Tourism remains strong in SA

first_imgThe “big hole” in Kimberly is a majortourist attraction which has contributed tothe Northern Cape’s economicdevelopment. Even residents in small towns can usetheir rich history, such as this ox wagon toattract tourists. Stellenbosch has capitalised on it’s wineriesto bring tourists to the area.(Images: Mediaclubsouthafrica.com. Formore free photos, visit the image library.)Khanyi MagubaneMinister of environmental affairs and tourism Martinus van Schalkwyk has revealed that despite an economic slowdown in the country, tourism figures remained firm in 2008.Statistics from the first 10 months of 2008 indicate an increase in arrivals of 5.4% from January to October.In 2007, this figure stood at 8.3% and saw over nine-million foreign arrivals to South Africa.Speaking at the opening of the local government tourism indaba on 26 January in Cape Town, Van Schalkwyk noted that the economic crunch has however seen a month-on month decline in arrivals to South Africa from other regions, compared to 2007.Arrivals, for instance, from Europe decreased by 6.5% and visits from Central and South America dropped by 4.6%.But there have been some positive growths too. Arrivals from North America remained stable and more people have also been flocking to South Africa from Australasia, where arrivals are up by 6.3%. Visitors from the Middle East have also been visiting our shores more often, with a 5.9% increase in visits.The two-day indaba saw delegates from across the tourism sector converging under the theme, “Unlocking Tourism Potential at a Local Sphere of Government”.Van Schalkwyk told delegates attending the indaba he was confident that South Africa’s tourism industry would continue to grow, “Our industry is by no means immune to the effects of the international economic crisis, but we are still confident that we will reach our target of 10-million visitors in 2010.”“Our country continues to be a value-for-money destination and with international events like the Confederations Cup and World Cup lined up, there will be opportunities in abundance and tourism will retain the important role it plays in our economic growth.”The driving force of the conference was the need to help local municipalities to grow their own tourism industries.To this end, Van Schalkwyk encouraged local government officials to step forward,“The importance of the role of local government in the successful growth of the tourism industry cannot be overemphasised and the examples of its pivotal role are many.”Tourism toolkit to help local governmentDuring the conference, a toolkit to help local municipalities develop a tourism strategy was launched.The tourism toolkit will help to clarify how to complete a basic tourism plan within a South African local municipality.It will help to make an important contribution towards ensuring that all municipalities are growing the tourism industry.The components of the toolkit will consist of practical documents, which ensure that municipalities are able to involve themselves in the appropriate investment in infrastructure and services that will boost tourism.It will also assist with the development of community tourism plans and provide case studies as examples of good practice.The minister noted that there were a number of challenges, which were currently hampering the coordinated and integrated approach.Some of these challenges include local authority staff not having the right vision for the municipality in terms of identifying destinations that tourists could visit in the area and planning accordingly.In other cases, local government does not use national and provincial information made available for them in their tourism planning.Van Schalkwyk told delegates that his department was however optimistic that the challenges could be overcome, “Our department remains committed to working with local government to ensure that the benefits of tourism are shared as widely as possible.”He further noted that the relationship between national and local government had already shown some positive results, “Since 1999, we have been financially involved in 335 tourism projects in the nine provinces.“To date, more than R1-billion (US$100-million) has been spent on these projects and these initiatives have contributed to the creation of 1 480 permanent jobs and more than 4-million temporary work days.”The minister reiterated that it was important for those involved in the tourism sector to continually promote their country to tourists.“It is more important than ever that Brand South Africa is promoted seamlessly and distinctively. We recognise that a visitor’s holiday experience is always further enhanced by good service, which is why we are very proud of the Service Excellence programme we will be implementing this year in partnership with the Tourism Business Council.”MEC for finance, economic development and tourism in the Western Cape Garth Strachan, also addressed delegates.He shared the secret of success of the Western Cape, which is currently South Africa’s most developed tourism region and the sector.According to Strachan, the Annual Development indicators report of 2008 states the strong growth over the last decade has had a phenomenal impact on the tourism industry.He said the only outstanding issue, which needed to be dealt with, was the lack of adequate transformation, as all the benefits from the tourism industry needed to be shared equally amongst all South Africans.Do you have any comments or queries about this article? Email Khanyi Magubane at: Khanyim@mediaclubsouthafrica.com Related articlesSaving the world with ecotourism The tour de Kruger: a wild ride   SA hot destination for US tourists SA shines world travel awards A tour guide in your pocket  Useful LinksDepartment of Environmental Affairs and TourismSouth African TourismJohannesburg TourismTourism Grading Council of South Africalast_img read more

What Happens to .ly Domains When Libya Shuts Down the Internet

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Government#web audrey watters When the Libyan government pulled the plug on the country’s Internet access on Friday, many outside the country were concerned about the implications the shutdown would have on the country’s top level domain (TLD). After all, the .ly domain is a popular alternative to the .com, used by a number of companies, but arguably most commonly associated with its usage as a URL shortener.No surprise then, John Borthwick, CEO of Bit.ly was quick to respond to an inquiry on the Q&A site Quora that asked if .ly services would be interrupted with Libya offline. Don’t Worry about .lyThere’ll be no interruption, according to Borthwick. “For .ly domains to be unresolvable the five .ly root servers that are authoritative *all* have to be offline, or responding with empty responses,” he writes. “Of the five root nameservers for the .ly TLD: two are based in Oregon, one is in the Netherlands and two are in Libya.”Borthwick’s response should serve to reassure users of Bit.ly, at the very least. He says that the company will keep the service running, including “offering options around which top level domains you use.” Try .mp, for example (that’s the TLD for the Northern Mariana Islands).Or, Maybe We Should WorryHowever, Kim Davies cautions against a “sense of false confidence” and says we shouldn’t think “that country-code domains are impervious to these kinds of government-mandated Internet shutdowns.” He agrees that the effect of an Internet shutdown may not be immediate, but the effects can still be “devastating.” Davies points out that the servers outside of Libya are still reliant – eventually -on obtaining updates from the .ly registry within the country. “If they are unable to succeed in getting updates, at some point they will consider the data they have stale and stop providing information on the .LY domain.” Davies pegs that at 28 days.Unlike Egypt, which was offline for a week, Libya has had intermittent Internet access. The Next Web posits that the shutdowns in Libya echo some sort of nightly curfew – off at 11pm and on again at dawn. This makes it likely that other DNS servers will update their records and the .ly domains will continue working.Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that this isn’t the first problem that those outside of Libya have had with the TLD. Last fall, the Libyan government shut down Vb.ly, the URL shortener run by sex writer violet blue. The domain was yanked because of its content – as it “fell outside of Libyan Islamic/Sharia Law.” All this should serve as a cautionary tale for anyone obtaining a domain – in Libya or, frankly, elsewhere, as TLDs fall under government scrutiny and seizure, no matter the country. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

On Basketball: Kyrie gets a new address, but Cavs win trade

first_imgRegardless of all these Celtics-Cavaliers fireworks, it’s still Golden State’s world and probably will be for a long time. This deal didn’t change that.The Warriors will still be the favorites to win the last game of next season.The first game of next season, as luck would have it, just happens to be Boston at Cleveland.And just like that, the NBA has drama again.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ All good things, all edge to Cleveland.Give the Celtics credit for being bold. Danny Ainge knew winning the Eastern Conference’s regular-season crown last season was meaningless, so he completely blew up a team that was a No. 1 seed and got hammered by the Cavaliers in the East finals. Sure, the Celtics played most of that series without Thomas, but that wasn’t going to matter. The Cavs weren’t losing that series.So Ainge goes out and gets an All-Star point guard in Irving, after he hauls in Gordon Hayward during free agency and adds probable rookie of the year front-runner Jayson Tatum to the mix in the draft — plus gets another draft pick in either 2018 or 2019 for his trouble.It’s not a bad deal for the Celtics. They get Irving. It’s his team. A storied franchise is in his hands and he will savor that.It’s just a better deal for Cleveland, at least right now.ADVERTISEMENT Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim There are many ways to claim victory in the deal made Tuesday night. Kyrie Irving wanted his own team and got it, so he wins. Isaiah Thomas gets to play with LeBron James, so he wins. The Cavaliers got rid of a supposedly disgruntled star, so they won. The Celtics now won’t have to decide if Thomas is worth something like a $180 million deal next summer, so they won. It’s all semantics.But look past all that.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingIn the end, Cleveland won. James won, too.Here’s a few reasons why James will be celebrating this deal: He’ll still have a high-octane point guard; he’s getting an absurdly good defender in Jae Crowder (he could have helped the Cavs’ cause against Golden State in The Finals); he won’t be going into the season dealing with drama about Irving’s Cleveland future; this trade might even reap the Cavaliers the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft. NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul FILE – In this June 7, 2017, file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (2) is guarded by Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during the first half of Game 3 of basketball’s NBA Finals in Cleveland. Irving gets his new address and Isaiah Thomas gets to play with LeBron. They both can say they won in this Celtics-Cavs blockbuster deal. But the sum of the parts says Cleveland got the better of Boston in this swap of All-Star point guards. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane, File)MIAMI— It’s not the principals that will define the blockbuster trade between Cleveland and Boston. Great point guard leaves one city for another. That seems fair.All the other parts, they will tell the story.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ LATEST STORIES Minnesota never offered Andrew Wiggins. Miami never offered half its roster. Portland wasn’t giving up Damian Lillard. In the end the Cavs still got a star for a star, and since Thomas is only making about $6.3 million next season they got plenty of bonus parts as well to make the trade work.It also solved one big Cleveland problem.James’ only motivation is rings, and this move gives him just that.He will be looking to go to the Finals for the eighth consecutive year. Only three teams in NBA history have been to four straight finals — the Lakers, the Celtics, and the Miami Heat when James was with them. Golden State will be heavy favorites to join that club next June. The Cavaliers won’t surprise many if they join them.James will show up at camp in a couple of months and begin plotting ways to get his team back to the Finals. Had Irving still been there, James surely would have been wondering if they could make it work again. With Thomas, there won’t be a question. James and Thomas already have great respect for one another, and Thomas runs on the same prove-people-wrong gasoline that James uses.Cleveland has been through the free-agency-is-looming dance with James before, of course. If the Cavs want to keep him next summer, they simply have to go all-in to make him as happy as possible. This trade probably wasn’t a bad start on that front.In Boston, the Celtics will look very different this season.Irving and Hayward are in; Thomas, Crowder, Avery Bradley, Kelly Olynyk and Amir Johnson are out — meaning five of Boston’s seven top scorers from a No. 1 seed now play elsewhere.The Cavs weren’t overhauled; Irving is gone, Thomas, Derrick Rose and Jeff Green arrived.From a continuity standpoint, obvious edge to Cleveland as well. Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side View comments LeBron James heads to Manila again on September 2 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

Business group calls for lower tax rate for womencontrolled companies

first_imgOTTAWA – A cross-border council on women in business recommends that companies controlled by women should get lower tax rates.The Canada-United States Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders made the suggestion in a report released Wednesday that offered recommendations for how companies can better support women in business.The group interviewed investors, institutions, asset managers, pension funds and venture capital firms and found that women are not being financially backed at the same level as men and are less likely to have leadership roles within corporations.That’s why it called for a lower tax rate for women-owned businesses, similar to the lower rates already offered to private corporations that are Canadian-controlled.It says a lower tax rate could encourage more women to create and lead companies and incentivize businesses to include women in their succession planning and ownership roles.It called on capital providers to make markets more hospitable for women by expanding or modifying their offerings to target female entrepreneurs.The council was created by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump last year and aims to help women-owned businesses contribute to economic growth, competitiveness and the integration of the two economies.The group also encouraged the Canadian and U.S. governments to continue to pursue programs that ensure women-owned businesses are included in government tender processes on a preferred basis, that push companies to adopt clear and strong diversity policies and that increase the number of women in key roles that influence investment decisions.The council is made up of 10 female executives — half from Canadian companies and the other half from American companies.The Canadian members include CEOs Annette Verschuren, of NRStor Inc., Dawn Farrell of TransAlta Corp., Linda Hasenfratz of Linamar Corp. and Tina Lee of T&T Supermarket Inc., as well as Monique Leroux, chair of the board of directors from Investissement Quebec.last_img read more