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Survey: South Africa is ‘extremely friendly’

first_imgTourists found the South African hospitalityindustry welcoming. Sakhumzi, a restaurant in Soweto, isa favourite tourist destination.(Images: Bongani Nkosi)MEDIA CONTACTS• Department of TourismTrevor BloemChief Director: Communications+27 12 310 3631 or +27 82 771 6729• Democratic AllianceRoss van der LindeChief Operations Officer: Parliament+27 76 543 7254RELATED ARTICLES• Tourism to cash in on 2010 boom• World Cup driving SA tourism• World Cup tourists paint SA red• Game park facelift to boost tourism• Kruger Park booked out for 2010Bongani NkosiAlmost 90% of visitors who came to South Africa during the 2010 Fifa World Cup found locals to be very friendly and hospitable, according to a recent survey which highlighted the economic potential of the local tourism industry.The survey was run by the Democratic Alliance (DA), the official opposition party to the ruling African National Congress.The results, released on 19 September, showed that 89% of tourists found South Africans to be “extremely welcoming”.The 98 face-to-face interviews, conducted by the party during the month-long football spectacle, took place in and around host stadiums and near shuttle services. The survey covered the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Free State and Mpumalanga provinces.According to the results, not one of the interviewees found South Africans to be unfriendly, and only 11% found locals to be “friendly”, as opposed to “very friendly”.This research indicates that the impressions of the estimated 383 000 World Cup tourists are more positive than what has been reported in the media, the party said in a statement.“The results are a ringing endorsement of our successful hosting of the 2010 Fifa World Cup and a testament to the successful rebranding of our country that occurred during this period,” said DA shadow minister of tourism and member of parliament, Greg Krumbock.The survey also focused on related areas of interest, such as safety, personal experiences, public transport facilities and hospitality-industry prices.Most visitors ‘felt safe’About 70% of tourists felt safe in South Africa, while 26.4% believed they were very safe. Only 3.8% felt they were somewhat unsafe.“A number indicated that their actual experiences were completely different to what they had been led to expect,” Krumbock said.The party, which governs the Western Cape province, attributed the feelings of safety to the visibility of police officers. The government deployed more than 40 000 police men and women for World Cup operations.Prices fair“Fears that World Cup tourists would be overcharged proved unfounded,” Krumbock said.Competition in the hospitality industry resulted in tourists being charged fairly. The survey revealed that 48% of tourists found prices to be reasonable and similar to those in their own countries.Some 45% found prices, especially at restaurants, to be cheaper than in their own countries. Only 6.8% of tourists thought prices were higher in South Africa, “with most of these respondents finding taxi fares or accommodation more expensive”.Best experiences outside stadiumsAlthough World Cup tourists came to South Africa to watch their favourite teams play, most said their best experiences were had while touring the country – according to the survey.Only 23.5% of the visitors found watching their national team and the general World Cup experience to be the highlight of their trip, said the DA.About 31.5% found activities such as whale-watching and game drives to be “their most memorable experience during the tournament”. The highly rated Kruger Park National Park was one of the most popular tourist destinations for game-spotting.More than 75% of respondents said South Africa needs to improve its public transport systems, with related complaints being the potholes in certain roads, untarred routes, congested traffic in Johannesburg and expensive private taxi fares.World Cup proved country’s potentialThe survey shows that the potential of South Africa’s tourism sector to spur economic growth remains impressive, the DA said, adding that this was “due to the significant gap between actual experiences in our country and some negative perceptions that exist abroad”.South Africa needs to embark on more aggressive marketing abroad, said Krumbock. More needs to be invested in the industry to “unlock this potential” and enable the country to compete effectively with destinations like Australia, he added.“The World Cup has proved that this potential is far greater than previously realised, and single-minded determination is needed to take advantage of that.”last_img read more

Big guns commit to Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek

first_img11 July 2014Though October is still a way off, the list of podium contenders for the 2014 Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek is already an impressive one, with national, continental and world champions committing to the international mountain bike stage race.World championRecently crowned the elite women’s marathon world champion for a third time, Anika Langvad of Denmark has confirmed she will once again team up with Swiss ace, Ariane Kleinhans (Team RECM), in an effort to defend the women’s title that they secured in 2013.Also confirmed to contest the women’s title is former European and world champion and Olympic Games bronze-medallist Esther Suss of Switzerland, who will team up with South African marathon specialist, Theresa Ralph, twice a podium finisher in the Absa Cape Epic.Multiple Swedish national marathon champion, Jennie Stenerhag (Cape Brewing Co.), will join forces with multiple South African marathon champion, Robyn de Groot (Biogen Toyota), in another formidable pairing, adding further depth to the growing women’s field.UCI rankings pointsMost of South Africa’s top men’s marathon racing teams have confirmed that they’ll be on the start line of the seven-day race which, for the first time, will offer International Cycling Union (UCI) rankings points, making it only the second mountain bike stage race in South Africa and one of a handful in the world to hold that status.The RECM team that won the overall title in 2013 has confirmed it will return, probably with the combination of Erik Kleinhans and Nico Bell, while the FedGroup team of Kevin Evans and Max Knox are expected to resume their recently-formed stage-race partnership at the Cape Pioneer Trek.The German-based Team Bulls has confirmed it will also have a team on the start line, most likely the pairing of Tim Bohme and Simon Stiebjahn, while the current South African marathon champion, James Reid (Trek Factory Racing) will pair up with Rourke Croeser (Kargo Racing). They finished first and second at the recent national marathon championships.Also confirmed is Matthys Beukes, an Oudtshoorn local who, along with Gert Heyns, won the final stage and the African jersey at the 2014 Cape Epic. It has not yet been finalised who Beukes’ partner will be yet for Scott Factory Racing’s Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek team, but it’s sure to be a combination that will challenge for the overall title.RouteThe route for the 2014 edition was announced last month and will see the 500 participants covering a distance of 574km, with a total vertical ascent of 11 958 metres over the seven days.Once again the Swartberg Pass will offer a decisive challenge for the competitors on stage two. Besides an iconic mountain-top finish, the 86km leg has a formidable total vertical ascent of 2 781 metres.It is the richest stage in mountain bike stage racing with a total of R250 000 (about US$25 000) in cash, split equally between the first men’s team and the first women’s team to crest the summit.‘Honouring women’“Honouring women with the same prize money as that of the men will be one of our highlights in October, said Neels Grobler, the Chief Growth Officer at Bridge, said in a statement on Wednesday. “We realised that the women put in as much effort in their ride as the men and the next logical step was to reward women equally.“We believe that the UCI status, as well as the highest stage prize in mountain bike racing, will definitely elevate the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek. Bridge is thrilled to be associated with such an esteemed event in South Africa.”“The UCI status has raised the level of prestige even higher for the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek and we’re expecting quite a few more big name riders to enter the 2014 event over the next couple of months,” said Carel Herholdt of Dryland Event Management, the company that founded and manages the event.“But we want to state that while there is increased focus on the front of the race, we remain committed to making every single rider feel special, whether they’re chasing a podium place or trying to just beat the daily time limit. It’s a characteristic of our events that will never change.”A limited number of 2014 Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek entries remain available.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Traumatic Brain Injury

first_imgLast night (May 5, 2012) CBS 60 Minutes aired an enriched explanation on Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) often called the invisible wound. The program gave us many insights into difficulties of diagnoses and living with TBI.If you have an interest in learning more about TBI, please join the Military Caregiving webinar on military TBI and family caregiving issues on Thursday, May 9 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern. No registration is required to join the web conference, simply go to each of the following webinars to attend.Part 1 of the 2-part webinar series will be held on May 9 and can be found by going to its event page.Part 2 of the series will be held on May 16 and information can be found by going to  the Part 2 event page. This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network Blog on May 6, 2013 by Anne Adrian, Social Media Strategist for the Military Families Learning Network.last_img read more

Declare cow national animal: Hindu convention

first_imgPanaji: The sixth All India Hindu Convention, which kicked off at Ramnath temple in Ponda on Wednesday, passed a resolution demanding that the cow be declared the national animal. The topic for this year’s convention is ‘Need for unity of Hindu community and Saints for establishing the Hindu Nation’.Charudatta Pingale of Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) said Hindus will never get justice in the present democratic set-up and establishing a Hindu nation is the only remedy to all their problems.With regard to demands for ban on Sanatan Sanstha, Sadhwi Saraswati, president of Sanatan Dharma Prachar Seva Samiti of Chhindwada, Madhya Pradesh, warned that if a ban was imposed on the HJS and the Sanatan Sanstha, several ‘sanatans’ would grow out of it. Another resolution demanded that the Centre constitute a national history committee to remove the portions of ‘deformed’ history from all textbooks. The convention also passed a resolution demanding that Hindus be taken as members in the fact-finding committees for religious riots. The convention is being attended by representatives of Hindu organisations from across the country and from Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Ramesh Shinde, national spokesperson of HJS, said,“Pseudo democracy imposed by the British on India will have to be done away with. Prior to the arrival of the Muslim invaders and the British, India was a capable Hindu nation. Then we had the economics of Koutilya, sciences of architecture, dance. Under these circumstance, why should we prepare a separate blue print for establishing the Hindu nation? Instead, we are making a blue print to remove the pseudo democracy imposed on us by the British.”last_img read more

Crucial cushion

first_imgPhilippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Mariano confident PPL will start this month Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Abueva led Phoenix with 16 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. But a game after spoiling an 18-point, 21-rebound night with 10 missed free throws, the double-edged sword of the Fuel Masters may have cost his team a shot at tying the series when he ran to the dugout after his sixth foul. He also weighed down Phoenix with seven turnovers for the night. PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Marcio Lassiter hit a key three-pointer going into the final two minutes and San Miguel Beer proved steadier in the clutch to score a 92-82 victory over Phoenix Monday night for a 2-0 lead in their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal duel at Smart Araneta Coliseum.Lassiter’s three put the Beermen ahead, 84-80, after they had trailed by as many as 12 early in the game, and the Beermen also got a key break when a fouled-out Calvin Abueva further dented Phoenix’s hopes with a crucial boo-boo.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsAbueva was slapped with his last foul on a June Mar Fajardo attempt and the energetic forward sprinted straight to the dugout instead of heading for the bench. That drew a delay of game technical—Phoenix had already committed a similar infraction earlier—and Alex Cabagnot knocked in the free throw to make it 85-80.Fajardo then split his free throws off the Abueva foul to make it a six-point lead in the final 1:10. Lassiter hit the dagger thirty seconds later to stretch the lead to eight and send Phoenix into the Holy Week break on the wings of desperation. Once again, San Miguel Beer found itself stymied by the handcuff-like defense of Phoenix Pulse.And once again, the Beermen found a way to thwart the Fuel Masters.ADVERTISEMENT DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew “Obviously, it’s not over yet,” Lassiter said after compiling 24 points and seven rebounds. He scored 17 of his total in the second half. “We still need two more wins and it’s going to be a dogfight.”Game 3 of the series takes place on Easter Sunday.Fajardo, after being held below double digits for the first time in the tournament in Game 1, had 19 points, 18 rebounds, four assists and three blocks as he soldiered past a punishing Phoenix defense down low.Fajardo and Lassiter came out strong in the third where they combined to tie the game going into the payoff period after trailing for most of the first half.“We knew that in the first half we weren’t playing the way we should,” said Lassiter. “We knew in the second half that we needed to play San Miguel basketball. Share the ball, make the extra pass, get stops and keep grinding and grinding it.”ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ View comments LATEST STORIESlast_img read more