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Two new airlines eye LON-CPT route

Cape Town Air Access, the air route development project for Cape Town and the Western Cape, has landed 15 new routes and 20 expansions since its inception in 2015.

As part of its mandate, Cape Town Air Access, housed within Wesgro, is in regular communication with a number of airlines on potential new routes, airlines such as Virgin Atlantic. There was a perception created during a recent SATSA conference that Wesgro is in formal talks with Virgin Atlantic, but this is incorrect.

There are currently no discussions taking place with the airline on a direct London route. Cape Town Air Access apologises for the confusion caused.

Tim Harris, CEO Wesgro, told delegates at the SATSA Conference in KwaZulu Natal on 10 July, that the agency is also in talks with Norwegian Airlines about the possibility to introduce a London Gatwick – Cape Town route in the near future.

Harris explained that cities and regions that are well-connected will do well in the future. He said: “It’s all driven by consumer choice, and consumers demand to fly point to point. Visitors want to get to Cape Town with one flight.”

Air Access is vitally important, said also Bradley Bouwer. He explained that London to Cape town is currently the third-largest route and is currently serviced by British Airways.

According to statistics, Bouwer showed delegates at the SATSA Conference, total seat capacity between South African and international destinations on direct routes has grown by 2.8% between 2013 and 2019.

To view the presentations by Bradley and Tim, please click on the links below:

Bradley Bouwer
Tim Harris

SATSA launches new look, new logo

SATSA, formerly the Southern African Tourism Services Association, has rebranded at its conference where it is celebrating its 50th birthday.

The new logo was unveiled to delegates at this year’s conference held at the Wild Coast Sun from 9-11 July, sporting a new tagline that better describes what the association does: ‘The Voice of Inbound Tourism’.

Click here to see the transition from old to new.

SATSA members are encouraged to visit the website to download the logo and change it on all their collateral.

Mantis Developments SA

Mantis is a diverse collection of hotels, eco-escapes and waterways spanning every continent on Earth. Rooted in conservation, Mantis pursues sustainable business practices and develops tourism products that are respectful of the environment and communities in which they operate.

Whether small and intimate or vast and complex, on a sweeping African plain, bustling city, private tropical island or frozen snowscape, each is an exceptional place for guests to find themselves. While uniquely different in the experiences they offer, all are linked through a collective obsession to be extraordinary, to be rare in a world that mass-produces sameness.

In April 2018, Mantis joined the Accor Group, a strategic partnership which reinforced the Group as a leader in curated one-of-a-kind experiences and resonated with the Accor’s conservation platform; Planet21. Together, Mantis and AccorHotels created the Community Conservation Fund Africa (CCFA) in response to the urgent need for the tourism industry to play a greater role in conservation and community upliftment. CCFA is a registered NPO which funds community upliftment programmes and conservation operations in Africa.

Wine Flies Wine Tours

What if buying postcards and taking the odd vineyard picture is just not enough? Wine Flies Tours believes in the importance of real experiences…we rather share a glass of quality wine with a local wine maker in his old private cellar.

Our tours are different, something memorable, immensely fun, but mostly a real South African experience in the heart of the winelands. A must if you want to learn about wine making history, learn how to taste wine, indulge in local treats and share stories with our people.

You will get to visit the main attractions and world famous estates. But even better … you will also get to taste the wine lands in a much more real and in depth way by visiting hidden gems only known to locals, tasting true local cuisine and perhaps share stories with South African wine makers. This is what we pride ourselves in. It’s a must for the traveller wanting to experience the best of everything the wine lands has to offer.

Our wine lords (guides) have collectively more than 50 years of experience in the tourism industry – knowing exactly what travelers really want. We visit premium wine estates, but also do things that no ordinary tours do, that only South Africans get to enjoy.

Flying with Pride: Celebrating 25 years of democracy

To mark the 25th anniversary of South Africa’s first democratic elections, Flying with Pride will publish a 25th Anniversary Commemorative Edition of its book.

This edition of Flying with Pride includes a retrospective of some of the momentous occasions where the flag has been proudly displayed.

The ‘coffee-table style book’ looks at how the people of South Africa have embraced the flag, using it for anything from company logos to pendants, hard hats to bow ties, and let’s not forget our great export to the world – the Vuvuzela!

It also includes the fascinating (and often humorous) stories that emerged from the time when the MultiParty Negotiating Council created a commission to look at National Symbols, until the flag first flew in 1994.

Flying with Pride calls on all SATSA members and the general public to submit their own original image of the South African flag, or a representation thereof. Your favourite memory captured in colour could be featured in this new edition. For more details on how to submit your entry click here.

For more information on the book and how to get involved click here.

Expression of interest IBTM World 2019

South African Tourism has opened their expression of interest process for IBTM World 2019, taking place in Barcelona from 19-21 November.

IBTM World (formerly known as EIBTM) is a great opportunity for companies to get in front of the industry’s finest trade professionals and international buyers. It is an event aimed at helping industry partners grow their businesses in the meetings, events, conference, incentives and business travel industry.

Through highly-targeted introductions, IBTM brings businesses face-to-face with the right people in the right organisations, to build relations, develop their businesses and expand their knowledge.

As an established exhibitor or a newcomer, the show’s main focus is to bring key buyers and new business opportunities to all participants.

Around 3 000 global exhibitors and 15 500 industry professionals gather to attend each year. This unique Hosted Buyer Programme sets IBTM World apart from other exhibitions, hosting top-level decision makers and facilitating one-on-one appointments between exhibitors and buyers.

For more information on IBTM World 2019,click here. For a more detailed view of the interest in South Africa, click here.

Sho’t Left Travel Week is back for another epic run

The Great South African Sale, Sho’t Left Travel Week, is back. This year, South African Tourism has increased its investment in the initiative to R15 million.

South African Tourism is inviting all its trade partners to register for Sho’t Left Travel Week by uploading discounted deals and packages to the South African Tourism Sho’t Left website.

By joining Travel Week, trade partners will not only be exposing consumers to new and affordable ways to travel, their businesses will become part of the biggest local travel sale and benefit from the substantial media investment that will be made by South African Tourism.

Companies interested in participating, need to register for Travel Week then upload discounted deals, which will go on sale to the public this September. Keep in mind that the bigger the discount, the better the uptake.

The validity period of the deals will be at participating companies’ own discretion. Deals must only be available to book from 23 to 29 September 2019 and at the end of the promotional period, total bookings must be reported to South African Tourism.  The report will be an indication of the viability of Travel Week to continue year on year.

Please note that registrations close on the 15th of September 2019.

What’s in it for Travel Week participants:

  • Extensive marketing support by South African Tourism, spread across TV, outdoor, radio, digital and social media.
  • Collateral support for you to promote additional deals on your own platform.
  • Seasonality of offers means that you will be able to offer discounts to consumers during your quieter periods, at your discretion.
  • Improved provincial spread, where visitors will have the opportunity to book travel beyond their own provincial borders

For more information, please contact Melanie Leloup at

Applications open for SATs Nordic roadshow

South African Tourism has opened applications for local tourism businesses to showcase their products during a Nordic roadshow planned for October.

SATSA members who meet the minimum requirements are invited to apply for the roadshow which will take place from 13 – 25 October, covering seven cities including Stockholm, Gothenburg, Trondheim, Oslo, Helsinki, Aarhus and Copenhagen.

The key objective of the roadshow is to grow arrivals to South Africa from the Nordic region, and this will be done by highlighting South Africa’s variety of tourism products and experiences and thereby convincing the Nordic travel trade that currently sell South Africa that there is still ample opportunity beyond the high price and value packages that have been historically sold.  This will be done in partnership with the South African trade and suppliers participating on the roadshow.

Following the successful completion of a consumer research study, conducted from June to December 2018, South African Tourism will now prioritise in-market work focused on consumer insights, while continuing to facilitate business networking with South African product owners (trade). This approach will ensure that trade from the Nordic region are educated on both new and existing South African products and experiences.

South African Tourism will continue with the “networks” model of applications for this year, except for Destination Marketing Companies (DMCs) which will follow a different application process.

South African travel trade will need to develop new itineraries that showcase South Africa for both first time and repeat visitors as part of their application process. The “networks” should comprise product from across South Africa and, as part of their application, they must showcase itineraries according to key experience pillars that South African Tourism markets globally: Active Adventure, City lifestyle, Coastal Beach, Cultural Roots, Scenic Outdoors and Wildlife Safari.

Click here for the application process and more information.

All applications should reach SAT by no later than 29 July. All queries and questions can be sent to Abby Swartz at

Some Attractions on Panorama Route closed due to Industrial Action

Due to unresolved industrial action by employees of MTPA (Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency), a number of attractions managed by MTPA on the Panorama Route are currently regrettably closed. It is hoped that a prompt resolution will be reached, which will enable these venues to open again fully, as soon as possible. Kruger Lowveld Tourism would like to emphasise in the meantime that any demonstrations connected to the strike are entirely peaceful and there is no disruption on the region’s roads.

While there is unfortunately no current access by the usual entrances to God’s Window, Bourke’s Luck Potholes and the Three Rondawels, visitors should be aware that most of the popular attractions in the area are open and it is business as usual.

Possibilities for a rewarding day out include the Graskop Gorge Lift and numerous waterfalls around the Sabie and Graskop areas, including Berlin, Lisbon and Lone Creek Falls. Access to a viewpoint overlooking The Three Rondavels is obtainable through the hotel Blyde Canyon, a Forever Resort, and a traditional South African meal can still be enjoyed at Boskombuis, an open-air restaurant on the banks of the Treur River, upstream from Bourke’s Luck Potholes.

The adrenalin junkie, as always, has the opportunity to jump from The Big Swing in Graskop or hurtle down a mountain on the Long Tom Toboggan, on the Pass to the west of Sabie. Hazyview still offers all its rafting, quad-biking, Skyway Trails and elephant interaction options, as well as the Perry’s Bridge Reptile Park and Seronera Crocodile Farm.

All the major hikes are open, including Graskop’s Jock of the Bushveld Trail, offering views over the escarpment similar to the view from God’s Window. The birdlife-rich Bridal Falls Trail outside Sabie also provides a scenic and, at times, challenging walk. The historic mining town of Pilgrim’s Rest is fully open for business.

“We shall be keeping everyone informed regarding any progress in resolving the MTPA labour dispute, but we can all rest assured that there is no reason for prospective visitors to our area to reconsider their travel plans,” says Oupa Pilane of Kruger Lowveld Tourism. “The Panorama Route always has a plethora of excitements to amaze and entertain those lucky enough to spend time in this beautiful part of South Africa.”