Wonderful Worcester

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Wonderful Worcester

Worcester is a much unsung destination, yet it has more and more going for it. We invite you to explore its widening range of delights.

Your first glimpse of the Western Cape’s very own Worcester (not to be confused with its colonial namesake in the UK) is of a generous, wide-lipped valley closely ringed by mountains with a satisfied little town nestled at its heart. The largest in the Cape interior, Worcester is more than a mini metropole. It is the gateway to an ever-widening range of attractions located a mere 90-minute drive from Cape Town on the N1 towards Johannesburg.

Situated in the Breede River catchment area, yet verging on the Karoo, Worcester is rich in history and natural splendour thanks to the many mountain passes and impressive peaks that form the natural borders of the area. If it’s only spectacular scenery and nature you’re after, Worcester would satisfy on this front alone.

Scenic destinations such as the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden, which was founded in 1921, beckon. Consisting of 124 hectares of arid and semi-arid terrain at the foot of the Hex River Mountains, this unique garden plays home to a variety of indigenous succulents. In springtime these “vygies” put on a vibrant, colourful explosion of blooms.

Combine a bent for nature with a brew, or two, by visiting the Klipbokkop Mountain Reserve, where the Mountain Brewing Company has set its microbrewery on the slopes of the Stettyn Mountains. Enjoy locally made Craft Beer while taking in the panoramas that unfold in every direction. The private reserve is a sanctuary for several endangered species and is popular with birdwatchers and 4 x 4 enthusiasts.

Exploring the valley is made all the more exciting with Hexpas Ecotrek. The company offers a two-and-a-half day Botterboom Hiking Trail which traces the history of the area by following parts of the first railroad that was built to the north in the 1870s. There’s also a 13,5km mountain bike trail that heads towards the area’s original railway tunnels.

As you can tell, trains are a theme here, and Hexpas Ecotrek’s pièce de résistance is a ride along one of these original train tracks. Tractor-drawn railway coaches wind along an abandoned narrow-gauge railroad that takes you up the Hex River Pass, where you can picnic and absorb the views.

If you need a change of pace head into the town itself. En route, stop at the picturesque Die Pampoen Padstalletjie for farm-made delights such as apple chutney, bottled preserves and sugary fudge. The quaint farm stall occupies an old cottage and has achieved a small measure of fame by living up to its name. A cornucopia of pumpkins, squashes and butternuts decorate the building, making it an Instagram-friendly stop that’s hard to miss from the road.

The Worcester Museum is one of the highlights of the small central business district and offers free entry on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. While it focuses on the cultural history of the area, the museum is alive with regular demonstrations of bread baking, soap making, candle making, tobacco rolling, metal work and donkey cart rides.

On the food-and-drink side, Worcester will not disappoint. Wine and olive tours are available, as are standout restaurants, such as the Bosjes restaurant at Bosjes Wine Farm and the newly opened The Hussar Grill Worcester, the latest addition to Worcester’s horn of plenty. A premier grill room with a multiple award-winning wine list, The Hussar Grill is listed four times in the Eat Out Awards Top 500 and is commended for aged-to-perfection cuts of meat, classically delicious sauces and well-versed service. It’s a must on your visit to the Worcester valley.

The Hussar Grill Worcester is at 29 Baring Street, Worcester Central. To book a table call +27 (0) 23 004 1341 or email worcester@hussargrill.com. For more information on The Hussar Grill, please visit www.hussargrill.co.za.

Follow The Hussar Grill on Social Media:

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thehussargrill/ @TheHussarGrill

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/thehussargrill @TheHussarGrill            

On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thehussargrill/ #TheHussarGrill

Image credit:

Courtesy of The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI)

Courtesy of The Hussar Grill 

Courtesy of Hettie Viljoen (Pampoenstalletjie)

 

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Marriot Hotels Brings TED Fellows Salon To The Mother City Inspiring “Vibrant Innovation” | March 2019

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MARRIOTT HOTELS BRINGS TED FELLOWS SALON TO THE MOTHER CITY INSPIRING “VIBRANT INNOVATION”

Meaningful Conversations Spark Creative Thinking At The Cape Town Marriott Hotel Crystal Towers.

Cape Town, South Africa, 21st March 2019: Marriott Hotels in partnership with TED, hosted its first TED Fellows Salon in Cape Town, South Africa, sparking conversations around Africa’s beauty, rich heritage and innovative spirit. Held at the Cape Town Marriott Hotel Crystal Towers, renowned TED Fellows, Kenyan musician Bill Sellanga and South African conservation biologist Steve Boyes, led the innovative and thought-provoking discussion providing guests the opportunity to engage and be inspired.

“At Marriott Hotels, everything we do is guided by our belief that travel expands the mind and triggers new and creative ways of thinking,” said Sandra Schulze-Potgieter, Vice President Premium & Select Brands, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International. “Our partnership with TED brings together creative energy and distinct aesthetic. In recent years, Cape Town has shifted its focus to making the city more sustainable, encouraging citizens to innovate while maintaining its rich heritage. Hosting our first TED Fellows Salon at Cape Town Marriott Hotel Crystal Towers is an opportunity for us to spark intellectual conversations and inspire new perspectives for our guests.”

The speakers at this Marriott Hotels TED Salon represent some of the brightest thinkers of their generation who are working towards making positive, meaningful and lasting change in their communities. Steve Boyes explores, protects and restores some of the most remote wildernesses in Africa, including the threatened Okavango Delta, one of our last remaining fresh watersheds. Working with the Angolan government, Boyes recently established two of the largest protected areas in Sub-Saharan Africa amounting to twice the size of England. A trained ornithologist, he is the Executive Director of the Wild Bird Trust and a Fellow at the National Geographic Society.

Sharing the spotlight with Boyes was TED fellow Bill “Blinky” Sellanga. A prolific Kenyan producer and musician, Sellanga is the frontman of musical collective Just A Band, which mixes genres like hip-hop, electronica and funk to make music for popular radio and to give voice to the Kenyan youth. He recently released his first solo album, Everyone’s Just Winging It and Other Fly Tales, weaving African rhythms together with electronic cuts, hip-hop and funk for a unique-brand of “African cool.”

Held at the Cape Town Marriott Hotel Crystal Towers, the event was attended by thought leaders, innovators, members of the recently launched travel platform, Marriott Bonvoy and media. Overlooking the Grand Canal in Century City, Cape Town Marriott Hotel Crystal Towers formed the perfect backdrop for the Cape Town edition of the TED Fellows Salon. Whether you admire the view of Table Mountain from the exquisite outdoor swimming pool or settle down after a busy day in a guest room with sleek furnishings and ultra-soft, plush bedding, a stay at the Cape Town Marriott Hotel Crystal Towers promises to be a journey that inspires brilliance.

The ongoing global partnership between Marriott Hotels and TED is now in its third year, following its launch in 2016, and has been expanded to include more exciting and innovative programming at Marriott Hotels in key destinations worldwide. Marriott Hotels is a brand that’s geared towards a new generation of travelers, who continuously seek fresh inspirations and creative ideas during their own life-changing journeys around the world.

The Cape Town edition is the third TED Fellows Salon to be held within Middle East and Africa with two previous ones being held at Cairo and Abu Dhabi. TED Salons have been hosted in several Marriott Hotels globally, including Bengaluru, Bangkok, London, and Athens. Marriott Hotels also has an Instagram story series, #MarriottHotelsxTEDFellows, which offers viewers original, inspiring content and an inside look at their favorite idea engine. To watch the series, follow @marriotthotels on Instagram and stay tuned for content throughout the year.

For more information, please visit tedtalksmarriott.com

 

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CiMSO Gives Back To The Community Of Bulembu

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Building and Serving Communities | CiMSO Helps Bulembu

CiMSO Business Solutions, is the creators of the seamlessly integrated CiMSO Suite of Software used by Hotels, Lodges and Resorts. 

In early December 2018, CiMSO’s value added reseller, Ricky Ressa of CSS, introduced CiMSO’s Johan Marais to Bulembu Ministries.

Bulembu is a former asbestos mining town in the kingdom of eSwatini – formerly Swaziland.  With the collapse of asbestos mining, the town became a defunct ghost town some 18 years ago. Bulembu Ministries has established an orphanage and a vibrant community in Bulembu where they started operating a lodge, bakery, dairy, honey, water bottling plant and a saw mill business to generate revenue for the orphanage and the more than 400 children served by the ministry and the community.

Ricky and Johan met with Kurt Puttkammer, Head of Partner Development. Based on the needs and requirements of the Bulembu community the three men agreed on a visionary project for the implementation and commissioning of the CiMSO software suite for the Bulembu community.

CiMSO donated software licenses to the value of ZAR 72,316 (US$ 5,130) and CSS provides professional services valued at ZAR 35,515 (US$ 2,520) to facilitate and implement the CiMSO system.

Phase one of the project started in March 2019 with CSS implementing CiMSO’s integrated CLIENTmanager CRM system, INNkeeper lodging and reservation system and STOCKmanager inventory control system at Bulembu Lodge.  This empowers the Bulembu community to deliver next generation hospitality services with improved management and financial control. The next step will be to control good-will donations received, using CiMSO’s STOCKmanagement solution to manage the donation “vaults”.

At CiMSO, the corporate responsibility is not only about our product, people and values – it is embedded in our company culture.  The value of giving matters to our employees, partners and customers alike, knowing they are collaborating within a positive and inspiring environment with a culture of giving to the community.

To contribute to the Bulembu community or sponsor a child, go to: https://www.bulembu.org/

To remain updated on this project, go to:  www.cimso.com

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The Westin Cape Town & Zolani Mahola Takes Time Out On World Sleep Day 2019

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Do not disturb: The Westin Cape Town and Zolani take time out for World Sleep Day

Taking time away from technology is the focus at The Westin Cape Town Hotel for World Sleep Day (Friday 15 March 2019).

Devices have been linked to poor sleep quality, as the blue light in most screens delays the body’s circadian rhythm. In addition, the constant demands of returning calls and sending emails, along with various notifications from apps on your device, can affect your ability to “switch off” before bed.

In addition, nearly 65% of travellers sleep less while on the road, which is why The Westin Cape Town is encouraging guests to experience #JOMO (Joy of Missing Out) on World Sleep Day.  

The #JOMO campaign will encourage guests to take a break from tech all in the name of a good night’s sleep.

Alongside guests, Freshlyground’s Zolani Mahola will also be taking time out from her busy schedule to unwind at The Westin and will be experiencing a “device-free” day.  Zolani called on her social media followers to join her in a day without tech distractions, but putting some distance between themselves and their devices. Taking some “space” from social media is all with the aim of boosting wellness through me-time.

Zolani joined The Westin in launching their World Sleep Day activities by testing out the hotel’s signature Heavenly® Bed in The Westin’s foyer to create awareness around the importance sleep plays in a healthy lifestyle.

Hit the snooze button

Dr. Melissa Lipford, a neurologist at Mayo Clinic and sleep consultant for World Sleep Society, who champions World Sleep Day, says: “There is a direct correlation between your sleep and your overall well-being.

“And perhaps unexpectedly, quality sleep is also foundational for people to reap the benefits of fitness and is a necessary part of exercise recovery. Disconnecting and winding down one to two hours before bed, which includes putting away light-emitting electronic devices, lends to falling asleep more easily and experiencing deeper, more restful sleep.”

In lockstep with a growing global demand for well-being and an increased awareness of the value of self-care, Westin will reward guests who find the ‘Joy of Missing Out’ and take time back for extra sleep, exercise or a break from technology.

Waking up to wellness

Zolani’s downtime from her device comes amid a packed schedule of performances, both with Freshlyground and as a solo artist, and corporate speaking engagements, and quality time with her family. She has recently returned from the USA, where she hung out backstage on the Daily Show, with Trevor Noah, and met up Goldfish in California.

“It’s so important to put your health and wellness first, by taking back time for yourself. I have been travelling and performing over the last few months, and I decided to switch off for World Sleep Day at the Westin and reenergize ahead of my upcoming performances, talks and appearances.”

In addition, the Westin will be offering guests the option of JOMO doortags and specially-curated Sleep Well amenities. In helping guests get a good night’s sleep, The Westin offers a complimentary Sleep Well Lavender Balm bedside amenity, infused with the calming essential oils of lavender and chamomile – the latest in a series of sleep offerings that promise a better slumber for travellers.

Leon Meyer, GM of The Westin Cape Town, says: “In today’s always-on culture, the value of disconnecting and taking time for your wellbeing cannot be underestimated. This wellbeing starts with a good night’s sleep, which we embrace with our signature Heavenly beds and pillows. A restful night not only improves business productivity, but leads to better health and overall happiness.”

For more information, please visit www.westin.com/sleepwell and follow along on social via #WestinJOMO.

 

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The Westin Cape Town Hotel Shows Off Flagship Projects

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The Westin Cape Town Hotel shows off flagship projects

The Westin Cape Town opened their newly renovated rooms to media on Tuesday 26 February 2019. Media representatives are invited to tour the facilities at The Westin, which include their organic rooftop garden and reverse osmosis plant, by appointment.

Sustainable practice

Listed as one of Green Destination’s Top 100 Sustainable Destinations, Cape Town has a long history of responsible tourism. But local tourism attractions and hotels need to sow sustainability into their everyday workings, making green living a daily practice.

The Westin Cape Town, situated in the CTICC precinct in the Foreshore, boasts two flagship sustainability initiatives: a rooftop garden, providing organic herbs and edible flowers for guest’s meals and beverages, and a reverse osmosis plant.

“Cape Town relies heavily on her natural beauty to draw tourism. The onus is on local businesses to protect and reduce their impact on the natural environment,” says Leon Meyer, General Manager of The Westin Cape Town.

“The Mother City is well-known as a responsible tourism world leader, but the hospitality industry needs to have sustainability at the centre of their business models.”

Good enough to eat

The garden, on the rooftop of the hotel’s 19th floor, provides organic ingredients which speak to the hotel’s wellness philosophy and “EAT WELL” programmes. 

“The rooftop garden serves as a great eco-friendly resource in the growing methods we practice, and provides nutritionally dense produce that we can control from a safety and quality perspective, which is a big part of our hotel wellness and responsible tourism movement,” says.

The garden operates in a fully-recyclable capacity, whereby an automated drip irrigation system collects excess water to be recycled through a pump. The rooftop also boasts a small scale wormery where kitchen food waste is fed to the worms and the fertiliser produced is used to nourish the plants.

Water-wise

The rooftop garden is not the only way the hotel is saving water. The hotel’s reverse osmosis plant is expected to save the establishment millions of litres of water a year and significantly reduce its dependency on municipal water. 

As the water crisis deepened late in 2016, the hotel took steps, along with its immediate water-saving initiatives, to implement a long-term water-saving plan which involved building the reverse osmosis plant.

At present, owing to the Westin being built on land reclaimed from the sea, the hotel uses five rotating pumps to extract around 1.2 million litres of seawater from its basement level per day. This seawater will now be re-routed into the plant, situated in The Westin’s secure basement area, to produce around 441 000 litres of clean, purified water per day. As a result, the establishment is expected to save over 100 million litres of municipal water a year.

“It’s important to note that even though we’re extracting 1.2 million litres of seawater on average from the ocean per day, after the desalination process, the total litres of clean, usable water extracted will be significantly less,” Meyer says.

Design transformation

The Westin Cape Town has undergone a 220-guestroom revitalisation on all executive club level floors. Their signature Heavenly® Bed remains at the heart of each guestroom providing unparalleled sleep and rejuvenation. The sleek, modern and comfortable design with minimalist and clean spaces will ensure maximum productivity, whilst the calming decor will inspire relaxation and re-energise.

In addition, they have opened the new Westin Club, a dedicated lounge designed to inspire, enrich and enhance the executive club guest experience.

“We are committed to creating inspiring, relaxing and productive guestrooms that will leave our guests feeling more rested, rejuvenated and energized to take on their next challenge. Our guestroom revitalization was designed to enrich and enhance our guests’ stay and experience whilst ensuring our offering remains competitive, modern and uncompromised in function and aesthetic,” Meyer says.

The renovation – the first since the hotel’s opening – is estimated at around R150 million and will result in all 483 guestrooms being fully renovated.

To book a tour of The Westin, or for more information, contact Danielle Cargnelutti at (021) 461 5108 or danielle@positivedialogue.co.za

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The novelty of Newlands, Cape Town | Visitor Information

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The novelty of Newlands

From its majestic Josephine Mill Museum and Brewery Tours that take you back in time, to its trendy Dean Street corridor, Newlands will satisfy anyone from hipsters to history buffs.

Although it’s tucked away in a quiet pocket between Rondebosch and Claremont, the largely-residential suburb of Newlands in Cape Town, is hardly sleepy. Newlands is famous for many things besides its quaint Victorian cottages and winding back lanes: renowned sports stadia, landmark hotels, excellent restaurants, superlative schools such as SACS and Westerford, gourmet food shops, significant national monuments, a design centre, and a natural spring whose ever-flowing waters defy the ongoing drought in the Western Cape. It’s also notorious for being the wettest suburb in Cape Town due to its annual rainfall levels.

Trivia aside, here are some of the not-to-miss aspects of Newlands:

The Josephine Mill Museum is open to visitors by appointment, but you don’t need to go inside the museum to appreciate the building. Astonishing for its industrial revolution architecture and a water wheel that still functions, the on-site restaurant is set on the banks of the gently burbling Liesbeek River. Close by is the Newlands Brewery, one of the oldest commercial beer breweries in South Africa. The #beerexperience will take you on a tour through all things malt and hops. Compare old favourites with new-fangled craft brews.

The Montebello Design Centre on Newlands Avenue is another must-visit destination for lovers of creativity. This collection of 25 painters’ studios, potter’s workshops and craft shops – huddled together in a fine example of period architecture – is a beacon for devotes of art, craft and design. The charming Gardener’s Cottage restaurant hunkers down below giant trees and overlooks a verdant nursery that spreads out around a historic Greenhouse.

As for sport, why watch on the big screen when you can see your team play live at Newlands Rugby Stadium or cricket grounds? The PPC Newlands Cricket Stadium is said to have the loveliest batting pitch in the world thanks to the majestic backdrop of Newlands Ravine and Kirstenbosch.

If you are in Newlands for the sporting action, the Park Inn by Radisson Newlands is so close to the grounds it’s likely that you could lob a shot into the nearby stadium from the hotel lobby! Besides the uber convenience of the location, the venue offers upscale accommodation and conferencing in a contemporary setting. It is a standout hotel thanks to its unique and ongoing commitments to supporting DeafSA – 20% of the hotel’s administrative staff are hearing impaired.

A mecca for foodies, Newlands can brag that is has not one but three artisanal ice-cream parlours. The Creamery’s ices are rich and decadent, and the choice selection is distinguished by an ever-changing Flavour of the Month. Gelato Mania, in close proximity, has a name that says it all for those who are crazy about Italian-style frozen confectionary. Le Delizie is run by a friendly Italian couple who have made Newlands their home. Massimo is a third-generation gelato maker and confectioner who – besides noteworthy flavours of ice-cream such as Crèma della Nonna – conjures up an irresistible range of handcrafted chocolates using ultra ingredients such as hazelnuts imported from the Piedmont region of Italy. You’ll quickly become a loyal customer! Dean Street and surrounds are peppered with a score of upmarket eateries and a trendy smattering of smoothie bars and taco joints.

Exploring Newlands will uncover even further gems that will expand this growing list of lust-worthy locations. And it is possible to do it all on foot. While you’re ambling around and exploring the area, remember to take a refreshing drink of pure, clean and freely available mineral aqua from the abundant Newlands spring! Having made its way down through the rocky secrets of Table Mountain, the water bubbles up to reveal the true flavour of the area.

 

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Lee Zama Is The New CEO Of FEDHASA

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New CEO takes the FEDHASA helm

The Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa (FEDHASA) has announced the appointment of Lee Zama as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Zama, who is the first female CEO appointed at FEDHASA, has taken up the position as of 1 March 2019.

FEDHASA is the body representing hospitality industry role-players, and is recognised by government as the voice for the South African hospitality industry. The association turns 70 this year.

“With this rich history, the association has consistently served its members and the industry at large. It is a great opportunity for me to drive this organisation towards an even greater future. It is a privilege that my career objectives are complementary to those of FEDHASA. I am looking forward to being of service,” Zama says.

With over 25 years of experience in senior and executive management, Zama has a wealth of knowledge in the hospitality, food and facilities services fields. She has filled a variety of leadership roles during her career, in which she has demonstrated the necessary skills to lead FEDHASA.

“We believe that we have secured the services of a talented and dynamic CEO, in Lee Zama and we look forward to Lee taking control of FEDHASA’s recently adopted strategic objectives in our drive to secure additional new and exciting benefits for all of our members,”, says Jeff Rosenberg, FEDHASA National Chairperson.

“In addition, on behalf of the Board, I would like to thank our outgoing CEO, Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, for all that he brought to FEDHASA during his term and to wish him continued success in his new role as CEO of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA).”

Zama aims to drive strategic objectives recently adopted by the FEDHASA board.

“These include the holistic adoption of an approach that encompasses consolidation and strengthening representation across the tourism industry and beyond, and to ensure an all-inclusive path to future growth,” Zama explains.

Zama began her career in the hospitality industry, working in operations and sales development within the catering sector, and has served on the BEECA cleaning association board.

“My recent experience serving on a cleaning association as strategic partnership committee leader, investment committee member as well as the wage negotiations committee member, has placed me in good stead in the holistic understanding of membership mandates and the serving thereof,” Zama adds.

Zama has extensive experience building and leading teams to success, and enjoys helping people towards their goals. In her free time, she is a keen golfer and avid traveller.

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Arebbusch Travel Lodge Conference & Function Facilities Wins A PMR Golden Arrow Award | February 2019

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Windhoek, Namibia – Hot off the press is the news that Arebbusch Travel Lodge, providers of quality and affordable accommodation and conferences and functions in a natural setting, have just celebrated receipt of a Golden Arrow award for their outstanding conference and function services they offer their clients.

Brainchild of PMR.africa, a consultancy and research company that’s considered a leading business information source on the African subcontinent, this award forms part of their suite of celebratory industry awards at a coveted annual ceremony.

The company aims to create, via their work, both an opportunity and a platform to hand over to excelling companies, institutions and individuals their coveted Diamond, Gold and Silver awards.

According to Robert Nienaber, marketing manager at Arebbusch Travel Lodge, he and customer relationship manager, Lizé Ackermann, were delighted to find themselves in line for this coveted award on attending the 25 February 2019 ceremony.

“On behalf of Arebbusch Travel Lodge, a big thank you goes out to the conferencing and function clients who have reviewed us so favourably and, is especially due, to our in-house team who have made it all possible.”

The three top categories of PMR.africa awards are:

• the Diamond Arrow, which is bestowed on a company for its effort in creating jobs, working towards social upliftment and attracting foreign investment;
• the Gold Arrow, which rewards local investment initiatives; and
• the Silver Arrow, which is bestowed upon a company for the significant work it has done in the tourism sector.

Event organisers, PMR.africa, have advised that these awards are the culmination of a research process whereby companies and institutions are rated based on respondent perceptions – with a significant focus being placed on evaluating and measuring customer service and satisfaction.

“After all, there is a successful team behind each and every successful and highly rated company, department or institution,” enthused the PMR.africa representiative.

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Michael Wolf | Chief Executive Officer | Formula D Interactive

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Innovative visitor experience design holds the key to tourism growth

Visitor attractions form the backbone of tourism, but to ensure continued growth in visitor numbers tourism destinations will need to stay on the forefront of global visitor attraction trends and technologies.

Tourism is one of South Africa’s most reliable economic sectors for showing growth. According to the Department of Tourism, tourism contributed R136.1 billion (about 2.9%) to the total gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017. The department also identified the potential for this sector to grow from around 1.5 million jobs to 2.1 million over the next decade.

As a major tourist destination, South Africa has much to offer international and local travelers – of which 10.3 million and 17.2 million were recorded respectively in South African Tourism’s most recent annual report.

But how do visitor attractions ensure they are the first choice for tourists?

“South Africa has a lot to offer, but we cannot lean back and rely on Table Mountain, Safari parks and Robben Island,” Wolf says, “there are still major opportunities for visitor attractions along the major tourism routes.”

Michael Wolf is CEO of Formula D Interactive, an attraction and visitor experience design consultancy. He says that attractions need the right mix of uniqueness, thematic relevance and wow-factor. 

Laws of attraction

Tourists visiting regions with more attractions tended to stay longer. Although the Western Cape received only the third highest number of international visitors, compared to other provinces, visitors stay on average 14 days and spend almost double that of other provinces, according to the tourism annual report.

The top attractions visited include the V&A Waterfront, with over 1.16 million visitors and Cape Point with over 940 000 visitors. The Table Mountain Cable Way had 799 000 visitors. Comparatively, the Kruger Park saw over 390 000 people pass through the gates, while the Apartheid Museum had 301 000 visitors in the same year. Other landmarks receiving high visitor foot traffic included Robben Island (331000 visitors), Mandela House in Soweto (234 000 visitors) and Constitution Hill (111 000 visitors).

“Like any other product or service, tourism destinations compete against each other for visitor numbers, drawing on factors such as novelty, unique selling prepositions, and relevance to the potential audiences,” Wolf explains. “Regions in South Africa that are not as well positioned as the Western Cape would do good to strategically develop flagship tourism experiences to increase their attraction value in a growing industry.”

Embrace innovation

Last year, Formula D was commissioned to lead a massive visitor experience upgrade at The Old Fort on the Constitution Hill precinct, by using technology and innovative design to showcase South Africa’s history and journey to democracy. The exhibits included cutting edge innovations, like a hologram of Joe Slovo, bringing him back to life in a cell.

It’s this kind of innovation that visitors centers need to adopt in order to remain relevant to their audience, Wolf explains.

“It’s crucial that the tourism industry considers international trends and the exact needs of the target audiences. Innovation in attractions design doesn’t necessarily mean that the content of the offerings is revolutionised. We believe that innovation can be expected when classical formats are being disrupted.”

International research indicates that tourists are constantly requiring new attractions or more innovation at old ones. Modern visitor centers are employing a model of “Entertainment, Excitement and Education”. This has seen tourism destinations looking at ways to entertain visitors, excite them – often using adrenalin-inducing activities such as at amusement parks, and to provide thought-provoking content or opportunities for reflection.

Wolf adds: “We will see more and more shopping malls that become in parts museums, family outings that are informal learning spaces, or petrol stations with major roadside tourism offerings.”

Formula D will soon see the launch of their latest project, which is an innovative mixture of family entertainment, gaming arcade and learning center.

The tech trend

Embracing social media, immersive audio-visual technology and virtual reality will become important to the future of tourism destinations, Wolf believes.

According to presentations at Attractions Africa’s 2018 conference, by next year millennial’s are expected to make 50% of global travelers, with around 300 million trips. In the next 5 to 10 years, these millennial travelers will become the industry’s core base. With their more tech-savvy approach, millennial’s are changing the way travel is consumed and visitor centers will have to develop more technologically appealing offerings. Tourist attractions will also have to adapt to include new experiences, such as audio tours and digital signboards, as well as real-time social media engagement.

Formula D has worked with clients around the world using innovative strategies and technologies to boost the attraction value of visitor centers and heritage sites – including of things that may not always be available, Wolf adds.

“We hear that there haven’t been many Great White Sharks on the coast of South African this year, which has a huge impact on the shark viewing boat operators. What if they had a visitor center which gives visitors an unforgettable shark experience generated by immersive audio-visual technology?”

Formula D know what they are talking about: They have developed an 18 x 3 meter immersive Gulf Stream Experience for the Patricia and Philip Frost Museum of Science in Miami, Florida, treating visitors to a lifelike, yet virtual experience of rare marine life that cannot be held in captivity.

 

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Safari Travel Trends for 2019

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Safari Travel Trends for 2019  

“The only man I envy is the man who has not yet been to Africa – for he has so much to look forward to.” – Richard Mullin   

In a world where skyscrapers tower above us, untouched landscapes are few and far between. In an age where people are more digitally “connected” than ever, the need to disconnect has never been greater; to turn down the noise of the world and reconnect with ourselves and nature.

The way people travel and why is constantly changing. Even the most remote destinations are adapting to the needs of the modern traveller. Yet while travel trends and predictions come and go, the eternal invitation to “switch off” and get into nature is always extended to us.

And that is why African safaris remain some of the most sought-after travel activities available today.

These African safari travel trends have something special written on the horizon:

  1. Multi-generational safaris

Have you always wanted to bring your loved ones together for an event so extraordinary, you would be able to fondly reminisce for decades to come?

Experience the beauty of Africa as a family this year. What could be more memorable than a multi-generational family trip to Africa, including your newest additions, matriarchs, patriarchs and those in between? Baines’ River Camp accommodates up to 20 guests in eight luxury safari suites and a two-bedroom family unit, equipped for your every need.

Research shows that more and more travellers are inviting their parents and children along for adventures like this one. Why not you and yours?

  1. Environmentally-conscious travel

As environmental consciousness rises around the world, more consumers are actively looking to support businesses who are doing their part to conserve energy and the environment.

We are extremely proud to be a part of the first carbon-neutral park in the world: a milestone in global conservation. A collaboration between thirteen safari lodges within and around the Lower Zambezi National Park has seen significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions and reforestation in that region.  

When you visit Baines’ River Camp, enjoy every moment of your adventure knowing that you are partnering with us to support environmental conservation in Africa.

  1. Tech-friendly safari travel

While most luxury safari lodges aim to give guests the most authentic bush experience possible, some little modern extras can make your vacation extra special.

Baines’ River Camp suites are equipped with air-conditioning (a life-saver in the African heat) and generator-powered electricity. A state of the art reverse osmosis plant provides the camp with fresh drinking water. While cell phone reception is intermittent, guests have access to wireless internet in the main lodge.

That said, it’s unlikely that you would want to spend too much time browsing the internet. We invite you to “go off the grid” and immerse yourself in a once in a lifetime African experience that will open your eyes to the natural wonders around you.

  1. Luxury safaris – two worlds in one

If you enjoy the finer things in life, a luxury safari offers you the best of two very different worlds: ultimate luxury living against a spellbinding backdrop of the unspoiled African bush.  

Gone are the days where a safari saw you embark on simple game drives, with stays in even simpler accommodations. Today, luxury safari lodges let you immerse yourself in everything you could dream of in a safari experience, with all the creature comforts you are accustomed to and more.  

Baines’ River Camp offers plush accommodations, breathtaking safari adventures, divine spa treatments, and sumptuous dining experiences, all under African skies.

2019 promises new levels of luxury safari travel. We can’t wait to welcome you to Baines’ River Camp to experience it all yourself. Shall we talk about your next safari? Contact us today.

About Baines’ River Camp

Baines’ River Camp is located on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River in Zambia, known as “the real Africa”. A true colonial-style safari lodge, Baines’ River Camp was named after famous explorer and artist, Thomas Baines. Guests can enjoy a variety of land and water based safari activities, including canoeing, angling, bird watching, sunset cruises and more.

Whether you are looking for a memorable family vacation, an unforgettable honeymoon or a corporate getaway you will always remember, Baines’ River Camp offers you an authentic African safari experience with a difference.

 

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