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
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Tourism News

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Sanparks Hosts Vietnamese Celebrities In Awareness Campaign

SANParks has welcomed a Vietnamese group as part of an initiative to debunk myths about the perceived medicinal value of rhino horn.

 
The initiative is facilitated by SANParks Honorary Rangers in partnership with the Rhinose Foundation and will see the group of celebrities, media and top business people visiting the park for three days. 
 
“We want these celebrities to have a first-hand experience of the cruelty that these African giants are subjected to, and to use their influence to discourage the demand in their home country,” says Reynold Thakhuli, SANParks Acting Head of Communications. He adds that it is hoped that the celebrities will use their influence to help bring awareness and to educate their fellow citizens.
 
Vietnam is one of the main countries at the centre of the illicit trade in rhino horn, where it has been used for many centuries in the ancient practice of traditional Chinese medicine as a cure for various ‘fevers’. Very recently, to a far greater and more damaging extent, it has been perceived as cure for cancer, as well as a sought-after status symbol and health tonic among the more wealthy sectors of the Vietnamese population.

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Compassionate Travel: Our Advice

There are simple, practical steps you can take on holiday to prevent animals suffering
 
What to avoid
 
Before you travel, ask if your tour operator has a policy on animal protection – and encourage them to introduce one if they don’t. And once you’re away, help to protect animals by following these practical tips:
 
Wild animals belong in the wild. If you do want to see animals when you travel, observe them in their natural habitat
 
Avoid cockfights, bullfights and any festivals or celebrations that cause suffering to animals – culture isn’t an excuse for cruelty
 
Stay away from local cuisine made from wild or endangered animals – or made using inhumane methods

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The 60-second Biography

Martin Hatchuel: The 60-second biography

Executive summary

Freelance writer & communicator for hire: specialist in tourism. Background in science, with a powerful ability to translate scientific concepts and jargon into language the lay public can understand. Also experienced in project management of web sites (with strong abilities in developing site architecture, creating content, etc.) and of print and advertising projects (brochures, adverts, etc.). And I enjoy making photographs and videos, and writing stories.

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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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