Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cape Town to provide efficient transport for visitors to the World Cup 2010

Cape Town’s Integrated Rapid Transit (IRT) system is progressing according to a long term plan, but the City officials assure visitors to the South Africa World Cup 2010, that the first phase of the service, which will comprise bus services between the IRT stations at the Cape Town International Airport, the large IRT station at the Civic Centre and Cape Town Stadium will be in operating in time for the tournament to be able to efficiently convey visitors to their Cape Town holiday accommodation and to the Stadium . Additionally, a smaller ‘feeder service’ around the city bowl area that will have passengers embarking and disembarking at clearly marked kerb side points will also have been completed.

The airport-to-city link includes the construction of IRT stations at the Civic Centre, Stadium and Cape Town airport ; directly outside the entrance to the newly built terminal building and serviced by metered taxis and provincial buses. 43 newly purchased integrated rapid transit busses will be deployed to ferry visitors to Cape Town for the World Cup. The IRT busses take up to 150 passengers and luggage. Buses will make use of the existing road network, using the reserved bus and minibus taxi lane from Cape Town airport along the N2 freeway, resulting in travel time savings during peak periods.

Buses will generally depart from the airport about every seven minutes. After 22:00, and before 06:00, departures will be available and limited to every 15 minutes to 20 minutes. The airport link is designed to drop visitors off at the Civic Centre station, in the CBD, from where passengers can use other bus and taxi services to their hotels.

A free shuttle bus service for match ticket holders will run from the main transport hub in Hertzog Boulevard to Cape Town Stadium in Green Point. This service will operate from four hours before kick-off, until four hours after the final whistle. Buses will depart every three to five minutes, depending on demand. It will take less than a minute to fill an IRT bus with spectators after a match.
Disabled spectators will be transported by the city's Dial-a-Ride buses from Hertzog Boulevard to the stadium.

Kylie Hatton, the City of Cape Town’s Media Manager, says that, when FIFA World Cup visitors arrive at Cape Town International Airport, staff will be on hand to explain how the system works; travel information will be made available, and tickets will be sold at the airport’s IRT station kiosk.
Ms Hatton said the IRT would benefit all residents and tourists visiting Cape Town and will ensure safe, efficient, quality public transport around the city. The first phase will include the airport–city link and the city–stadium link and which will be completed in time for the World Cup in 2010. The new IRT system will be rolled out in phases over the next ten to fifteen years. Once complete it will cover the entire city and surrounding suburbs.. As the name suggests, IRT is a new integrated transport system that aims to connect and complement the various modes of transport around Cape Town and its surrounding suburbs through the use of minibuses and buses of different sizes.
Once up and running the IRT system will resolve daily traffic congestion. “More people will use public transport once they see how fast, safe and reliable the IRT system will be,” said Ms. Hatton. “With fewer private cars driving to work every day, the IRT will reduce carbon emissions in the city. "A world class public transport system would also make Cape Town more enticing to tourists.

A train service operates across the main suburbs of the city, and may be the best transport option for those staying in the suburbs. The central Cape Town station is a short walk from the transport hub in Hertzog Boulevard. The 25 stations in the Cape Town metro area have more than 7 000 parking bays. Park-and-ride schemes, where fans can park their cars and be ferried to the stadium and fan parks, are also being put in place at railway stations across the city. The aim is to discourage the use of private transport. All the park-and-ride facilities would be safe, secure and well lit.

A park-and-ride service with the same hours of operation as the shuttle bus will run from the University of Cape Town’s upper campus in Rondebosch to the main transport hub, and will be free of charge for match ticket holders.

If you are still wondering where to stay in Cape Town, be assured that the city is doing everything possible to make it easy for you to get to be World Cup matches the matter where you choose accommodation.
For more details of the city's transport plan see their website :

Western Cape is found to have the most resposible pricing for the World Cup 2010

South Africa is justifiably proud of being entrusted with hosting the 2000 and World Cup which will be the first such event held in Africa. The Department of Tourism, Cape Town Tourism and other authorities have been concerned about criticism that prices that are being charged for accommodation are unreasonably high. The Minister of Tourism, concerned that prices for any major world event are usually hiked, commissioned independent auditors Grant Thornton to conduct a national survey into pricing practices in the accommodation industry. In Johannesburg Minister of Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk said :
“Research shows that 74 percent of all establishments in the country are charging reasonable prices for accommodation during the World Cup".

The results of the survey polled 2479 accommodation establishments from all 9 provinces with 38 % of responses coming from the Western Cape. Establishments included hotels, guest houses, bed and breakfast establishments, lodges, and even backpacker lodges. In the Western Cape, 96 % of respondents providing accommodation in the Western Cape were charging seasonal rates or less. Only 3.8 percent of prices were charging more than 100% of seasonal published rates. In Johannesburg and Gauteng 32 percent are charging 100 % or more above their high season rates , 29.7 percent in North West Province and 50 % in Durban. The proportion of Cape Town accommodation establishments charging less than the seasonal rate is 13.4 percent - second only to the Eastern Cape, at 14.5 percent.
In the Western Cape it is primarily hotels which are charging inflated rates for the World Cup; with 18.4 percent offering prices 76 percent or higher above the Rack Rate, compared to only 9.6 percent and 5.6 percent in B&Bs and guesthouses respectively. This proves that the campaign by the region’s tourism authorities for responsible tourism has resulted in a fair, realistic pricing of accommodation in Cape Town.

The Grant Thornton Survey attributed the fair pricing in Cape Town to two occurrences : the excess supply of accommodation with the recent opening of many new hotels, as well as the slowdown in tourist demand due to the recession. The second factor is the effort of Cape Town Tourism to promote ethical pricing during the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ and the signing of a 2010 FIFA World Cup™ “pricing code-of-conduct” for accommodation establishments.
Cape Town Tourism launched a series of awareness sessions around the World Cup as far back as 2006 and provided the industry with pricing guidelines for the event in line with peak season rates. Their CEO stated : “I strongly believe that our consistent messaging around responsible pricing and the industry’s commitment have paid off – setting an excellent standard for Cape Town in long term pricing legacy and sustainability.”
Cape Town Tourism had been quick to warn the industry of pitfalls experienced by other international destinations who have previously hosted major events. “Countries that inflated tourism costs during the event damaged their brand and it has taken some of them years to rebuild perception. Only a few weeks ago major Cape Town tourism industry role players signed the Code of Responsible Pricing for Cape Town thus committing to, and encouraging establishment owners to, price sensibly and offer value for money. It also serves as a reminder to be mindful of tourism’s role in social responsibility and the sustainable legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Minister van Schalkwyk, advises prospective tourists : "Given the fact that South Africa is a robust free market economy, fans are encouraged to shop around and avoid establishments with exorbitant pricing in line with our desire that South Africa continues to remain a value-for-money destination."

We have long been saying in this blog that there will be no shortage of accommodation in Cape Town during the World Cup 2010 in Cape Town and that those who are successful will be those who charge responsible prices to suit the budgets of many of our overseas visitors, as the World Cup should not be seen as a culmination of an opportunity but rather the creation of an ongoing opportunity to promote tourism to our beautiful country. If you are still planning to visit Cape Town for the World Cup 2010 you will find plenty of affordable self catering accommodation in beautiful Noordhoek; a coastal valley suburb of Cape Town known for its village atmosphere, but convenient to the city.

A copy of the Dept of Tourism survey is available at this URl :

Friday, March 26, 2010

Tourism radio – innovative information for Cape Town tourism

The city of Cape Town, like the rest of South Africa, eagerly awaits the many international visitors who will be enjoying the FIFA World Cup 2010, some of whom will be staying in our affordable Cape Town holiday accommodation. Visitors should know about a feature that is available when hiring a car to make your motoring holiday around the Western Cape more informative and more enjoyable.
Tourism Radio is a station designed to entertain and educate tourists while driving en-route. Once a visitor opts to include Tourism Radio in their hired car, they can tune into Tourism Radio on 91.4 FM to get cultural, historical and anecdotal information, as well as updates on nearby attractions and even shows. Tourism Radio is a unique location-based radio broadcast that keeps tourists informed about the area they are visiting, in via GPS technology fitted into rental cars. Thanks to GPS technology and a specially designed Tourism Radio device, Tourism radio will tell the visitor all about the area through which he is travelling, and will draw the attention to prominent landmarks and highlights as they are approached, so you don't miss anything that your South Africa holiday has to offer. As you move from one location to the next the information will change so you only hear what is interesting and related to the area. Tourism radio website assures visitors that the station also airs entertaining and informative radio shows on topics like South African slang, local music and 20 questions a tourist would like to ask a South African."What this means in practical terms is that if you're in Cape Town, you learn about the development of the Mother City, and when you drive to Stellenbosch, the focus of the broadcast travels with you ... it's that easy,". "It's like having a local person (to guide you ) there in your car," founder and operations director Mark Allewell says
Tourism radio also aims to make visitors to Cape Town aware of what they can experience during and after the World Cup, and will have also have a focus on safety of tourists, in partnership with the city of Cape Town. Visitors to Cape Town with cell phones will also be able to obtain informative guides by downloading them from the local website This will be launching during April across multiple mobile phone operating systems. Derived from the Xhosa name meaning go or travel, Hummba is a social network for travelers that lets them connect with friends, track their travels live and share their travel experiences, directly from mobile phones.With an estimated 10-million tourists expected to enjoy a holiday in South Africa this year, this new technology is sure make their travelling experience more pleasant. Further good news for tourism in Cape Town is that the price of a Cape Town holiday is definitely becoming more affordable as many lodges, guest houses and self catering establishments have reduced their prices to affordable rates as has been confirmed in recent surveys conducted in the industry. If you are looking for an affordable relaxing place to stay during the World Cup you will be sure to find it at :

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A care line to assist foreign tourists in emergencies

South Africa has been blessed, as tourism in South Africa has continued to grow despite the recession. Now, we await the hundreds of thousands of visitors to Cape Town and other centres for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. Safety and security when visiting South Africa has been a topic of hot discussion, and with the eyes of the world critically focused on South Africa, the need for a one stop accident, emergency and general information helpline is now being met by Cape Town based , but accessible Visitors International Protection Association (VIPA) which offers comprehensive assistance services in the event of a visitor being involved in an emergency situation; becoming a victim of crime or just needing general help while on holiday anywhere in South Africa.
The Visitors International Protection Association is an independent organization, but linked to agencies, associations, services and service providers (government and private) concerned with the welfare and well being of international visitors to South Africa. VIP Association membership claims to provide the visitor with the best South Africa has to offer with regards to personal protection, medical care, legal assistance and travel related services. They also help with recovering or replacing lost documents and can relay emergency messages home when required.
The VIP Association has established the VIPA911, 24/7 SPOC (Single Point Of Contact) Contact centre, to co-ordinate all these services, allowing its members to make only with one easy phone call when assistance is needed in all emergency and non emergency situations , such as general information services, and will be assisted by a friendly, efficient assistance co-ordinator who is able to: guide, advise and help … in life threatening and/or intimidating situations.
Any of the following (and many other similar) scenarios are dealt with daily:

You are involved in an accident and are hurt
You need legal assistance
You require a car towing service in the event of a break-down
You require personal protection
You feel ill and require medical assistance
You require assistance with lost travel documents and/or credit cards
You need to get general information about an area, a place or clarification about a situation
Any other imaginable “emergency” situation when abroad

The number for the 24/7 Single Point of Contact Call Centre in South Africa is:080 HELP 911 (080 4357 911). This number is toll free from a landline in South Africa. Cellular Network charges apply when calling from a cellular phone.
In addition they offer a strategic agreement entered into with a global telecommunications provider gives VIPA access to proprietary technology that allows:
installation of panic button functionality on a member’s own cellular phone which transmits positioning information in conjunction with a panic signal,
below contract rate fees on international call and data bundles with no roaming charges whatsoever,
all of which makes the rental of expensive cellular hardware and/or services at the airport redundant
With a variety of packages on offer, VIPA assures prospective members that it caters for both business and leisure travelers.
When planning to enjoy a holiday in South Africa, you might wish to make use of this opportunity to provide peace of mind travel.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Markets of Cape Town-an enjoyable shopping alternative

One of the activities that you should explore during your holiday is the wide variety of craft, produce and flea markets that you will find all over the Peninsula. Capetonians love to be out of doors and enjoy their city over the weekend. A favourite activity is to visit the many markets that will be found offering a wide selection of choice not usually find in regular stores. Wherever you will be staying during your holiday in Cape Town, you will find that there is a market near you.
City Centre : in the heart of Cape Town's CBD is the famous market at Green Market Square. This is one of the city's oldest markets, and is set in a picturesque stone cobbled square surrounded by many beautiful examples of the architecture of days gone by- including a historic Cape Dutch townhouse which is now a museum. The history of this market dates back to the days of sailing ships when the masters would stock up on fresh produce before continuing the long sea voyages. Although it was for many years a true flea market, today it offers primarily African curios, handmade clothing and other crafts. You will find a number of restaurants and cafes surrounding the square if you need refreshment after your day of shopping. The location of the market which is open Monday to Saturday, is in the square between Burg Street, Long market and Short Market streets.

Church St. Antique Market : If it is antiques and collectables that you seek, you will find an open air antique market open every day(except Sunday) in Church Street; just a block away from Green Market Square, as well as a number of antique shops and galleries, all situated amongst pleasant pavement cafes. You can spend a happy hour or two browsing the many interesting little bits and pieces, but perhaps also enjoy the characters who own the stalls as much as you do the browsing.

Greenpoint Stadium Flea market: you will find Cape Town’s biggest flea market- in the shadow of the new stadium built for the soccer World Cup 2010, at Greenpoint . It opens on Sundays and public holidays and is always busy. You will not only enjoy browsing here , but will be able to get a great cross-section of Cape Town's people at play. Invariably you will find buskers, musicians and others seeking to use the visitor in return for some small change. In past years it was a great place to look for collectables and bric-a-brac, but now offers mostly African curios, textiles and various interesting and amusing handicrafts. There are still, however, many stores that offer domestic and home items, second hand books, CD’s, tools and the like.

Milnerton Flea Market : About 10 minutes drive out of the city towards the West coast highway and situated in an industrial area along the shore you will find Cape Town’s only remaining true flea market. This is a must for those looking for antiques and collectables. Some of the stalls belong to the dealers who bring their smaller items for this weekend market (it is open Saturday and Sunday). There are, however, many of the stallholders who use this opportunity as well as the other markets to generate a living. You are also likely to find here all kinds of second-hand stuff for the home and kitchen, parts for old cars, second-hand DVDs and CDs, and other handicrafts. The food stalls here offer an excellent variety of food including local Cape Malay specialities, the so-called “boerekos” of the Afrikaner people, but you as likely to find German sausages and even Greek lamb on offer and all at very affordable prices.

Hout Bay Sunday Craft market: This is definitely worth a morning, or a day, outing; located in a field at the foot of the mountain in one of the most beautiful and picturesque villages of Cape Town Peninsula. This is a relatively small market , but attracts potters, painters and other artists who exhibit their craft. The stalls offer excellent quality and interesting handicrafts including home bakes and preserves as well as a variety of African curious, pottery and wire crafts. There are always a few stores that offer delicious snacks and light meals to keep you nourished, or to take home . Although it is a relatively small market you will find many other attractions in Hout bay, including a beautiful clean beach and nearby Fisherman's wharf with many restaurants and a sit down fish and chip shop in the working harbour.

Kirstenbosch craft market : Diagonally opposite the entrance to the famous gardens on the corner of Kirstenbosch drive and Rhodes avenue, you will find more than 150 stalls of arts and handicrafts , home bakes, food and delicacies, and a number of attractions for children. Muizenberg Flea Market is held at Sunrise beach, Muizenberg everyday between 08:00am and 16:00, although it is usually only fully stocked and manned on weekends when it is always busy and presents a vibrant and exciting view of some of Cape Town's peoples at leisure . Here you will find everything, including a kitchen sink, although it is not a market for antiques and collectables. Many local people use it as a cheaper alternative to shop for things for the home including job lots of cleaning material and even canned food. There are a number of food stalls but, unlike the previous markets that I have mentioned I would not recommend eating at this market.
If you are stricken by hunger pangs, take a five minute drive into the historic town where you will find a number and variety of restaurants overlooking the surfers at play on the beach.

Whilst other markets seem to come and go these are institutions that have been around for a long time- their permanence ensured by their ongoing popularity. Not only will you find affordable things to capture your attention at the markets, but if you are earnestly looking for
affordable self catering accommodation conveniently situated to the markets; you will find it at
Horizon Holiday Cottages in the restful and romantic Noordhoek valley.