SA’s hotels attract investors

first_img18 June 2007With South Africa’s tourism industry registering healthy growth and the 2010 Fifa World Cup still to come, it’s little wonder that local hospitality groups are attracting increasing attention from foreign investors.In the latest of a string of investments in the local industry, Leisurecorp has announced the purchase of the 170-hectare Pearl Valley Signature Golf Estate & Spa development in the Western Cape for an undisclosed amount.Leisurecorp is a division of Istithmar, the investment arm of Dubai World, and a partner in the consortium that bought out one of Africa’s prime properties, the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town, in September last year.‘Huge potential’Leisurecorp chief executive David Spencer told Business Report this week that the course designed by golfing great Jack Nicklaus would host the SA Open Championship later in the year and was regarded as one of the best in the country, with “huge potential” for further development.In May, Belgium-based Rezidor Hotel Group announced that it would open a hotel in Sandton, north of Johannesburg, in late 2008, featuring 256 rooms and 27 suites.The Radisson Sandton will be located in the heart of South Africa’s financial centre, in close proximity to the JSE, Sandton Convention Centre and Sandton City shopping mall and within easy distance of OR Tambo International Airport.“South Africa is an upcoming destination for business and leisure travellers,” Rezidor CEO Kurt Ritter said in a statement.“The government has prioritised tourism as a key economic sector, and international arrivals increase continuously – we are expecting new heights in 2010 when the country hosts the Fifa World Cup,” Ritter added.Four new Express by Holiday InnsAlso in May, UK-based InterContinental Hotel Group announced that they had entered into partnership with Cape Town-based ISO Leisure to develop four new Express by Holiday Inn hotels in South Africa.The four hotels will be situated in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Umhlanga outside Durban, and will be built between 2007 and 2009.InterContinental’s announcement was “indicative of our confidence in the country’s economic prospects and stability,” said InterContinental vice-president for Africa development, Ewan Cameron.In March, Australia-based Stella Group purchased Africa’s biggest hotel chain, Protea Hotels, from local private investors for Aus$255-million (about R1.48-billion).The acquisition gives the Stella Group access to more than 9 000 rooms in 126 hotels in 13 countries around Africa. Another 3 000 rooms will be added to Protea Hotels by the end of 2008/09.“As the leading independent hotel management group in Africa, Protea Hotels is an excellent acquisition for Stella Group, rounding out an important geographic region in the company’s international profile,” said Stella Group MD Rolf Krecklenberg.Up to eight new luxury hotelsAlso in March, Germany’s Arabella Hotel Holdings International and US-based Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide announced plans to build as many as eight luxury hotels in South Africa, with at least two expected to be operational in time for the 2010 World Cup.However, by far the largest foreign investment in SA’s hospitality industry to date occurred in September 2006, when Istithmar partnered with UK-based London and Regional Properties to buy the iconic Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town for US$1-billion.The deal includes an additional $1-billion investment in further development of the Waterfront, including increasing the number of hotels there.Prior to that, in March 2006, Kuwait-based IFA Hotels & Resorts (IFAHR) listed two South African subsidiaries on the JSE. IFAHR South Africa owns Zimbali Lodge on KwaZulu-Natal’s north coast, and a 50% stake in the multi-million rand Zimbali Coastal Resort, which combines hotels, golf courses and luxury residences and leisure facilities.A 300-hectare extension to the resort, Zimbali Lakes, is due to be substantially complete in time for the 2010 Football World Cup.Record-breaking growthAccording to the latest official figures, South Africa’s foreign tourist arrivals grew by 14% in 2006, three times the global tourism growth rate of 4.5%.Tourism to South Africa has flourished since the fall of apartheid: while only 3-million foreign visitors visited the country in 1994, the number had more than doubled to 6.7-million by 2004, and increased to a record 8.4-million in 2006.According to the Department of Tourism, tourism’s contribution to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew from 4.6% in 1993 to 8.3% in 2006, and the government is looking to further increase its contribution to 12% of GDP by 2014.Hosting the Fifa 2010 World Cup, the largest sporting event in the world, will bring in tens of thousands of additional tourists not only to watch the matches, but also to be part of the celebratory atmosphere around the country.SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Celebrate with the South Centers

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest For the last quarter-century, a small southern Ohio village has hosted a center with university scientists conducting world-class agricultural research, and area entrepreneurs have thrived thanks to guidance from the center’s expert marketing and development specialists.It was Oct. 1, 1991, when The Ohio State University South Centers first opened. Then known as the Piketon Research and Extension Center, the facility was designed to help Ohio State expand its land-grant mission of providing science-based outreach and engagement in the area.“Having the center here in southern Ohio brings ideas and opportunities to the local region,” said Tom Worley, who started at the center in 2000 and was named director in 2005. “And even though we focus on southern Ohio, many of our efforts have an impact across the state and the nation, as well as internationally.“That’s ultimately what the university does, bring new ideas and concepts and provide leadership to bring people together that can spawn even newer and different applications.”Take a wagon tourThe center will host an anniversary open house on Sept. 15, 5-8 p.m., with refreshments and in-depth walking and wagon tours to allow visitors to get a firsthand look at the operation, Worley said.Participants will be able to visit and talk with specialists working in:* Aquaculture. In addition to the fish ponds and hatchery, visitors to the aquaculture program will also be able to see the genetics lab. “We have worked to improve the genetics of yellow perch, bluegill and largemouth bass,” Worley said. “It’s state-of-the-art genetic work.”* Specialty crops. The center is home to research trials on small fruits such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries, as well as Chinese goji berries, elderberries and chokeberries. And, while adult beverages aren’t on the menu, visitors will be able to learn about the center’s research on wine grape varieties and hops and malting barley production. The center is also home to the university’s pumpkin research trials, and is home base for its study of high tunnels, or hoop houses, for extending Ohio’s growing season for specialty crops. For example, one project is currently examining high tunnels and other production methods to increase strawberry production from the traditional four-week harvest season in June to a four-month production system.* Soil, Water and Bioenergy. This team’s focus is on agricultural practices that sustain soil and water resources and are economical for growers.“We are conducting studies related to the movement of water through the soil profile and we’re testing for the presence of fertilizers and pesticides,” Worley said. “Visitors will be able to see the sump houses, which are like a small cellar, to see how we collect the samples from the groundwater.” The team is also working with a Japanese company on water- and nutrient-saving technology in growing corn and soybeans.“It’s like putting plants on life support,” Worley said. “We’re using a hoop house to create desert-like conditions for the study, and supplying all the water and nutrients the crops need through a tube. It’s cutting-edge research.”The team also studies ways to improve soil health and is wrapping up a study on perennial grasses such as miscanthus, big blue stem and switchgrass that could be grown on marginal land for bioenergy purposes.* Business. The center’s business programs include a Small Business Development Center and a business incubator, the 27,000-square-foot Endeavor Center, which currently houses 18 different businesses that have ongoing activities throughout southern Ohio, Worley said.Talking business“Visitors will be able to meet our business development specialists and talk with them about the assistance we provide in terms of business planning, market analysis and management issues for small business startups and expansion,” he said.Also on hand will be specialists with the center’s Ohio Cooperative Development Center and Ohio Direct Marketing program.Before the open house, the center will host a lunch for invited guests, primarily longtime supporters of the center, Worley said.During that program, Worley will recognized four employees who have been with the center since its opening: Marsha Amlin, assistant to the director and fiscal officer; Wayne Lewis, farm and research field operations manager; Dean Rapp, aquaculture research assistant; and Duane Rigsby, technology coordinator.For more information about the open house, contact Charissa Gardner at 740-289-2071, ext. 132, or gardner.1148@osu.edu.last_img read more

Headless body of woman found near Kamakhya temple

first_imgThe headless body of a woman was recovered near the Kamakhya temple in Guwahati on Wednesday evening. Police are not ruling out the possibility of a human sacrifice. The body was recovered on the stairs leading to the Jai Durga temple, one of many places of worship scattered around Kamakhya temple on the Nilachal Hills.The human sacrifice theory was triggered by flowers, burnt incense sticks and other items used for tantra practices found near the body.“We are searching for the decapitated head with the help of a sniffer dog. It could be a case of human sacrifice since Kamakhya has had a history of such practice and is a prime place of congregation for tantra practitioners,” a police officer said.“But we cannot jump to conclusions as the woman could have been murdered elsewhere and her body dumped here to make it look like a sacrifice. We can be sure after an autopsy,” he said.The four-day long Ambubachi mela, beginning from June 22, is an annual fair marking the symbolic menstruation of Goddess Kamakhya.Books by Lakshminath Bezbaroa and other Assamese writers say human sacrifice was a common practice at Kamakhya. This ritual was stopped during the British rule, but some priests carried on sacrificing dummies for some time.last_img read more

Videos: Louisville Owned SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays After Dominating Syracuse

first_imgDonovan Mitchell throws down dunk against Syracuse..Twitter/@theACCDNMidway through the second half of Wednesday night’s 72-58 home win over Syracuse, the Louisville Cardinals were doing whatever they wanted on offense. The dominant display was heavily featured on SportsCenter this morning, where the Cardinals had three of the Top 10 plays of the day.First up, at No. 7, this beautiful behind-the-back assist by Chinanu Onuaku.Nanu droppin’ dimes. pic.twitter.com/7MFnoY0qRb— LouisvilleSportsLive (@LvilleSprtsLive) February 18, 2016Next, at No. 4, another Onuaku assist—this time to Jaylen Johnson for a powerful alley-oop.It’s like Louisville found a “if you make the other team cry they have to let you play in the tournament” loophole pic.twitter.com/m4kMWmXva4— Mike Rutherford (@CardChronicle) February 18, 2016And finally, Louisville took home the top play, with this ferocious alley-oop from Damion Lee to Donovan Mitchell.If you look close enough, you can see a smile on Donovan Mitchell’s face as he slams this one home for @GoCards!https://t.co/xlTSYEXZ08— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) February 18, 2016That one was just mean. Mitchell liked it so much, he made it the header photo for his Twitter profile. donovan mitchell twitterIt’s been a rough few weeks for the Cardinals. Last night’s big win had to be pretty cathartic.last_img read more

Halifax tech incubator Volta Labs triples in size touts track record

first_imgHALIFAX – A Halifax tech incubator is tripling in size to become what the province says will be one of Canada’s largest technology hubs.Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil announced $2.25 million in funding Tuesday for Volta Labs over three years.“This funding will give more entrepreneurs in Nova Scotia the support they need to start great companies,” McNeil said. “It will also help our vibrant startup community continue to grow.”Volta’s space in a downtown office building is expanding to 60,000 square feet, from 20,000, allowing more space for startups, as well as an event space.Volta Labs, established in 2013, says more than 50 early stage companies have worked out of its Maritime Centre space, and 70 per cent of its companies are still in business.It says those companies have raised more than $50 million in equity funding and currently employ more than 290 full-time staff.Jesse Rodgers, CEO of Volta Labs, said in a statement the money allows it “to be the place where high-potential founders come together, learn from each other, and build globally competitive companies.”“This investment will help us support entrepreneurs and create a home for the technology community in Halifax,” he said. “This is key to building Halifax’s innovation district.”Since launching in 2013, Volta has received more than $6 million in funding, including $3.1 million from the province and another $2.9 million from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.Volta offers various programs and support to resident startups, such as sales and marketing training, design resources and one-on-one sessions with in-house experts in finance, legal, public relations and other areas.The tech incubator also hosts retreats to help entrepreneurs “get away from it all to recharge and provide support to each other,” according to the website.last_img read more

3 held for duping people on pretext of giving money through credit

first_imgNEW DELHI: Delhi Police has busted a gang which lured men into swapping their credit cards in return of 2 percent commission. Three cheats Gopal Das, Surender Kumar Arora and Gopinder has been arrested by Delhi Police. They were duping public providing money by credit cards swapping and recovered Credit Card Swapping Machines (POS Machines), laptop, mobile phones, SIM cards and forged documents related with a different company, linked bank account details etc, on their instance. The complainant saw an advertisement pasted on the road side about swapping of credit cards on a 2% commission basis along with a mobile number. Also Read – Odd-Even: CM seeks transport dept’s views on exemption to women, two wheelers, CNG vehiclesHe needed money for his family use and to meet the educational expenses of his children. He made a call and a youngster came to him and swapped his credit card for Rs 2,00,000 and told him that he would get his amount through his account after deducting 3% commission and left the place without giving any cash to him. He later realised he was cheated. The police arrested the three accused on 5 May. “Surender convinced his elder brother Gopal and Bhanja Gopinder for this conspiracy and used them to open bank accounts, forged company and to arrange mobile SIM cards. Apart from that, he purchased 9-11, POS Machines from an authorised Company. He transfers the amount to the forged company’s account and transfer to multiple accounts,” said DCP Madhur Verma.last_img read more

Mens hockey looks to bounce back against Bowling Green

OSU players celebrate after the Buckeyes first goal of the game against Miami (Ohio) Oct. 11 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost, 6-2.Credit: Matthew Homan / Lantern photographerComing off the wrong side of a two-game sweep at the hands of Miami (Ohio) this weekend, the Ohio State men’s ice hockey team is looking to bounce back as it travels to Bowling Green State University for a one-game bout.Despite giving up a combined 12 goals in their two losses against the Redhawks in coach Steve Rohlik’s first series at the helm of the team, the Buckeyes (0-2-0) are optimistic about their matchup with the Falcons (0-1-1).Junior forward Max McCormick said Bowling Green and OSU are “hard-nosed teams,” so the game is going to be a battle.“We didn’t let (being swept by Miami) get us down,” McCormick said. “We’re getting better every day and that’s our mindset, so we’re staying positive and we’re going into Bowling Green to get a win.”Despite the positive attitude, senior forward Alex Szczechura said playing away from Columbus will pose a challenge the team must overcome.“They’ve always been a hardworking team,” Szczechura said. “In their home rink, they’re a tough team to play. So coming into (Tuesday’s) game, we really just want to work hard and keep things simple, keep battling on the ice.”McCormick noted that penalties and maintaining possession were two issues the Buckeyes faced against Miami, among other things.“We really need to take care of the puck,” he said. “We worked on some things in the (defensive zone) and the neutral zone this week in practice and we brushed up on some things in the power play.”OSU is 12-1-3 against the Falcons in the teams’ last 16 meetings.The Buckeyes are slated to take on the Falcons Tuesday in Bowling Green, Ohio with the puck set to drop at 7:07 p.m. read more

Dortmund CEO We would have signed Ronaldo if we had the

first_imgHans-Joachim Watzke says Borussia Dortmund would have made an attempt to sign Cristiano Ronaldo if they had “the financial strength” required to handle both the transfer and salary costsAs well as recruiting a new manager in Lucien Favre from OGC Nice in the summer, Dortmund had a busy time in the transfer market.Barcelona’s Paco Alcacer was brought in on loan, before his deal was later made into a permanent one last month, along with Tianjin Quanjian’s Axel Witsel and Werder Bremen’s Thomas Delaney.Despite the high-profile signings though, Dortmund have reportedly posted a €536m profit and will likely be on the lookout for new talent in the January transfer window.But CEO Watzke admits even they have financial limits that restrict them from making a dream signing like Ronaldo.Franck Ribery, FiorentinaFiorentina owner: “Ribery played better than Ronaldo!” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso was left gushing over Franck Ribery’s performance against Juventus, which he rates above that of even Cristiano Ronaldo’s.The 59-year-old revealed that Dortmund would likely have been unable to pay the additional costs involved in signing Ronaldo, like salary payments.“If we had the financial strength to get and pay Cristiano Ronaldo, we would have done that. But we do not have [that power],” said Watze on Transfermarkt.In the end, Ronaldo left Real Madrid for Juventus in a reported €112m deal and has since enjoyed a stunning start to life in Italy.Although Dortmund themselves aren’t doing too badly either with the club currently leading the Bundesliga with a six-point lead.They’ve also reached the Champions League knockout stages, where they will take on Tottenham in the last-16 next year.last_img read more

Holidays Can Be A Killer For Pets

first_imgPoinsettia are beautiful and can be trimmed back to keep year round, but the leaves from this plant can irritate and damage your dog’s mouth and stomach, and often cause nausea and vomiting. Twin Cities Veterinary Clinic Debbie Dominic: “Clinical signs of chocolate poisoning include hyperexcitability, because of the caffeine content, nervousness, vomiting, diarrhea.” Twin Cities Veterinary Clinic Debbie Dominic: “They can get symptoms like they are drunk, they are staggering.” English Ivy can be dangerous to humans as well since it is toxic all around and can also cause dermatitis and skin inflammation if handled improperly. For dogs, ingesting the leaves of this plant is the most dangerous part and can cause loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Dogs can also experience dermal reactions like blistering, redness or swelling if they come in contact with it. Many seasonal plants are very dangerous when ingested by animals. Decking the halls with holly for Christmas is tempting,  and while it’s sharp leaves and bitter taste will keep most dogs away from it those who do take a nip can get in trouble fast. Holly can be pretty toxic if ingested, even in small doses. Ingesting mistletoe can be very dangerous for your dog since it is very toxic because it has multiple toxic substances which can cause severe stomach pain, drop in blood pressure and breathing problems. In larger amounts, mistletoe can also cause seizures or even death.center_img Dominic suggests letting the animal vomit to get the toxin out of it’s system, and if it doesn’t appear to be recovering quickly, take it to the veterinarian for more aggressive treatment. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享With the distractions of friends, family, and festivities, many pet owners aren’t keeping a close eye on their fur babies – and that can turn deadly when pets decide to have a festive party of their own. Amaryllis is also pretty toxic to dogs, creating stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and even tremors. Story as aired:Audio PlayerDorene-on-holidays-can-be-a-killer-for-pets.mp3VmDorene-on-holidays-can-be-a-killer-for-pets.mp300:00RPdlast_img read more