Red wine glasses being clinked
Red wine glasses being clinked

Paul Mabray, the man credited with revolutionising Napa Valley wine marketing and giving it a progressive new digital face and force, believes that wine industry sales are not sustainable over the next decade as it is still too production-oriented.

“We haven’t become sufficiently marketing-centric and that means we’re not yet putting the customer first,” said Mabray ahead of this year’s Wine & Food Tourism Conference on 2 December, when he will address delegates virtually as Covid-19 continues to limit international travel.

Following my previous article ‘Unveiling the Mercedes-Benz SUV Range’, the G-Class deserves special mention.

To mark its 40th anniversary in 2019, Mercedes-Benz had unveiled a range of highlights for G-Class fans, starting with the special STRONGER THAN TIME model — including the exclusive G 400 d, J40 Edition offering the most powerful expansion stage of the efficient inline six-cylinder diesel engine yet.

“41 years ago, the combination of on- and off-road properties was a revolutionary concept. The current G-Class continues this tradition, and forms the basis for its status as an automotive icon,” said Johannes Fritz, Co-CEO Mercedes-Benz South Africa and Executive Director for Mercedes-Benz Cars South Africa, during the SUV range media launch…

Safe Travels logo with group of tourists hiking along a beach
Safe Travels logo with group of tourists hiking along a beach

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has launched a self-certified Safe Travel Stamp based on worldwide industry protocols. The stamp aims to boost post-Covid-19 tourism recovery by enabling travellers to experience ‘Safe Travels’ by recognising destinations and service providers who have adopted globally standardised protocols in terms of health and hygiene.

Eligible tourism service providers such as accommodation establishments, restaurants, airlines, cruise lines, tour operators, attractions, short term rentals, car rentals, outdoor shopping, transportation and airports, will be able to use the stamp once the health and hygiene protocols, outlined by WTTC, have been implemented.

By ‘eligible’, the WTTC…

The compact car Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) family from Mercedes-Benz now consists of eight models globally that cover all bases: three wheelbase lengths, front and all-wheel drive, as well as petrol and diesel models.

I attended the Mercedes-Benz South Africa SUV range media launch at the AMG Driving Academy, Zwartkops Raceway on Wednesday 04 November. The vehicle lineup included:

  • Mercedes-Benz GLA
  • Mercedes-Benz GLB
  • Mercedes-AMG GLC63 Coupé
  • Mercedes-Benz GLE 400d Coupé
  • Mercedes-Benz G 400d
  • Mercedes-Benz GLS

We were given an opportunity to experience each of these models, both on-road and off-road. I’ve already reviewed the GLX 400d, so the Coupé is a new addition to this model. There’s a lot to report about each model, and I’ll do that as a series, but for this article, I’m going to focus on the all-new GLA.

The new Mercedes-Benz GLA

During…

guide2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE 400d 4MATIC

Driving two routes from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth and back to Cape Town in comfort and style.

What a pleasure! After five months of forced Covid-19 lock-down isolation, being afforded the opportunity to test drive the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE 400d 4MATIC for a week in August was made all the more pleasurable by my new-found freedom.

Well, almost new-found freedom. At the time, South Africas’ government had just confirmed that domestic travel for leisure purposes would be allowed as from 18 August. …

Video cameraman recording pollution on a beach
Video cameraman recording pollution on a beach

African journalists need to tell the story.

Alarmed by widespread environmental degradation, the climate crisis and plummeting biodiversity, governments last year declared 2021–2030 as the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (UN Decade).

The UN Decade is important. It aims to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems on every continent and in every ocean. By doing so, it can help to end poverty, combat climate change and prevent mass species extinction.

One of the barriers to achieving the UN Decades’ vision is public awareness. That’s where journalists have a big part to play. However, in Africa, that’s easier said than done.

Approximately 3 billion people…

Sustainable tourism is taking centre stage as South Africa looks to post-Covid-19 recovery.

A view of the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway from the base station.
A view of the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway from the base station.

Cape Town, 26 October 2020 — Wahida Parker, the Managing Director of Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company, believes the time has come to bring about change within the tourism sector as the industry gears up to recover from the global coronavirus pandemic.

A tablet and laptop displaying an online conference
A tablet and laptop displaying an online conference
Image by Lynette Coulston from Pixabay.

The global coronavirus pandemic has changed the way that professionals gather to confer on industry issues, making hybrid conferences the new norm, with surprising benefits.

South African event organiser, Margi Biggs, convenor of the Wine & Food Tourism Conference, now in its fifth year, explains: “Given the ongoing pandemic volatility and the way second-wave infections are breaking out in many parts of the world, it makes sense to offer the conference in a hybrid format. For those who want to attend the physical version of the event, they can join us in person in the Overberg. However, the digital option is available to anyone wanting to register. All overseas speakers will present digitally.

“Thanks to our lead sponsor, Wesgro, the conference can serve as a…

Leopard’s Leap kitchen staff preparing authentic South African cuisine
Leopard’s Leap kitchen staff preparing authentic South African cuisine
Leopard’s Leap chefs preparing authentic South African cuisine.

The capacity to quickly adapt to, and recover from, the global coronavirus pandemic appears to be a common denominator amongst this years’ Wine & Food Tourism Award honourees.

Speaking at the announcement of this year’s nine award honourees, Margi Biggs, convenor of the Wine & Food Tourism Awards, now in its second year, said that there’s nothing like a crisis to focus the mind.

According to Biggs, the after-shock on tourism brought about by the Covid19 pandemic should not be taken as a signal of defeat. “As traumatic and disruptive as the effects have been on the entire tourism industry supply chain, there is a lot we can do to improve our offerings, their accessibility and the way they are executed. The show can and must go on…

Despite being classified as a CITES Appendix I endangered species, cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) numbers have dropped from about 100,000 in 1900 to probably 6,800 today. Of these, only about 2,000 live in protected areas.

Is there a need for captive cheetah breeding programmes, and if so, how do these programmes contribute to species conservation?

To find answers to this question, I met with Chantal Rischard, co-founder of Cheetah Experience Ashia for a guided tour of this recently established wildlife sanctuary located in Paarl, a 45-minute drive from Cape Town.

Here’s what I discovered.

Des Langkilde

Travel & Motoring Journalist specialising in Africa.

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