It is almost 2 am in the morning. I am waiting, yet again, at Dubai Airport. I am not the same person I was four days ago, waiting at this same airport. I am returning to Cape Town with a new perspective on a new destination. This is the beauty of travel.
How “liveable” is your city? What makes one city more liveable than another? How does liveability affect tourism? These are enquiries at the core of the Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual survey of the world’s 140 major metropolises.
I am the urban tourist. I travel to see, feel, absorb, comprehend and lose myself in the everyday life of cities, both large and small. I am rarely interested in being told where the centre of the city is; I am rather interested in exploring and finding its pulse in the streets and communities which form it.
Cities now constitute the battleground for visitors with urban travelers making up the greatest percentage of potential and actual visitors in the global tourism industry.
Cities are considered to be the new super-brands of the 21st century and according to the Communications Group from the UK, “the prisms through which countries are viewed”.
Last week I had the pleasure of putting together a special Wine Tourism experience for the Tripadvisor and South African Tourism teams visiting Cape Town for the 6th eTourism Africa Summit in Cape Town. By the end of the day my international guests agreed that the Cape Winelands stood head and shoulders above any other wine region in the world.
Lunch at Waterkloof, the spectacular ‘cellar in the sky’, reaffirms my belief that the Cape Winelands is the world’s premier wine tourism destination.
The Stellenbosch American Express Wine Routes has reaffirmed its standing as a world class wine destination as a 2013 nominee for Wine Enthusiast magazine’s coveted Wine Star Awards.
On the eve of World Tourism Month 2013, Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk launched South Africa’s new domestic campaign today and invited all South Africans to escape the daily grind of day to day living and become a nation of fun-seekers in September.