The winners of the 11th edition of The Radio Awards were announced on today, Friday 30 July 2021, in an online awards ceremony hosted by comedian Loyiso Madinga. A total of 80 winners were celebrated across 30 categories.
The 13th annual IAB Bookmark Awards took place today in a prestigious virtual celebration. Hosted by the multi skilled Selae Thobakgake and Merica Monamodi; the most thrilling and innovative digital marketing campaigns of the past year were announced.
Construction on The Capital Mbombela's R205m project, set to be a game-changer on the city's hotel and accommodation industries, is well underway with an anticipated hotel opening set for November 2021.
"The city hasn't seen any significant new additions to its hotel repertoire since development ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup projects," says Marc Wachsberger, managing director of The Capital Hotels and Apartments.
"Its status as a leading city in Mpumalanga, at the heart of the province's tourism and agriculture sectors, means that the time is perfect to build an exciting new offering that will be appealing to tourists and corporates alike."
According to a new NielsenIQ report, South Africa's latest liquor ban equated to a loss of R7,6bn during the four weeks it lasted (based on average sales - 13 weeks to end of May 2021 of R1,9bn per week).
As tourism continues to rise (2018 saw a global increase of 6% in 2017) consumers are not shy to make their preferences known on how they want to travel and, afterwards, what they thought of the experience.
While there’ll always be culturally- or regionally-specific microtrends, some larger trends are quite easily noticeable.
Self-directed and self-researched vacations
Conversations I’ve had with several accommodations and tour operators have confirmed that more travellers are opting to take self-drive holidays rather than group packages or arranged tours.
It seems that the desire to handpick their itinerary and a plethora of material available online is resulting in more self-curated holidays.
Certainly, gone are the days when the local travel agent was the trusted fount of knowledge concerning all things travel. TripAdvisor and the host of accompanying social media platforms have become the experts.
With a growth in travel blogger/influencers, holiday-goers also now increasingly basing their travel plans based on places recommended by the social media personalities that they follow and trust.
As a travel writer operating in the social media context, I’m inundated with requests from people asking for my various travel recommendations, and it’s always a pleasure to direct them to the lists that I’ve curated.
Another very visible trend is that holidays are no longer for just kicking back. Yes, we all love to wind down on a beach for a day or two with a good novel, but recent trends such as volunteer-tourism and educational-tourism have grown in popularity, showing that hands-on experiences are now a vacation must.
And It’s not only millennials who are wanting to get their hands and mind busy learning new skills. All ages are keen to get in on the action and learn something new while on holiday.
Whether it is a bucket-list adventure activity or gourmet food lessons, travellers are looking for intimate and hands-on curated experiences.
We’re seeing larger hotels partnering more with tour companies and service providers, whereas smaller boutique accommodation offerings are able to more easily tailor-make experiences themselves. Experiential travellers are willing to pay more for these curated travel experiences, providing of course that they are authentic and personal.
There's definitely seeing a rise in travellers wanting to spend time with locals. Part of feeling at home in another country is experiencing it through the lens and footprints of a local.
It hardly gets more personal or local with these types of immersive experiences. Taking guests on my private tours, I see first-hand how much they appreciate the chance to direct their questions to someone who is at home in the context they’re exploring.
Several online services – for example, Airbnb Experiences, Like A Local, Withlocals, etc. – help facilitate these experiences and connect travellers with locals.
About the author
Jared Ruttenberg is an independent travel journalist, regularly contributing to some of South Africa's most respected publications. His social media engagement leads him to partner with various clients highlighting Cape Town, South Africa and abroad. As a qualified tour guide he also offers bespoke private tours and experiences in and around the Mother City. Find him online at www.jaredincpt.com or www.instagram.com/jaredincpt.
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