Birds of Eden the largest free flight bird aviary in the world, Plettenberg Bay Garden Route Adventures South Africa
Birds of Eden the largest free flight bird aviary in the world, Plettenberg Bay Garden Route Adventures South Africa
Birds of Eden the largest free flight bird aviary in the world, Plettenberg Bay Garden Route Adventures South Africa
TAMHF is home to both primates (monkeys, lemurs and apes) and birds, who are unable to live natural lives because of the loss of a limb, an illness disability and/or psychological problem.
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Tourism News

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Industry Holds Breath As Damage Sets In

While the tourism trade continues to engage with the Department of Home Affairs regarding concerns with new regulations, these have already hurt travel from at least one of SA’s growth markets: China.
 
Cullinan Holdings CEO, Michael Tollman, told Tourism Update the impact of the immigration regulations could already be felt on inbound tourism from China. Tollman has submitted two letters to Home Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba, outlining the effects of the Immigration Act.

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Hanekom Breaks Silence On New Travel Regulations

Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, has broken his silence on the likely impact of new immigration regulations.
 
Members of the industry have questioned the National Department of Tourism and Hanekom’s silence concerning the new regulations that were passed as part of the Immigration Amendment Act.
 
The regulations include the requirement that parents travelling with children to, from and transiting SA, produce an unabridged birth certificate for each child and have been broadly criticised by the trade.
 
In a media statement issued on Wednesday, Hanekom highlighted this requirement as well as the roll-out of biometric visas as potentially detrimental to tourism.
 
“The regulation of immigration matters is the constitutional responsibility of the Department of Home Affairs,” said Hanekom. “However, the National Department of Tourism has received representations from tourism stakeholders on the possible unintended consequences of some of the new provisions. Industry role players have highlighted two specific provisions, namely the new requirement for an unabridged birth certificate for minors, as well as the provision for in-person collection of biometric data in tourism source markets. Industry stakeholders argue that these measures may impact on the competitiveness of our destination in an era where countries are attempting to ease visa requirements to promote tourism.”
 
Hanekom added that any matter that could have a detrimental impact on international tourist arrivals to SA was a concern. He said the intentions behind the regulations reflected the country’s commitment to combat child trafficking but that the prospect of unforeseen and unintended negative consequences must be taken seriously.
 
“Like many other destinations, we have a dual imperative. We have to combat child trafficking by aligning our approach to global efforts while limiting damage to our competitiveness as a tourism destination.”
 
“The Department and industry stakeholders are currently studying global best practice for responding to these broader policy challenges and the practicalities of implementing such measures,” said Hanekom. He added that officials from the department were engaging in urgent discussions with their counterparts in the Department of Home Affairs to clarify any misperceptions and to find appropriate solutions where required.
 
“I will also be meeting with my counterpart, Minister [Malusi] Gigaba, to follow up on these discussions if required,” he said
 
“I want to assure our trade partners and other industry stakeholders that, as government, we understand the value of travel and tourism, which has grown so impressively over the last few years. We will carefully consider any negative impacts of well-intentioned measures on international tourist arrivals and the attractiveness of our destination.”
 
 

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Mossel Bay Tourism Alarm At Possible Closing Of The Goods Shed

Mossel Bay Tourism has reacted with alarm to the news of the possible closing of The Goods Shed – the town’s highly successful indoor flea market.
 
The Goods Shed occupies a historic, 15 x 90 metre sandstone building which was hailed as the largest clear-span structure in the Southern Cape when it opened as a cargo store in 1900. It is now the property of the Transnet National Port Authority (TNPA), and is let to the Municipality of Mossel Bay, which sub-lets the space to more than 70 stall holders. The lease agreement, which was designed to allow Mossel Bay to use the building as a local economic development and tourism project, ends on December 31 this year, and has been put out on tender.
 
According to the Municipality’s Harry Hill, the existing lease was seen as a corporate social responsibility project for the TNPA, which charged a favourable rate so that the Municipality could provide small local businesses with space at prices they could afford. He said, however, that the tender makes it almost impossible for the Municipality to bid successfully since the Municipality would not be able to comply with BEE requirements that usually apply only to corporates, and since the tender calls for a market-related price that would need to be passed on to the stallholders - who cannot afford significant rent increases (although this point is probably moot because the terms of the tender also expressly forbid any sub-letting).
 
“We are deeply concerned that the Goods Shed might close,” said the chairwoman of Mossel Bay Tourism, Jeanetta Marais.  
 
“Closure would result in disaster for the stallholders, and would probably force most of them to close the businesses that support them, their families, and their employees. 
 
“From a tourism perspective, the loss of such a large, well-known, well-used, and well-loved attraction would have negative effects on the town as a whole – especially since it’s the attractions that set Mossel Bay apart and make it the popular tourist destination that it is. 
 
“In these economic times, we cannot afford to lose a single attraction or even a single job.” 
 
Mossel Bay Tourism board member, Fred Orban – who owns Sandpiper Cottages self-catering accommodation in Boggomsbaai – said that the importance of attractions should not be underrated. 
 
“Without its attractions, a destination would be nothing,” he said. 
 
“The presence of any large attraction benefits every part of the community because it brings people to the destination as a whole, and not just to its own doors. 
 
“The Goods Shed is particularly important because it provides a space in which small businesses can thrive, and where visitors can meet locals and see the art and crafts that they’re producing. This is what makes it an iconic attraction on Mossel Bay’s Art Route.  
 
“From the point of view of responsibility to one’s fellow human beings, Mossel Bay Tourism hopes that the TNPA will reconsider the terms of the tender, and make it possible for the Municipality to keep The Goods Shed going.
 
“It would be a tragedy if it closes on the 31st of December – right in the very middle of the busiest time of the year.”
 

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Growth Forecast For Tourism In Satoday's News

The travel and tourism sector in South Africa is expected to grow 3.6% during 2014, while globally, the sector is expected to grow by 4.3%.

This is according to World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), which undertakes an economic analysis of the impact of the travel and tourism sector in 184 countries every year.

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Fee Hikes At Attractions A Headache For Guides


Tour operators believe local attractions should be more cognisant of the way they operate as fee increases cause frustration, which, in some cases results in attractions being left off itineraries.

Allan Theron of Western Cape Tours, says his clients usually pay for themselves on private tours but when he had a group from Estonia on a coach tour of Cape Town he needed to charge them beforehand. He says he confirmed the rates with a number of tourist sites last year but when he contacted them in January, a few were different to what he had originally been quoted.

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