Our January 2016 cover shows an image of the universe – an appropriate metaphor for the 2015 Luxury Hotel Awards winners – each of whom have attained stardom in their respective fields of recognition (see our Accolades story on pages 07 to 09).
The stars have always been a source of wonder to mankind. Think of it this way: You are one of billions of people on our Earth; our Earth orbits the Sun in our Solar System; our Sun is one star among the billions in the Milky Way Galaxy; and our Milky Way Galaxy is one among the billions of galaxies in our Universe, which makes you unique in the Universe! And what better place to view the Milky Way Galaxy than in Africa.
Coming back to planet Earth, there’s no denying that the travel and tourism industry worldwide has experienced challenges over the past year. The tougher global economic climate has seen tourists curtail travel plans, take longer to decide on a holiday destination, and when they do, they book at the last minute. All of which makes forward planning for the travel trade a lot tougher.
Ms Sthembiso Dlamini, the Acting CEO at South African Tourism summed it up in her New Year message: “As we look ahead to 2016, we are hopeful and optimistic about what the year holds. Despite challenges that may arise, we remain very hopeful that our allure as a destination will continue to draw people to South Africa.
“I invite you to join us and complement our global and regional marketing initiatives by continuing to deliver on the ground what we promise the world: A destination that is scenically beautiful, exceptional service standards of our industry, and tourism infrastructure matched only by the warm welcome of our people.
“I implore you too to support us also by participating at our Trade Shows, INDABA and Meetings Africa. Preparations for Africa’s biggest leisure and business tourism trade shows are already in full swing and all indications are that we are well on track to host successful shows.”
Speaking of trade shows, in this edition we feature the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2016, to which Tourism Tattler has been invited as hosted media (see page 19).
We look at the global hotel industry and trends for 2016 (page 24), provide seven steps for successful route tourism development (page 14), and feature the best route west through the Northern Cape (page 10).
Ahead of International Tourist Guides Day, which will be celebrated on 18 February 2016, we have a feature on Tourist Guiding in South Africa (page 20), and start an in-depth series on Understanding Tourism Insurance (page 26).
And finally, an encouraging report from Mpumalanga Tour Operators who are gatvol with Traffic Officer Bribery (page 17).
Enjoy your reading and do let us have your thoughts and comments.