TIR Feb_Mar18.pdf - Page 34

... to be in England
continued from page 33
And, talking of trains, it
is only a one hour ride from
Brighton. At least, it should
be. I’m embarrassed to say
that boarding the wrong train
does tend to extend the journey, so I was late for a rather
lavish afternoon tea at Ting,
operated by Shangri-La Hotels, the exclusive restaurant
on the 35th floor at the Shard,
the highest building in Western Europe. Fabulous views
of London, exquisite service
and mixing with the rich and
famous, if a bit excessive at
£68 a pop.
From there to the trendy
Hoxton in Holborn for a
couple of nights, after another
embarrassment turning up at
the Hoxton in Shoreditch by
mistake. Any vacancies for a
tour guide?
An Oyster Card does the
trick getting around town by
Tube – when the transport
unions aren’t on strike, of
course –- because the traffic
gridlock makes Johannesburg
and Cape Town look like a
Two days of sightseeing, a
missed lunch at my favourite
restaurant, The Wolseley, on
Piccadilly, a couple of shirts
on Jermyn Street, a bottle
of perfume at Penhaligon in
Burlington Arcade and an essential night at Ronnie Scott’s
jazz club in Soho and then it
was back to Gatwick for the
non-stop to Cape Town.
The Gatwick Express takes
only 30 minutes straight into
BA’s Terminal 2 from Victoria
but, with the previously evident good judgement, I took
a car from the Hoxton, got
caught in horrendous traffic
and nearly missed the flight.
Did I mention vacancies for a
tour guide?
A rushed trip but no-one
can miss the opportunity and
fail to enjoy a visit to Britain,
one of the world’s most deservedly popular destinations.
Otherwise, why would so
many be risking life and limb
to get in there!
It is sobering to think that
250 airlines have collapsed
globally since 2007. The
latest high-profile carriers to
go were Monarch Airlines in
the UK, which had 35 aircraft
and carried nearly 5.5-million
passengers last year, and Air
Berlin, Europe’s 10th largest
Even Etihad, Air Berlin’s
biggest shareholder, could not
keep it going, despite injecting
€250-million into it earlier in
the year.
The airline business is
highly competitive, has low
margins, high capital and
operating costs and is subject
to numerous influences beyond its control. It demands
a high level of expertise and
It all points to a continuing
consolidation in the industry,
which may well result in less
competition and higher fares
in future.
After the movement in some
popular, high-traffic European resorts to curtail and
even ban foreign tourists to
prevent growing incidences of
anti-social behaviour, another
potential tourist backlash is
on the horizon.
We all know the world is
sinking in over-population.
Now the Indian government
looks as if it is going to restrict visitor numbers to the
Taj Mahal and other popular
tourist sites. Others may well
follow suit.
Visiting many of these incredibly important, historical
monuments has become an
unpleasant, jostling experience, so you have to applaud
such moves.
Elon Musk’s Falcon 9 rocket
launched Zuma into space
from Cape Canaveral in Florida last month and it appears
it may have wound up in the
sea. Unfortunately, Zuma was
the codename for a secret military satellite, not its namesake in South Africa.
There was an almost audible
sigh of relief when the Rammer took over the leadership
of the ANC from the Zoomer.
But don’t get too carried away
with enthusiasm yet.
No doubt he is a better
bet than the Zoomer or the
ghastly prospect of Zoomer
Mk. 2. But he is an opportunist by nature and everything
about his past and the run-up
to the leadership contest tells
you that.
The Top 6 and the national
executive council are also still
littered with the usual crooks
and thugs tied to the Zoomer
The Rammer has been
spouting populist nonsense
to appease the uninformed
F The Shard is best enjoyed with afternoon tea on the 35th
floor at Ting.
34 Travel Industry Review | February/March 2018
majority, who have no idea
of the implications of radical
policies, such as the expropriation of land without compensation. Hopefully it is just
political flim-flam.
When the honeymoon
period is over, stay tuned for
reality to set in. I hope I have
to eat my words because the
next three or four years will
decide South Africa’s future.
They can call it whatever they
like, but our neighbours in
Zim essentially now have a
military government. Not that
anybody is sorry to see the
back of the Mugger, although
he continues to feed at the
public trough. Is it too much
to hope the Zoomer will get
his just desserts when the
last nail goes into his political
coffin? Probably.
Overseas, to the
hand-wringing despair of the
deluded mainstream media
and liberal opinion, 2017
wound up with more growth,
more jobs and massive tax
reform in the US and a
continued campaign against
the democratically endorsed
Brexit in the UK by a similarly
privileged gaggle. The absurd
excuse for a news network,
CNN, capped it all by referring to Thomas the Tank
Engine as “fascist”! I can see
there is going to be plenty to
comment on this year.

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