On March 30, 1970, in Virginia, Colorado, a bright-red, clumsy little chestnut colt was born with three white socks and a forehead star with a narrow blaze. Secretariat, as he was called, or “Big Red” as he was fondly known, went on to become one of the most celebrated racehorses and one of the greatest athletes of all time.
In 1973, Big Red became the first U.S. Triple Crown champion, setting the current-standing records for all the three events in the series – the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. The last race can be viewed here, this rare footage showing how he powers out to glory, the commentator yelling out the most succinct and powerful line (at 2:28):
“He’s moving like a tremendous machine!”
Much like those spectators in the stands and the millions across the U.S watching Big Red race to glory, many of us felt our hearts soar when we heard the news that inter-provincial travel would be permitted as we move into alert level 2.
And now, as we prepare for the final leg of our very own Triple Crown – to maintain our livelihoods and lobby for international travel – we’re at the point where we must all channel our inner Big Red and make this last stretch to the finish line our most important and glorious one yet.
Getting behind domestic travel
As we muster the strength and determination to make our final run to greatness, braving loadshedding and long queues to re-stock liquor cabinets, we can expect a strong drive for domestic travel over the coming weeks.
Inter-provincial travel has re-opened just in time to smell the wildflowers along the West Coast, or to rally the whole brood for an adventure in the Berg. But hey, what about the Garden Route? The whales are still having a ball down that side, and South African tour operator, Earthstompers’ six-day Garden Route tour was recently ranked ninth in a list of the top-10 multi-day tours globally by TripAdvisor.
If you’re looking for something fresh, South African artist, Holly Rey, has launched a new travel series premiering this September, alongside the #SouthAfricaisTravelReady and #IamTourism campaigns. On that note, it’s great to see the sentiment of #IAmTourism spreading all the way to Brazil with the help of @conexaocapetown.
There are few things more exciting than discovering a delightful, previously unknown (to you) dorpies like these tucked away in remote corners of the countryside. As we inch towards September, which is also Tourism Month, let’s encourage each other to explore our local tourism gems. You never know what you might discover if you’re willing to venture beyond your stoep…
Industry updates & outlooks
Don’t you love that we’ve gone from being the ‘ignored’ middle child, with President Cyril Ramaphosa barely acknowledging tourism, to being the first thing he mentions during his latest address? For the play-by-play of what’s allowed and what’s not, the Good Things Guy sums it up pretty well.
For some, unfortunately, the good news came too late: the Lord Charles Hotel (Somerset West) was forced to close shop after 32 years. During these difficult times, every drop helps, so take note that today, the Unemployment Insurance Fund will open and begin processing the July/August Covid-19 Temporal Employee Relief Scheme Benefits applications.
As some positive news for the Mother City, Hospital of Hope, set up at the Cape Town ICC has closed due to the decline in Covid-19 cases in the city.
Looking over the fence, last Wednesday, Air Namibia suspended all domestic flights at midnight after the country reverted to alert level three lockdown, following a rise in COVID-19 cases. Domestic flights will resume on 30 August.
Following the Emirates trend, the regional government on the Canary Islands has offered to pay coronavirus-related costs for tourists who contract the virus while visiting.
The latest studies have officially confirmed what we knew all along: that business travel brings incredibly benefits to the world. According to this Harvard Business review article, if Germans stopped travelling, Austria, South Africa, Switzerland, Nigeria, and Czechia would be most affected, and the global GDP would drop 4.8%.
Adapting & preparing
There has never been a better time to learn a new skill as proven last Friday afternoon when ASATA hosted a Locktail Virtual Mixology class. Using Zoom as the platform, attendees blended up some tips, tricks and delicious cocktails.
As one of the women featured on South Africa is Travel Ready this month, Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo, COO of City Lodge Hotel Group has been encouraging women to adapt, to use this time to learn not to depend on one stream of income.
If window washing ever crosses your mind, check out this woman from Tel Aviv twirling to hip hop over chasms of steel and glass. The 22-year-old’s high-rise dance routine has already earned her close to 60,000 followers on TikTok.
With restrictions easing, remember to take initiative this week, much like these sheep-surfing rabbits in New Zealand trying to avoid the mud. Remind yourself to think outside of the box like this artist who turned bad Yelp reviews of national parks in the U.S into stunning poster designs of sarcasm.
And lastly, stop doing low-value work or tasks that mean little or nothing to customers or colleagues. Here’s when and how to do it.
Remember: when you’re out there all alone in the race much like Big Red, it might just be because you’re in first place.
Let’s give it all we have this week and make it count. It’s time to run!
Stay safe & strong!
The Big Ambitions team