(Mthatha) – In a boost for national property company Billion Group’s foray into hotel development – as well as a raise for Mthatha business and leisure tourism – the new luxury Mayfair Hotel in Mthatha has just been awarded a four-star grading by the Tourism Grading Council. This makes the R130-million hotel the latest of just a handful of four-star graded establishments in the city which, until recently, lacked the accommodation and entertainment facilities which larger centres boast. Billion Group, headed by CEO Sisa Ngebulana who grew up in the region, began aggressively investing in Mthatha two years ago with the development of the first major shopping centre of the region – the R1.4bn BT Ngebs City mall, named after Ngebulana’s entrepreneurial grandfather. The Mayfair Hotel – which Ngebulana says brings affordable luxury to the region – adjoins the mall, with ground set to break on another first for the region later this year: a R150-million casino and entertainment complex, complete with state-of-the-art cinemas. “I have a passion for the Eastern Cape and, of course, for Mthatha. I was born there,” said Ngebulana, adding that he was delighted with the four-star grading as the attention to the hotel’s design and detail were carefully considered and executed. “Mthatha has huge buying power and a lot of economic potential. The Mayfair will attract patronage from business and governmental travellers who frequent the area.” He added that Mthatha, historically, has experienced great pressure on its supply of local accommodation, with many visitors to the area having to travel to neighbouring towns and cities. “The Mayfair is intended to ease this pressure,” he said. “During its construction, more than 700 jobs were created and there are now 200 permanent jobs at the hotel. Those were in addition to the more than 3,000 jobs created by the construction of the mall.” Billion Group Commercial Director Vuyokazi Njongwe, who was intimately involved in . . .
Crystal Events Africa, formerly known as Crystal Events and Incentives, the leading conference, incentive travel and corporate meeting organizer in South Africa is proud to announce its expansion into Africa through strategic business partnerships within Harare and Kigali. The partnerships will increase the business capacity of Crystal Events Africa to successfully drive intercontinental business through inbound incentive programs, as well as bespoke business events and conferences across the continent. The expansion of Crystal Events Africa was spearheaded by its founding partner and president of SITE Africa, Tes Proos. Her unwavering confidence in Africa’s value proposition was validated through numerous engagements with partners and officials from Southern and East Africa. The expansion aligns with South Africa’s business and tourism goals and will seek to promote Africa as a preferred destination to global business travelers. A key contributor to the success of this expansion has been the people of the partnering regions and reinforces the fact that the humble confidence of Africa’s people is its best asset. “We are excited about the opportunities that Africa has to offer. The flexibility and co-operative spirit between African Tourism Authorities has been encouraging and instrumental in this expansion and we look forward to working alongside them in making business events in Africa a viable option for international business communities”, said Tes Proos, Founding Partner of Crystal Events Africa. Doing business in Africa presents both challenges and opportunities but according to the World Economic Forum, Africa is home to some of the fastest-growing economies in the world, and despite the pre-conceived ideas of a continent forever plagued by disease, war and turmoil, it is rapidly becoming one of the most desirable investment destinations. Recent visits to the partnering countries were encouraging and the ease of doing business far outweighs sentiments . . .
In celebration of Women’s Month, the Drakenstein Municipality in association with the Drakenstein Local Tourism Association hosted a hundred women on National Women’s Day, 9 August, to showcase the unique and diverse offerings of the region. The celebrations focused on the role of women in tourism and were presented in association with PRASA. Representatives from provincial and local government, tour operators, travel agents and social media influencers joined the day trip, which started with a train journey on Metro Rail and took in key points of interest such as Langkloof Roses in Wellington, Rhebokskloof Wine Estate in Paarl and finished on a high note at the iconic KWV Emporium. Keynote speakers on the day included Lauren Waring (Executive Director of Planning and Development, Drakenstein Municipality), Councillor Conrad Poole (Executive Mayor, Drakenstein Municipality) and Beverley Schaefer (Member of the Western Cape Provincial Legislature). The theme of the day stressed the importance of breaking down barriers in tourism for women and the significance of sustainable growth in this increasingly valuable industry. Tourism was once again highlighted as one of the biggest potential drivers for economic growth and the role of women at the centre of this sector was emphasised. MP Schaefer reiterated the importance of economic empowerment of women through improved female representation within the tourism sector. She encouraged the participants to continue pushing the boundaries and to carve their own way in South Africa’s fastest growing industry. She identified the tourism sector as a potential breeding ground for ambitious women with a hunger for success. She called on women to become part of the decision-making process and to take charge of the economic availability in this sector. According to Annelize Stroebel, general manager of the Drakenstein Local Tourism Association, it was a great opportunity for the region to create awareness of what the . . .
Webtours, Durban, South Africa Webtours, which assists South African travellers book affordable travel packages across the globe, have recently revamped its www.justski.co.za website to better represent special packages from the top ski operators around South Africa. Webtours, an online travel agency, has been in operation since 2007 with a group of niche travel websites serving the different international destinations and packages which are favoured by South African overseas holiday and honeymoon options. Justski was launched today (17th of August 2017) and now offers a more diverse range of ski holidays featuring France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, China and even Dubai. The Webtours Group and Justski have partnered with the leading South African ski operators and the old website was no longer a clear representation of all the packages and holidays that they had on offer. The new website offers a more uncluttered design with better functionality which enables visitors to find the best ski package suited to their needs and make more informed decisions. The old website was also outdated and was difficult to keep up-to-date. The new Justski website will allow us to make quick edits. Currently we are experimenting with an API integration which some of our other websites enjoy and hope to add this to Justski in the upcoming months We are very excited to revamp our Justski website as we achieved top growth for Club Med ski holidays last season and with the new website we can now expand our services offerings across the board and continue the growth of the business. - Edwina Fletcher About Webtours Webtours is not simply a group of travel-passionate individuals, but a dedicated, dynamic team of Destination Specialists committed to providing the very best experience for both current and future clients. With a never-ending focus on attention to detail, personalised service and an insatiable taste for adventure, Webtours is, and will continue to strive to . . .
Zanzibar Amber Resort, a Pennyroyal Gibraltar Ltd. Development, has appointed the Pam Golding Property group to market the luxury apartments and villas to be completed as part of the first of seven phases in the mega-development. Set to be the largest premium hospitality investment and resort in East Africa, the venture is the first ever of its kind, allowing non-Zanzibar citizens to buy property in Zanzibar. Purchasers will acquire the residential units on a 99-year leasehold basis, with an option to renew for a further 49 years. Residency is available and can be granted for three years, which is then renewable for a fee. Traversing 411ha incorporating 4km of prime Indian Ocean coastline, Zanzibar Amber Resort is a luxury tropical community that will include a vast array of options and facilities. These comprise five 5-Star hotels including Ritz Carlton and Anantara Resort, stylish apartments and villas, an Ernie Els Signature 18-hole golf course and clubhouse, gourmet underwater restaurant, a series of man-made islands and man-made off-shore reef, a luxury marina and super-yacht facility, stylish souk-style mall, dedicated private airport, tropical aqua park, equestrian centre, international school and world class medical facilities. Says Saleh Said, Managing Director of Zanzibar Amber Resort: “We are pleased to partner with the Pam Golding Property group as their reputation in the industry is one of the highest levels. Zanzibar Amber Resort will significantly change the perception of the world towards Zanzibar, strategically placing it on the map as a luxury gateway, and we believe that Pam Golding Properties will be able to help us achieve this goal.” Zanzibar offers a stable economic and political environment with growth rates of around seven percent, a stable financial sector and lucrative incentive packages to strategic investors. All foreign investors own 100 percent of their businesses and government continues to introduce measures aimed at . . .
Port Elizabeth, 18 August. The rehabilitation of the R75 between Port Elizabeth and Despatch is set to create significant opportunities for SMMEs in Nelson Mandela Bay the South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL) announced today. “The implementation of road safety measures and rehabilitation of the National Route R75 Section 1, which constitutes 13 kilometres, will create work for a minimum of 37 local SMMEs between 1CE PE and 6 CE PE CIDB grading within the Nelson Mandela Bay. Local labour from within wards 11, 14, 25, 28, 30, 31, 33, 36, 41 and 52 will receive opportunities for employment and skills training,” said Mbulelo Peterson, SANRAL Southern Region Manager. The procurement process for the SMMEs has already commenced. This two-year project should be completed in May 2019. “Route 75 is known as one of the major National Roads within the Eastern Cape’s interior and connects Uitenhage with Port Elizabeth. The National Route R75 is widely used by motorists travelling between Uitenhage and Port Elizabeth including pedestrians. The 37 local SMMEs will get the opportunity to participate in a development project that will boost their experience and revenue,” said Peterson. Some of these sub-contracting opportunities include, but are not limited to: the removal, relocation and/or installation of traffic signals, accommodation of traffic, road widening excavation and installation of sub-soil drains, drainage systems, and concrete linings for open drains, animal fencing, and concrete palisade and road markings. “There is also an introduction of a Sanitation and Waste Disposal and Environmental Project which will also allow SMMEs to participate,” Peterson concluded. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Eastern Cape, 17 August 2017: The South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL) would like to notify travellers that controlled blasting is scheduled to take place on the N2 between Grahamstown and the Fish River Pass on Friday, 18 August 2017, between 2:30pm and 4:30pm. The road will be closed for approximately 1 hour between these times. The closure will take place approximately 34 km East of Grahamstown (Settlers Monument turn off). Motorists between Port Elizabeth and East London could consider using the R72, although there are roadworks on that route as well. “Motorists are requested to plan their trips accordingly and be cautious when making use of the road,” said Mbulelo Peterson, SANRAL Southern Region’s Manager. #SANRAL #controlledblasting #Grahamstown #FishRiverPass CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Eastern Cape, 17 August, 2017: The South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL) would like to notify travellers that controlled stop and go sections are in place on the R67 between Whittlesea and the Swart Kei River due to road construction. “Motorists are requested to adhere to the reduced speed limits applicable on this portion of the R67 and are requested to be patient at stop-and-go-sections,” said Mbulelo Peterson, SANRAL Southern Region’s Manager. “Construction work on this Section of the R67 is expected to continue until October 2018.” SANRAL apologises for any inconvenience caused. #SwartkeiRiver #Whittlesea #SANRAL #trafficadvisory #R67 #stop&go CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
San Francisco, CA, August, 2017 -- Today, Airbnb and VICE Media are teaming up to bring one-of-a-kind Experiences to life through the Airbnb Trips platform. Hosted by VICE, these global adventures are available to win exclusively through Airbnb. Happening in top destinations around the world, the different Experiences will explore Cape Town’s vibrant electronic music scene, Paris’ secret sexual history of love and lust, New York’s ballroom vogue scene and Tokyo’s underground queer culture hotspots. VICE, one of the world’s leading youth media brands, has captivated audiences for more than two decades through immersive storytelling around the world, making them uniquely situated to curate authentic Airbnb Experiences that are inspired by VICE’s most beloved and cutting edge content. The four Airbnb Experiences available to win include: Township Techno in Cape Town: Dive into the electronic music scene in an unexpected place - the Khayelitsha Township. See how rhythm and beats are imprinted in the culture by learning traditional dance moves. Then collaborate with a local DJ to produce your own track, which you’ll perform later at a party you won’t forget. VICE has curated this tour alongside Spoek Mathambo and Yolanda Fyrus. Spoek Mathambo is a world-renowned South African rapper, DJ and producer, who coined the term “Township Techno.” Yolanda Fyrus is a musician, frequent collaborator of Mathambo’s, and all-around Khayelitsha figurehead. Lust in Translation in Paris: This unique travel Experience will reveal a more historical, nuanced side of Paris than you’re used to - from the classic cabarets in Pigalle, to the “love stores,” that are promoting inclusivity in erotic culture, to your own private burlesque class, and even...kinky baguettes. VICE has curated this tour along with Camille Emmanuelle, an internationally published writer, educator and therapist whose work focuses around sex, intimacy and empowerment. Belle of the Ball in . . .
Weddings are one of the most universal traditions on the planet yet they are celebrated differently by everyone. Tying the knot in any culture comes with a list of different rituals and traditions and, family dynamics aside, there are many more things to consider and prepare for, especially here in South Africa - with our eleven official languages, chiefs, dominees and gogos to consider, it can be tough task marrying two cultures without offending Aunty Mabel. Despite the umpteen different cultures or religions you may have to incorporate into your ceremony, it is important not to forget to showcase your own personalities - after all, it is ‘your’ day and it is exactly your differences, and similarities, that brought you together that should now be celebrated - for instance, playing your favourite song and teaching Chief Nkomu how to do the shuffle, or giving personalized chocolates as wedding favours instead of the traditional bag of sugar-coated almonds. And you don’t have to do it all at the ceremony and reception – after an open, honest chat with the family, consider spreading the different traditions. You could plan the ceremony around the bride's heritage and turn the reception into a celebration of the groom's. Or, host the bachelor or bachelorette party incorporating an element from each other’s customs. It’s the perfect occasion to try umqombothi (beer), used to celebrate the home-coming of young men in Xhosa culture, or the Lebanese tradition of zaffe, a rowdy escort of music, dancing and shouting by the groom’s friends and family. For the bride there is the Japanese ritual of pouring saki to reaffirm friendships or the time-honoured tradition of giving “something borrowed, something blue”. Catering: A little more challenging is serving a traditional meal, because in many cases the menu is limited by the venue, so if a customized menu is not possible try incorporating signature drinks like saki for a Japanese reception or chai instead of coffee . . .