts, and rhino horns, in the Kaziranga jungle in north-eastern India. Last year, The Independent on Sunday, and Vanity Fair, both reported that Al Shabaab, a Somali Islamist group which also has ties to Al Qaeda, is involved in the illicit poaching and trafficking of both ivory and rhino horn. The scale of the problem caused five international organizations to join forces in late 2010 to create the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC). ICCWC exists to coordinate the diverse responses to the problem and to try and ensure more
successful prosecutions. Currently, the crime is an attractive one for criminal gangs because the risk of detection and punishment is too low. Raising Awareness The WCO is on the frontline fighting the problem of illegal wildlife crime, but many officers in the past have been unfamiliar with wildlife crime. Daniel Moell, Environmental Programme Manager at the World Customs Organization, said the WCO was been raising awareness among its officers. “We chose three African ‘ambassadors’ with a lot of experience of wildlife crime – one from Burkina Farso, one from Kenya and one from Nigeria. We had them travelling to 20 countries speaking to frontline customs’ officers. We assembled 700 customs officers under one roof in Congo and told them how to target the problem. The programme had a big impact and we immediately saw an increasing number of seizures at African airports,” he said. WCO’s recent success stories include Operation Hope, which targeted air and maritime consignments from October 22nd to 31st last year. The joint efforts of 41 Customs administrations in Africa, Asia and Europe, resulted in several arrests and the seizure of 2,100 items. The Operation was conducted within the framework of Project GAPIN, an initiative coordinated by the WCO and financed by the Swedish Government. “The role of customs in intercepting drugs is more significant as most of the harm is done once the drugs reach the streets. When we seize ivory, the damage has already been done. The animals are dead and the blood of the rangers is on the ivory. The rangers do a tremendous and very important job. Our job is to buy time before the demand reduction programmes take effect. If we reduce demand, the criminal syndicates will no longer be interested.” “We’ve got a poster campaign on advertising hoardings all over Vietnam. The posters show rhinos with hands or feet instead of horns to get across the message that the horns are made of the same material as our skin and nails,” said Dr Thomas. “Another programme in Vietnam has sent a text message telling people why they should not use rhino horn. All three major mobile phone providers agreed to send them out. There are 90 million people in Vietnam, but the texts went out to 110 million mobiles.” Dr Thomas says high-level political buy-in would ensure greater resources and there are signs that governments are getting the message. In December, Hillary Clinton, then US Secretary of State, upgraded wildlife trafficking from a conservation issue to a national security threat. “Over the past few years wildlife trafficking has become more organised, more lucrative, more widespread, and more dangerous than ever before,” she said. “We are increasingly seeing wildlife trafficking has serious implications for the security and prosperity of people around the world.” The British royal family has also begun to raise awareness. This May, at a conference at St James’ Palace in London, the Prince of Wales told the audience: “As a father and a soon-to-be grandfather, I find it inconceivable that our children and grandchildren could live in a world bereft of these animals. Humanity is less than humanity without the rest of creation. Their destruction will diminish us all.” Reprinted with acknowledgement to EconomyWatch.com About the Author: David Smith is an English journalist who, when he’s not exploring the social consequences of political actions, likes to write about cricket for some light relief. JULY 2013
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
Anti-Poaching: To Rescue While on a game drive through a private reserve, our tour group spotted two animals that had fallen victim to poaching snares. Both were still alive and lumbering through the bush in obvious pain and agony. What would the standard procedure be - to sedate the animal, remove the snare and treat its wounds or to shoot and put the animal out of its misery? Asks Bev Langkilde. Understandably, such a decision would be based on the severity of the animal’s wounds but surely any effort that would increase its chance of survival would be worth the effort? However, such decisions are rarely as simple as they seem. Given the following scenario, how would you have handled the situation? The first animal, a male Impala, had a strangle-noose wire wrapped around its neck with the lead wide entangled around its rear legs. As the Impala moves, the noose tightens and ensures a slow, agonising death by strangulation. No bleeding around the neck was evident and the Impala continued to graze, which seemed to indicate that he had not been snared too long ago. The second animal, a Blue Wildebeest, had its front left elbow joint almost severed from a wire snare and, judging by the lack of bleeding around the area, must have endured the pain for several hours, if not days. The time of the Impala sighting at around 3:30 pm left enough daylight for a rescue operation to be undertaken, while the Wildebeest was spotted less than 500m away from the Impala sighting at around 5pm. Here’s what actually happened: the very competent (but clearly powerless) safari guide radioed the lodge manager, who arrived at the first sighting with an assistant lodge manager some 10 minutes later. After casually observing the distressed Impala, lodge manager 14
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
one stated that it would need to be put-down as it was “pumping blood” which was clearly not the case. After asking if they could not sedate the Impala and at least attempt a rescue, the assistant lodge manager got decidedly authoritative, stating “We don’t allow tourists or media to witness this type of situation!” And off we were sent to continue the game drive - only to encounter the poor Wildebeest, which said competent guide again reported-in. Now the last thing that any lodge manager should tell a journalist is to “mind your own business” - this kind of treatment begs the question of transparency in conservation. Both lodge managers were conspicuous by their absence at the lodge during that evening dinner. It was left to the house-keeping manager (who had accompanied us on the game drive) to inform us that; “all has been taken care of - so don’t worry about it, OK.” Well, I do worry about it. Especially when no gun shots were heard that night, nor was any feedback forthcoming the following day. One has to ask the following questions: 1. Were these two animals left to suffer all night and either be taken down by the resident hyenas or butchered and carted off by the poacher? 2. What anti-poaching and snare removal efforts are made by the game reserve staff? 3. Was the lack of action due to apathy or to a lack of funds to procure the necessary animal rescue resources and tools? From a transparency point of view, witnessing the shooting of an injured animal would clearly upset some guests, so lodge manager two’s reaction is understandable in this regard. However, witnessing the rescue and release of an entangled but moderately uninjured animal is an entirely different matter. Many game reserves that I have visited encourage their guests to participate in wire snare locating and removal while on a guided
or to Shoot injured wildlife? walking safari. Being actively involved in rescuing an ensnared animal would send most visitors into rapture and as tourists are prone to do, they would share their experience, images and video clips on social media pages and sing the praises of the reserve, lodge and country. So, if allowing guests to witness an animal rescue is good for public relations, maybe the quoted reaction is about economics. I did some quick research over the internet, which revealed that the cost of a tranquillizer dart is approximately R250.00 per dart (depending on the immobilising drug used), and roughly the same price for 500 rounds of .22 high velocity rifle bullets. In contrast, the cost of an Impala at a game auction is around R650.00. So which was it? Did the reserve not have any tranquillizer darts and the necessary blow-gun with which to administer it? Were bullets or perhaps rifles in short supply? Or do Impala breed so rapidly that they are expendable? The conservation officer at this particular game reserve was given an opportunity to comment on this article, and here is his reply: “As you may know, conservation is by no means sunshine and roses, and quite often difficult decisions regarding the fate of certain animals has to be made, no matter how hard it is emotionally. To clarify as to what happened to the impala, we did in the end decide to take it out. The decisions was not an easy one, but we had to weigh up both financial and conservation reasons. To motivate, financially it would be too expensive, as yes, a dart may only cost R250, however, new laws prohibit just any person having these drugs on their property unless they are a registered vet. Even for game capture teams these days, they have to have a vet present for darting purposes due to how dangerous these drugs are to humans and also the current poaching situation within SA. Given this fact, we have to add the cost of a vet to travel to the reserve, the cost per hour to locate the impala, which in this instance took over four hours to locate. A bill like this would easily have amounted to over R2500 and
an animal worth R650. Added to this, quite often there are other unseen internal injuries that have been caused by the snare such as blood circulation issues, and added to the stress of being darted, could also dramatically reduce the chances of survival making it a 50/50 option. An impala is by far the most successful breeder of the antelope on the property, therefore, you can understand that it was in the best interest all round to take it out of its suffering. As for the wildebeest, the tendons inside the joint were severed and the was little hope of recovery as there is no way to keep a wild animal like this immobilised for the amount of time it would take for the leg to recover. The reason why you would not have heard the shots is because we use a .22 calibre rifle with a silencer on, as to not cause any further stress to the injured and surrounding animals, as is clearly visible by how calm the animals are around the lodge. We understand that you as a guest, especially being a journalist, would really have liked to be part of an operation of this kind, but it is at the end of the day not something that we want our guests to see, or to be part of, for many reasons that we have learned over the past thirteen years of being in this industry. Very rarely does an incident like this take a positive turn. We understand your justification on how this can have positive repercussions/snowball effect if a guest gets to experience a search and rescue kind of operation, but perception is in the eye of the beholder, and not every guest understands when tough decisions are made.” What’s your opinion on this subject? Your comments beneath this article on our website will be entered into our ‘Reader Comments’ draw to win a prize for the best comment made during July. JULY 2013
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
Rhino Knights Update
Isabel Wolf-Gillespie reports on her progress since departing on her arduous 10,000km journey in May to raise awareness of the plight of Africa’s dwindling rhino population. Today is the 23rd of June and four weeks have passed since my last Tattler Update report. It is hard to believe that since then we have experienced so much, seen such beauty and travelled thousands of kilometers! Lloyd and Rappi took Mr P our ridgeback to the State Vet in Vredendal on Friday afternoon while I was cycling along a dirt road from Lamberts Bay passed Strandfontein to Koekenaap. To enter into Namibia he needed to be vetted and paperwork needed to be issued to give him passage through. All went according to plan; Pula was vetted and received his paperwork with very little fuss. The only problem was that he needed to be through the border within 7 days from date of issue and we still had about 500kms to go to the border from Koekenaap. We also needed some time to make sure the bakkie was sorted to travel without problems into very remote Namibia and that we had enough water containers and food rations for days without civilization. Time was pressing… and I was under pressure to make up the distance faster than usual! On top of that I had to cycle and run into the strongest headwind I had to exercise against since leaving Durban, for three days in a row!! But with some longer hours in the saddle we eventually made our way through Garies, Springbok, Steinkopf and through Vyfmylpoort to Vioolsdrif - border post into Namibia! And then we entered without problems into the second country that was part of our Rhino Knights campaign. I had never been to Namibia but have heard so much from so many people that I was incredibly excited to have finally made it! Namibia is beautiful, wild, and very remote and typical for a semi desert, we were welcomed by mild, warm days full of sunshine and cold, rough nights. “Big sky country” springs to mind when marveling at the seemingly endless views and space out there. The population is limited and since entering Namibia we have spent every single night in our tent under the stars warmed by a fire, our sleeping bags and a hot cup of tea/chocolate! Our route took us from Vioolsdrif to Ai / Ais Transfrontier Park. A few days before, one little mistake of not changing into my running socks after cycling resulted in terrible blisters on the bottom of my toes like I have never had before. Every step after that was painful and I needed some special TLC and the hot, healing waters of the hot springs were exactly what I needed to soothe my sore feet. 16
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
The next day we moved further North towards Seeheim, passed the mighty Fish River Canyon, through the villages of Bethanien, Hermelingshausen, Maltahöhe to Büllsport. After seven days, on the trot, and 900km behind us we decided to take a rest to visit the world -renowned Sossusvlei sand dunes in the Namib Naukluft National Park. The dunes in shades of red, orange and violet are unique and are dynamic and continuously being moved by the wind. Animal life on the dunes firstly seems sad and non-existent, but if one takes a closer look countless tracks of snakes, insects and other life become visible. Two days later we reached Namibia´s most populous city, Windhoek! Windhoek has everything to offer to the hearts of tired travellers. In our case, a shower, washing machine and flushing toilets for starters! The city bustles with restaurants, shopping opportunities, great people and some “HOME AWAY FROM HOME”! In the supermarket one can buy German pretzels, rolls and other products and wherever I go German is spoken all around me, which was a cause for great joy and laughter! We will spend a few days in Windhoek to do talks at schools, create awareness through media for our cause, re-stock and get things sorted again. After travelling to Swakopmund we will then head further into remote and breathtakingly beautiful Damaraland and towards Ethosa National Park! Stay well and happy until next time! Isabel Information on dates for fun runs and the proposed route can be found on our website www.earthawareness.co.za. If you would like to get involved in the campaign, become a sponsor, or to show your support email us on firstname.lastname@example.org Or follow us on FaceBook at www.facebook.com/RhinoKnights Donations for as little as R10 ($1.13USD) can be sent via SMS to 48716 with the words RHINOKNIGHTS in the text field.
n i W
A 4 Night Breakaway in Plettenberg Bay To enter this competition, simply find the answer to the following question (the answer can be found in the text below) and subscribe to the free Tourism Tattler Newsletter by clicking HERE to enter. (URL: www.tourismtattler.co.za/?p=4331) “What is the name of the Health Spa at Whalesong Hotel & Hydro?” The first correct entry drawn after the closing date of 27 July 2013 will win a four-night stay for two adults sharing a room at Whalesong Hotel & Hydo. The prize is inclusive of breakfasts and is valued at R6000.00. Whalesong Hotel & Hydro is nestled on a hill in a lush, landscaped garden above Plettenberg Bay, the jewel of South Africa’s Garden Route, renowned for its unique scenery and moderate climate. From its vantage point, the Hotel offers breathtaking views of the Keurbooms coastline and Tsitsikamma Mountain Range. The luxurious lodge combines the best of both worlds, blending chic coastal flair with the spirit of the African bush. The elegant interiors create a calm environment in which to enjoy the area’s outstanding natural beauty. Each of the spacious, comfortable 24 bedrooms, set new standards for the discerning traveller and reflects the serene blues and whites of the ocean. To make the most of the truly spectacular scenery, each room features its own private wooden viewing deck. Whalesong Hotel & Hydro is a top 4- star hotel and offers very good value in a warm, friendly atmosphere. Whalesong Hotel and Hydro is the dream location for a coastal wedding. Romance will lead you to explore avenues you never knew existed and the ancient, strong majesty of the ocean is the strongest lure of romance. A stylish, intimate coastal wedding, with a touch of African flair, promises a delightful sense of the romantic unexpected. Conference & boardroom facilities cater for incentive getaways, management meetings & brainstorming sessions. The Whalesong Hydro Salon & Spa offers the popular Von Zoe Spa as well as the Greenhouse Hair Salon to complete the pampering
experience. Relax alongside the pool, soak up some sun and enjoy cocktails on the large viewing deck taking, in the expansive ocean views before venturing out. Activities include various golf, marine encounters with dolphins and whales, water sports, deep-sea fishing & eco-adventures on horseback. Ideally situated, Whalesong Hotel and Hydro is just minutes away from the pristine beaches and golf courses of the Garden Route. About the Legend Lodges, Hotels & Resorts group The Legend portfolio encompasses the rich diversity of Southern Africa: her people, culture, breathtaking scenery and abundant bird, marine and animal life. Legend Lodges, Hotels & Resorts, with its head office based in Midrand, features resorts, game and safari lodges, country lodges, coastal hotels & lodges, and cultural villages and shebeens. The group operates throughout South Africa and in Mozambique. Central Reservations Office Tel : +27 (0) 11 729 6700 Fax : +27 (0) 11 729 6790 Email : email@example.com Website : www.legendlodges.co.za Note: Read the Terms and Conditions of this competition, which can be downloaded at: www.tourismtattler.co.za/downloads/WHH-TourismTattlerCompetition-T&C-July2013.pdf
WINNERS OF THE WINE TOURISM HANDBOOK COMPETITION FROM THE JUNE 2013 EDITION CONGRATULATIONS to the following 10 readers whose competition entries were the first to be drawn: 1. Charmaine Beukes of White Shark Projects in Hermanus; 2. Devan Jobanputra of Travel ‘n Style in Nairobi; 3. Janine Mare of SA Golfing & Safaris in Cape Town; 4. Leighanne Dawkins of Inyati Game Lodge in Sabi Sand Reserve; 5. Jeremy Rice of A Tuscan Villa Guest House in Cape Town; 6. Richard Mullin of KDR Travel and Tours in Hillcrest; 7. Charne Chalmers of Intercape in Pretoria; 8. Alan Saffery of La Galiniere Guest Cottages in Franschhoek; 9. Mike Mills of Belvidere Manor in Knysna and 10. Roelof Hamman of PG TOPS Travel & Tours in Cape Town.
Our 10 winners have each won a 2-13 Edition Wine Tourism South Africa handbook valued at R99.00. The 2013 edition boasts several key refinements to previous editions but retains its unique core by offering a comprehensive list of farms, complete with opening hours, contact details and easy-to-read maps as well as a number of carefully selected destinations for dining, staying and playing!
www.winetourismsouthafrica.co.za JULY 2013
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
Kenya is determined to grow its tourism arrivals from both regional and long-haul international markets and is keen to engage with the travel trade to make this happen, writes Des Langkilde.
Driving Tourism Growth
Muriithi Ndegwa, Managing Director of the Kenya Tourism Board said at a media briefing during the Indaba Travel Trade Show in Durban during May, that tourist arrivals from South Africa had grown by 16 percent compared to the previous year and that he would like to continue this growth path at 10 percent per annum.
Security “We have a specialist police unit dealing with tourist security,” said Ndegwa in reply to a question from media representatives on how Kenya plans to counter the country’s notorious reputation as an unsafe travel destination.
Despite fears of a downward trend due to the presidential elections held in March 2013, which saw Uhuru Kenyatta, son of Kenya’s first president, sworn in as president during April, Kenya’s tourism sector has managed to hold on to the gains of 2011. Total arrivals for 2012 declined with a slight margin standing at 1,780,768 compared to 1,785,382 for 2011 (0.3%). Estimated receipts from tourism in 2012 stood at Kshs 96.02 Billion (1.118b USD), a 1.92% drop from the Kshs 97.90 Billion (1.140b USD), realised in 2011. Holiday remained the major purpose of travelling to Kenya accounting for 75% of all arrivals. Business arrivals stood at 8% with Conference arrivals taking 3%.
The special Tourist Police unit that Ndegwa referred to, has been created through an agreement between the Commissioner of Police and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife.
Ndegwa said that much is being done to pave the way for tourism growth in the country. He cited future planed events, which include; the World Eco Tourism Conference in September, hosting the World Travel Awards on 0I October and the Magical Kenya Travel Expo from 18 to 20 October, events to coincide with the Solar Eclipse on 03 November and a Jubilee planned for December. Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) was voted Africa’s leading Tourism Board 2012 in the Africa category, at the 19th World Travel Awards. “Kenya stood out for its sustained innovative and cutting edge marketing campaigns targeting both the traditional and new niche market segments, in an increasingly competitive global tourism industry,” said Ndegwa, who also appreciated the contribution of all the stakeholders towards this achievement. MobiApp A Magical Kenya mobile application has been launched by the Kenya Tourist Board. The app, which is available free of charge for Android smartphones via Google Play and for iPhones from the Apple iTunes Store, features an interactive trip planner, a location finder for local businesses, hotels and restaurants and a video feature for seamless sharing on Facebook. Both app platforms can be downloaded at: www.magicalkenya.com/mobile/ 18
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
The functions of the Tourist Police Unit include: • Provide security and safety to tourists • Handle and receive inquiries, claims and complaints by tourists • Investigate tourists related crimes and prosecute offenders • Patrol beaches, hotels and tourist circuits streets/roads • Provide escorts to tourists • Protect tourists from harassment by illegal hawkers • Assist tourists during cultural festivals • Detect and prevent over charging of goods in the Tourism Sector In addition, a Safety and Communication Centre exists under the auspices of the Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF), which is operated 24hrs a day to monitor visitor safety. This centre provides a 24hr TOURIST HELPLINE (02 - 604767) where tourists can seek assistance in case of need. The KTF Safety Centre is the brainchild of the leading tourism trade associations comprising the Kenya Associations of Tour Operators (KATO), Hotelkeepers and Caterers (KAHC), Travel Agents (KATA), Budget hotels (KBHA), Air Operators (KAAO) as well as Mombasa and Coast Tourism Association (MCTA). The Safety and Communication Centre is manned by well-trained staff who are at hand to attend to any issues of concern to tourists. These include security, health, road conditions, travel advisories and updates. Visitor Attractions A large proportion of Kenya’s tourism revolves around safaris and tours of its great National Parks and Game Reserves. While most tourists do visit for safari, there are also cultural aspects of the country to explore in cities like Mombasa and Lamu on the coast. The Masai Mara National Reserve is usually where the Maasai Village can be found that most tourists like to visit. Tourists can experience waterboarding, surfing, wind surfing and more on the beautiful beaches, thus enjoying a bush/beach combination holiday.
Kenya’s National Parks Amboseli National Park. Situated in the Kajiado District, Rift Valley Province in Kenya, the park is 390 km² (150 mi2) in size at the core of an 8,000 km² ecosystem that spreads across the Kenya-Tanzania border. This low-rainfall area (average 350 mm) is one of the best wildlifeviewing experiences in the world. The park protects two of the five main swamps, and includes a dried-up Pleistocene lake and semi-arid vegetation. Kora National Park is located in the Coast Province of Kenya. The park covers an area of 1,787 km² and is located 125 km east of Mount Kenya. The park was initially gazetted as a nature reserve in 1973. It was gazetted as a national park in 1990, following the murder of George Adamson by poachers. Lake Nakuru National Park. This 168 km² park was created in 1961 around Lake Nakuru, to the south of Nakuru Town, in the Great Rift Valley. It is best known for its flamingos as surface of the shallow lake is often hardly recognisable due to the continually shifting mass of pink. The number of flamingoes on the lake varies with water and food conditions and the best vantage point is from Baboon Cliff. Scientists have calculated that the Flamingoes feed on 250,000 kilograms of algae per year for each hectare of surface area. Also of interest is an area of 188 km around the lake fenced off as a sanctuary to protect Rothschild giraffes and black rhinos.
Mount Kenya National Park. Established in 1949, this park protects the region surrounding Mount Kenya. In April 1978 the area was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and the national park and the forest reserve, combined, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Nairobi National Park became Kenya’s first national park when it was established in 1946. It is located approximately 7 km south of the centre of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city, and is small in relation to most of Africa’s national parks. Nairobi’s skyscrapers can be seen from the park. It is one of Kenya’s most successful rhinoceros sanctuaries. The park’s proximity to Nairobi causes conflicts between the park’s animals and local people and threatens animals’ migration routes as migrating herbivores concentrate in the park during the dry season. Other national parks in Kenya are; Amboseli National Park, Arabuko Sokoke National Park, Hells Gate and Mount Longonot National Parks, Marsabit National Park, Mount Elgon National Park, Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park, Ruma National Park, Saiwa Swamp National Park, Sibiloi National Park, Tsavo East National Park and Tsavo West National Park. Besides the National Parks, there are also fifteen National Reserves and six Marine Parks and Marine Reserves in Kenya.
Kenya Ministry of Tourism: www.tourism.go.ke Kenya Tourist Board: www.magicalkenya.com Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF): www.ktf.co.ke Kenya Association of Tour Operators (KATO): www.katokenya.org Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers & Caterers: www.kahc.co.ke Ecotourism Society of Kenya: www.ecotourismkenya.org
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
RETOSA EVENTS CALENDAR - JULY 2013 Date
BOTSWANA 18-19 July
President’s Day Celebrations
DAC and Presidents Day Committee
Collections done at Regional level and Gaborone
MALAWI 06 July
Celebrating Malawi’s independence, which was obtained on the 6th July.
Lake Malawi Yachting Marathon
The Malawi Yachting Marathon (MYM) has taken place since 1984.
2nd Week of July
Mount Mulanje Porters Race
One of Malawi’s extreme sports – a 25 kilometre race in the rocks of Mount Mulanje.
Likhubula, Mount Mulanje
Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary
The Reed Dance has been a big date on the Swaziland cultural calendar since King Mswati began the ceremony in 1999.
Ludzidzini Royal Residence
TANZANIA 07 July
Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair
07 – 15 July
Popularly known as Saba Saba Show, the fair takes place at Mwalimu Nyerere Trade Fair Grounds in Dar es Salaam
Dar es Salaam
Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF)
Also known as “ Festival of the Dhow countries,” Ziff is the East Africa’s largest film and art festival showcasing African and international creative works
19 – 21 July
Serengeti Cultural Tourism Festival
A traditional dance festival involving the tribes living between Lake Victoria and Serengeti National Park
Mugumu, Western Serengeti
Mwaka Kogwa Festival
A four day celebration with events including bonfires and mock fights between men who defend themselves with a banana stem
Makunduchi village, Zanzibar
ZAMBIA 26 June – 07 July
Zambia International Trade Fair (ZITF)
Trade Show business to business and general public
Ndola Showgrounds, Ndola – Copperbelt Province
ZIMBABWE 29 July
Midlands Agricultural Show
A race that is done to promote athletics as a means of employment creation, lifelong health, sports tourism and fitness
A weeklong show that is held annually to enable farmers and agricultural equipment companies to showcase and promote their products.
RETOSA Annual Events Calendar
RETOSA has launched an annual events calendar aimed at keeping the travel trade informed on forthcoming events in each of the 14 RETOSA member countries, namely: Angola, Botswana, DR Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Each month’s events will be published in the Tourism Tattler and the full year’s events for each country can be downloaded at: www.tourismtattler.co.za/donwloads/retosa2013calendarofevents.pdf 20
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
HOSPITALITY - PROPERTY REVIEW
The Place of Calling Ubizane Wildlife Reserve in South Africa lives up to its isiZulu name as a place that invokes natures call to experience her abundance of flora and fauna – natural assets that are as unique to this far Northern region of KwaZulu-Natal as her people who inhabit the Zululand territory, writes Des Langkilde. The Zulu word ‘bizane’ can also mean (to) ‘be expensive’, which is certainly not the case when comparing the accommodation rates of the game reserve’s two lodges to other safari lodges in Hluhluwe’s bush veld area. To my mind, a more appropriate name for the reserve may have been Umkhanyakude, as Fever Trees (Acacia xanthophloea) are a predominant feature. Zululand Tree Lodge serves as the reception area on arrival where ample parking is provided under the expansive shade of Acacia trees. A well-maintained dirt road leads guests on arrival from Ubizane’s imposing entrance gate to the circular parking area at reception, which caters for tour coaches. From the modest reception area, board-walks lead over water features where resident Vine snakes (thelotornis capensis capensis) and the occasional African Rock Python prey on frogs and stocked Tilapia fish, to the communal pool area, bar and dining deck, which afford scenic views over a Fever Tree forest where antelope graze and an abundance of birdlife can be spotted. On both sides of the main lodge, paved pathways lead to 24 spacious wood and thatch rooms, each built on elevated stilts with bedrooms that lead onto private viewing decks, affording guests secluded tranquillity facing the Fever Tree forest. Each air -conditioned room has an en-suite bathroom with shower and a dressing room, coffee/tea making facilities, bar fridge and mosquito nets, all of which combine to provide subtle hints of luxury while still maintaining a relaxing bush safari atmosphere.
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
Buffet breakfasts are served until 10h00 in the lodge’s restaurant, as is ‘high-tea’ which is served at 14h00 and consists of soup, home made breads, scones, ‘health’ wraps and refreshments. Dinners are served at 19h00 at alternate venues depending on weather conditions – either the restaurant, the traditional safari style Boma area or at one of several Bush dinner sites. The sumptuous cuisine is prepared with originality under the watchful eye of resident chef Martin Beylefeld, who discovered his latent flair for cooking after a career in the IT sector and is entirely self-taught (although I suspect that the longserving kitchen staff have guided his culinary experience). Special occasions, such as weddings, honeymoons, birthdays or wedding anniversaries are catered for in up-market bush style and made all the more memorable by the passionate attention to detail of Ubizane staff. Conferences and corporate business meetings are catered for at a newly erected conference centre, which is fitted with airconditioning, trestle tables and comfortable seating. The wood under thatch centre is also equipped with a coffee and water station as well as ablutions. Seating configurations can accommodate up to 70 delegates depending on the seating style and pre-paid WiFi bundles can be purchased from reception, although I found the connectivity to be sporadic. Zululand Safari Lodge is located within walking distance of the Tree Lodge and provides self-catering accommodation in 14 Standard (two-sleeper) and 11 Family (four-sleeper) rondavel (bungalow) styled
PROPERTY REVIEW - HOSPITALITY
rooms. Each unit has a fully equipped kitchen with crockery and cutlery varying depending on the number of guests per room. Each room has a veranda from which guests can view the grazing antelope who frequent a watering hole located below the gently sloping lodge complex. A swimming pool, children’s play area and communal hall with television, billiards table and a communal style boma braai area at the back complete the facilities at this lodge. Game Drives The privately owned Ubizane Game Reserve covers 1200 hectares and like the nearby state-run Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park, the hilly terrain consists primarily of grasslands, which extend into acacia Savannah and woodlands. Ubizane’s fauna includes a diverse range of species, including jackal, blue wildebeest, giraffe, zebra, nyala, kudu, impala, duiker, reedbuck, warthog, mongoose, monkeys and a variety of tortoises, terrapins, snakes and lizards. Spotted hyena are sometimes spotted in the reserve but they are temporary visitors that come in from neighbouring lands, as they utilize warthog holes burrowed beneath perimeter fences to enter and exit the property. The reserve is a prime birding destination and is home to 500 bird species. Bird life includes Night Heron, Wood Stork, Wahlberg’s Eagle, Shelley’s Francolin, Black-bellied Korhaan, Temminck’s Courser, Klaas’s Cuckoo, Little Bee-eater and Crested Barbet. Game drives and walking safari tours are led by Ubizane’s resident guide Hamilton Phita, a registered FGASA field guide, who has worked at the reserve for over twenty years and takes obvious
pleasure in sharing his wealth of knowledge on the indigenous flora and fauna, liberally interspersed with local folk lore and medicinal uses of most plant species. Game drives are also conducted within the Hluhluwe Park itself. For passionate twitchers (birdwatchers), the Hluhluwe River Flood Plain is one of the only areas in the whole of South Africa where Yellowthroated, Pink-throated and Orange-throated Longclaw species can be seen together. Conservation To date, they have managed to clear and control over 350 hectares of chromolina, 100 hectares of sickle bush, as well as erosion control all over the property. They have successfully rehabilitated and released a young orphaned warthog, named Tiban that was well followed on the blog and Facebook, they are currently raising young barn owls that were abandoned, and their overall populations of animals have climbed very successfully over the last three years of taking over the farm. Bird sightings have actually been recorded for over 500 species and there is a massive increase in raptor sightings on the reserve, which is always a good sign. As with any other game reserve in Africa, poaching is always a concern as the reserve is surrounded by tribal community homesteads whose residents breach the reserve’s electrified fencing on a regular basis in search of bush meat for subsistence or commercial purposes. “This is an of aspect of any game reserve that will never be completely eradicated,” says Tiaan Pienaar, who manages the conservation and
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
HOSPITALITY - PROPERTY REVIEW
anti-poaching side of Ubizane reserve. “However, in the last three years we have managed to reduce the number of poaching and snaring incidences by over 80 per percent. Given that we are located right next to community land, this is an exceptional accomplishment. We have acquired a Weimeraner dog that I have personally trained for anti-poaching purposes, such as tracking trespassers who may enter the farm illegally. In addition, we constantly do patrols to search for and disarm wire snares and are in the process of building our very own anti-poaching unit that will be permanently based on the reserve 24/7. Patrolling the reserves 17 kilometre boundary fence is certainly a 24/7 job, although Tiaan notes that the reserves Warthogs tend to avoid burrowing under the section of fencing that borders the community lands, which makes it easier to spot where poachers have gained entry. An early warning system has made breach detection easier, as the electrified fencing is fitted with sensors that relay a message to Tiaan’s cell phone whenever the fence is touched. Detecting and apprehending poachers who trespass into the reserve is one thing but obtaining successful prosecutions for the offence is problematic. “The problem lies with the local police station, who incorrectly document the reported cases as ‘trespassing’ rather than ‘poaching’. To have a poacher successfully prosecuted, we have to catch the culprit with the animal carcass and weapons in hand, otherwise the court case is simply dropped” says Tiaan. “We are also faced with the potential risk of being arrested ourselves as poachers often claim that they were assaulted and lay charges against us.” This rather large Wolf Spider was saved from being crisped in the bonfire. The inset pic shows the spiders size and was caught and released by my son Chase.
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
Community While staff members reside in staff housing within the property, those I spoke to originate from outside of the Hlabisa magisterial district (Hluhluwe / Mtubatuba area). I asked Wayne Matthews, Lodge Manager at Ubizane, if the reserve has a community upliftment programme in place. “We do employ local residents from the surrounding community on a part-time basis and our permanent staff all get involved in proving training so that we have additional human resources available for when we host large groups, such as conferences or weddings. We also regularly bring in groups of forty to fifty local unskilled labourers to assist in weeding out invasive plants in the reserve, such as Cromalina and Lantana” said Wayne. Veld fires are a continual hazard during the dry winter months and the Ubizane fire-fighting team are often called upon to help douse fires that threaten to burn community homes. Environment Recycling and energy efficiency are high priorities at any good safari lodge and Ubizane is no exception, as evidenced by the clearly labelled refuse bins outside the kitchen. “Paper, glass, tin and plastic are all separated and taken to a recycling depot. Left over food and vegetable peelings are fed to the resident Ostriches, while wetwaste is used for compost and bathroom ‘white’ water is re-used for garden irrigation. All rooms are also fitted with heat pumps to minimise geyser electricity usage and we use candle-light as much as possible in the restaurant and boma areas during evening meals,” said Wayne.
PROPERTY REVIEW - HOSPITALITY
History The nearby Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park (formerly Hluhluwe–Umfolozi Game Reserve), is the oldest proclaimed natural park in Africa and consists of 960 km² (96,000 ha). Established in 1895, the Hluhluwe– iMfolozi was originally three separate reserves that joined under its current title in 1989. Ubizane Wildlife Reserve is arguably one of the oldest private wildlife reserves in the Hluhluwe area, with a history that spans more than 50 years. The property was originally bought from a local chief to be used as a cattle farm, after which it was converted to a hunting farm and eventually became an eco-tourism property in the late 1960’s. The hills around Ubizane once served as a Zulu meeting site where the chiefs gathered to share their judgments and make significant decisions. At the summit of Ubizane (Zulu for Place of Calling), the Chiefs used to summon their people by beating drums and sounding huge Kudu horns. Ubizane Hill also served as a place from where communications were signalled across the valley to summon the various tribes. Since taking over the property some three years ago, the owner Alan Burke has invested substantially in upgrading both the Tree Lodge and Safari Lodge rooms and amenities. Ubizane Wildlife Reserve certainly provides discerning visitors who are looking for a memorable and luxurious safari experience, all that could be expected and the many reviews posted on TripAdvisor seem to concur.
‘Bok Drolletjie Spoeg’ - a favourite competition to see who can spit Impala droppings the furtherest.
UBIZANE WILDLIFE RESERVE FACT SHEET AT A GLANCE Location: Hluhluwe, South Africa. 276km from Durban. Coordinates: Latitude = 28°00’824”S : Longitude = 32°13”412”E Type: Safari Lodge Star rating: No Eco Certification: No TOMSA registered: No Wheelchair friendly: No Rooms: 24 x Tree Lodge rooms plus 14x Standard and 11x Family units at Safari Lodge Capacity: 112 beds in 49 Rooms / Units STO Rates: Available on application Facilities: Tree Lodge: Viewing deck / lounge / restaurant with spectacular view, Central Bar Area, Swimming pool with sun loungers. Safari Lodge: Dining boma, thatched bar and paved entertainment area, Childrens Jungle Gym, Swimming pool with sun loungers. Services: Safari Tours and Transfers by arrangement Activities: Evening Boma Fire and Game Drives Spa: No Gym: No Parking: Secure on-site parking WiFi: Wireless Internet available Restaurants / Bars: Bar and Restaurant in both Tree and Safari Lodge Conference facilities: Yes. Maximum 45 Wedding facilities: Cater to parties from 20 to 80 guests in either the Conference Venue or Bush Chapel. Accommodation packages available at special rates.
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
HOSPITALITY - RESTAURANT REVIEW
Real Italian fine dining lights up Hyde Park Experience an authentic Italian journey of taste and flavour at BiCE Ristorante was the invitation. Who could resist that? Certainly not me, writes Tattler editor Marjorie Dean. I have driven past the Tsogo Sun Hyde park often since it opened, but somehow had never ventured inside. So it was more than high time I remedied that omission. But who, or what was BiCE? This highly successful ristorante is the only South African link of The BiCE Ristorante Group, based in Miami USA, which currently holds 60 properties globally. This extraordinary successful blueprint of Italian cuisine has its origins in Milan with the establishment of a neighborhood trattoria by Beatrice Ruggeri in 1926. ( Bice is the Italian abbreviation of Beatrice). The BiCE brand quickly achieved global recognition through the efforts of her sons and grandson, Raffaele Ruggeri. There are BiCE restaurants throughout the USA in all the most fashionable locations, in South America, Europe, the Middle East and even in Tokyo, and more are opening every year. BiCE prides itself on offering an”Italian Fine Dining Experience”, in a full service restaurant with elegant décor, featuring highquality materials, with a very special “atmosphere”. It promises “an experience delivered by some of the most talented and professional staff. You have an opportunity to relish a tribute to food, wine and superior customer service. Top quality produce treated delicately with respect. Portions prepared with extreme attention to detail, combining food and art together with quality, presentation, nutrition and freshness designed and built with input from all of our fine dining establishments around the world. An opportunity to relish in a world of tribute to food, wine and superior customer service.” I quote from the website… Wow! That’s a lot to live up to! The History So how did it all start? BiCE is still very much a family affair. The cuisine is essentially traditional Tuscan with many favourite dishes from that region. The pastas are homemade always, offered in all the sauces, fresh tomato, basil pesto, cream of bottarga, porcini mushrooms, and in season, the highquality truffle d’Alba. The network of BicE restaurants spanning the world today began in 1926. Beatrice Ruggeri - Bice to her family and friends - was known for her extraordinary hospitality and personal warmth. For years she was encouraged to open her cucina to the public. She agreed, albeit reluctantly, and a neighbourhood trattoria - loosely translated, a friendly gathering place - was opened. With Bice in the kitchen and her 26
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
brothers and sisters serving in the dining room, il Ristorante Da Gino e Bice, or BiCE as it would later be known, had a family feeling. The first customers said it was like being at the home of a friend, as Bice hoped they would. BiCE Ruggeri was now a recognized Milanese restaurateur. And her sons, Remo and Roberto, were taking steps to extend her vision throughout the world. In 1978, Remo and Roberto Ruggeri took the first steps, opening a second BiCE in Porto Cervo, on the island of Sardinia. With its international business base, New York City was the logical site for the third BiCE restaurant. Roberto opened the doors of BiCE New York on East 54 Street between Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue in 1987. Incorporating a skilful mix of traditional and newer trends in Italian styling and cuisine, BiCE New York established the cornerstone of BiCE’s US operations and proved Roberto’s ability to attract sophisticated international diners. Over the past 20 years Roberto created a strong group of BiCE Ristorante operations throughout the USA as well as expanding into global franchising and new restaurant concepts. In 2003, Roberto Ruggeri was selected as one of the “Outstanding Italians in the World”, a special prize which is awarded by the Italian Minister of Residents Abroad. Bice’s grandson, Raffaele was born in Tuscany, Italy in 1972, and raised in Milan where he spent many Sundays with his father and grandmother in the Bice restaurant in Milan. With his grandmother’s supervision, from a very early age he was taught the fine art of hospitality. When he was 15, the Ruggeri family moved to Los Angeles, and Raffaele evinced a desire to learn every aspect of the restaurant business. This led him to several years of work as a busboy, cook, assistant Chef, waiter, manager, maitre’d, purchasing, running the daily sales operation of a restaurant, and then start participating in all the openings of new restaurants worldwide. It became apparent that Raffaele
Classic Italian tiramisu and BiCE apple pie
RESTAURANT REVIEW - HOSPITALITY
had inherited his family’s natural skill for organization and leadership. Throughout openings of new restaurants Raffaele used these skills and his passion for the industry to inspire and train the employees and restaurant management. The fact that he has film star looks did not hurt either! Raffaele is now Chief Executive Officer of BiCE International– and very “hands on”. Tsogo Sun discovered this famous Italian restaurant group, and invited them to open a restaurant in the planned new hotel it was building at Hyde Park in Johannesburg, They accepted and today BiCE is the hotel’s signature restaurant. The BiCE experience With all that build up, one’s expectations are high – and I have to say BiCE did not disappoint. The restaurant itself is cool, uncluttered and elegant. It continually introduces new authentic Italian cuisine experiences, incorporating the latest international trends to dazzle and delight patrons. Italian food is not always pizza, and is much more complex than parmesan cheese, pesto and fettuccine. It’s fresh and seasonal produce, cheeses, meats, and pasta. At BiCE Ristorante your meal comes with these ingredients and a side of passion and elegance. Speaking at the special event celebrating the BiCE South African journey, Raffaele Ruggeri said, ‘Once again, our recipe of authenticity has proven to be successful. We believe in keeping it real… real Italian food made with fresh produce, prepared by renowned Italian chefs. The local success of the brand can also, largely, be attributed to our partnership with Tsogo Sun. The alignment of the first and only BiCE restaurant on the African continent to the Southern Sun Hyde Park Sandton hotel provided us with the correct platform to bring our expertise to South Africa.” Executive Chef at BiCE, Nicolai Paretti, prepared a special tasting menu focusing on the fruits of the ocean, complemented by the superior taste of fine Italian white wines – a Torresella Prosecco Extra Dry DOC, an Italian sparkling wine; a Cantina Talamonti ILauri Tavo Pinot Grigio and a Cantina Novelli Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC.
Michael Kewley, General Manager at Southern Sun Hyde Park hotel
The meal At this point I have to be very honest and admit my heart sank a bit, as seafood is not usually my first choice in most restaurants. But this meal was a revelation. An authentic Italian menu concept combined with a seafood journey – testament to BiCE’s innovation and expertise. The starter was two-fold, a medley of cold Tuna Tartare, followed by deliciously warm Grilled Prawns with the most delicious asparagus I have ever eaten, and seafood ragout. A Seafood Risotto with baby Zucchini and tomatoes and Lobster Ravioli with white sauce and black truffle (to die for, doll!) followed. The main course sent taste buds into a delicious whirl of tastes and flavours. A Kingklip with porcini mushrooms and asparagus sauce and Grilled Seabass with lemon potatoes - served as one dish. Classic Italian Tiramisu and BiCE Apple Pie were literally the cherry on top of an extraordinary culinary experience. In June 2013, BiCE will launch a new lunch menu. “At Southern Sun Hyde Park Sandton we strive to provide extraordinary service coupled with great memories and great experiences. We are excited about our new lunch offering that incorporates current international trends for Italian cuisine. We are also proud to have a strong local following, besides our international tourist clientele, and the new lunch menu promises to enchant our patrons”, says Michael Kewley, General Manager at Southern Sun Hyde Park hotel. “Our offering incorporates an à la carte option, an authentic Italian family dining experience for groups and a journey through the Chefs’ menu where patrons can enjoy various tastes and flavours, all combined with our famous selection of wines”. “BiCE at Southern Sun Hyde Park Sandton is a unique Italian restaurant for the South African market. Locally we have many Italian trattoria-type establishments but not many focusing on authentic Italian fine dining. The ability to be unique, offer outstanding culinary innovation and the experience of the Ruggeri family, places BiCE in a category of its own. Four years ago we were looking to incorporate a superior, reputable restaurant – an eatery that would not only distinguish the hotel as a foodie destination of choice for local culinary enthusiasts, but would satisfy patrons’ palettes for fine food. We partnered with BiCE Ristorante and have been satisfying cravings ever since”, said Graham Wood, Managing Director, Tsogo Sun hotels. Will I go back – certainly, as soon as possible. Will I be happy to pay for my meal this time? Certainly – and I can’t offer more praise to a restaurant than that. JULY 2013
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
the privacy of the data subject (‘DS’) and it must be adequate and relevant to, and not excessive for the purpose of process i.e. not more than required.
The NEW ‘POPI’ aka PROTECTION
OF PERSONAL INFORMATION ACT
Then in addition, one or more of the following requisites must be applicable: • DS must consent to processing and as such consent is defined as ‘any voluntary, specific and informed expression of will’ • It must be required in order to carry out a contract to which DS is a party; • It must be required by the responsible person i.e. the person processing the data (‘RP’) to comply with an obligation imposed by law • It can be shown to be in order to protect a legitimate interest of the DS; • It is required by public body to carry a public law duty • It is required by RP or third party (to whom the PI is disclosed) ‘pursuing a legitimate interest’
– PART 3 – PRINCIPLE #2 – PROCESSING LIMITATION: PART 1
‘Processing’ is defined as to ‘collect, disseminate or merge’ personal information (‘PI’). POPI applies to collection by whatever means the PI is ‘processed’, i.e. electronically or manually and it applies to the complete lifecycle of the PI. Limitations are placed on processing is expressed as follows, the primary requirements being that it must be lawful, not infringe
Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide a brief overview of legal matters pertaining to the travel and tourism industry and is not intended as legal advice. © Adv Louis Nel, BENCHMARK, July 2013.
Debt collection. Cashflow is the lifeblood of any business - bad debts threaten viability. SJA assists, from issueing summonses to executing judgements. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Commercial. Registration of companies, trademarks & searches. Drawing up of contracts - leases, sales of business, joint ventures, partnerships & franchises. Contact: email@example.com
Liabilities. Specialising in Professional Indemnity, Insurance Law, Travel and Tourism liability. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Commercial. Corporate Advisory Services, Liquidations, Commercial Contracts, Company Registrations and Intellectual Property Law. Contact: email@example.com Labour and Administrative Law. Specialising in Labour Law as well as public and private partnerships in the environmental context. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Personal Injury. SJA’s specialist departments have many years of experience with the Road Accident Fund and this area of the law. Contact: email@example.com Property. Specialising in Sectional Title and Game Lodge development conveyancing matters. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Johannesburg: Pretoria: (011) 325 0830 (012) 452 8200 E-mail: email@example.com
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
Market Intelligence Report The information below was extracted from data available as at 26 June 2013, writes Martin Jansen van Vuuren.
ARRIVALS The latest available data from Statistics South Africa is for January 2013: Current period
Change over same period last year
Overseas Arrivals (excl same day visitors)
Total Foreign Arrivals
NB: African Arrivals plus Overseas Arrivals do not add up to Total Foreign Arrivals due to the exclusion of unspecified arrivals, which cannot be allocated to either African or Overseas.
HOTEL STATS The latest available data from STR Global is for January to May 2013: Current period
Average Room Occupancy (ARO)
Average Room Rate (ARR)
Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR)
All Hotels in SA
All 5-star hotels in SA
R 1 739
R 1 100
All 4-star hotels in SA
All 3-star hotels in SA
Change over same period last year All Hotels in SA
All 5-star hotels in SA
All 4-star hotels in SA
All 3-star hotels in SA
Passengers arriving on Regional Flights
Passengers arriving on Domestic Flights
Cape Town International
King Shaka International
The latest available data from ACSA is for January to February 2013: Change over same period last year Passengers arriving on International Flights OR Tambo International
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR MY BUSINESS No new data were available from Statistics South Africa and Acsa since the last MIR. Data from STR Global shows the continued improvement in the hotel sector.
For more information contact Martin at Grant Thornton on +27 (0)21 417 8838 or visit: http://www.gt.co.za JULY 2013
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
• EMAIL MARKETING • EMAIL MARKETING • EMAIL MARKETING • Writing email content is one thing but getting your email prepared and ready for viewing by your subscriber audience is quite another, writes Pieter Philipse.
– PART 3 –
Newsletter Design All our good intentions and valuable content can be wasted if we don’t pay attention to how that content is managed and distributed. There are some highly important guidelines to remember and work to if we are going to make our emails succeed!
Matching content with design
Your email address and subject line.
The first and one of the most important hurdles believe or not is your email address and subject line. This is the first information people will see when mail arrives in their in-box. On average readers spend 3 to 4 seconds deciding if your email is worth the read or not. With professionals getting many emails a day there is no guarantee people will view what you send.. Important is that they recognize you instantly as a trustworthy and recognizable source, so forget about using info@ or such, instead use a personal email address. Your subject line is your make or break line, 50 characters stand between you and the trash-bin, so make sure this stands out visually and offers interest from the word go. Use your reader’s favourite product-name with a consistent repetitive identifier, make creative use of brackets and try out different variations of capitalization! Gmail Outlook and Iphone also offer 100 characters or less of preview text next to the subject line. These snippets are pulled from the first lines of text in your email, so offer something valuable here and/or include a call to action! Use timely topics and urgency! Make three different variants and send each example email to a segment of your subscribers (don’t forget to include yourself in the list). Determine if your email looks spammy next to other messages. Decide to use the most successful one for the rest of your campaign and continue to repeat and improve your formula from here on.
Try to prioritize your message topics, products and activities. Determine your main product (your bestsellers or seasonal offer) and package this as a luxury offer. In design terms give that product it’s own full size block with clear call to action button. Package your activities in three smaller blocks with read more links to your website landing pages. Offer more products (packages) each with their own urgency and call to action links. Give readers clear choices, never try to display something that you cannot describe clearly and directly.
Tourism Tattler Trade Journal
Now that we have safeguarded our design and created successful solutions for the email being read by readers, let’s concentrate on the message and product specifics.
Textual content Make use of questions in your text (even in topic headers), people always like to be asked to do something.. Try at all times to visualize what is top priority in your reader’s minds and use that in your items with clear calls to action (but don’t exaggerate). Mix your storyline best you can with your product offer and look real and convincing (be you!). Choosing a design When choosing a design ask yourself the following: 1. Is there enough space for my logo and top banner, it is important to display these in the right proportions. 2. How many columns do I want (using columns usually means a shorter length email as product offers can be displayed effectively alongside). This depends on whether you are going to employ a right hand margin for your offers and/or individual products separated alongside. 3. Does the design (colours, font, layout) match with my audience’s inspirations- expectations: technical, romantic, active, cultural.. 4. Are the social buttons positioned in the right place (in the footer, underneath the content) 5. Is it easy to alter the design to my liking? (some designs are hard to manipulate due to design constrictions in the code) Remember The landing pages that the email is linked to must be consistent with the content in the email, otherwise this will frustrate the readers and will result over time in your emails being read by a audience shrinking in size, so always keep in mind that your landing pages are balanced with whatever your emails promise. Winning formula Once you have created a successful format, stick to it, however always keep an open mind to new developments that your readers are sensitive to. This in turn will help you to develop trustworthy relationships and in future exponentially grow your mailing lists. For questions contact the author: firstname.lastname@example.org Next month: How to profit from Social Media?
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