A Whale of a Trail Run at De Hoop

This is trail running at its best!  

The Whale of a Trail Run at De Hoop, along the Southern Cape coast, takes place this year on Saturday 29 July 2017.

De hoop - Koppie Alleen beach (Custom)

Koppie Alleen Beach 

A mere three hour’s drive from Cape Town along the Southern Cape coast, close to Cape Agulhas, the route takes runners on a 53km journey from the Potberg mountains to Koppie Alleen in the De Hoop Nature Reserve. The first 26km winds through fynbos-covered mountains with spectacular views of the Breede River Valley and then descends to the enchanting Noetsie Bay, turning west and winding along the rocky shores of the Indian Ocean, with a mix of sandy beach and coasteering trails.

De hoop - opstal area yellow flowers (Custom)

De Hoop Opstal 

De Hoop Collection is proud to host the 2017 Merrell Whale of Trail; organised by the Mountain Runner Events, the Merrell Whale of Trail route attracts the kind of participants that enjoy the challenge of a tough trail, as well as the contemplation and solitude that a mountain trail gives; people who genuinely, simply, love being out there – the true adventurers.

Limited to just 175 athletes – the prescribed limit set by Cape Nature since they do not want to put too much pressure on the iconic De Hoop Nature Reserve coastal trail – the Merrell Whale of Trail is “a small race with a big heart”, says Mountain Runner Events organiser Graham Bird, “and one that is a a must-do for anyone who has already tackled the more conventional runs out there. Participants experience a 53km route that is a veritable smorgasbord of mountain and seaside delights – undulating rocky ridges, steep climbs, relentless sandy beaches and flowing fynbos paths and the whales, of course”. 

drone photo 1 (edit)

Drone photo 

Bang in the middle of the whale season, runners can be excused for thinking they are being chaperoned by the Whales, as scores of the annual migratory Southern Right Whales breach the water, spy hopping and waving their fins at the passers-by; every year from around June the Southern Right whales leave their icy feeding grounds in Antarctica and head for African shores, particularly favouring the De Hoop marine reserve in the Western Cape. The 71 km stretch of coastline ranks as the most important nursery area for Right whales worldwide, where they give birth, nurture their calves and engage in mating and social behavior.

Photo - whale mom (with orphan and calf) 2 edit

Whale mother with orphan and calf

Entries: whaleoftrail.co.za and for further information go to www.whaleoftrail.co.za

Book your accommodation at De Hoop now for the Whale of Trail Race Weekend from 28 July to 30 July.

Take advantage of the special winter rates valid until 27 July 2017 and be part of the De Hoop Collection’s 10th Anniversary Year celebrations – you can book a de Hoop Village for as little as R250 per person* for up to six people (*R1 500 per cottage (normal rate R4 770)!

This special is only valid for new bookings made for the period 1 May 2017 to 27 July 2017 and applies to the De Hoop Village units only.  The Village units sleep six guests and consist of 1x double room, 1x twin room, 1x room with bunk beds, a lounge, a fully equipped Kitchen and dining room, bathroom with shower and an outside barbeque/braai area; perfect for the whole family during the school holidays.

Phone 021-422 4522 or email res@dehoopcollection.co.za

 

 

Top 5 Reasons to attend the next World Travel Market

Travelling Mystery Guest recently attended the World Travel Market at the CTICC in Cape Town. Here are our top 5 reasons for attending the next one:

  1. Meeting up with friends from the industry. In an industry that revolves around interaction with people, meeting up with old friends from the industry is one of the biggest gifts! In addition to the blessing of having friends in the industry, they also know other friends in the industry that they can introduce you to and visa versa. That brings us to the next reason for attending:
  2. Networking. These types of events are always ideal for making new contacts, creating leads and strengthening relationships. The Tourism and Hospitality Industry is one of those industries where it is best to meet your clients face to face. We like the human-to-human interaction – that’s why we do what we do. This also makes it easier to contact potential clients afterwards.
  3. Seeing what’s out there. Whether it is new opportunities, huge, scary competition or possibilities for collaboration, you get to see what is out there and you are given the opportunity to talk to different people face to face.
  4. A pool of people to tap into. Tourism and Hospitality professionals from all over the world attend this event and this provides you with a golden opportunity to tap into this pool of professionals if you play your cards right.
  5. Never too old to learn. In an ever changing environment, we all struggle to keep track with the latest technology, trends and tactics. The World Travel Market hosts numerous talks on a variety of subjects and you can sit in and take in as much as you like. We especially enjoyed the talk on the current state of travel blogs, hosted by Keith Jenkins, from Velvet Escape Travel Blog and iAmbassador.

So, be sure to save up for the next World Travel Market – it definitely is worth your travels and your time.

Written by: Renate Engelbrecht

You’re Invited

Join us for breakfast at the Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town (Foreshore) for a Breakfast Briefing in collaboration with HVS Consulting and Guy Stehlik from BON Hotels.

We will be discussing the benefits of understanding your guest, considering the customer journey as part of the process of creating revenue.

Some more info on Travelling Mystery Guest‘s workshop on Customer Journey Mapping:

Travel Trends for 2017

I love watching things change in the travel and hospitality industries. Never a dull moment. Whether it is decor trends that change, or the plating of food, every year has some new, evolving trends that either shock us or surprise us. Wall colours, ways of travel, types of accommodation preferences, types of travellers and their expectations…here is what is being predicted for 2017:

Travel experiences

Travel experiences (Image cred: pixabay.com)

  1. EXPERIENCE. More and more travel experts say that travellers want experiences with some kind of purpose, especially when it comes to wellness and cultural education. Travellers want to have digital detox options and they want to experience different indigenous cultures. When I say experience, I mean travellers really want to experience certain things like working on farms, taking lessons from local artists and trying out local cuisines.
  2. CONSERVATION. Another trend that is growing quite quickly, is the trend of travelling with the purpose of conservation. Conservation of not only the planet, but also cultures, wildlife and more.
  3. MORE DESTINATIONS IN ONE TRIP. Travellers don’t go to one destination and stay there for two weeks anymore. Instead, they make the most of their time away from home and fit in as many destinations and experiences as possible. In South Africa, this is a huge trend as travellers want to see, for example, Cape Town and the Kruger National Park all in one trip.
  4. EXPERIENCE DRIVEN TOURS. Tour operators say that travel to Africa is booming. Travellers now want the true African Safari experience and less luxurious spa experiences. Things like walking safaris, canoe trails and fly camping should do the trick. Experience driven tours that encourage travellers to move at a slower pace while on holiday are a must in your planning for 2017 if you want to “wow” your customers.
  5. COMBINATION TRIPS. “High-low” safaris are also becoming very trendy in the travel industry, where travellers rough it with walking trails or canoeing and then end off their trip with a few days at a luxury lodge. Combination trips are definitely something to look into. Gosh PR also mentioned this at the THINC Africa Conference, hosted by HVS earlier this year, where they explained that UK travellers want something from both worlds in one trip. With South Africa having so many stunning beaches, we need to tap into this travel market, providing tours that combine safaris and beach holidays to travellers from around the world.
  6. LIVING ROOM-LIKE SPACES. With regards to decor, hotels have living room-like spaces to look forward to – moving away from the traditional front desk.
  7. CULTURE INSPIRED DESIGNS. Culture-centered designs where there is not much difference visible from the indoor spaces to the outdoor spaces is not necessarily a new trend, but it has increased in popularity.
  8. BOHEMIAN FOR BUDGET. Bohemian simplicity has become a popular design trend to follow, especially for budget hotels, with high-touch furnishings, but simple, environmental finishes.

References:

http://www.greenspot.travel

http://www.hotelnewsnow.com

http://www.travelweekly.com

http://www.goshpr.co.uk

Eighty Ate – A new Cape Town favourite

There are not many restaurants out there that understand the makings of a perfect salad. Eighty Ate Restaurant at Cape Town Hollow Boutique Hotel does!

Eighty Ate Restaurant, Cape Town

Eighty Ate Restaurant, Cape Town

I visited this restaurant, across from the Company Gardens in Cape Town, earlier today and could not resist sharing photos and urging all my friends to put it on their Cape Town to-do lists. So now I’m even blogging about it, urging you to put it on your to-do list too!

The menu offers a great variety of out of the ordinary, mindbogglingly mouthwatering meals with specially chosen wines you rarely see in supermarkets.

A fresh, inviting restaurant with stunning flavours and huge potential!

Book your table on 021 423 1260 and see for yourself.

WATERFORD OF STELLENBOSCH WINS GLOBAL WINE TOURISM AWARD

Waterford Estate in Stellenbosch, widely acknowledged for its commitment to sustainable wine-growing and wine making, has been judged South Africa’s winner of the Great Wine Capitals (GWC) Best of Wine Tourism Awards. It joins seven other wineries across the globe, announced as the best in their respective countries at an awards ceremony in Mendoza, Argentina, last night (November 6).

Waterford Estate

Waterford Estate

The GWC is a network of some of the world’s leading wine-producing areas created to share and promote international best practice in wine tourism, one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing sectors of the tourism industry. Its Best of Wine Tourism judges are drawn from amongst the world’s leading tourism, food, hospitality, architectural, landscape gardening and cultural experts.

South Africa is represented on the GWC network by the Cape Town-Cape Winelands chapter. Other members are Mainz-Rheinhessen (Germany), Bilbao-Rioja (Spain), Bordeaux (France), Porto (Portugal), San Francisco-Napa (United States), Mendoza (Argentina), Valparaiso-Casablanca and (Chile).

As South Africa‘s Best of Wine Tourism Award winner, Waterford has been ranked with other celebrated wineries from around the world. These are Rioja’s historic Bodegas Marqués de Murrieta; the St Emilion estate, Château La Croizille, also steeped in history; the 17th-generation Weingut Dr Hinkel in Framershein; Trapiche, which is Argentina’s biggest wine producer and a multi-award winner; the highly rated Museu do Douro in Portugal, that represents the cultural heritage of the famous wine region and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the acclaimed HALL Wines of the Napa Valley and Chile’s Casablanca Valley Restaurant Macerado at Viñamar that specialises in pairing foods with sparkling wines.

Waterford, a 120 hectare property on the slopes of the Helderberg, took top place in the competition’s sustainable wine tourism and the wine tourism service categories. The winery has often been lauded for its biodiversity-focused vineyard safari experience, as well as for its vintage tastings and wine and chocolate pairings, attracting visitors from all over the world.

Waterford Estate

Waterford Estate

Co-owned by IT magnate Jeremy Ord and one of South Africa‘s most respected winemakers, Kevin Arnold, Waterford has been one of the Best of Wine Tourism Award‘s strongest contenders in past years, regularly achieving high scores across a number of categories.

Babylonstoren, that lies in the Drakenstein Valley between Paarl and Franschhoek, came second. Owned by Naspers chairman-designate Koos Bekker and his wife, Karen Roos, it won both the accommodation and architecture and landscape categories.

Newcomer, Cavalli won the arts and culture category, while Waterkloof won the category for best wine tourism restaurant and KWV won for innovative wine tourism experiences.

Speaking on behalf of the local GWC chapter, André Morgenthal said the Best of Wine Tourism Awards had over the years become an important incentive for wine producers to develop world-class connoisseur experiences for visitors.

Cape Town recently reaffirmed its global popularity as a travel destination, moving from 11th to fourth position in last month’s Condé Nast Traveler‘s annual reader choice awards. The offerings of the Cape Winelands were a significant contributor to public perceptions.

FULL LIST OF GREAT WINE CAPITALS BEST OF WINE TOURISM RESULTS: CAPE TOWN/CAPE WINELANDS

ACCOMMODATION
1 Babylonstoren
2 Grande Provence
3 Steenberg

ARCHITECTURE AND LANDSCAPES
1 Babylonstoren
2 Vergelegen
3 Cavalli

ART & CULTURE
1 Cavalli
2 Vergelegen
3 Grande Provence

INNOVATIVE WINE TOURISM EXPERIENCES
1 KWV
2 Creation
3 Solms Delta

SUSTAINABLE WINE TOURISM PRACTICES
1 Waterford
2 La Motte
3 Vergelegen

WINE TOURISM RESTAURANTS
1 Waterkloof
2 Delaire Indochine
3 Cavalli

WINE TOURISM SERVICE
1 Waterford
2 Steenberg
3 Vergelegen

PR for your town

I’ve recently read an article on the importance of PR for the city of Johannesburg, which made me think: it is not only Johannesburg that needs more PR. It’s every town and every city that we love here in South Africa. Cape Town might be the Mother City of South Africa, but mainly because of its spectacular natural wonder: Table Mountain. We need to find the reasons why other cities and towns in South Africa are PR worthy and tell it to the world!

Table Mountain - Photo taken by Renate de Villiers

Table Mountain – Photo taken by Renate de Villiers

Johannesburg, for one, like mentioned in the article written by Brand Slut, has many different things to offer and its diverse cultures and its history should be just as big an attraction as Cape Town’s attractions when communicated to the world.

Smaller towns like Matjiesfontein, Parys in the Free State, Clarens, Henley on Klip, Haenertsburg, Paternoster – why are they not on every traveller’s list even though everyone who has been there loves it? Because they lack PR!

Matjiesfontein is one of my favourite towns in South Africa. More like a village, actually, consisting of a gravel main road that separates the train station from the Lord Milner Hotel and the rest of the town. It is in this town that you will find the house where the first South African telephone rang – or so the tour guide told us. So much history and stories lie hidden in this town, yet no one knows of it.

Matjiesfontein - My favourite South African town

Matjiesfontein – My favourite South African town

Clarens has become very popular over the years, offering great outdoor activities in and between the Drakensberg. It also allows the not so active to enjoy arts and crafts, which is becoming a very popular reason for travel worldwide according to research from American Express Travel.

Still, I can go on and on about the awesomeness of all these places, but if its inhabitants don’t share their love and appreciation of the place with the world, no one will know and no one will visit. Let’s get up and do some PR, people!

For bookings on workshops relating to the basics of PR and Marketing for tourism and hospitality destinations, contact Travelling Mystery Guest on enquire@travellingmystery.co.za / 082 336 1562.

PS – thanks for the great eye-opener, Brand Slut. Let’s start with Jo’burg.