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BT043 May 2011.pdf _9 Mb_ - Business Traveller


									       Business travel in Africa
            need not be a mine field.

                                                                                 INSIDE: l brands in Africa
                                                                                 Global hote
                                                                       AFRICA                                rence
                                                                                 PLUS           with a diffe
                                                                                  Inside Qata ses in SA
         ISSUE 40

                                                                                   Top golf cour in Johannesburg
                                                                                   Cocktail hour


                                                                                                                                                        ISSUE 41
                    BUSIN ESS

                       TRAVE LLER

                                                                                                                                                                    march 2011
                           AFRIC A

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                                                                                                                                 BUSINES S TraVELL

                                                                                                                                                           Food for tho

                                                                           Perfect in the heart of Jo’burg
                                                                                                                                                        Africa’s best bus

                                                                                                                                                        dining options


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While travellers of old might have been lled
with fear at the thought of traversing Africa –
today it is different.

With the help of a monthly publication that
brings you the latest hotel, airline, travel
management company, car rental and foreign
exchange information – you are secure.

Safe in the knowledge that this information
along with interviews from industry leaders,
thought pieces and all the news – African
travel is now clear for take off.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               AFRICA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  MAY2011 | 
                                                                                     Visit for more information
                                                         42                                              Contents


                                                                                                20	People	on	the	move
38                                    52
                                                                                                	    The movers and shakers –
                                                                                                     what they’re up to now and
                                                                                                     who has won what ?

                                                                                                21	Tried	&	Tested	                 	
 18 The Palazzo Montecasino                                                                          •
                                                                                                         Protea Hotel Waterfront Centurion
                                                                                                         City Lodge Pinelands Cape Town
                                                                                                         Zebula Golf Estate and Spa
      A closer look at the opulent five-star experience                                              •   Constantia Hotel
      that the Palazzo Montecasino offers - a piece                                                  •   Four Points by Sheraton Lagos
                                                                                                     •   Velvet Sky VS001
      of Italian beauty and a delightful combination of
      elegance and sophistication.
                                                                                                28	How	I	Travel	
                                                                                                     •   Andrew McLachlan, Rezidor
      FEATURES                                         REGULARS                                          Hotel Group VP: Business
                                                                                                         Development, Africa & Indian

  34	Laptops	vs	Tablets                            04	Message	from	the	team
                                                                                                         Ocean Islands
                                                                                                     •   Geert van Doorn, CEO: Hylton
                                                                                                         Ross Exclusive Touring
        With the emergence of the tablet,                New editor, Dylan Rogers introduces
        are we seeing the end of the laptop,             himself and shares his thoughts
        which finds itself under threat, after a
        decade or so of dominating the mobile
        business travel tool market ?              06	Events	Diary                              56	Q&A	Interviews	
                                                                                                         Dave Horton, Global Head, Hilton
                                                         What’s happening in your area over              Hotels & Resorts

  38	Sports	Tours	
                                                         the next three months?                      •   Alan Vels, MD, Signature Life

                                                   08	News	
        Nice to have, if you’re on the                                                               •   Charles Duncan, United Airlines
        receiving end. But, why has this
        incentive and business tool become
                                                                                        	                VP: Sales — Transatlantic, Middle
                                                                                                         East & India
                                                         Airline, hotel and other travel news
        so popular ?                                                                                 •   Dr Salifou Siddo, CEO: Tourism
                                                         in Africa and beyond
                                                                                                         Enterprise Partnership

  42	Travel	Insurance		
                                       	 	         16	ASATA	Update                              52	Golf	Courses	                   	
        Peace of mind is the key, but do you       	     ASATA CEO, Robyn Christie looks
        know enough about the travel insurance           at the new Consumer Protection Act          Glendower Golf Club
        market and your own personal cover ?             and its possible impact on the

                                                                                                56	Cocktail	Hour	
                                                         travel industry
  48	Consumer		                                    16	ASATA	Agency	of		                              •   Protea Fire & Ice! Hotel Bar -
                                                                                                         Melrose Arch, Johannesburg
  	     Protection	Act                             	     the	Month	
  	     What does it mean for the business               Jonathan Gerber of Travel
        traveller and do you know your                   Assignment Group gives up the
        hotel rights ?                                   secrets to his company’s success          Business Traveller is published by
                                                                                                          arrangement with
                                                                                                      Perry Publications Limited.

                                                                                                                                   MAY2011 | 
                         ED’S LETTER

                    Africa Awaits
                             new issue and a new hand on the      and hotels and all with a business traveller         we might find ourselves on the receiving
                             rudder here at Business Traveller    focus. For now, though, an interesting mix           end of some World Cup final tickets. And
                             Africa. Greetings from myself, and   of content in this month’s issue, starting           lastly, just how much of a techno-phobe are
                             a pledge to keep you, the reader,    with a close look at the high-class offering         you, and do you believe you’re up to speed
                    as up to date as possible on the latest       provided by that entertainment hub in the            on the latest mobile work tools out there?
                    developments, issues, and industry news       north of Johannesburg – Montecasino.                 Uber-techie, Charles Boffard takes an in-
                    affecting the African business traveller      Thereafter, our usual mix of News, People            depth look at the Laptops v Tablets debate,
                    and those working in the space. Having        on the Move, Tried and Tested, How I                 the pros and cons of each, and what the
                    spent the majority of my time confined to     Travel, Q and A, and Cocktail Hour, along            mobile business traveller should be looking
                    the very south of the continent, besides      with our three features for the month of             for, when thinking about purchasing a
                    a three-year sabbatical in Europe, I look     May. Just how much do you know about                 business tool to suit his or her needs.
                    forward to exploring the African continent    Travel Insurance and your personal cover             I hope that whets your appetite and that
                    and I hope you’ll come with me. Here in       every time you venture out on a business             you’ll keep us updated with your feedback.
                    Johannesburg, we are well aware of the        trip? Has your employer taken out the                We’d welcome that.
                    need to both broaden our own horizons         relevant cover for you, and do you know
                    and the type of content we print in our       exactly what to do should you find yourself          Dylan Rogers
                    magazine, and I hope that means that          in a pickle far from home? On a lighter
                    you can look forward to more of a diverse     note, Sports Incentive Tours have become
                    offering in the coming months, including      big business and a great way of either
                    a greater focus on some of Africa’s most      incentivising staff or retaining clients. Why
                    prominent and busiest cities, which will      has this type of entertainment or incentive
                    go hand-in-hand with our regular Tried        become so popular? We take a closer look,            Editor
                    and Tested features, covering both airlines   whilst thinking wistfully about the day when

                    PUBLISHER                                     CONTRIBUTORS                                        NIGERIAN	OFFICE:
                    Richard Lendrum                               Michael Jackson, Charles Boffard, Christine Marot   3rd Floor, EuniBrown House195,
                                                                                                                      Ikorodu Road, Palmgrove,Lagos, Nigeria
                    EDITOR                                        ADVERTORIAL	JOURNALIST                              Tel: +234 1 740 3236
                    Dylan Rogers                                  Melissa Douman •           Mobile: +234 803 963 0155
                                                                  SUBSCRIPTIONS	AND	PRODUCTION                        PUBLISHER	–	NORTH	&	WEST	AFRICA
                    MANAGING	EDITOR                               Mabel Ramafoko                                      Tope Ogbeni-Awe
                    Taryn Westoby                                            
                                                                  SOUTH	AFRICAN	OFFICE                                EDITORIAL	ASSISTANT
                    CONSULTING	EDITOR                             Postal Address:                                     Mohammed Abdullahi
                    Jeremy Maggs                                  PO Box 3355, Rivonia, 2128
                                                                  Physical Address:                                   MARKETING
                    MEDIA	SOLUTIONS	CONSULTANT                    No 9, Third Ave,                                    Lanre Fagbire
                    Zelka Spoja-Vieira     082 348 3935           Rivonia 2128
                                   Telephone: 011 803 2040                             SUBSCRIPTIONS
                    Pierre Grobler         082 900 4026           Fax: 011 803 2022                                   Kehinde Ekundayos

                    DESIGN	AND	LAYOUT
                    Kelly Wooldridge

                    CREATIVE	HEAD
                    Ruhan Gudmanz

                      | MAY2011
MAY2011 | 
                                                      Africa Day
                                                    27 - 29 May
                                                   About: Sanaa Africa will embrace Africa’s rhythmic heart and soul by hosting some of
                                                   the continent’s most exhilarating art, entertainment and music. The weekend’s festivities
                                                  will be hosted in and around Moyo Zoo Lake and the space will come alive with vibrant
                                                  art works, buskers, poetry readers, live puppet performances, film viewings and a
                                                 dedicated kids’ area.
                                               Venue: Moyo Zoo Lake, Johannesburg

                                                                            Oyster Festival
                                                                                  28 - 29 May
                                                      About: It is the largest Oyster Festival in
                                             Gauteng with 6,000 people expected to attend.
                                                Over 26,000 oysters will be served with a wide
                                          arrange of fine wines and champagne. Also on offer
                                     to tantalise the taste buds will be everything from gourmet
                                    cheeses and olives to nougat and confectionery. The cultural
       experience includes live musical performances on Brightwater Commons’ grassy greens.
                                 Venue: The Brightwater Commons, Randburg, Johannesburg
  Contact: +27(0)11-7895052 or visit and follow them on Facebook.

     W.Afri-Tel Expo
     14 – 16 June
     About: W.Afri-Tel Expo is the West African International Telecoms and I.C.T Exhibition and Conference, a three-day event for the telecoms
     sector in the West African region and attended by trade visitors from Africa and abroad. Attendees can look forward
     to a mix of technical papers and panel presentations on promising new approaches to security problems.
     Venue: Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos
     Contact: Gillian Pope +27(0)11-7837250 or visit

                                                                                        The Greenest Event
                                                                                                            22 June
                           About: The biodiversity of South Africa faces unprecedented threats, due to a growing
                               human population, unrealistic expectations of material wealth, declining soil, air and
                                     water quality and uncertainty about future climatic conditions. The
                                        Greenest Event is a full-day seminar that will cover a range of
                     Feast                            topics critical to the sustainability of the country.
                 of SA Shiraz                            Venue: Sandton Sun Hotel, Johannesburg
               &Charcuterie @                          Contact: Taryn Westoby +27(0)11-8032040,
        4 June
        About: Carl Schultz, celebrated
  winemaker at Hartenberg, widely
regarded as one of South Africa’s                                                                          Abuja International
oldest and leading producers of                                                                            Motor Fair
Shiraz, has invited a select choice of winemakers to                                                       8 July
showcase their wines at this indulgent day of Shiraz                                                      About: Major African and international ve-
and Charcuterie. They will be joined by some of the                                                       hicle manufacturers are expected to exhibit
best local charcuterie masters, cheese makers and                                                       and visitors can look forward to viewing a
olive enthusiasts, for a food and wine-pairing feast on                                        selection of the latest cars and trucks, as well as an
Hartenberg Wine Estate.                                                                 update on the latest technological advances in the industry.
Venue: Hartenberg Estate is situated on the                                      Venue: International Conference Centre, Shehu Shagari Way,
Bottelary Road off the R304 to Stellenbosch                               Abuja Municipal, Abuja
Contact: +27(0)21-8652541,                                          Contact: +234 01 4749963 or visit or visit
For tickets, visit                 Franschhoek Bastille Festival
                                                        16, 17 July
                                                        About: An annual celebration of the valley’s
     centuries-old French Huguenot heritage. The food and wine marquee is always the focal point
     and visitors can sample fine wines from some of Franschhoek’s award-winning wine estates
     and indulge in mouth-watering dishes created by the valley’s highly acclaimed chefs. Also not
     to be missed, popular traditions and activities, such as boules, the minstrel parade and the
     barrel-rolling contest. A farmers’ market, craft market stalls, musicians and children’s activities
     are also included. For those wanting to appreciate French heritage in comfort, the Screening
     Room at Le Quartier Français will be screening French movies throughout the weekend.
     Venue: Franschhoek Village, Cape Winelands
     Contact: Darielle Roberston +27(0)21-8762861,, For tickets, visit

 | MAY2011
MAY2011 | 

Air France to launch non-stop Cape Town
– Paris Charles De Gaulle route
As of 3 November 2011, Air France will fly non-stop from Cape Town    be able to experience Air France’s new Business Class seat, which
to Paris Charles de Gaulle, with three weekly flights. They will be   was launched in December 2010. The new route is part of Air France
operated by a Boeing 777-200 with a total capacity of 309 seats,      and KLM’s expansion policy on the African continent, with four new
made up of 35 seats in Business Class, 24 in Premium Economy          destinations launched in 2011: Freetown (Sierra Leone), Monrovia
and 250 seats in Economy Class. Business Class passengers will        (Liberia), Conakry (Guinea) and Cape Town (South Africa).

                                                                              Qantas advance
     New baggage                                                              seat selection
     allowance for klM                                                        Qantas has extended Advance Seat Selection to offer all
                                                                              customers the choice to select a regular seat on Qantas
    KLM has increased its Business Class baggage allowance                    international and domestic flights from time of booking.
    to two bags of 32kg each. There has been no change in                     On Qantas international flights, Advance Seat Selection is
    economy class, where passengers are allowed one bag                       complimentary in the First, Business and Premium Economy
    weighing a maximum of 23kg. The baggage fee for a                         cabins, and in Economy Class for Platinum, Gold or Silver
    second bag in this class has been priced at $100, with the                Qantas Frequent Flyers, equivalent oneworld Frequent Flyers,
    exception of travellers to/from Africa or US destinations. For            and for all customers travelling on the same booking. For
    Flying Blue loyalty card holders, one extra bag is permitted              all other customers, Advance Seat Selection is offered at a
    over the free baggage allowance.                                          charge of AUD20 per person per flight segment. If customers
    Golf bags weighing up to 23kg are free, as the golf bag is not            have not already selected a seat, one will be allocated at
    counted as part of the free baggage allowance.                            check-in, based on the preference stored in their frequent
                                                                              flyer profile.

  | MAY2011
                                                                   We’ve earned
    Africa award for                                               our wings
    intercontinental                                               To attain placement on the IATA Operational Safety

    OR Tambo                                                       Registry (IOSA) and airline is evaluated on the
                                                                   following criteria.
    The InterContinental Johannesburg O R Tambo is the
    recipient of this year’s Skytrax award in the Best Airport     •   Flight Operations
    Hotel for Africa category. The award was handed out            •   Engineering and Maintenance
    in Copenhagen on the 30th of March. It’s the third             •   Flight Dispatch
    award in the past year for the hotel, which was also           •   Cabin Operations
    the recipient of the Worlds’ Best Luxury Airport Hotel         •   Security
    award, at the World Luxury Hotel Awards. It also               •   Ground Handling
    picked up the Hotel of the Year award by Southern              •   Cargo
    Sun, for the Deluxe Brand.                                     •   Organization and Management
                                                                   It is with pride that we announce that we are the

Qantas responds to                                                 only Nigerian Airline, operating on our own Air
                                                                   Operations License, to achieved IOSA registration.

rising fuel costs                                                  Arik Air is West Africa’s preferred airline
Qantas has announced a range of measures to re-position the        With a modern fleet of 26 new aircraft offering the latest
business, as it responds to high oil and jet fuel prices and the   in comfort, style and service, we connect you with 28
                                                                   destinations across Nigeria and internationally.
impact of significant natural disasters in Japan, New Zealand
and Australia. The measures include reductions in domestic
and international capacity, retirement of aircraft, reduction of
management positions and ongoing fuel surcharges. They include
the suspension of up to four return weekly Jetstar services from
Australia to Japan; the suspension of services between Perth
and Narita; downsizing of aircraft between Sydney and Narita
from a Boeing 747 to an Airbus 330; reduction of three daily
Jetstar domestic New Zealand services to Christchurch and one
Melbourne to Christchurch daily service; fleet changes, with the
early retirement of two B767 aircraft and a review of manpower
costs, which will include initiatives to reduce management
headcount and annual and long service leave balances.

    Partnership for
    First Car and
    Velvet Sky
    First Car Rental has announced that it has entered into
    an exclusive car rental partnership with new, low-cost
    South African airline, Velvet Sky. The airline’s services
    will commence with one plane, flying the Durban-
    Johannesburg route twice a day and the Johannesburg-
    Cape Town route, once a day. Velvet Sky intends to have
    three planes in the sky by June and it hopes to include a      For further information, or to make a reservation, please
                                                                   call Jannie and his team of Fikile, Louise and Gladys on
    Durban-Cape Town route. First Car Rental’s business is
    well-segmented in terms of direct consumer, corporate,         011 666 7470
    retail, replacement, tour operator, inbound and film, but      who are on hand for your convenience offering
                                                                   you a personal service that no call-centre
    a market sector that they haven’t delved into, until now,
                                                                   can match or contact your preferred
    is aviation.                                                   Travel Agency.

                                                                                                          MAY2011 | 

                                                     Mount Grace
                                                     Mount Grace has won South Africa’s Best Luxury Day Spa
                                                     award in the country category at the 2011 World Luxury Spa
                                                     Awards. This accolade follows hot on the heels of the hotel’s
                                                     honour by the Professional Beauty Awards as the 2010
                                                     Resort/Hotel Spa of the Year.

You’ll save time and                                     announced
money from day one                                       Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has

with an expert on board.                                 announced that it will open 50 hotels in Europe,
                                                         Africa and the Middle East over the next three to five
                                                         years. With growth fuelled by demand for its design-
Why do companies from a world of different               led and luxury brands, the company will unveil 12 of
backgrounds choose Corporate Traveller? It’s             these hotels in the region this year alone. Globally,
because we’re focused on managing individual             Starwood expects to open 70 to 80 hotels in 2011,
company needs, within individual cultures in an          as it continues to strengthen its lead as the world’s
efficient, cost effective manner.                        largest operator of luxury and upper upscale hotels.
                                                         Key upcoming openings in the region include five new
                                                         St. Regis hotels in primary destinations such as Italy,
         “Thank you (Diana Steele, Travel                Mauritius, United Arab Emirates and Qatar; the debut
         Manager) for your patience exercised            of W Hotels in three major European cultural and
         on Friday. You maintained your                  financial centres - London, Paris and St. Petersburg,
         professionalism throughout and for this I       and the launch of Le Méridien in Turkey, a key fast-
         say thank you. I know that I am not your        growing market for Starwood.
         only client, but you always make me feel
         as if I am.”
         Dagmar Buckton, The Workforce Group
                                                     Southern Sun on
What you can expect from your expert
·   The personal touch
                                                     top at B-BBEE
    Global buying power of the Flight Centre group
    No fixed term contracts
                                                     The Metropolitan Oliver Empowerment awards recognised
·   Flexible payment options                         Southern Sun as the 2011 Top Empowered Company in
·   24-hour emergency assistance                     the Travel, Leisure and Entertainment category. The awards
                                                     celebrate the category and individual winners who drive
Visit our website today for more information.        economic empowerment in South Africa and is the country’s
                                                     pre-eminent Black Economic Empowerment awards initiative.
                                                     The entering criteria for this award measured implementation
                                                     of strategic Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment
                                                     policies and effective internal measurement mechanisms,
                                                     as well as effective transformation policies. The finalists also
                                                     had to provide their status with regards to the seven pillars
                                                     of empowerment as per the B-BBEE scorecard and their
                                                     financial performance based on turnover, growth, profitability
                                                     and productivity.
    0 | MAY2011
    Protea Hazyview
    Mpumalanga’s Protea Hotel Hazyview, located
    just 15 minutes drive away from South Africa’s
    Kruger National Park, is undergoing an extensive
    refurbishment of all its 87 rooms. Work has already
    started on the first 24 rooms and the refurbishment
    is expected to be completed by the end of August.
    Work is being done in six-week phases, with minimal
    disruption to hotel guests.

                                                                                             Traditional but
                                                                                               not conventional


Travel smart with Air
Mauritius and Europcar
Europcar South Africa has joined forces with Air Mauritius
as a partner in its newly-launched Travel Smart Program,
aimed at enticing more South African visitors to visit the       Skyjunxion offers all the services of a traditional TMC - just
island out of season, when it is quieter and cooler in           faster, easier and more affordable - with online technology.
Mauritius. The Travel Smart Program offers great value-                        SA’s only dedicated online TMC
added benefits, such as preferential car hire rates, increased
luggage allowances, free trips for children and discounts
for honeymooners. This venture with Air Mauritius is part
of Europcar’s strategy to further entrench its brand in the
hearts and minds of its customers through carefully selected
strategic partnerships.

                                                                              w w w. s k y j u n x i o n . c o . z a   MAY2011 | 

               Protea Hospitality Group
               adds Vineyard Estate to
               Located between award-
               winning vineyards and
               the upmarket Vineyards
               Office Estate in Tyger
               Valley, in Cape Town’s
               northern         suburbs,
               this unique hotel is
               scheduled to open in
               June. The Protea Group
               has more than 120 hotels
               across eight countries in
               Africa and their latest
               acquisition is part of their strategy to constantly strive to surpass guest expectations.The
               new hotel is just minutes from Tyger Valley and Bellville’s business district, but also close to
               the natural beauty of the famous Magic Forest mountain bike and walking trails. The first
               31 hotel rooms, all the public areas, the conference rooms, restaurants, lounge and bar will
               open on 1 June 2011. The remaining 64 bedrooms will be ready by the end of September.
               All the rooms will offer guests cool and luxurious comfort, with contemporary and attractive
               decor. Guests will have access to all the amenities associated with a brand-new Protea
               Hotel, including complimentary Wi-Fi, HD LCD televisions and secure parking.

                   Protea Hotel Wanderers
                   upgrade complete
                   The 4-star Protea Hotel Wanderers, nestled in the prestigious suburb of Illovo, Johannesburg,
                   has completed the upgrade of its hotel. Business and leisure travellers can now relax in
                   the fresh, new rooms that come with maple panelling, floating chest of drawers, LCD
                   televisions, new tea and coffee stations, and executive work desks with marble tops. The
                   rooms may boast a new look, but the hotel has not abandoned its custom of placing a
                   fresh red apple in guests’ rooms every day. The hotel prides itself on personalised service
                   and careful attention to detail and the comfort of its guests is paramount to it. The upgrade
                   includes the replacement of furniture in the reception, bar and smoking lounge.

                       Continental Airlines offers
                       flat-bed seats
                        United Continental Holdings has announced that all Continental flights operated
                        with Boeing 757-200 aircraft now feature new flat-bed seats in Business First,
                        marking the second major milestone in the installation of 180-degree flat-bed seats
                        throughout Continental’s international fleet. Continental completed the retrofit on
                        its 22 Boeing 777s in December 2010. Continental operates 41 Boeing 757-200
                        aircraft flying principally between its New York hub at Newark and Europe. On
                        retrofitted aircraft, United and Continental offer premium cabin customers flat-bed
                        seats that recline 180 degrees, along with power port and headset and USB plugs.
                        iPod connectivity enables customers to view their personal videos and listen to
                        their favourite music. Each seat offers audio and video on demand and a 15.4-inch
                        video screen. In addition to the reconfiguration of the international fleet, United
                        plans to expand Economy Plus seating to all Continental aircraft beginning in 2012,
                        offering more legroom economy seating than any airline in the world.

2 | MAY2011
    Sheraton New York
    announces renovation
    The Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers, one of New York City’s largest and
    most iconic hotels, has gone ahead with plans for a $150 million renovation
    project. Over the next few months, the prominent landmark will receive a floor-to-
    ceiling transformation, expanding the size of all 1780 guest rooms, grand suites
    and the Sheraton Club Lounge. The hotel’s multi-million dollar renovation project
    is part of Sheraton Hotels & Resorts ongoing commitment to enhance its global
    portfolio and is one of several landmark Sheraton hotels that will launch a large-
    scale renovation project this year. The first phase of the project was scheduled
    to be completed in May. The remaining guest rooms will begin renovation in
    December, with completion scheduled for April 2012.

Mantis group introduces
Zambezi Queen
The Mantis Group, which is made up of five-star boutique hotels, game reserves, eco-
experiences, luxury yachts and extraordinary rail journeys, now introduces the latest
exclusive experience, which they hope will further diversify their collection. It’s called the
Zambezi Queen and this luxurious, 45-metre floating boutique hotel situated on Botswana
and Nambia’s great Chobe River, will now offer Mantis clients another once-in-a-lifetime
experience. Guests can now experience the thrill of an African safari from their own private
suite aboard this luxurious boat. There can be few natural wonders as synonymous
with Africa’s raw wilderness as this stretch of untamed waters. The Chobe River divides
Botswana’s Chobe National Park from Namibia’s Caprivi Strip and its exotic banks boast
one of the densest populations of wildlife on the African continent.

Enterprise Development
– the future of SA Tourism
Rennies Travel has made a significant contribution to the development and
transformation of the South African tourism industry, with a R300 000 investment in the
Tourism Enterprise Partnership’s (TEP) new Enterprise Development Portfolio, earning
Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment points for Enterprise Development up
front. Rennies view B-BBEE as a positive strategy aimed at transforming not only the
organisation, but also the environment in which they do business. For Rennies, that is
to ensure that people from designated groups are given access to opportunities and
the company acknowledges the critical role it needs to play. They say their involvement
with TEP is driven by their objective to contribute positively to the involvement of the
travel and tourism industry in initiatives that will achieve real transformation.

    Etihad to commence
    services to the Maldives
    Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has announced
    that it will commence operations to Malé, the capital city of the Republic of
    Maldives, on 1 November, subject to government approval. Etihad will operate a
    daily return service from its home base in Abu Dhabi to Malé International Airport,
    operating Airbus A320 aircraft on the route, configured with two cabins and
    offering 1904 seats each week.

                                                                                                 MAY2011 | 

               launch of Queen

                                                          Newmark Hotels has
                                                          opened the Queen
                                                          Victoria,    a    small
                                                          luxury hotel with 35
                                                          rooms and a top floor
                                                          Presidential Suite in a
                                                          prime location in Cape
               Town’s tourist magnet, the V&A Waterfront. The completion of the
               Queen Victoria forms part of Newmark’s long-term vision to invest
               in the Waterfront’s exclusive Portswood precinct. Situated on an
               embankment, it is characterised by quaint, historic buildings and
               360-degree views encompassing Table Mountain, Signal Hill, Cape
               Town’s working harbour and the Atlantic Ocean. Affectionately
               known as the Queen Vic, the hotel is an extension of Newmark’s
               existing footprint in the Waterfront, where it already owns and
               manages the perennially popular Victoria & Alfred Hotel and
               boutique-sized Dock House Hotel & Spa.

                   BA and Iberia
                   merger means Latin
                   America and Middle
                   East, a step closer
                   British Airways and Iberia are placing their codes on a new
                   tranche of one another’s flights, bringing Latin America
                   closer for BA’s customers and the Middle East to the
                   doorstep of Iberia’s travellers. British Airways has placed
                   its code on Iberia flights between Madrid and San Jose
                   (Costa Rica) and Panama City. Iberia has added its code to
                   British Airways flights to Bahrain, Doha, Abu Dhabi, Dubai,
                   Kuwait and Muscat. Iberia will also add its code onto British
                   Airways’ services to Cape Town and both airlines will share
                   their Johannesburg flights. Iberia’s flights to Havana will also
                   carry the BA code. Customers are also now able to mix
                   and match Iberia and British Airways’ flights to and from
                   Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Johannesburg,
                   Lagos, Cairo and Tel Aviv, enabling them to access flights
                   to suit either their schedule or their budget.

 | MAY2011
We have been serving Rome since 1964 and now we stretch our wings to Milan another
exciting city in Italy. Milan offers you from fashion to shopping to the foods and
architecture and many more to enjoy. And if football is your passion, you’ll be
spoilt for choice with Milan’s two world famous teams to watch.
So say “Ciao” to Italy and go wild in Milan for your next holiday.

TEL: +27(0)11 289 8077/8 FAX: +27(0) 11 289 8072
Toll Free Number 0800984023                                                      MAY2011 | 

      May 2011

              he introduction of the Consumer Protection Act on           principles of the Act would
              1 April saw the foundations laid for a more regulated       surely agree and, interestingly,
              approach to those industries currently not regulated.       the Code of Conduct written
              ASATA has worked closely with the Department of             by ASATA Members for ASATA
     Trade and Industry for months to better understand the Act           Members, covers most of the
     and its regulations, but the journey has only just begun. The        principles of the Act.
     implementation of the Act and the processes surrounding its
     governance are still a long way from being ‘signed, sealed           The National Department of
     and delivered’.                                                      Tourism has invested a good
                                                                          portion of the Tourism Strategy to embark on
     I was chatting with a New Zealand colleague recently about           campaigns that encourage South Africans to take holidays - not
     the devastating impact of the Christchurch earthquake. There         just ‘leave’. We have learnt that those countries that promote
     is some doubt as to whether the city will ever be able to rebuild    and nurture a culture of domestic travel also end up enjoying
     itself completely, considering the number of people leaving in       an increase in other visitors. Therefore, we need the CPA to
     their droves. However, not everyone is able to load up and go        protect those who will almost certainly face unscrupulous and
     and it was at this point that he described a silver lining to this   opportunistic operators.
     very dark cloud. His brother owns a portaloo business that a year
     ago was almost out of business, but which is now a prosperous        ASATA and its members support the CPA and, in keeping with
     venture looking for finance to purchase more equipment. The          its guidelines, encourage our customers to bring any complaint
     moral of the story is that there is always someone who will          to the business for resolving. In the event that a resolution is
     benefit from the misfortunes of others.                              not reached, the customer should be persuaded to submit the
                                                                          formal complaint to ASATA as an alternative dispute resolution
     In South Africa right now, we would not be wrong in thinking that    option. Failing that, all complaints may be directed to the
     the legal fraternity and the conference organisers are benefiting    Commissioner for review.
     greatly from the implementation of the new legislation.
                                                                          Robyn Christie
     But what started out as a feared piece of legislation that was
     sure to cripple the travel industry, has turned into quite the
     opposite. Any reasonable business that examines the basic

Q and A - Travel Assignment Group (TAG)
Jonathan Gerber (Managing Director)
                                      What solutions does your            What values does your company pride itself on?
                                      company offer corporate             We are a new-age company that focuses on old-style values.
                                      clients?                            We take our time to understand what it is that we need to
                                      Corporate Travel has been           provide and we do it with conviction, pride, integrity and
                                      commoditized.       Travellers      enthusiasm.
                                      don’t know who does
                                      their bookings and the              What are some of your challenges?
                                      consultants don’t know or           Our biggest challenge is an industry intent on making itself obsolete.
                                      understand who they are             Prove your worth, add value, save money, partner with your client,
                                      booking for and why. The            provide solutions and embrace the Internet and mobile technology.
                                      personal touch has left the         Another challenge is convincing old-style thinkers that the values of
                                      building! Fortunately, this         yesteryear are still pertinent today - they just look different. Everyone
                                      is not the case at TAG - we         still talks about the good old days - we are currently still in them!
                                      are a client-centric, high-         Charge for your services, because you deserve to. But only if you
                                      touch, fair-value, attention-       have added value.
                                      to-detail, fun-loving and
                                      high-quality travel company.        How do you overcome these challenges?
                                      We employ the best people,          By pushing boundaries, having fun, listening, giving everyone at the
we know who it is that we are serving and we know why they                table an equal opportunity, having bucket-loads of energy, and all of
are travelling. We make it our business to be the best and if you         this with humility.
don’t believe me, just ask our clients. We save them money and
we provide the best possible solution for our clients. We don’t           What are your ambitions?
provide the solution that best suits us.                                  To be the best that we can be! Every single day! n

  | MAY2011
                                                                                GALILEO    AMADEUS
HOTEL BRAND           HOTEL NAME                        LOCATION                RES CODE   RES CODE

  Signature Safaris   Zebula Bush Lodge                 Bela Bela (Warmbaths)
  Signature Safaris   Waterberg Lodge                   Bela Bela (Warmbaths)
  Signature Safaris   Eagles Nest on Zebula Estate      Bela Bela (Warmbaths)
  Signature Safaris   Zebu lodge on Zebula estate       Bela Bela (Warmbaths)
  Signature Safaris   Premier Homes on Zebula Estate    Bela Bela (Warmbaths)

 Signature Hotels     Fairview on 14th                  Northcliff - JHB        73926      RHJNB009
 Life Hotels          Life Hotel OR Tambo               OR Tambo Airport        78607      RHJNB010
 Life Hotels          Life Hotel The Aviator            OR Tambo Airport        11375      RHJNB011
 Signature Hotels     Strathhavon Hotel                 Sandton - JHB              -          -
 Signature Hotels     Athol Boutique Hotel              Sandton - JHB              -          -


  Signature Hotels    Docklands Hotel                   uShaka Marine World     10010      RHDUR016
  Signature Hotels    Hotel on the Park                 Berea Durban            01961      RHDUR014
  Signature Hotels    Hotel 64 on Gordon                Morningside Durban      11394      RHDUR018
  Signature Hotels    The Caledon                       Ballito                 02123      RHDUR015
  Signature Hotels    Canelands Beach Club              Salt Rock               16371      RHDUR020
  Signature Safaris   Jozini Tiger Lodge and Spa        Jozini Dam              01522      RHDUR012
  Signature Safaris   Jozini Tiger Lodge House Boat     Jozini Dam                 -          -
  Signature Hotels    The Westbrook                     Westbrook Beach            -          -
  Signature Hotels    Ocean Reef Hotel and Apartments   Zinkwazi                   -          -
  Signature Hotels    Forest Suites at Zimbali          Ballito                    -          -
  Signature Hotels    Sisonke Steam Train               Southern Drakensberg       -          -
  Quarters Hotels     Quarters on Florida Durban        Florida Road Durban     75792      DUR449
  Quarters Hotels     Quarters on Avondale Durban       Morningside Durban      77248         -
  Life Hotels         Life Hotel Ballito                Ballito                 17443      RHDUR019

  Signature Hotels    Manhattan Suites                  Century City              -            -
  Quarters Hotels     Quarters on Harbour Rd Hermanus   Hermanus                62908      RHCPT023
  Life Hotels         Life Hotel New Kings              Seapoint Cape Town      77347      RHCPT022


 Signature Hotels     Casa do Capitao                   Inhambane                 -            -
 Signature Hotels     Barra Beach Club                  Inhambane                 -            -
 Signature Hotels     The Embassy Hotel                 Maputo                    -            -

                                                                                           MAY2011 | 
               E AT P L AY L I V E AT GAU T E N G ’ S N O. 1 E N T E R TA I N M E N T D E S T I N AT I O N

               Whether it’s enjoying all-out entertainment, our dazzling array of restaurants, the sheer
               adrenalin of a live concert, the thrill of gaming or the awe of our award-winning theatre
                          productions - fun, laughs and good times await the whole family.

                                                                   As Gauteng’s premier entertainment destination, we’ve got

                                                                   it and so much more…

                                                                   The spectacular Montecasino Outdoor Piazza allows visitors

                                                                   to take advantage of the South African climate, while

                                                                   enjoying the beauty and perfectly synchronised displays of

                                                                   the musical fountain, dining in any of the six al fresco-style

                                                                   restaurants or simply taking in one of the many regular

                                                                   entertainment options staged in and around the Piazza.

                                                                   Since opening its doors, South Africa’s largest theatre,

                                                                   the Teatro at Montecasino, has become synonymous

                                                                   with world-class productions such as The Lion King and

                                                                   CATS. The Teatro is known for bringing a variety of

                                                                   internationally acclaimed productions to the stage, to

                                                                   captivate and entertain.

                                                                  We offer a variety of Slot machines and Table games,

                                                                  including American Roulette, Blackjack, Baccarat, as well

                                                                  as the only Dice table in South Africa, one of the very first

                                                                  strictly traditional poker table areas – the Montecasino

                                                                  Poker Lounge – a fully equipped Smoking Casino and the

                                                                  exclusive Salon Privé. Montecasino caters to all the

                                                                  ‘Gamer-tainment’ lovers.

                                       Find out more: visit • Tel. +27 11 510-7777 • Fax. +27 11 510-7070
                                       No.1 Montecasino Boulevard, off William Nicol Drive & Witkoppen Road, Fourways, JHB.

 | MAY2011
There are three Southern Sun hotels situated at Montecasino,

catering to a variety of tastes and preferences.

The SunSquare Hotel offers an exciting new concept in

lifestyle hotels.   This hotel opens out onto one of the

complex’s coolest hotspots, the Montecasino Outdoor

Piazza. The 179 funky rooms are designed for the trendy

traveller who seeks a cosmopolitan experience.

Southern Sun Montecasino Hotel is modelled on the design

and spirit of a centuries-old Italian villa, balanced with

modern elements. It is located within The Pivot, a new

business and conference area, making it the perfect

destination for both the leisure and business traveller.

The elegant Venetian décor extends to the 194 bedrooms

all with gorgeous en-suite bathrooms.

The luxurious Palazzo Hotel caters for the discerning

traveller. Set amongst beautiful landscaped gardens with

cascading     water   features   and   magnificent Tuscan

architecture. Accommodation comprises 246 bedrooms

with a selection of room types including Suites.

Tsogo Sun supports the National Responsible Gambling Programme. Winners know when to stop, only persons over 18
are permitted to gamble, National Problem Gambling Counselling toll free helpline 0800 006 008.

                                                                                                      MAY2011 | 

                    Senior Vice-President for America, Etihad Airways       various properties under Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and most
                    Geert Boven                                             recently with the Rezidor Group. He’s been based in Russia,
                    Geert Boven will be responsible for all Etihad’s        Germany and Egypt and now has the opportunity to lead
                    operations in the US, Canada and South America.         the Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel, Lagos - the first Rezidor
                    Boven has a wide range of experience, having            property in Nigeria.
                    previously held senior positions with KLM Royal
                    Dutch Airlines, Martinair and Oad Group. He was                            Personal Chef, Dutch Manor Antique Hotel
Executive Vice-President: Sales and Services and Executive Vice-                               Heloise Smit
President: Customer Services and Airport Operations at Etihad, and                             24-year-old Heloise Smit adds a personalised
was most recently Managing Director of Amadeus Gulf.                                           touch to every dish that leaves Dutch Manor’s
                                                                                               kitchen. Smit graduated in the top five of her class
                    Director of Sales and Marketing, Sheraton                                  from the Silwood School of Cookery. She believes
                    Pretoria Hotel                                                             her experience, which includes in-service training
                    Sanet Fagan                                             at the Mount Nelson Hotel and Ellerman House, has prepared her
                    Sanet Fagan has over 15 years experience in             well for her new role.
                    the hospitality industry, having started her career
                    at Protea Hotels, where she was named Sales                                Head Chef, Park Inn Hotel Sandton
                    Executive of the Year in 2000. She also gained                             Leon Hatton-Jones
valuable experience working for Emperors Palace as National Sales                              Leon Hatton-Jones has catered for two South
Manager and Hyatt International, where she oversaw Tour Operators                              African presidents, in the form of Nelson Mandela
and the International Market.                                                                  and Jacob Zuma, as well as a host of celebrities.
                                                                                               He has an Advanced Chef qualification and a
                    General Manager, Sandton Sun in Johannesburg                               diploma with City and Guilds and started his
                    Andrew Davidson                                         career in the airline business with Sun Air and VIP Charter Flights.
                    Andrew Davidson has a strong background in              He’s held various positions within The Three Cities Group – among
                    the hospitality industry, spanning 18 years. He is      them, at Alpine Heath Resort and Conference Village, The Royal
                    moving within the Southern Sun Group, having            Hotel and Exquisite Cuisine.
                    occupied the position of general manager at the
                    Palazzo Montecasino for the past two-and-a-half                            Airline CEO of the Year award, Dana Air
years. Davidson has managed a number of top hotels and holds a                                 Jacky Hathiramani
hotel management diploma from Birnam Business College and the                                  Jacky Hathiramani, CEO of Dana Air has been
Technikon Witwatersrand hotel school.                                                          named the ‘Airline CEO of the Year 2010’ at the
                                                                                               Air Transport Awards in Nigeria. Hathiramani
                    General Manager, Park Inn by Radisson in Sandton                           received the award for “his outstanding
                    Kirsten Jensen                                                             contribution to the growth and development
                    Kirsten Jensen takes over from Patrick D’Hoore          of the aviation industry, his exemplary leadership style and his
                    who remains with the group. Jensen has extensive        passion for excellence”, according to the awards committee.
                    experience in Europe and Asia, having first joined      His efforts with Dana Air have seen the company become one of
                    Rezidor as a human resources assistant at the           Nigeria’s leading airlines in its two years of operation.
                    Radisson SAS St. Helen’s Hotel in Dublin. She’s held
various management positions within the group in Brussels, Ireland and                         Group Senior Consultant for SST, Tourvest
France. Her most recent position was that of general manager at Park                           Destination Management
Inn Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, before her relocation to Sandton.                      Nerusha Singh
                                                                                               Nerusha Singh, Group Senior Consultant for SST, a
                    General Manager, Radisson Blue Anchorage                                   division within Tourvest Destination Management,
                    Hotel, Lagos                                                               specialising in the Indian market, was recently
                    Peter Tichy                                                                awarded the SST IIFA for Best Performing Staff.
                    Peter Tichy has over 20 years experience                The award goes to the top-performing consultant within SST, in
                    in the hospitality industry, holding various            terms of effort and turnover. n
                    positions around the globe – initially with

 20 | MAY2011
TrIEd & TEsTEd


Protea Hotel Waterfront
BACkGROUND: Built in 1998, the hotel                luxe rooms that face the lake and, with the          BUSINESS & MEETING FACIlITIES:
offers business travellers and leisure guests       revamp, an additional 45 contemporary                There are seven fully-equipped modern
an African-inspired experience in comfortable,      king suite apartments and one luxury VIP             meeting rooms that can accommodate up
modern surrounds. It recently underwent             Presidential Suite that also face the lake. All      to 200 conferencing delegates. In addition,
refurbishment, introducing contemporary             the rooms come with air-conditioning, full           there is ample secure parking and a new
and well turned-out self-catering apartments,       HD plasma television with 12 DStv (satellite         separate smoking lounge that can be used
overlooking Centurion Lake.                         television) channels, an electronic safe,            for private functions. A business centre is
                                                    telephone, hairdryer, tea/coffee station and         available with Internet, ADSL and printing
WHAT’S IT lIkE ? A pleasant experience              work desk with computer plug points.                 facilities and all rooms and public areas
all round. On arrival I was greeted by a            The suite apartments also contain a kitchenette      have Wi-Fi access. There is an Imperial Car
group of relaxed receptionists keen to make         with microwave, toaster, cutlery and crockery,       Hire desk on site and Ulysses, the on-site
me feel at home and take me on a guided             mini-bar fridge, dining area and lounge with         tour and transport company, is on hand to
tour of the facilities, after I was shown to        additional television. The Presidential Suite also   arrange tours and travel plans.
my room. Everything was clean, smart and            has a balcony that overlooks the Centurion
inviting, although the Centurion Lake, which        Lake. Both smoking and non-smoking rooms             lEISURE FACIlITIES: The pool deck is
the hotel’s restaurant and pool area overlook,      are available and there are also rooms for           ideal for sundowners, after-work drinks and
smelt extremely bad, deterring us from dining       guests for disabilities.                             evening braais and the hotel is affiliated to
on the deck or lounging by the pool. Not the        I was particularly impressed with the                an off-site gym.
hotel’s fault and the proposed plan to have         contemporary decor and black leather
the local municipality drain the lake, may be       furniture, as well as the beautiful paintings        VERDICT: A comfortable and enjoyable
a good one.                                         and crisp-white linen on the king-sized bed.         experience, with all the necessary amenities
                                                    The shower was very spacious with solid              required for business and leisure travellers
WHERE IS IT? Between Johannesburg                   water pressure and 24-hour room service              alike. Excellent service, quality finishings
and Pretoria, ideally located for the business      was affordable, offering an array of well-           and central location complete a good overall
traveller, the hotel is in close proximity to all   prepared and tasty meals. A nice touch               package for this hotel. n
major highways, in particular, the N1 and           was the complimentary fruit basket, bottled
N14. OR Tambo International Airport is              water, red wine and hand-written welcome             Melissa Douman
approximately 30 minutes drive away. With its       note, left in my room.
location within the Centurion Lake Waterfront
Development, there are plenty of restaurants,       RESTAURANTS AND BARS: ‘A warm                          FACT FILE
cinemas, bars, boutiques and banks right on         African ambience’ perfectly describes
the hotel’s doorstep. Irene Golf Course and         Emanzini - the à la carte hotel restaurant              CONTACT
Centurion Golf Estate are both a short drive        which operates seven days a week from                   Address: Cnr. Gordon Hood &
away, as is SuperSport Park cricket ground          06h30 to 22h30.        The breakfasts are               Hendrik Verwoerd Ave, Centurion
and Loftus Versveld rugby stadium.                  excellent, with a buffet table featuring all            Contact: +27 (0) 12-6638700
                                                    kinds of freshly-cut or whole fruits, cereals           Email: reservations@
ROOM FACIlITIES: The four-star hotel                and breads, hot breakfasts and waffles.       
has six floors comprising 70 standard               Omelettes are always my first choice and I              Web:
rooms which are street-facing, but have             was treated to an amazing omelette by the               protea-hotel-waterfront-centurion
soundproofed windows. There are 63 de               charming chef.

                                                                                                                                            MAY2011 | 2
TrIEd & TEsTEd


City Lodge Pinelands
BACkGROUND: One of the many City                It is also right next door to the Mowbray          facilitate a successful conference, including
Lodge establishments within the group, this     Golf Course and some of the rooms enjoy            flat-screen television, Wi-Fi and telephonic-
hotel is situated in the English-type suburb    a view of the course, perhaps enticing             communication devices. Snacks and
of Pinelands and offers a quiet and peaceful    those business travellers who enjoy golf as        sandwiches can also be arranged at the
alternative from Cape Town city centre.         a means of relaxing away from the office.          front desk.
                                                There is also a shopping mall in the area, as
WHAT’S IT lIkE? Pinelands City Lodge            well as a variety of restaurants.                  lEISURE AND FITNESS: There is a cosy
appears to have been built with the                                                                fitness centre (or ‘mini gym’ as they call it) for
business traveller in mind, with a clean,       ROOM FACIlITIES: There are 133 rooms               those wanting to keep up with their fitness
welcoming environment and friendly staff.       in the hotel, again favouring practicality over    regime. Though not huge, it is equipped
Lush gardens surround the hotel and the         indulgence. The rooms are not ultra modern,        with everything needed to provide a solid
bay windows are a feature, but generally,       but do have a homely feel, with provisions for     workout, both cardio-vascular and weight
the emphasis is on economy and                  coffee/tea, air-conditioning and Wi-Fi in every    training. There is also a swimming pool and
functionality rather than that of indulgence,   room, along with both a shower and bath.           deck chairs for some fun and relaxation in
with a pleasant atmosphere throughout.          There is no mini-bar in the standard rooms         the sun, or to relax after a round of golf or
Not too many frills – just good value.          and even though the room I stayed in was           stressful day at the office.
                                                relatively small, it was definitely comfortable.
WHERE IS IT? In the relatively quiet suburb     There is a television (not flat-screen) in every   VERDICT: This is not a five-star establishment,
of Pinelands, centrally located just 10         room and all SABC channels are offered,            but definitely one that covers all the basics,
minutes drive from both the central business    along with multiple DStv (satellite television)    particularly for the business traveller on
district and Cape Town International Airport.   and music channels. The hotel also offers          the move. Friendly, helpful staff and a great
                                                same-day laundry service.                          location with easy access to the CBD and
                                                                                                   airport, go well with the sense of homely
                                                RESTAURANT AND BAR: The hotel offers               comfort. The hotel may not be the most
                                                a fresh buffet breakfast, but not lunch or         lavish, but it is more than functional, clean
                                                dinner. Contact details for almost all the         and adequate for a quick business stay. n
                                                restaurants in the area are available at the
                                                front desk and cutlery is provided by the          Tarique Holland
                                                hotel if food is brought into the eating area.
                                                There is, however, a coffee shop inside the
                                                hotel that offers light meals and beverages,
                                                and is open from 12h00 until 22h00. There            FACT FILE
                                                is also a vending and ice machine on the              CONTACT
                                                premises for those emergency late-night               Address: Mowbray Golf Park,
                                                snacks and drinks.                                    Off Raapenberg Road, Pinelands,
                                                                                                      Cape Town
                                                MEETING AND BUSINESS FACIlITIES:                      Tel: +27 (0) 21-6857944
                                                There is a boardroom at the hotel that seats          Email:
                                                a maximum of 12 people. The room is small,            Web:
                                                but boasts all the equipment needed to

 22 | MAY2011
TrIEd & TEsTEd


Zebula Golf Estate and Spa
BACkGROUND: Having already established                 ROOM FACIlITIES: Approximately 350                    lEISURE FACIlITIES: The main feature is
itself as one of the most popular holiday              beds available, with a selection of bush              the 18-hole golf course and one can often
and conferencing venues in the Waterberg,              chalets, lodge rooms, four-bedroom homes              find oneself sharing a round with animals,
Zebula Golf Estate and Spa recently                    and other privately-owned homes – some                such as the rather tame zebra I found my
underwent some change, with Signature Life             of which are available for renting. The bush          ball next to on the seventh hole! Then there’s
Hotels acquiring the management contract               chalet we stayed in was spacious, clean               the health spa, which offers a full range of
of the property. At the time of Business               and beautifully turned out, with a king-sized         services and looked very enticing when
Traveller’s visit, Signature Life had only just        bed, air-conditioning, television (with DStv          we visited. Guests also have the following
taken over, so no major changes had been               satellite channels), tea/coffee station, mini-        at their disposal: game drives and walks,
made, although some are expected in the                bar and sitting area, which included two              quad bike safaris, horseback safaris, fishing,
coming months.                                         comfortable chairs. A sliding door led out            clay pigeon shooting, archery, paintball,
                                                       onto a small patio with table and chairs, with        volleyball, squash courts, tennis courts, a
WHAT’S IT lIkE? Busy. And by this                      the thick bushveld just metres away. As with          fully equipped gym, swimming pool, bird
I mean the hub of Zebula – the central                 the room, the bathroom area was spacious,             aviary and kids’ entertainment area, which
reception, entertainment, bar, restaurant,             with separate toilet and wash basin away              includes jumping castles and jungle gym.
conferencing, activity and golf pro shop               from the main bathroom which contained                What your kids will really enjoy is the resident
area, all within close proximity of each other.        a deep sunken bath and separate shower,               meerkats, the snake and reptile park and the
But, if ‘busy’ is not what you’re looking              with plenty of clean towels available.                baby Bengal tigers and lion cubs. Further to
for, the rooms and lodges are far enough                                                                     that, Zebula’s two cheetahs put on a show,
removed to offer quiet and seclusion in                RESTAURANTS AND BARS: The main                        in the form of the Cheetah Run, every Friday
luxury accommodation within the bushveld.              restaurant is just off the upstairs bar area, which   and Saturday evening. Oh, and there’s
It’s fair to call it luxury, because all facilities,   leads out onto a deck that overlooks the golf         a tarred airstrip for the more well-heeled
including accommodation are top-notch,                 course’s putting green. We were treated to a full     business traveller or holiday guest.
whilst styled in the African-themed decor              buffet and braai, followed by a wide selection
that has become the norm in most South                 of dessert options, with the food delicious.          VERDICT: Zebula ticks a number of boxes,
African game/safari lodges. ‘A Venue for               Breakfast and lunch is served downstairs in           from luxury hotel, to quality golf experience,
All’ is the Zebula slogan and they make no             the Halfway House restaurant, which includes          to comfortable conference venue, to all-
bones about the fact that they cater for the           an indoor area and an outdoor deck. Meals are         action family holiday destination, to quiet
entire family, offering a host of activities to        available from 07h00 to 23h00 every day.              bush retreat. Take your pick. n
keep both adults and kids entertained.
                                                       BUSINESS & MEETING FACIlITIES: In                     Dylan Rogers
WHERE IS IT? In the Waterberg region,                  total, Zebula can accommodate approximately
which is a malaria-free area. Zebula is                250 delegates, covering all its conference
approximately two hours’ drive from O R                venues. The main facility in the clubhouse
Tambo International Airport and 1 ½ hours’             seats approximately 120 people, classroom               FACT FILE
drive north of Pretoria. It is located 40km west       style and the other venues have capacities of            CONTACT
of Bela Bela, which was formerly known as              30, 30 and 40 people respectively. There is              Tel: +27 (0) 14-7347700
Warmbaths and can be reached by taking                 also the option to use Eagles Nest, which is             Email:
the N1 highway north in the direction of               situated on the top level of one of the home             Web:
Polokwane, from Johannesburg.                          sites and can accommodate up to 35 people.

                                                                                                                                                   MAY2011 | 2
TrIEd & TEsTEd


Constantia Hotel
BACkGROUND: Built in Cape Dutch                       businesses in the Johannesburg area.               There are three smaller conference rooms
architecture, the hotel is conveniently situated                                                         that can take up to 90, 30 and 20 people
in the heart of the growing Midrand area (the         ROOM FACIlITIES: There are 51 en suite             respectively and outside, there is plenty of
midpoint between Johannesburg and Pretoria).          rooms comprising de luxe or standard               free, secure, undercover parking for delegates.
Recently renovated after being acquired by            rooms, superior rooms, semi self-catering          Flip-charts, note pads and pens are supplied
the Three Cities Hotel Management Group,              rooms and one disabled room. All come              during conferences and the entire hotel and
the hotel is ideally located for the business         standard with air-conditioning/heating,            conference area has Wi-Fi. The usual tea,
traveller, but still has some way to go, in terms     access to Wi-Fi, flat-screen television with       coffee, pastries and lunch are included in
of the recent cosmetic changes.                       DStv bouquet and tea and coffee. Despite           conference packages.
                                                      being recently renovated, I was disappointed
WHAT IS IT lIkE? All the basic business               with the quality of the paint work in the room     lEISURE FACIlITIES: There is a small pool
traveller amenities are covered and the rooms         I stayed in. Further to that, the kettle was not   and patio area enclosed by the reception,
overlooking the pool area are a plus, but from        in a good state and I was reluctant to boil        restaurant and rooms built around it. It is
an appearance point of view, there does               water in it. My other concern was the small        furnished with tables, chairs and couches
appear to be a hangover from the recent               size and state of the bathroom, which wasn’t       and provides a nice option for after-dinner or
renovations to the reception, restaurant and          as clean as perhaps it should have been. I         post-work drinks, together with a quick dip in
patio areas. Closer inspection revealed bits of       would also suggest that one should insist on       the pool, as long as you’re not too much of a
neglect and dirt, which detract from the overall      one of the rooms looking on to the pool area,      private person!
impression of the hotel.                              as there was a lot of noise emanating from
                                                      the parking lot on the night that I stayed. I      VERDICT: I don’t believe that this is the
WHERE IS IT? The hotel is in a fantastic              also had trouble with my air-conditioning not      normal Three Cities standard, because they
location, situated between Johannesburg and           working and that was disappointing, on a           have only recently acquired the hotel. I look
Pretoria. It’s across the road from Grand Central     warm evening.                                      forward to enhancements and changes made
Airport and a five-minute drive to the Midrand                                                           by the group in the future. Having said that,
Gautrain Station. Alternatively, it’s a 20-minute     RESTAURANTS & BARS:                 Breakfast      the Constantia is ideally situated with the basic
drive to OR Tambo International Airport.              is served any time between 07h00 and               amenities and is well suited to the business
Further to the rail and flying options, the central   10h00 at the hotel restaurant and it’s one         traveller on the run. n
location and proximity to major routes such           of the Constantia’s best features. I had a
as the N1 highway, means that guests have             delicious omelette with onion, green pepper,       Melissa Douman
easy access to entertainment, restaurants and         mushroom and cheese and a slice of toast-
                                                      all freshly and carefully prepared and served
                                                      by an attentive waiter. Both hot and cold            FACT FILE
                                                      breakfast is served with an array of fruits,
                                                      cereals, croissants, juices, tea and coffee           CONTACT
                                                      stationed in the buffet area.                         Address: 546 16th Road,
                                                                                                            Constantia Park, Halfway House,
                                                      BUSINESS & MEETING FACIlITIES: The                    Gauteng, South Africa
                                                      largest conference room, set apart from the           Contact : +27 (0)11-3155035
                                                      hotel and which is turned out in the same Cape        E-mail : reception@constantiahotel.
                                                      Dutch style, caters for banquets, weddings,  or
                                                      launches, exhibitions and larger conferencing         Web:
                                                      groups. It can accommodate 300 people.

 2 | MAY2011
TrIEd & TEsTEd


Four Points by Sheraton
BACkGROUND: Opened in October                     is furnished with a flat-screen television with    rooms and conference halls. These
2010 as a member of the Starwood Hotels           DStv (satellite television) bouquet. The room I    rooms offer capacity from 16 to 250
Group stable, Four Points by Sheraton has         stayed in was elegantly finished, with a lovely    people, depending on the seating style.
established itself as a quality hotel, covering   view of the Lekki Peninsula. The rooms all         The rooms all boast projectors and flip
both the leisure and business markets. It is      come standard with tea and coffee-making           charts and are perfect for workshops
well situated and offers a number of facilities   facilities, an electronic safe large enough to     and conferences. There are also copy
and eating options, as well as good access        hold a laptop, an iron and ironing board, and      and printing facilities. These rooms are
to leisure activities.                            a desk which is big enough to use for office       always in demand, so booking well in
                                                  work. Wireless and Internet connectivity is        advance is essential.
WHAT IS IT lIkE? For the business                 available at a fee.
traveller, this hotel offers the opportunity                                                         lEISURE FACIlITIES: The leisure facilities
to refresh and relax after a busy day at the      RESTAURANTS AND BARS: The Brazzerie                are impressive, from the sparkling pool next
office or work from the hotel in comfort.         Restaurant offers a full English or Continental    to the Blue Bar, to the spa, to the state-of-
Furthermore, it also caters to the leisure        breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast is          the-art gym, which is equipped with plenty
guest, with the design and layout lending         served from 07h00 - 10h00, lunch from              of exercise options and weights – perfect
itself to elegance and style. From a facilities   12h00 – 15h00 and dinner, 19h00 - 22h00.           for the business traveller looking to stay in
point of view, there are five restaurants and     There are nights set aside for themed cuisine,     shape, whilst away on business. Further to
bars, an in-house hairdresser, dry-cleaning       such as the Latino Night and Italian Night. I      that, there is access to a personal trainer
facility, spa facility, state-of-the-art gym,     was fortunate enough to experience Latino          and aerobics classes.
swimming pool and meeting facilities.             Night and the food was outstanding.
Further to that and as part of the Starwood       The Adrenaline Sports Bar is a traditional         VERDICT: The Four Points by Sheraton
Hotels policy, Wi-Fi and Internet services        sports bar, offering a high-energy                 Lagos caters effectively for the business
are offered free to non-guests for up to an       atmosphere       and      environment      and     traveller, ticking all the boxes required
hour, which is unique to the area.                dominated by the live sport available on           for an executive to enjoy a comfortable
                                                  large plasma television screens.                   stay, with all the required amenities and
WHERE IS IT? It is ideally situated in Lekki,     The Office is the place to lose one’s tie and      convenient location. Further to that, it also
just minutes from the financial nerve centre      let one’s hair down. It offers scenic views of     offers the leisure traveller a comfortable
in Victoria Island – the location of a number     Victoria Island and the roof-top terrace is just   base from which to enjoy the surrounds of
of multinational corporations. The location       the place for some after-work relaxation.          Victoria Island/Lekki Peninsula. n
also provides a great base for exploring          The Blue Bar is a pool bar, where you can
Lekki Peninsula, with its sprawling beaches,      enjoy a swim, a drink and some down time,          Jawando Oluwaseyi
shopping malls and tourist attractions. If        either on a bar stool or a sun-lounger.
you’re a golfer, the hotel is situated close to   Cafe Cappuccino is the lobby bar and
Ikoyi Golf Club, as well.                         provides another option to socialize with or
                                                  entertain guests. It’s the perfect place for         FACT FILE
ROOM FACIlITIES: Four Points by Sheraton          some time to yourself, casual or business             CONTACT
has 234 spacious, air-conditioned rooms           chat and there is the complimentary Wi-Fi.            Tel: +234(1) 448 9444
with double-bed options. The rooms fall into                                                            Web:
each of the following categories: traditional,    BUSINESS FACIlITIES: Four Points by         
preferred, executive and suites. Each room        Sheraton has six fully-equipped meeting

                                                                                                                                         MAY2011 | 2
TrIEd & TEsTEd


Velvet Sky Economy Class
CHECk-IN: Whilst not on a regular Velvet                carrier or other mainstream domestic              an on-hand credit card availability represent
Sky flight - this was the inaugural trip to             offerings, but was comfortable throughout         potential stumbling blocks.
Durban (the new airline’s home base) with all           the 50-minute journey. A good tip would be           I for one am intrigued and excited about the
dignitaries on board - I still travelled on what        to ask at check-in to be seated in either Row     issue of additional competition enabling a better
was a scheduled departure service, taking               1 at the front or Rows 12 and 13, being the       choice and ultimate deal for all passengers, yet
off mid-morning from ORT, which meant                   emergency exit rows, all three of which offer     as a seasoned business traveller whose clients
that all regular passenger procedures were              additional leg room.                              often book my flights – turning up at the airport
undertaken.                                                Onboard services run to complimentary          with a credit card is a policy which is therefore
Check-in was a little unusual inasmuch as the           water, juice, tea and coffee, while the food      too restrictive for me.
airline (being new) was using a handwritten             menu comprises a series of sandwiches being          Owned by Cecil Reddy, a Durban-
boarding card procedure – which is soon to              offered at R30 a meal, which must be pre-         based businessman, and several other
be replaced by an automated system – and                ordered for inflight service (giving you a web    local directors (none of whom are political
was actually just as quick as any ‘regular’             voucher to redeem on-board), as no cash           appointees or politicians) Velvet Sky is
check-in. Three desks, centrally situated in            is handled on the flights. The sandwiches         notably, however, South Africa’s first 100%
the domestic departure terminal B, were well            are pleasant enough, too. Lounge access           Broad-Based BEE airline carrier, which
signposted and staffed by keen and smiling              through Rennies lounges is also being offered     in itself may be enough to lure potential
representatives. So far, so good.                       as an add-on passenger service at R100 per        business travellers who are keen to increase
                                                        passenger flight segment.                         their own company procurement from black-
ONBOARD & SERVICES: Velvet Sky is                          All flight (and any food bookings) must be     owned businesses.
ultimately to run three 737-300 aircraft,               done through the airline’s website and work
leased from international aviation company              on a straight credit card payment system.         FARE: An introductory but limited seat special
Aergo, on its two primary routes which link             Debit cards may not be used at this time          of R400 return between Johannesburg
Johannesburg with both Durban and Cape                  for bookings and all credit cards used for        and Durban as well as an R800 return fare
Town. The fleet is being maintained by SAA              booking must be present at the airport at         between Johannesburg and Cape Town is
Technical (whose executives were with me                the time of check-in.                             currently being advertised. At the time of
on the inaugural flight) and is a company                  Currently, no online seat reservation or       writing, Business Traveller Africa attempted
considered as the most advanced aircraft                frequent flyer programmes are available,          a web booking for some six weeks hence
maintenance provider on the African continent.          which may pose an interesting challenge           on a Johannesburg-Cape Town return basis
Velvet Sky has achieved South African Civil             when it comes to luring business as opposed       and was offered a fare, excluding lounge
Aviation Authority (CAA) approval, as well as           to leisure travellers, yet the keen pricing may   access and meal service, of some R1260,
an Air Services Licence and complies with all           well obviate interest in such add-ons.            taxes included. n
relevant South African safety benchmarks,                  To my mind, Velvet Sky is unashamedly
which are acknowledged as being amongst                 competing on a low-price model and has            Michael Jackson
the most stringent in the world.                        limited departure times which traditionally
   My aircraft (the airline’s first plane in service)   attract the leisure market first and foremost.
was a 148-seat economy class configuration              I feel this young start-up may well also steal
offering two rows of three seats each with a            smart-thinking or progressive SME business          FACT FILE
reasonable seat pitch. I found the distance             executives away from the legacy carriers,            CONTACT
between seats to provide a little less space            owing to its competitive pricing, yet its            Website:
than one gets on competitors on national                departure/arrival schedules and the issue of

 2 | MAY2011
MAY2011 | 2

                                               How I Travel
                                               Andrew	 McLachlan,	 Rezidor Hotel Group’s vice-president for Business
                                               Development in Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands.	

WHICH IS YOUR BEST AIRPORT                     room, a great shower and a comfortable          WHAT         IS      YOUR            FAVOURITE
AND WHY? Heathrow, London, has                 bed, as well as quiet and effective air-        DESTINATION? I love island holidays with
great lounges and good shopping. It’s my       conditioning.                                   my family, so arriving on any of the Indian
gateway to the world and it’s British.                                                         Ocean islands is great, but the Greek
                                               WHAT lEISURE ACTIVITIES DO YOU                  islands are special as my wife is Greek, so
DO YOU EAT THE FOOD SERVED ON                  AlWAYS TRY AND SQUEEzE IN, ON                   it’s a little more familiar to us.
BOARD? Yup, I do. I went to a tough old        A BUSINESS TRIP? Sadly, I don’t really
boarding school, so airline food tastes        have time for leisure activities while on       WHAT DO YOU DO DURING lONG
pretty good compared to what I used to         business. As I am searching for new hotel       FlIGHTS? I often catch up on work for a
eat. When travelling into more exotic Third    locations across Africa for Radisson Blu        bit, as it’s a quiet zone with no interruptions.
World African territories, I often don’t       and Park Inn by Radisson, I often go to new     I also enjoy catching up on new movies if
know when I will have my next meal or          emerging markets, so engaging with new          time allows, but it very important that I get
what it will be, so I always eat the food      cultures, tradition, cuisine and locations is   a good night’s sleep and lucky for me I
served on board.                               always stimulating.                             sleep on planes very easily.

CHOOSING AN AIRlINE TO FlY WITH?               lOUNGES         AND    WHAT      DO    YOU      FOR WORk A PERk? Originally when I
When flying domestically, I select the         ExPECT FROM THEM? I use business                started travelling for work I did, but I travel
airline with the most choice of departure      class lounges all the time. It is the last      all the time these days and it’s more a
times to the same destination on the same      time I have the opportunity to download         necessity and being away from my wife
day so that I have the flexibility to change   e-mails before boarding my flight, so           and two boys is hard for everyone. As I
my flight times, as my days can be rather      fast internet that is easy to access and        grow Rezidor’s portfolio of Radisson Blu
dynamic and I need the flexibility.            a good cup of coffee is essential to me.        and Park Inn by Radissons across Africa
For long-haul flights, it’s all about the      The only place in the world I don’t mind        and Indian Ocean islands, I need to inspect
quality of seat which becomes a flat-          being told my flight is delayed is in Virgin    the sites, understand the location and the
bed and quality of service, as you are         Atlantic Clubhouse at London Heathrow           local market conditions and conclude the
on the aircraft for a long time. Virgin        terminal 3. The decor and vibe is right         deals, so travelling on business is part of
Atlantic still manages to make flying fun      up my street. When landing after a long-        the process.
with their contemporary retro design and       haul flight, it’s important for me to have
‘absolutely fabulous, darling’ service and     access to a clean, quick shower and             DO YOU HAVE ANY RElAxATION
sense of humour.                               have a shirt and suit pressed all within        TIPS TO SHARE WITH OUR BUSINESS
                                               a short period of time and BA landing           TRAVEllERS? I find watching a movie on
WHAT DO YOU lOOk FOR IN A                      lounge in Terminal 5 is perfect. They           the flight helps me relax and unwind and
BUSINESS HOTEl? Free high-speed                also offer a good breakfast before my           being able to have a sleep, even if it’s a
internet, a good work station in the           day starts.                                     short snooze. n

 2 | MAY2011
                                                     How I Travel
                                                     Geert	van	Doorn,	CEO of Hylton Ross Exclusive Touring

WHICH IS YOUR BEST AIRPORT AND                       WHAT lEISURE ACTIVITIES DO YOU                        Wilderness Safari Lodges in Botswana is a
WHY? I like Heathrow, as it is user-friendly and     AlWAYS TRY AND SQUEEzE IN, ON A                       close second.
very accessible by train, car and bus. Also,         BUSINESS TRIP? I normally try and join a
you can connect to most destinations from            scheduled guided tour. Being in the touring           WHAT      DO     YOU     DURING       lONG
there and it caters for the business traveller.      industry, I always like to compare what we offer      FlIGHTS? I am a fanatical reader. So, with
                                                     in South Africa with that of the rest of the world.   peace and quiet, I am in reading heaven.
BOARD? On domestic flights I normally                HOW OFTEN DO YOU USE BUSINESS                         DO YOU CONSIDER TRAVEllING FOR
don’t, but on long-haul flights I do.                lOUNGES AND WHAT DO YOU ExPECT                        WORk A PERk? Depends on which day
                                                     FROM THEM? Depends on the mood I’m in.                you ask me. I do travel a lot and it is always
WHAT DO YOU lOOk FOR WHEN                            Sometimes, I like to be part of the hustle and        nice to see new places and meet new people.
CHOOSING AN AIRlINE TO FlY WITH?                     bustle of the airport, but often on business trips    The problem with travelling for work is that
Reliability - on time!                               I use the lounges to get some work done. To           you very seldom experience the destination
                                                     me, unobtrusive service from the lounge staff         outside an office and you normally go back
WHAT DO YOU lOOk FOR IN A                            is important, as well as a proper work station.       home with just a fridge magnet bought at the
BUSINESS HOTEl? I prefer staying at                                                                        airport and the stamp in your passport.
boutique hotels, but also refer to Trip Advisor      WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE
when deciding on a hotel. In London I like the       DESTINATION? I love travelling. For                   DO YOU HAVE ANY RElAxATION
‘Montague on the Gardens’ (a Red Carnation           business, London is always a winner. For a            TIPS TO SHARE WITH OUR BUSINESS
Hotel). It’s a top-quality hotel, close to central   holiday, I like visiting different places. One of     TRAVEllERS? Make sure you take in a
London and has unbelievable service,                 my favourite destinations is Buenos Aires             lot of water and don’t be shy to kick off
without losing the personal touch.                   (city break), but a bush break at one of the          your shoes! n

                                                                                 Champagne balloon ights over the Magaliesberg
                                                                                 range in the Cradle of Humankind.

Bill Harrop’s Original”                                                          TEL (011) 705-3201
                                                                                 FAX (011) 705-3203
     Balloon Safaris
                                                                                                                                               MAY2011 | 2


is the key
Dr Salifou Siddo
CEO: Tourism Enterprise Partnership
Q: What is the TEP?                                therefore, responsible for the brand, logos and    and in 12 months were ready to roll out our
A: The TEP has been around for just over 10        name change to National Parks (NP). After          plan to the central office, whose job was
years and its main function is to raise money      three years there, I became the CEO of the         then to get members to become part of
and invest in programmes that will promote         TGCSA (Tourism Grading Council of South            the grading process. Since then we have
the industry, alleviate poverty and address        Africa) – a position I held for about six years.   achieved a great deal, with 70% of hotels
joblessness. It offers a portfolio of services     My task essentially was to design a type of        and guest houses in the country becoming
and solutions for small tourism businesses,        quality assurance standard for the tourism         members and people being made aware of
corporate South Africa, government                 industry, which I achieved, before moving          quality assurance.
institutions, as well as local and international   on in 2007 to start my own company, called
tourists. The Tourism Enterprise Programme         the Zatic Group. This is a tourism investment      Q: What are some of the challenges you
(TEP) was initially launched by the Business       company with one of its major achievements         face in your line of business?
Trust in July 2000 as a four-year job creation     being establishing the Soweto Hotel in Cape        A: The biggest is finding the capital to fund
programme in the tourism industry. Following       Town. The Zatic Group is still operational, but    the organisation and its projects. Here at
good performance it was extended and               I resigned my position to take up the new role     TEP we also need to ensure sustainability
expanded with additional funding from the          at TEP. I have been in my current position         by raising corporate funding with mandates
Business Trust and the then Department             since the third of January.                        coming from government. As you are aware,
of Environmental Affairs and Tourism and                                                              President Zuma, in his State of the Nation
evolved into what is recognised as a very          Q: Can you tell us a bit about your                Address earlier this year, identified the
successful job-creation programme in               schooling?                                         tourism sector as one of the biggest sources
the South African tourism sector. Since            A: I was born in Niger and spent the better        of job creation and employment. We are
its inception, the programme had been a            part of my youth there. I was fortunate enough     very well positioned to help small-medium
limited duration project managed by an             to receive a scholarship to study in the USA at    enterprises, but, for us to achieve that, we
independent consulting agency. Due to its          Pennsylvania State University and completed        also need to focus on our own sustainability.
success and to ensure long term enterprise         both my Masters and PhD in the area of             We have to do that, because this is a
development sustainability, it was decided         communication. It was whilst at graduate           good platform for corporate companies to
to institutionalise the programme. On the          school that I met my wife Lindiwe, who is          promote growth and for citizens to benefit.
first of April 2008 the newly-founded and          South African born. After finishing our studies
independent Tourism Enterprise Partnership         we got married and decided to settle in South      Q: What are the secrets to your success?
officially took over management of this            Africa in 1996. I became a permanent resident      A: At the risk of sounding clichéd, I would say
seven-year-old economic development                in 2004.                                           hard work, being able to work with people in
programme.                                                                                            a team and similarly, assimilating people into
                                                   Q: What do you like most about what                what you do - there is no way you can achieve
Q: What is your business background?               you do?                                            success on your own. Showing leadership, I
A: I started in the tourism industry in 1998 as    A: I love the idea of taking the project from      believe, is also important.
Head of Communications for SANP (South             a mere idea germinating in my mind to
African National Parks) and my task was to         building it up to a very concrete and real         Q: How can people reach you?
assist in repositioning the company in the         reality. An example of this was when I was         A: On email at,
tourism industry, so that it would be in sync      appointed to the TGCSA. The organisation           call +27 (0) 11 880 3790 or visit our website at
with the new demographics of society. I was,       didn’t exist, so we started on a blank sheet n

 0 | MAY2011

An eye
on Africa
Business Traveller’s Ramsey Qubein met up with Hilton Hotels & Resorts’
Global Head Dave Horton in Chennai, India, where Horton was on hand to
open the brand’s third property in the country and announce its international
growth plans.

          he Hilton growth plans include substantial focus on                  “Local partners already have strong ties to the market with superior
          developing markets like India and China, where the                   relationships with the operating community and a better gauge of
          demands of a large population base and growing middle                what the local market wants,” says Horton. “Finding these partners
          class are disproportionate with the current market. This             with the proper amount of reliable experience and access to a team
same formula can be applied to the likes of Africa, Asia-Pacific and           of employees that has the appropriate hospitality skills to manage an
Latin America - all on the drawing board for the company’s overseas            internationally recognised brand can be a challenge, especially in a
growth.                                                                        developing market.”
“Whenever there is a significant demand in a market, similar to that
in India and China, it becomes a great opportunity for us to jump in                “There is tremendous loyalty and trust associated
and build our brand for decades to come,” says Horton.
Hilton has traditionally focused on its home market, the United
                                                                                     with the Hilton brand. Until recently, we were not
States, but Hilton Worldwide, the hospitality company with 10                       really taking advantage of the international growth
brands, including Hilton Hotels & Resorts, is shifting its focus.
                                                                                    potential we had, that was commensurate with the
“The time has never been better to seize opportunities,” says
Horton. “There is tremendous loyalty and trust associated with the                               power of the Hilton brand.”
Hilton brand. Until recently, we were not really taking advantage of
the international growth potential we had, that was commensurate               Another major component Hilton looks for when entering a new
with the power of the Hilton brand.”                                           market is the access to debt capital that a new property would need
This practice is alive and well in Africa with recently-opened properties      to succeed as it sets up. The acquisition of land can sometimes be
in Cape Town and the Seychelles – the former taking up residence in            a challenge as well.
the Cape Town CBD, with 137 rooms. Later this year, new openings               While hotel companies often find the fastest path of growth in a
will include properties in Cairo, Egypt; Malabo, Equatorial Guinea;            market to be converting other hotel properties to their own brand,
Windhoek, Namibia; Marsa Alam, Egypt and La Marsa, Tunisia.                    markets like India and Africa can be more difficult because the
Further to that, more than 30 Hilton hotels are scheduled to open in           ‘existing hotel stock just isn’t there’.
2011 across the globe.                                                         As a result, there are far more steps involved in ramping up growth
“Our goal is to maintain the same level of consistent service, product,        in these markets. “We are committed to being number one and to
and customer satisfaction across all pockets of the world so that we           capture this opportunity for growth in markets across the globe,”
can build loyalty and trust among consumers,” says Horton. “Once               notes Horton. “We are in 76 countries now and plan to be in 82 by
we win in one market with a consumer, we earn his/her trust to stay            the end of the year.”
with us again in another market.”                                              Those six new countries include Namibia and Equatorial Guinea. The
For Hilton, Africa is ripe for the picking and further to the new properties   154-room Hilton Windhoek is scheduled to open mid-June and be
already mentioned, the brand hopes to be in N’Djamena, Chad;                   the first international brand for the country. Hilton Malabo will feature
Kampala, Uganda and Hurghada, Egypt, in the next two years.                    189 rooms and is scheduled to open this summer.
According to Horton, when Hilton enters a new market, it                       “This is the type of market development we want to replicate,” says
prefers to work with a local management company rather than                    Horton. “We are doing it in India; we are doing it in China - and we
operate independently.                                                         want to do it in Africa, too.” n

                                                                                                                                              MAY2011 | 

Passion and
– A Signature
Alan Vels
Managing Director, Signature Life Hotels
Q: What are the origins of Signature life       brand. For example, the Quarters brand is        grabbed them. There were some pretty
Hotels?                                         geared towards the corporate woman, in           tough times, but we pulled it off. The 2010
A: Five of us worked together for a national    terms of style and location. We won’t just       World Cup also brought challenges of note
hotel group and we saw a huge opportunity       acquire any hotel - they need to fit within a    - we were literally putting guests into hotel
in the market, pre, during and post the 2010    certain brand in terms of the needs for our      rooms with the paint still drying ! Remember,
Soccer World Cup. So we decided to seize        markets and clients. We therefore only acquire   we had six weeks to get our newly-acquired
the opportunity and start our own hotel         hotels that we know will add value to that       hotels revamped and running. After the
management company. In 1998 we all left         brand and ones that we can make profitable.      World Cup, business was quite slow. Then
our previous employer and by March 2009                                                          there was the civil servants’ strike. The
we were established as Signature Life Hotel     Q: How lucrative is hotel management ?           banks were difficult to deal with, because it
Management Company with three brands:           A: Once you get to a critical mass it can        was very difficult to show whether we would
Quarters Hotels, Signature Life Hotel and       be quite sustainable. You are not going to       make forecasts. So, for a period between
Life Hotels. It just started gaining momentum   be Donald Trump though. We do make a             July and October we sat back and said
and over a period of six weeks, we opened       living, but we are also looking for that extra   ‘now what’ ? Then things gradually started
14 hotels spanning Limpopo, Durban, Cape        add-on, so we have a strategy in place           to pick up and from November we started
Town and Johannesburg, just in time for         to also get into real estate, where we will      seeing positive flow again. Now in 2011, we
the World Cup. By October 2010 we were          sell timeshare, sectional and fractional title   are positive again and hence able to make
sitting with 27 hotels. We’ve since added       properties. Just as much as we want to           forecasts and acquisitions.
another six hotels and recently acquired        be successful, we also want to give back
the four-star Zebula Lodge under our Safari     and sustain the success of our hotels,           Q: What are the core values of Signature
brand. By the end of the year, we hope to       which rely heavily on our staff. Through         life Hotels ?
have another six to 10. Our focus is not        our hotel school, The Signature Life Hotels      A: Flexibility, being able to negotiate
just on South Africa – although we do have      Institute of Hospitality Studies, we train       and always being approachable. Hotel
plans for towns such as Pietermaritzburg        uneducated kids in disadvantaged areas           management is not about the level of skill
and Polokwane - we also have our eye on         to become great hoteliers. We work closely       you bring – it’s about the level of passion
business in Mauritius, Mozambique, Central      with government and take on about 400            and dedication you have to provide good
and West Africa.                                kids every six months and train them at our      service. We want to make a mark in the
                                                school in various departments.                   industry by producing better hotels that
Q: What is your strategy in terms of                                                             people talk about and come back to all the
acquiring hotels, related to your various       Q: What are some of the challenges               time. We want to offer really nice products
brands?                                         you’ve faced in the past two years ?             that make people feel at home when they
A: We have three brands as previously           A: People thought we were crazy establishing     stay with us, but we don’t want them to feel
mentioned, and are launching a fourth,          a new company in the midst of a recession,       that they are in their mother’s house in terms
“Signature Safaris in Africa”. We choose our    but we saw the opportunities which often         of décor. They can expect sexy, modern and
hotels very strategically in relation to each   present themselves in a recession and            vibrant decor and ambience. n

 2 | MAY2011

to African
Charles M.Duncan
VP: Sales - Transatlantic ME & India
Q: What is the nature of your work and           we are able to offer our African customers      we offer business customers our new 180
what are your goals ?                            a fantastic network of destinations across      degree lie-flat seat, which has a-state-of-
A: My focus is to ensure that the new            North America. In November this year we         the-art in-flight entertainment system with
United provides the very best service to our     will further expand our offering to Nigerian    150 hours of programming on-demand.
customers across Europe, the Middle East,        travellers with the launch of a non-stop        The seat also offers an individual 15.4-inch
Africa and India. I am particularly excited      service between Lagos and our Houston           video screen, noise-reducing headsets and
about the expansion of our route network         hub, the first daily non-stop service between   iPod connectivity.
in Africa.                                       Africa and Texas.
                                                                                                 Q: Are there plans to expand your network
Q: How has the recent partnership                Q: What special services and                    and services to other African countries
between United and Continental Airlines          products does United Airlines offer             apart from Ghana and Nigeria ?
been able to improve both the input and          that distinguishes it from the other            A: Africa is an enormously important market
output of the combined airlines ?                global operators and international              with truly exciting potential. We study market
A: The new United has a wonderful opportunity    carriers in Nigeria ?                           developments continually, with a view to
to build a best-of-both-worlds structure with    A: United’s flights between Lagos and           identifying new opportunities.
the most accomplished professionals in the       Washington/Dulles are conveniently timed
industry. We have the largest and best route     to provide connections to and from dozens       Q: Is the Nigerian aviation pie big
network of any airline in the world which,       of cities across North America. Our efficient   enough for the likes of United and Delta
together with our membership of Star Alliance,   schedule and convenient overnight flights       airlines ?
provides more choice and better connectivity     in both directions are attractive to those      A: We are confident that our Lagos-
to our customers. Effective scheduling means     travelling on business. With this operation,    Houston service will be a success and
our customers reach their destinations           we offer our combined United/Continental        will complement our Lagos-Washington/
quicker. We are working hard to align our        90 million frequent flyers and global           Dulles service. It will be the first daily non-
products and procedures, choosing the best       corporate accounts, access to one of the        stop service between Africa and Texas.
from both carriers to offer improvements to      most important business cities in Africa and    Houston is the world’s energy capital and
our customers.                                   the hub of West Africa.                         a popular destination for energy-related
                                                                                                 business travellers from Lagos, and has a
Q: United Airlines started flying to             Q: What special on-ground and onboard           large Nigerian community. We also have the
Nigeria late last year. How has the              services and technology does United             advantage of operating a hub at Houston’s
airline adapted to the Nigerian aviation         have to offer business travellers ?             George Bush Intercontinental Airport,
environment ?                                    A: We offer our business travellers on-         offering non-stop onward connections to
A: We are pleased to be able to serve the        ground services such as priority check-         more than 100 destinations throughout
Nigerian market with our daily flight from       in and boarding, as well as access to our       North, Central and South America and the
Lagos. Through our Washington/Dulles hub         lounges in departures and arrivals. Onboard,    Caribbean. n

                                                                                                                                      MAY2011 | 

laptops vs

           he laptop’s status as the most essential business travel tool         But they were a travel boon and because they cost significantly less
           is under threat. For the past decade or so the laptop, which          (on average between R4 000 and R5 000, depending on make and
           has gotten increasingly smaller and lighter, has been the             specifications), they were a handy second computer. Some even had
           ultimate workhorse for the travelling business person.                160GB or 240GB hard drives, which is decent enough storage.
A portable computer with screen and keyboard, that is compact                    But, like laptops, they had poor battery life. Some claimed as much
enough to use on an airplane, at a hotel and able to run presentations           as seven hours - as several manufacturers do with their lighter,
off. What more could you need ?                                                  business-orientated laptops - but realistically three hours is the
Well, anyone who has lugged the average laptop (which weighs in                  average and you’ll be lucky to get four. All this depends on how
at less than 2kgs), its charger and all the necessary cables (easily             many programmes you’re running.
another kilogram or two) and several other chargers for cell phones
and the like, will know that you need broad shoulders. Portable it                    As a result of the emergence of the tablet, travel
may be, but light it isn’t.                                                          habits have changed. By way of example, a much-
When netbooks burst onto the scene three years ago, it seemed that
          the travel gods were smiling on us. Much more compact (with
                                                                                       travelled colleague of mine takes his laptop for
                      a 10in/25cm) screen, and weighing only a kilogram             serious work and his iPad for the plane, interviewing,
                              or so, the latest batch of these smaller laptops                and other lesser computing tasks.
                                  were lighter and more travel friendly. But
                                        they were lesser computers, with         Now there is more choice, since the newest entrant of portable
                                             less memory, less storage and       computing reached our shores: tablet computers. Right now the
                                                  a less powerful processor.     choice is somewhat limited and Apple’s iPad remains the gold
                                                                                 standard and, interestingly, the cheapest.

  | MAY2011
                                                           Three battery-saving tips
                                                          •    Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth while you’re on the plane or whenever you
                                                               don’t need it.
                                                          •    Shut down applications you’re not using while flying.
                                                          •    Dim your screen brightness. This is the biggest power drain.

                                                       The iPad is a great device for consuming media (from video to music) and ideal
                                                       for social media like Facebook and Twitter. The e-mail application is good, while
                                                       the onscreen Qwerty keyboard is almost full-sized and good enough to type on.
                                                       Buying Apple’s Keynote application ($10), the equivalent of PowerPoint, and an add-
                                                       on VGA dongle that lets you connect it to a screen or projector, means you can run
                                                       your presentations off it too.
                                                       Word processing can be done with Apple’s Pages (like Word, also $10) or any
                                                       number of similar, often cheaper applications in the iTunes App Store.
                                                                                            Best of all, is the brilliant battery life. The iPad
                                                                                            offers 10 hours of battery life, with or without the
                                                                                            wireless turned on.
                                                                                             As a result of the emergence of the tablet,
                                                                                             travel habits have changed. By way of
                                                                                              example, a much-travelled colleague of mine
                                                                                              takes his laptop for serious work and his iPad
                                                                                               for the plane, interviewing, and other lesser
                                                                                               computing tasks. Cleverly, he uses a laptop/
                                                                                               cabin luggage combination, so he never has
                                                                                                to carry the bulging laptop bag of chargers,
                                                                                                 cables and connectors required. Luckily,
                                                                                                 most devices, including smartphones, now
                                                                                                  charge off the USB ports of laptops, so it
                                                                                                  reduces the number of chargers you need
                                                                                                  to cart around with you.
                                                                                                   If you opt for a notebook, look at the
                                                                                                   more compact models. Apple makes
                                                                                                    a 13in/33cm MacBook and Pro; while
                                                                                                    Sony’s Vaios come in various screen
                                                                                                     sizes. Laptops, netbooks and tablets all
                                                                                                   have their strengths and weaknesses.
                                                                    Laptops are the most powerful, stand-alone working devices with
                                     everything you need (including bigger hard drives, more processing power and a DVD optical drive).
       This means you can work anywhere and not compromise on anything. Bigger screens (there are 17-inch laptops for designers
and gamers) mean more screen real estate. But with size comes weight – and a steeper price – and the bigger screen chews through
the battery.
Netbooks are more compact, lighter and cheaper, but lack an optical drive (but these are seldom used for storage, now that USB sticks
are so prevalent). They are good for typing, e-mailing and working with web-based services, but not ideal for processing video or working
spreadsheets that require a larger screen. They have better battery life and the weight difference is worth it alone.
Tablets are great for consuming media, checking e-mail, updating Facebook and Twitter, watching video and browsing the web. The

                                                                                                                                      MAY2011 | 
                                                                         larger 10in/25cm screens are OK for touch typing, but they are
                                                                         not great for copy editing or reworking spreadsheets. They are
                                                                         ideal for use on the plane though, especially for playing games or
                                                                         watching video.
                                                                         The ultimate solution might be a combination of two devices,
                                                                         but that almost defeats the weigh-less, travel-with-less point.
                                                                         Consider the gauntlet thrown down to manufacturers. We like
                                                                         what you’ve done with tablets and the emergence of new
                                                                         technology. Now, come up with a tablet that ticks all the
                                                                         boxes above AND has the features of a serious mobile work
                                                                         tool. The business traveller is waiting...... n

                                                                         Charles Bofford

    The best portable devices
    Business laptop: Acer Timeline X
    Thin doesn’t mean less with the Timeline X, which has a 14-inch/
    35.5cm screen, powerful processor and graphics and a decent six-
    hour battery life. From R10 000.
    Netbook: Samsung N230
    The current top netbook, it has a smallish 10.1-inch/25.7cm screen, runs
    Windows 7 and claims a 10-hour battery life. It has a decent hard drive and slick styling. From R3 900.
    Compact but powerful: Sony Vaio Y Series
    Sleek, fast and mobile, the Vaio has the power of a decent notebook, but the size of a netbook. It has an 11.6-inch/29.5cm screen,
    AMD dual-core E-350 processor, weighs 1.46kg and comes in bright colours. From R5 000.
    Tablet: Apple iPad
    The gold standard of the tablet market and for the foreseeable future. It has a 9.7-inch/24.6cm screen, front and read-facing
    cameras in the new iPad 2 and 10 hours of battery life. The wealth of applications makes it hard to beat. From R4 000.
    Android Tablet: Motorola Xoom
    The only tablet running the new version of Android on sale at the moment (not in SA yet) is the 10-inch/25cm Xoom.
    Dual-core processors and the slick Android 3.0 interface, make it a contender
    with the iPad.
    Compact Tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab and Dell Streak
    Both have 7-inch/ touchscreens and the advantage of being held in
                                          one hand. They run Android (albeit
                                           older versions and not the 3.0 version
                                            designed for tablets) and can function
                                            as mobile phones. From R5 500

 | MAY2011
MAY2011 | 

               Incentive Tours
 | MAY2011
         icture the scene. You’re slogging away, it’s been a crappy       be able to score some points with the missus and get to see the
         week, the difficult boss is on your case and your biggest        biggest rugby game of the year.
         client is being his usual pushy self.                               Or, let’s look at another scenario. You’re away at the annual
            But, someone out there is smiling on you. Your e-mail         company bosberaad and management decide that they need to
‘pings’ and there in front of you is your saving grace. That same         push the boat out in the coming year, in terms of retaining some
annoying boss has just come out of an exco meeting where various          of the company’s biggest clients. You get the OK to purchase 10
numbers and sales targets were discussed and he now wants                 international sports tour packages – ranging from Wimbledon, to a
to thank you for all the work you’ve done on that big account.            grand prix race, to the end-of-year Springbok rugby tour. You smile
His ‘thank you’ comes in the form of two tickets to the Rugby             to yourself, because you know that once you dangle that inviting
World Cup final in New Zealand, later in the year. It includes flights,   trip in front of your biggest spenders, you’ve already gone a long
accommodation, all transfers and match tickets and suddenly your          way to making your annual target.
boss has gone from ‘difficult’ to ‘dream’. On top of that, you may           In short, sports incentive tours have become big business
                                                                                             and an effective business tool, whether it
                                                                                             be incentivising staff or taking care of big-
                                                                                              spending clients.
                                                                                                 Kim Renyard is the marketing and sales
                                                                                              manager at Edusport Travel and says that, ‘in
                                                                                               surveys Edusport has conducted with clients,
                                                                                               sports incentives come out as the highest-
                                                                                               ranking loyalty builder and the incentive type that
                                                                                                delivers best on improved performance’.
                                                                                                   They’re also holidays with a difference and
                                                                                                perhaps not something you’d ordinarily take the
                                                                                                 family on.
                                                                                                    “People have been to England, they’ve
                                                                                                  been here and they’ve been there,” says Neal

                                                                                                                                        MAY2011 | 

  McAlpine, director at Ski Leading
  Tours & Pure Sport. “But have
  they watched that specific
  sporting event? A lot of these
  sporting events have a high-
  profile aura around them.”
      High profile, yes, perhaps
  to the male side of any
  relationship. But, even though
  it’s a free overseas trip, ‘SA vs.
  England at Twickenham’ may
  not sound as attractive to the
  wife as it does to you. Not to
  worry, says John Ridler of
  Thompsons Holidays.
      “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime
  opportunity and if it’s based
  on couples going together,
  it can be flexible, whereby
  the partner does not
  have to attend the actual
  sporting event. They can
  go shopping, go to a
  spa, etc.,” he says.
      So, a win for
  everyone and a great
  way to build loyalty
  on either side of the business relationship. “They are largely out of         be weighed against the goodwill that can be fostered and the
  reach to the average sport-loving South African, due to the high              greater productivity and loyalty that can be garnered.
  cost of travel and tickets,” says Renyard. “In contrast to leisure               This is where Ridler urges companies to adopt a long-term
  incentives, sports incentives offer a unique exclusivity in that the          approach. “Sporting fixtures are set well in advance, so plan and
  venues can only hold so many spectators, and thus offer a certain             book early. This also gives the client a long lead-time to organise
  status for those fortunate enough to be present.”                             teaser programmes and time for the staff to achieve their incentive
      McAlpine treads a similar line, pointing to the ‘one-upmanship’ and       budgets,” he says.
  ego that just about goes hand-in-hand with almost all big business.              But McAlpine urges caution when first dipping one’s toe in the
      “It is a status thing”, he says. “If you’re networking at the golf        sports incentive tours pool.
  club and you tell someone you’ve been to Singapore on a company                  “Make sure that companies are affiliated to organisations like IATA
  incentive, they’ll say, ‘that’s great’. But, if you can say, ‘well, we went   and ASATA,” he says. “When it comes to sporting events, with the event
  to Singapore and we went to the grand prix’, that just has so much            tickets there’s such a fine line between where these events tickets are
  more value to the client.”                                                    coming from, especially for a high-profile game. You’ve got to do your
      “That’s where sporting packages are lifting themselves above a            homework and deal with a reputable company, because there are so
  normal incentive, but at the same time, budgets are getting tighter           many fly-by-nights or one-man organisations that are working from
  and tighter, so it’s not that easy anymore,” says McAlpine.                   home, with no overheads, so their prices can be cheap.”
      Just by way of example and, according to McAlpine, you’re                    Renyard concurs, saying, “Consumers should be aware that some
  looking at about R15 000 per person for three or four nights                  operators might not actually have access to the event tickets and are
  in the UK for a Premier League football game, whilst a two-                   relying on third parties to procure these closer to the event. In some
  week Rugby World Cup finals package, incorporating tickets to                 cases the tickets are not procured and the incentive does not have
  the semi-finals and final, but excluding spending money, lunch,               the intended impact. The credentials of travel agents should always
  drinks and dinner, will set your company back about R100 000                  be checked.”
  per person.                                                                      So, watch out. Do your homework, but also open yourself up to
      So, it’s nothing to sniff at and one can understand why McAlpine          the great possibilities that sports incentive tours offer, right across
  is concerned about tighter budgets. Either way, it’s no surprise              the business spectrum.
  that belts have been tightened over the past couple of years,                    As Renyard says, ‘as a motivational tool, these types of incentives
  taking into account the global financial crisis. But, specific to the         are incredibly powerful’.
  staff incentive take on the subject, that financial outlay needs to              Now, when is that e-mail going to ‘ping’ for me... n

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     ORT ISSU
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Making sense Airport hotels                                                                                                             DECEMBER
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                                                                                                                                                                                Who look at SA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   BUSINESS TRAVELLER AFRICA







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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Now we’
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   The latest
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ts in 2011



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   0 | MAY2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      rail operation

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    R An
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                                                                                                                                                                                      SA te
                    Your leading travel partner in Africa.

                                                        American Express Travel Services Africa

                                                                Trading in Africa? Don’t get left behind.
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                                                                                                            MAY2011 | 

2 | MAY2011
Peace of
is the key to
business travel
               f you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel,” says Uriah
               Jansen, Hollard’s Oojah Travel Protection Managing Director.
                  Travel insurance affords busy corporate travellers peace of mind in the knowledge
               that unexpected costs – particularly medical expenses – will be taken care of.
   “Generally, an employee travelling on behalf of his employer would expect that travel
costs incurred on behalf of that company would be reimbursed. Some companies may
retain this risk themselves, while others purchase annual travel insurance on behalf of all
staff members who travel,” explains David Pratt, director of Tourism Risk Underwriting
Managers (TRUM).
   Travelling without medical insurance, especially in parts of Africa where facilities often fall
far short of First World standards, can end up being a life-threatening decision.
   This sentiment is echoed by Jansen. “The only country, apart from South Africa, that
we consider to have adequate medical facilities is Kenya.”
   “Repatriation within Africa via air ambulance following a medical emergency can cost
between R400 000 and R600 000.”
   There is general consensus among insurers in South Africa that the most important
consideration is having adequate cover in the event of a medical emergency. This
usually covers hospital fees, doctors’ fees and medication, while assistance companies
offer allied 24-hour emergency call lines which provide support, such as hospital and
doctor liaison and in dire cases, evacuation and repatriation.

The following genuine case studies give an indication
of the potential expenses that an uninsured traveller
might face:
• Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), January 2010: Two South African-insured
  travellers were involved in an explosion. The urgent medical attention they required
  was not available, so the pair were evacuated by air ambulance back to South Africa.
  Sadly, one of the victims died before the ambulance arrived, but the other made a full
  recovery in a Johannesburg hospital. He would not have survived his injuries had he
  not been evacuated. The total claim paid out in this instance was R800 000.

                                                                                         MAY2011 | 
                                                                                                                                                                                                            DDB SA 34135
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      Mango Plus offers you

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                                                            Superbrands is a registered trademark.

* Changes will be levied for fare differences in routes and where Friday and Sunday premiums apply. Subject to seat availability. Schedules and airport taxes are subject to change without prior notice.
  Mango standard terms and conditions apply.

          | MAY2011
 • Mauritius,         December
    2010: Client slips in a
    hotel shower and sustains
    spinal injuries. She is
    stabilised in a Mauritian
    hospital and repatriated
    as a stretcher case to
    South Africa under care
    of a qualified doctor.
    Her husband’s return to
    South Africa is paid for.
    A claim of R500 000.
 • Democratic          Republic
    of the Congo (DRC),
    December             2010:
    Cancellation of pre-
    booked        trip     after
    insured client’s son was
    attacked by a crocodile.
    The insured client was
    booked to travel on
    a cruise which had to be cancelled to deal with son’s medical             persons – are other considerations.
    emergency. A claim of R12 000 paid.                                          Personal accident protects against death or permanent
    Excluding medical considerations, a trip may have to be cancelled         disablement, while financial protection against an airline going
 or cut short for any number of reasons, so having adequate                   bankrupt, or an airline employee strike, is also available.
 cancellation and curtailment cover will ensure that the business
 traveller is not left out of pocket.                                         What products are available?
    Stories of lost, damaged or stolen baggage are legendary.                 Business travel insurance packages range from basic cover
 Although a valuable laptop can be safely stowed in hand luggage,             for medical expenses, personal accident, baggage loss and
 the loss of business suits, documents and other personal effects             cancellations, to more customised product offerings.
 can cause great inconvenience and, contrary to popular belief,                 The travel manager for Regent Insurance, Louise Cockcroft,
 airlines do not always offer compensation.                                   says the company offers a single business option and a variety
    The inclusion of cover for an alternate employee’s air ticket in the      of corporate options geared towards staff business travel
 event of the original traveller’s trip being cancelled is also an option     within a company.
 well worth considering. Regent Insurance offers an ‘alternative                “On the whole, we offer business travellers higher levels of
 employee or resumption of duties’ cover, which covers a replacement          cover than leisure travellers,” says Cockcroft. “Regent’s medical
 economy ticket or resumption of the original trip.                           expenses, inconvenience (baggage), personal accident and
    Travel delays happen for many reasons, from political unrest such         cancellation cover for business travellers are on a par with, or
 as that experienced recently in Egypt and Libya, to unseasonal               better than, cover offered to the leisure market.”
 flooding that resulted in a state of emergency being declared in               Oojah Travel Protection business travel insurance is linked
 Namibia in late March 2011. Having cover for such unexpected                 to a global network of service providers and a 24-hour
 delays helps to offset the cost of accommodation and meals.                  medical helpline. It covers medical expenses, personal liability,
    Cover for specialist equipment, such as golf clubs, as well as personal   personal accident, cancellation and curtailment, repatriation
 liability – protection against lawsuits for damage or injury caused to       and luggage.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           SEPTEMBER2010                                                                                                                                                                                                       AFRICA
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Making sens Airport hotels                                                                                                               DECEMBER
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              RSA • R29.95 / NG • N850 (incl.)                                                                         RSA • R29.95
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    MAY2011 | 

  Oojah offers three packages: one for frequent overseas                in tandem with insurers, offer 24-hour help lines for accommodation
business travel; one for companies insuring employees travelling        and transport requirements; assistance for emergency evacuation
on their behalf, purchased on a blanket basis; and one for              to an appropriate medical facility, or evacuation to South Africa
companies wishing to cover contractual employees working in             with a qualified medical crew.
another country.
  “Some of Oojah’s unique benefits under corporate cover include        Where to find travel insurance
being able to abandon a trip and claim under the cancellation           • Conventionally, travel agents and tour operators work in tandem
benefit, should the delay exceed 12 hours; car rental excess              with insurance companies to include travel insurance in the cost
extension, and loss of income extension,” says Jansen.                    of the trip.
  Large banking institutions such as Standard Bank and Absa offer       • Low-cost airlines also offer travel insurance when purchasing a ticket.
automatic basic insurance cover when international travel tickets are   • Travellers are at liberty to approach insurance companies directly
purchased using the client’s credit card.                                 for cover.
                                                                        • Basic travel insurance is built into credit card bookings. Limits may
                                                                          be topped up if necessary.
     Excluding medical considerations, a trip                           • Brokers generally customise annual travel policies for companies
                                                                          to cover all business travel.
    may have to be cancelled or cut short for
   any number of reasons, so having adequate                            Pros and cons
                                                                           On the positive side, insurance provides against loss of
     cancellation and curtailment cover will                            financial investment on a trip, but the downside is lengthy
                                                                        policy wording. Although insurers offer fairly comprehensive
   ensure that the business traveller is not left                       cover, they cannot protect against all eventualities, so it’s
                  out of pocket.                                        important for travellers to be aware of all exclusions in their
                                                                        particular policy.
                                                                           “When purchasing a travel policy, always ask about the pre-
   Standard Bank’s auto travel insurance covers emergency medical       existing conditions. Most policies will have certain exclusions
and related expenses and assistance, personal accident, baggage,        and the last thing you need to hear if you are hospitalised is that
money, credit card and traveller’s cheque fraud, baggage delay,         the insurance does not cover your illness due to a pre-existing
travel delay, personal liability and hijack.                            condition,” warns TRUM’s David Pratt.
   Absa’s product offerings include ‘automatic basic cover’, which
makes provision for emergency medical expenses, personal                Tips for the business traveller
accident cover and Absa Travel Assistant facilities and ‘optional       • Retain all original receipts of expenses incurred in the event of a
top-up cover’ comprising three packages. The latter covers                travel delay. Claims will not be entertained without proof.
emergency medical and associated expenses, personal accident            • Check on the country’s health and visa requirements and
insurance, trip cancellation/curtailment, baggage loss/theft, legal       make sure you take the necessary prophylactic treatment, for
expenses, hi-jack and wrongful detention and personal loss of             example, to prevent malaria, which is prevalent in many parts
money or passport.                                                        of Africa.
   Travel assistance companies such as Europ Assistance, who work       • The onus is on the traveller to adhere to all the terms and conditions
                                                                                                               of their insurance policy to
                                                                                                               prevent possible repudiation of
                                                                                                                 a claim.
                                                                                                              • Avoid having management
                                                                                                                team members all travelling on
                                                                                                                the same flight.
                                                                                                             • Keep a record of ID numbers,
                                                                                                                passport       numbers       and
                                                                                                                emergency contact numbers
                                                                                                               on your person and at home.
                                                                                                             • Ensure that your passport has
                                                                                                               at least six months’ validity as
                                                                                                               many countries make this an
                                                                                                               entry prerequisite.
                                                                                                            • Always keep your passport on
                                                                                                              your person when travelling
                                                                                                              outside of South Africa.
                                                                                                            • One of the safest places to carry
                                                                                                              valuables is in a pouch or money
                                                                                                              belt worn under your clothing. n

                                                                                                             Christine Marot

  | MAY2011
MAY2011 | 


             e all want value for money, but before April 2011, South             liability of the consumer’s incidental costs. Furthermore, the hotel
             African consumers had little or no recourse in terms                 may not be liable at all in circumstances where the overbooking
             of ensuring that they received proper service. For the               occurred due to circumstances beyond its control.”
             purposes of this piece, specific to the hotel industry.        3.    What do you do when the hotel is dirty, infested with fleas, bed-
  However, the new Consumer Protection Act, effective from 1 April, can           bugs, you are discriminated against or get food poisoning?
help ensure that your hotel accommodation is to the standard that you       4.    “Should a supplier not meet such expected standards, the
expect and that you receive the service and value you are paying for.             consumer may require the supplier to remedy any defect in
  The aim is to create a fair, accessible, efficient, sustainable and             the quality of the services supplied or refund the consumer a
responsible consumer market for consumers in South Africa, through                reasonable portion of the price paid for the services performed.”
the legal framework created by the Act.
  Angelo Christophorou of Biccari Bollo Mariano (BBM) Attorneys             What avenues of recourse are available to the
provides some examples of where the Act may protect the                     consumer?
hotel consumer:                                                             “A consumer whose rights have been infringed may lay a complaint
                                                                            with the National Consumer Commission, which may direct an
A hotel may misrepresent themselves through their marketing, e.g.           investigation into the complaint and, after the conclusion thereof,
pictures on the Internet that indicate a sea-facing view versus the         refer same to the appropriate forum, for example, the Consumer
room you actually get.                                                      Court or Equality Court, to be dealt with”, says Christophorou. “A
1. “The Act prohibits the marketing of a product or service in a            supplier who contravenes the Act may be liable to pay a fine or
     manner which is misleading with regard to any material facts,          damages caused to the aggrieved consumer.”
     including but not limited to the nature, properties and price.            The Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) sets the
     Furthermore, a supplier may not mislead a consumer with                standard for hotels, lodges and other types of accommodation.
     regard to any material facts, which includes failure to correct
     any misapprehension.”                                                  Here’s a brief overview of how the TGCSA grades
2. A hotel may charge a four-star rate, but the amenities provided          hotels:
     are not up to standard. “If a supplier, such as a hotel, misleads      All Stars:
     the consumer regarding, for example, the facilities of the rooms       • On-site representative must be contactable 24 hours a day, seven
     or the common facilities which are available to the guests, the          days a week
     consumer will have recourse.”You may have booked due to a              • All meals and beverages must be provided from outlets within the
     special deal and when you get there, the hotel is full or there is       complex
     strike action. “Should a supplier commit or accept a reservation       • Rooms must be serviced every day
     and fail to supply to the consumer, due to insufficient capacity,      • A formal reception area is required
     such supplier must refund the consumer any monies paid for the         • Bathroom facilities must be en suite
     reservation, plus interest, plus any costs which the consumer
     incurred. However, the hotel will be entitled to arrange an            Additional for four and five-star:
     alternate hotel, of similar standard and price, to accommodate         Valet service, 18 to 24-hour room service, concierge, porterage, a
     the consumer and, should the consumer unreasonably refuse              central business centre, full housekeeping and laundry, child minding,
     to accept the alternative arrangement, the hotel may escape            message service, shoe polish, delivery of newspapers, etc.

The following TGCSA table gives a consumer expectation comparison for the various star gradings:

 Star Grading                       H                      HH                      HHH                    HHHH                    HHHHH
 Expectations of quality         Acceptable                Good                   Very Good                Excellent           Outstanding with
 of overall standard of                                                                                                       meticulous guest care
 finishes, service and
 guest care
 Room Service              N/A                     N/A                      N/A                      18-hour room service     All day room service
 Expectations of meals     Continental or quick-   Continental breakfast    Extensive variety of     Fully cooked breakfast   Fully cooked
                           cooked breakfast        and limited variety of   breakfast foods          served over extended     breakfast available all
                                                   cooked items                                      period of time           day including dining
                                                                                                                              area in hotel room
 Expectations of bed-      Clean, comfortable,                              Spacious with added      Large room, working      Luxurious
 room facilities           functional                                       furniture                area with desk           accommodation
 Expectations of bath-     Soap and bath towel     Soap, hand and bath      Bath, shower gel,        Shampoo,                 Full range of
 room facilities                                   towel                    wrapped soaps,           conditioner, shower      amenities plus spa or
                                                                            shampoo, hand and        gel, wrapped soap,       beauty facilities
                                                                            bath towel               body lotion, towels,
                                                                                                     shower cap, bath
                                                                                                     sheet and face cloth

The challenge for consumers?
Do your homework, take the time to know your rights and make                what the CPA means for cancellation policies and also, not all
full use of the mechanisms available to you, such as the TGCSA              South African establishments have a TGCSA grading. On both
and the Consumer Protection Act – they are there to protect you.            points, that homework issue is vital. So, head off now and do
Just a couple of words of warning – there is some concern about             some studying... n

  | MAY2011
      We’ve earned our stripes.
         your complete domestic & international logistical service provider

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  •BLOEMFONTEIN 051 411 4999/051 447 3986 •CAPE TOWN 021 526 8600/021 551 8259 •DURBAN 031 581 5800/031 569 6206
                      •EAST LONDON 043 731 2677/043 731 2222 •GEORGE 044 874 0660/044 874 0650
•KIMBERLEY 053 841 0382/053 841 0369 •NELSPRUIT 013 752 3993/013 752 5929 •PIETERMARITZBURG 033 346 0204/033 346 0291
      •POLOKWANE 015 297 7798/015 297 7880 •PORT ELIZABETH 041 581 4612 •PRETORIA 012 349 4300/012 349 1284
                    •RUSTENBURG 014 596 7775/014 596 7707 •VAAL TRIANGLE 016 933 4297 016 931 3550

                                                                                                              MAY2011 | 
Delta Air Lines is proud to be the number one carrier between Africa and the USA.
We offer nonstop service from Accra (Ghana), Cairo (Egypt), Lagos and Abuja*
(Nigeria), Dakar (Senegal), Johannesburg (South Africa) and Monrovia* (Liberia).
This in addition to Delta’s convenient connections to over 200 destinations
throughout the USA, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Please call your local travel agent, visit your local Delta Air Lines office
or visit DELTA.COM to find out more about our services.

                                                                                            All information correct at time of printing.
                                                                                    *Direct flights from Abuja and Monrovia via Accra.

    0 | MAY2011

                         Discover the Arabian Gulf on the Brilliance of the Seas
                         Visiting: Dubai, Fujairah, Muscat and Abu Dhabi.
                         Includes: 7-night cruise on board Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas in an inside cabin,
                         including all meals and entertainment on board, port charges and gratuities.

                         R6 050.00 per person sharing, cruise only
                         Valid from 05 -12 December 2011
                         @ease 21434

                         Italian Highlights on the Grandeur of the Seas
                         Visiting:	Spain, Monte Carlo and Italy.
                         Includes: 7-night cruise on board Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas in an inside cabin,
                         including all meals and entertainment on board, port charges and gratuities.

                         R6 510.00 per person sharing, cruise only
                         Valid from 12 June - 03 July 2011
                         @ease 23434

                         Mediterranean Discoveries on the Adventure of the Seas
                         Visiting:	Spain, Italy and Corsica.
                         Includes: 7-night cruise on board Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas in an inside cabin,
                         including all meals and entertainment on board, port charges and gratuities.

                         R7 055.00 per person sharing, cruise only
                         Valid from 15 May - 11 September 2011
                         @ease 21479

                         Voyage to Alaska on the Rhapsody of the Seas
                         Visiting:	Seattle, Alaska’s Inside Passage, Juneau, Tracy Arm Fjord and Victoria.
                         Includes: 7-night cruise on board Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas in an inside cabin,
                         including all meals and entertainment on board, port charges and gratuities.

                         R8 850.00 per person sharing, cruise only
                         Valid from 20 May - 19 August 2011
                         @ease 23167

                         Experience the Caribbean on the Allure of the Seas
                         Visiting:	Florida, Bahamas, St Thomas and St Maarten.
                         Includes: 7-night cruise on board Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas in an inside cabin, including
                         all meals and entertainment onboard, port charges and gratuities.

                         R10 990.00 per person sharing, cruise only
                         Valid from 26 June - 10 July 2011
                         @ease 23049

                         Brazilian Samba on the Vision of the Seas
                         Visiting:	Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Copacabana Beach and Buzios.
                         Includes: 8-night cruise on board Royal Caribbean’s Vision of the Seas in an inside cabin, including
                         all meals and entertainment on board, port charges and gratuities.

                         R13 995.00 per person sharing, cruise only
                         Valid from 29 December - 06 January 2012
                         @ease 23165

                         Conquer Northern Europe on the Celebrity Constellation
                         Visiting:	Amsterdam, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia and Denmark.
                         Includes: 12-night cruise on board the Celebrity Constellation in an inside cabin, including all
                         meals and entertainment on board, port charges and gratuities.

                         R16 050.00 per person sharing, cruise only
                         Valid from 27 June - 09 July 2011
                         @ease 21231 	

                         NOTE:	All	cruise	offers	featured	on	this	page	are	valid	for	set	departure	dates.	Should	you	
                         require	alternative	dates	or	further	details	please	contact	one	of	our	cruising	specialists.
      0861	733	537

                                                                                                                  MAY2011 | 

GLENDOWER GOLF COURSE REVIEW                                           COURSE REVIEW

HISTORY:	 In 1935, ten businessmen formed a company and                         are percentage shots you can play.” The hole from the club tee
purchased the farm ‘Glendower’ with the purpose of creating a                   measures around 165m and the safest option is to play for the right
country club. An English golf architect, Mr Allison, was employed               half of the green, as the green is in a half-moon shape with water on
to plan the course and a South African professional golfer, A.F                 the left. “Drawing the ball away from the bunker on the right would
Tomsett, was assigned the task of construction. The club was                    be a good shot for a top player,” says Levenson, “but my tip for the
opened on 7 March 1937. In 1973 the club was proclaimed a                       average player would be to start it in the middle of the green and cut
nature reserve in order to preserve the excellent birdlife found                it back away from the water.”
on the course. Glendower was recently ranked 12th in the Golf
Digest rankings and has hosted the SA Open three times – in                     RATES
1987, 1993 and 1997.                                                            Affiliated Visitor – R290 (week day)
                                                                                Non-Affiliated Visitor – R450 (week day)
THE	COURSE:	 Situated approximately 15 minutes’ drive from OR                   Caddy – R165 (minimum – includes halfway house)
Tambo airport, Glendower is ‘a classic parkland golf course’, says              Cart Hire – R250
long-time member and 1985 SA Open champion, Gavan Levenson.                     Club Hire – R250
“It’s a great test of golf for all levels of players and it’s a lot of fun to
play.” They recently upgraded the course to USGA spec and are                   ADDITIONAL	FACILITIES:	Levenson’s golf academy is based at
particularly proud of their greens. The major changes were to the               Glendower and he offers teaching to all golfers, from beginners
fifth and 18th holes, with the fifth lengthened and given a dog-leg,            to professionals. Visitors are also welcome to visit the driving
whilst the 18th green was moved further away from the clubhouse,                range and hit balls. There are also chipping, bunker and putting
for better viewing for tournaments. “I think Glendower has variation            practice facilities. Glendower also has a small function room
and it’s not a boring golf course. That’s why people love coming                with projector, flip charts and screens, and seats approximately
here. It’s always in brilliant condition and I think it’s a very friendly       80 people.
golf club,” says Levenson.
                                                                                DIRECTIONS:	 From OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg take the
SIGNATURE	HOLE:	 The par-three third hole can play anything from                Edenvale off-ramp. Turn right at the traffic lights. Turn left onto Boeing
225m (championship tee) to 128m (ladies tee). “It’s a great, great              Road, then turn right into Selwyn Road. Turn right into Marais Road,
par-three,” says Levenson. “It rewards really good shots, but there             and you’ll reach Glendower Golf Club. n

                                                                                   FACT	FILE
                                                                                   location – 20 Marais Road, Dowerglen ext. 2
                                                                                   Rating – 72 (club tees)
                                                                                   length – 6442m (club tees)
                                                                                   Best Time to Play – December to May

 2 | MAY2011
MAY2011 | 
Consumer motoring peace of mind
  Celebrating a century of better business, the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI) is
  the lead voice in the motor industry, providing an effective collective voice which gives
  considerable clout to its members. It is through this collective voice, that the RMI strives
  to create better trading conditions for its 7 500 members.

                                               he RMI provides a very           “In an industry that in most sectors is overtraded, we are
                                               effective collective voice   constantly promoting to the consumer that by dealing exclusively
                                               to its members. “The         with RMI members, they will have “peace of mind” knowing they
                                               reality is that small and    are protected by our Code of Conduct, which ensures fair and
                                      medium individual businesses          reasonable prices, quality goods, a guarantee of parts and services
                                      have very little say in their own     and recourse should they not be satisfied.
                                      affairs, as Government multi-             “At the RMI, we say that there are 7 500 businesses out there
                                      nationals, and unions are not         that are different, which have chosen to join us and voluntarily
                                      going to be influenced by             commit to the Code of Conduct!”
                                      individuals,” says Jeff Osborne,          The RMI is the major employer representative of the Motor
                                      RMI CEO.                              Industry Bargaining Council (MIBCO) and, therefore, plays a
                                         “The RMI is the solution, as       major role in negotiations for both the Main and Administrative
                                      it represents members’ best           Agreements for the Motor Industry. In this capacity it plays a vital
                                      interests. We currently have 15       role in terms of the industry’s social benefit schemes, dispute
                                      professional trade associations       resolution processes and exemption procedures. “By negotiating
                                      and are the only business in the      through MIBCO processes, “Osborne explains, “such as wages
Jeff Osborne, RMI CEO                 motor industry that sells both        and basic terms of employment, we have managed to negotiate
 products and services to clients. By representing large, small- and        three-year deals that encourage stability both within the industry
 medium-sized businesses, the RMI can continue to offer diverse             and the economy”.
 solutions to its members by addressing their concerns in the day-              The motor industry continues to face vast challenges both
 to-day running of their businesses,” he adds.                              nationally and internationally and, according to Osborne, RMI
     Osborne highlights the fact that the RMI is a member-owned             members trade in a very competitive, sometimes overtraded
 and driven organisation and, as such, each individual business is          market, which is continuously challenged by dramatic changes in
 responsible for maintaining the minimum standards within the               technological advancement, legislative issues, skills shortages and
 industry. “This is achieved by using the correct tools, improving          quality issues, to name a few.
 individual knowledge and working towards greater standards                     “A lot of uncertainty lies ahead for this industry and we need
 within Government,” he says.                                               to be proactive in dealing with change and challenges facing
     “Government often approaches us on pending or proposed                 our members, to ensure they aren’t compromised by these
 legislation concerning the industry, such as the Consumer                  circumstances, and also to ensure excellent levels of service delivery
 Protection Act, Second-Hand Goods Act (regulates the conduct               to the consumer. The RMI continues to grow with the support of
 of businesses operating/dealing in second-hand goods such as               players that refuse to do anything without its endorsement.
 second-hand motor vehicles) and the National Credit Act (regulates             “The RMI aims to survive and flourish for another 100 years and
 all issues pertaining to the granting of credit such as motor vehicle      beyond. We will continue to re-invent ourselves to keep up with the
 finance, etc.). The new Consumer Protection Act that comes into            pace and change in the industry, and to provide optimal standards
 effect in October 2010 has far reaching implications in terms of how       for the retail industry – which equates to providing optimal service
 businesses interact with their customers”.                                 to consumers.
     In this regard the RMI has proactively engaged with its members            “The RMI is a voluntary organisation that creates benefits for
 by providing advice, training and guidance, so as to ensure that           its members, therefore, it’s a business imperative to continue to
 establishments in the retail motor industry will be fully compliant        grow our numbers in order to grow our collective strength. For
 with the requirements of the Act. The RMI, in consultation with            this reason, we strive towards ensuring that the RMI becomes a
 other industry role players is in the process of drafting and finalising   household name in the motor retail industry,” concludes Osborne.
 the industry Codes of Good Practice, which will be used as the
 benchmark for good service and the mechanism to be followed
 should a dispute arise. The RMI and its members are committed to
 delivering quality service to the South African motoring public.
     “We constructively engage with oil companies, insurance
 companies and vehicle manufacturers to ensure fair and equitable
 trading conditions for our members, who also rely on our collective
 voice to negotiate better commercial deals.”
     Osborne emphasises that allied to all of these benefits, even
 though the RMI is member-focused, it is mindful of the fact that
 consumers/motorists are the ultimate beneficiaries of everything                           
 it does.                                                                                     Our voice is your peace of mind
     | MAY2011
                                                               Business Traveller DireCTOrY

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  MAY2011 | 

Cocktail hour
at Protea Fire & Ice! Hotel - Melrose Arch
Melissa	Douman ‘glams’ it up and enjoys a multi-sensory experience

            he Fire & Ice! Hotel in Melrose Arch       The presentation of the drinks, the well-       tables and a cool evening breeze set the
            is certainly striking, boasting 1940’s   designed menu, interesting decor and the          scene for our next indulgence - cola tonic
            Hollywood glamour and modern             warm lighting, created an intimate setting.       and vodka on the rocks - a complimentary
            retro decor.                               Being strictly Halaal meat-eaters meant         drink for everyone as part of the Earth Hour
     Large pieces of suede or leather furniture      that we were limited to the vegetarian            celebration. A small thing, but a nice touch
fill the interior, whilst the staircase leading to   dishes on the menu – of which there weren’t       from bar management and everyone loves a
the bar is a combination of frosted glass,           many. Unfortunately, because Earth Hour           free drink ! There was a great atmosphere in
marble tops and sparkling silver finishes -          was being observed, our choice was even           the busy pool and patio area, with plenty of
very little understatement.                          more limited, as some food had already            laughter and chatter – perhaps something to
     Hues of silver, white, black and purple         been prepared.                                    do with that complimentary tipple !
are combined in the patterned wallpaper,                                                                  I loved sitting in the outside area and I
ornaments, seats and carpeting.                             Larger than normal wingback                noticed plenty of patrons with a similar view
     Light shines from ostentatious crystal                                                            of the establishment. There were two women
                                                         chairs, comfortable bar stools and
chandeliers, balls of fire (lights in ball-shaped                                                      sipping on a Mojito and a Cosmopolitan,
chandeliers) and flaming candles.                      tables and a cool evening breeze set            respectively – the latter appearing to be a
     As we sat in the ‘lovers booth’ inside,             the scene for our next indulgence             popular choice, as a nearby group were
we were welcomed with two signature                     - cola tonic and vodka on the rocks            also enjoying Cosmopolitans. Unfortunately,
cocktails. My partner ordered the Vanilla                                                              the great demand for this drink appeared
                                                       - a complimentary drink for everyone
Whisky Sour (Jameson Scotch whisky,                                                                    to keep the barmen rather busy and they
shaken, with Madagascan vanilla sugar                  as part of the Earth Hour celebration.          worked frantically to keep up with orders on
and freshly-squeezed lemon, served short                                                               a fairly busy evening. If I’m blunt, their service
over ice) and I had a Grapefruit Gin and                With that in mind, I went for the vegetable    wasn’t great and it took quite an effort to
Tonic (Bombay Sapphire gin, shaken,                  pasta, which had to be specially prepared         grab their attention. What I did like, though,
with fresh grapefruit, torn mint leaves and          for us, although the waiter wasn’t able to tell   was the stainless-steel milkshake machine,
fresh lemon, poured over crushed ice                 us beforehand what vegetables this ‘special’      which whipped up the bar’s signature lattes,
and charged with tonic water). Both were             pasta contained - the only real dampener on       in more flavours than I thought possible.
tasty combinations, featuring the relevant           our experience.                                      The Fire & Ice! Hotel bar is a distinctly
spirit, together with light undertones                  Following the meal, it was time to break       upmarket venue, that offers both the
of either the vanilla or the grapefruit. As          away from the ‘lovers’ booth’ and get some        comforts of privacy in a luxurious setting and
per the emphasis on presentation, our                fresh air in the pool and patio area, which       the ambience of a crowd. If you’re inspired
glasses were tinted with yellow or pink,             is a picture of tranquility. Larger than normal   to try something new, glitzy and fresh, this is
representing the relevant flavour.                   wingback chairs, comfortable bar stools and       the place to visit. n

  | MAY2011

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