February is the month of romance and our cover image, taken at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve in South Africa, reflects the serenity of nature with the privacy afforded by 5-star hospitality – an ideal combination for Valentines Day celebrations.
In fact, reading the book ‘Field Guide to the Flora of Grootbos Nature Reserve and the Walker Bay region’ by Sean Privett and Heiner Lutzeyer, it is apparent that the rehabilitation and development of this 2500 hectare property has been a labour of love.
Back in 1991, when Heiner and Eva Lutzeyer purchased a 123 hectare farm on the mountain slopes overlooking Walker Bay between the villages of Stanford and Gansbaai, little did they realise that their enterprising sons Michael and Tertius would succeed in establishing what has become a pristine botanical treasure trove, wildlife sanctuary, international 5-star eco-lodge and a world leader in luxury responsible tourism (read our property review feature on pages 16 – 17).Over the years, Grootbos staff have cleared all alien vegetation from the property, restored damaged areas, and now manage the land in accordance with strict ecological principles. The tourism development and associated non-profit programmes of the Grootbos Foundation now employ in excess of 150 full time staff, some 80 percent of whom are from local disadvantaged communities (read more in our responsible tourism feature on pages 22 – 26).
In this edition of Tourism Tattler we also look at the importance of credibility in tourism (pages 10 – 11), acknowledge the initiative of Whale Coast Conservation and their Shark Egg Case Monitoring Project (pages 12 – 13), and get advice from South Coast Tourism in marketing to German travellers (page 15).
Our legal beagle, Louis the Lawyer continues his series on the law and contracts (page 18) . Our marketing section looks at trends to help boost hotels, and new challenges facing tourism this year.
And finally, our risk section looks at crises management – a critical component to avoid your business being thrust into chaos (page 27).
As usual, our content is free to distribute and I encourage you to share and comment on articles published on our website – you may just win a Dietz Monarch Hurricane Lantern for taking the time to do so (see page 6 for more info).
Yours in Tourism,
Des Langkilde. firstname.lastname@example.org