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Travel trends: Africa’s on the up

The V&A Waterfront Africa has bucked global trends by being the only world region to have international tourist arrivals increase by 4% during the first eight months of the year. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s World Tourism Barometer, Africa is the only world region that held its own and recorded growth during the recent economic crisis. On the local front, Statistics South Africa released encouraging figures for the month of August, reporting that South Africa’s international arrivals were up 6,5% from the same month last year. Contributors to the positive statistics included increases in visitors coming from Italy (up 17,8%) and India (up 14,4%).

World Travel Market opens today in London

The World Travel Market (WTM) – the world’s biggest travel show – opened in London today. Now in its 30th year, the WTM is, according to its website, “a unique opportunity for the whole global travel trade to meet, network, negotiate and conduct business under one roof”. Alan Winde, minister of finance, economic development and tourism in the Western Cape, visited the Cape Town stand at the WTM.

Dream partnership launches first Central City Dream Event

Andrew Boraine, Chief Executive of the Cape Town Partnership (back, middle) shows his support for the Partnership’s Dreamfields Team. Photo by Anita van Zyl Following a typical Cape Town week of four seasons in five days, the organisers of the inaugural DreamEvent in Cape Town woke up with some trepidation to discover a sunny spring morning on 10 October – the perfect background against which to celebrate a day of soccer with The Dreamfields Project and its sponsors. The first of what is hoped will be a number of exciting soccer events in Cape Town Central City for previously disadvantaged children from around the Peninsula, Cape Town Partnership and the Central City Improvement District (CCID) joined The Dreamfields Projects for the first Central City DreamEvent, held at Cape Town High School. The event saw more than 150 primary school children from 10 primary schools (six girls’ and four boys’ schools), each sponsored either a Central City stakeholder or one of the Central City’s many supportive ‘neighbours’. Teams received full soccer kit from soccer balls to boots and team clothing for each team member.

Miller’s Point – Postcard from Paul

New departure terminal open – if you can bear to leave Cape Town

After many months of planning and construction, the new departure terminal at the Cape Town International Airport opened on Saturday (November 7, 2009).  As the 2010 FIFA World Cup draws closer and the upgrade to the airport surges ahead, the airport authorities have handled the demands of keeping air traffic, passengers and cargo moving while revamping the buildings and introducing new, world-class systems. For the last few months the new systems and processes have been put through their paces by airport staff, airlines, retailers and other businesses that operate at the airport in preparation for opening day.

Cape Town surfing – Flickr pic of the day

Anyone who has been on one of the many beautiful beaches in Cape Town will tell you that the beaches are a large part of what makes the Mother City so special. Scott Martin aka stickyak8, our Cape Town. Live it. Love it. group member who captured this image of boys surfing, would agree.

Llandudno sunset – Flickr pic of the day

Happiness is… moments like these on Llandudno beach, captured by our Cape Town. Live it. Love it. group member Leon Oosthuizen.

Green Point lighthouse – Flickr pic of the day

The Green Point lighthouse, captured here by our Cape Town. Live it. Love it. group member John B aka moi_images, is the oldest active lighthouse in South Africa, having operated since 1824.

Whatever term you use, Benni’s back

Photo courtesy Chris Kirchhoff Brilliant, brash, fat, troublemaker, clinical, excellent, a natural finisher, the hope of the nation or just a bit of a knob ... whatever term you use, the fact of the matter is that after eight months in the cold, in which he missed 13 matches including the entire FIFA Confederations Cup, Cape Town-born striker Benni McCarthy is back in the Bafana Bafana squad. Last appearing in a loss to Chile in Polokwane in February, Benni now returns to the international squad for a friendly against Japan on November 14.

Diving with Dolphins – A Cape Town Tourism photo essay

The spring southeaster is Cape Town’s harbinger of happiness, for it signifies that summer is finally here. From a diving perspective, it is fulfils another useful function: the wind is directly offshore and blows the dirty surface layer away. This is replaced by the ice-cold, crystal-clear water from the deep in a process known as “upwelling”. This nutrient-rich water is welcomed by the bait fish shoals, which are pursued by dolphins, snoek and game fish such as yellowtail. Following several days of a pumping southeaster, the water on Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard on Saturday, October 31 was about as good as it gets – 20m underwater visibility and a chilly 10°C.  

Llandudno beach – Flickr pic of the day

With a wealth of beautiful landscapes, Cape Town inspires moments of introspection as you gaze across the horizon – even in toddlers, it seems! This lovely photo was taken by our Cape Town. Live it. Love it. group member Hirohiko Okada aka 1/8 sec. Okada says, “I took a walk along Llandudno beach on a pleasant, sunny afternoon. Surfers were enjoying the waves, as usual, but what caught my eye was an adorable baby toddling around the shore. His pose was so cute it made my day!”

Guy Fawkes tonight, which means fireworks!

Photo courtesy sunsurfr Just to remind you what all the fuss is about, Guy Fawkes was the explosives expert in a group of English Catholics involved in the Gunpowder Plot. This was intended to overthrow the English Protestant King James I and to knock off as many members of the Protestant aristocracy as possible by blowing up barrels of gunpowder during the Opening of the Houses of Parliament on November 5, 1605. The plan went awry and ended gorily when the rebels were captured and a number executed by being hanged, drawn and quartered. Happily, South Africans don’t have to engage with the historical subject matter and can just enjoy the chance to legally set off fireworks and light bonfires.

Cape Town in line for international tourism award

St James Beach The City of Cape Town is delighted to be shortlisted for the Responsible Destination Award at this year’s prestigious Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards, to be held at the World Travel Market in London. The awards will be presented to the winners at a ceremony on World Responsible Tourism Day on November 11. Founded by responsibletravel.com in 2004, the awards recognise individuals, companies and organisations in the travel industry that are making a significant commitment to the cultures and economies of local communities and contributing positively to biodiversity conservation.

200 days to 2010 Soccer World Cup kick-off

Learn the diski dance with Cape Town Tourism In celebration of 200 days to kick-off, Cape Town Tourism will be teaching the famous diski dance at the Amphitheatre, V&A Waterfront on Sunday November 22, 2009, from 14h00 to 16h00. Enjoy an afternoon of great Cape Town entertainment and stand a chance to win some Cape Town Tourism memorabilia in the diski dance contest. We are on the lookout for the best diski dancer on the day! No entrance fee is required.

Join the diski dance movement with Cape Town Tourism

Join the diski dance movement! The first monthly Cape Town Tourism public diski dance took place on Friday October 30 – and everyone was invited! Amanda, one of the dancers from the pop group CODA, was on hand to teach the steps. A large group of Cape Town Tourism staff joined in. Most of the marketing team, some members and a few staff from Hout Bay and even Muizenberg made their way to town.

V&A Waterfront to host exciting Aqua Festival

The V&A Waterfront will be the spectacular setting of a brand new music and entertainment festival running for three weeks at the height of Cape Town’s vibey summer season. The Aqua Festival, which will run from December 15 to January 6, 2010, promises to delight locals and visitors to the Mother City.

Kirstenbosch pincushion – Flickr pic of the day

Now that summer has arrived, the Kirstenbosch Gardens are looking particularly stunning – as you can see in this photograph of a pincushion protea, taken by our Cape Town. Live it. Love it. group member Mervyn Hector. Mervyn says, “You only have one Cape Floral Kingdom and it can all be seen at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, Cape Town. What a treasure!”

Cape Town transport: your guide to getting around for the World Cup

Let’s say you’re a visitor to the world’s most beautiful city – which, in case you’ve just emerged blinking from the woods shouting “Is the war over?”, is Cape Town. And let’s say it’s 2010 and the FIFA World Cup crowds are coursing through the streets and up the lanes and down the highways, seething like lava flow along pavements, pouring into alleys and boiling onto the beaches and far, far out to sea and, well, just everywhere in the world’s most beautiful city. Given this scenario, we thought you could use a few pointers on getting around if you’re planning to be in Cape Town during the World Cup.

Devil’s Peak – Flickr pic of the day

Capetonians are notoriously proud of their beloved mountain – and when you see photos like this, can you blame them? This shot of Devil’s Peak was taken by our Cape Town. Live it. Love it. group member Ian Junor aka ifijay. Ian says, “Getting to work early at this time of the year makes one appreciate the true beauty of our Mother City. The sunrises and sunsets are spectacular.”

Summer in the city

Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts “Summertime, and the living is easy. Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high…” The words of George and Ira Gershwin and Heyward DuBose’s classical jazz song Summertime, from the musical Porgy and Bess, is as appropriate for summer living in the Mother City as it is for the Deep South in America, which it was originally written for. For most of us, our favourite memories of a Cape Town summer are entangled somehow in the music that our creative city is renowned for, be it soul, jazz, hip-hop, rap, classical music, rock, folk or a fusion of these genres. Cape Town is basking in the glow of summer and as the days get longer and the evening hours get duskier, there are countless musical events to explore.

Kalk Bay storm – Flickr pic of the day

The power of nature is clear to see in this dramatic photograph of the Kalk Bay Harbour during a storm, taken by our Cape Town. Live it. Love it. group member Keith Lyle aka Stanleyace. Keith says, “Who would have thought that we would experience a thunder storm during the night of October 25, accompanied by a 130km/h south-easter?”

Seven Cape Town beaches get Blue Flag grading

Muizenberg Beach, photo courtesy slack12 The new season of Blue Flag South Africa was launched at Muizenberg on Thursday, October 29, with 29 South African beaches (up from last year’s 19) being awarded Blue Flag status. Seven of these beaches are in Cape Town. According to Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariëtte du Toit-Helmbold, the Blue Flag endorsement is a thumbs up for tourism.

Devil’s Peak and Table Mountain – Postcard from Paul

Cape Town Stadium lit up – Flickr pic of the day

The thrill of the 2010 World Cup is almost tangible in this stunning image of the Cape Town Stadium all lit up, taken by our Cape Town. Live it. Love it. group member Jim Sher aka Blyzz. Jim says, “I was excited to hear on Tuesday (October 27, 2009) that the lights were going to be turned on and tested that evening in the newly built Cape Town Stadium in Green Point.”

Durbanville sunset – Flickr pic of the day

This peaceful image of a sunset in Durbanville attracted our Cape Town. Live it. Love it. group member Stiaan Schoema aka Quantum Theory. Stiaan says, “I noticed the sky as I was driving from the city down the N7. By the time I reached Vissershok Road the sky was starting to explode with colours. I knew I had to find an interesting foreground – and fast. I remembered an interesting field a few hundred metres down one of the side roads. When I got there I didn’t have long to set up the tripod, but with skies like these, you only need one shot. Magic!”

Scarborough Beach sunset – Flickr pic of the day

This photograph of a sunset on Scarborough Beach was taken by our Cape Town. Live it. Love it. group member Mandy Freeman. Mandy says, “My love for Cape Town lies in the variety of the beauty that surrounds us, waiting to be discovered and explored in an afternoon’s drive or a leisurely walk. Cape Town is ever changing, ever beautiful and always home.”

Cape Town panoramas – A Cape Town Tourism photo essay

Each of these beautiful panoramic images of the Mother City comes from a photographic series that was stitched together using Photoshop.

Camps Bay moment – Flickr pic of the day

This photograph of a mother and child at Camps Bay was taken by our Cape Town. Live it. Love it. group member Mikko Kapanen aka mikmikko.

“My Cape Town” competition winner claims his prize

Sivan Miller (middle) receiveing his prize from Aslam Levy and Mike Metelerkamp of Cape Town Tourism “My Cape Town” competition winner Sivan Miller claimed his R15 000 prize at the Grand Daddy Hotel in Cape Town on Friday, October 23. The “My Cape Town” competition was launched in celebration of World Tourism Month and asked photographic enthusiasts to enter images that they thought epitomised Cape Town.

Table Mountain as you’ve never seen it before

The Hoerikwaggo Trail The Khoisan word hoerikwaggo, meaning “mountain in the sea”, perfectly describes the setting around Table Mountain. See this for yourself – there’s no better way to discover the Cape mountains than hiking the Hoerikwaggo Trail.

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Currently: 13°C (06:58)