SA hospitality businesses awarded Certificate of Excellence

TripAdvisor, the popular travel site, announced the 2014 Certificate of Excellence award recipients. A total of 2,113 South African hospitality businesses have been awarded this year.
SA hospitality businesses awarded Certificate of ExcellenceNow in its fourth year, the award celebrates hospitality excellence and is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor. Establishments awarded the Certificate of Excellence are located all over the world and represent the upper echelon of businesses listed on the website. As of this year, vacation rentals are now eligible to receive the Certificate of Excellence.

The Certificate of Excellence award is given to outstanding hospitality businesses that have received praise and recognition in reviews by TripAdvisor travellers. Winners of the prestigious award include accommodations, eateries and attractions of all sizes.

Ranking of South African provinces/destinations based on number of Certificate of Excellence winning properties:

Province/Destination Total
Western Cape 1169
Gauteng 235
Kwazulu Natal 216
Eastern Cape 176
Mpumalanga 102
Kruger National Park 75
Limpopo 59
Northwest Province 31
Free State 28
Northern Cape 22

“TripAdvisor is pleased to honour exceptional hospitality businesses for consistent excellence,” said Marc Charron, president of TripAdvisor for Business. “The Certificate of Excellence award gives top performing establishments around the world the recognition they deserve, based on feedback from those who matter most – their customers. From Australia to Zimbabwe, we want to applaud exceptional hospitality businesses for offering TripAdvisor travellers a great customer experience.”

When selecting Certificate of Excellence winners, TripAdvisor uses a proprietary algorithm to determine the honourees that takes into account reviews ratings. Businesses must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five. The volume and recency of reviews, as well as a business’ tenure and popularity ranking are also factors in the algorithm.

According to a recent PhoCusWright study of 12,225 respondents from around the world, TripAdvisor awards can tip the scale for businesses and help set them apart from their competitors: 65 percent of respondents are more likely to book hotels that receive awards from TripAdvisor.

Winning properties can showcase their success a number of ways, including displaying the Certificate of Excellence at their establishment, displaying the award on their website or by promoting the achievement locally.

Self-catering boom in Cape Town is technology driven

There has been a large increase in self-catering accommodation bookings over recent months, following a surge in the adoption of technology across the sector, together with an extensive selection of new properties entering the market – according to
James Woolley, founder of
James Woolley, founder of
Last year, Cape Town Tourism announced that all accommodation types, with the exception of self-catering, registered positive growth in 2013.Now, following exceptional growth in the US, Australia, the UK, and into Europe, the self-catering industry in Cape Town is on a steep upward trend with some booking platforms registering an increase in bookings of over 150% month on month.

Data shows that an increasing number of locally based self-catering businesses are adopting digital booking technology to increase their enquiries and bookings. James Woolley, founder of, said: “There are various reasons for the sudden growth in the self-catering industry, but the primary driving factor is a global surge in travellers now looking for more authentic experiences, an online presence and better value for money.

This has created great opportunities for property owners, particularly in and around Cape Town, who are now seamlessly using software such as Nightsbride, Razor PMS and Siteminder, the likes of which major international hotel groups use to market their rooms online. This was unheard of just a short time ago.”

Looking abroad, Frommer’s Travel recently predicted that roughly 30% of domestic US travel will by the end of 2014 include a vacation rental (self-catering) as the lodging component. Compared to the previous year, this is nearly double.

Global demand for self-catering

“A prime example of how much potential growth there is in this sector is made visible by Air BNB, founded five years ago in San Francisco. Air BNB, a cloud-based self-catering booking platform, took the global travel industry by storm and now dominates a new segment of the market. The company’s remarkable growth shows the global demand for self-catering accommodation, which we are now seeing here in South Africa.”

According to reports, Air BNB recently attracted an investment of USD 450 million, valuing the company at over USD10 billion. ”We can most certainly expect to see investment entering the self-catering segment in South Africa. The massive growth potential in line with global trends makes such investment attractive to established businesses and investors within the tourism sector,” said Woolley.

Cape Town Tourism has already revealed that self-catering accommodation was up by more than 10% in January (year on year), with future growth predicted over the coming months. Evidence of this growth can be seen with, which achieved an increase of 150% in bookings during March 2014 when compared to March 2013, and when compared to March 2012 an impressive 466% growth. It appears that March 2014 wasn’t a one-off occurrence either, as the company more than doubled its bookings in February 2014 year on year and, in January 2014, had an increase of 160% in bookings versus January 2013. ”This continued growth is exciting for the entire self-catering industry and we don’t anticipate it slowing down any time soon,” said Woolley.

Early bookings

Other travel portals are also seeing extensive growth in self-catering accommodation bookings. “As self-catering continues to grow in Cape Town, so we see more demand from international visitors. We are now seeing bookings coming in as early as 18 months in advance, where before accommodation was generally booked within a few weeks of arrival or even on the day. The way in which travellers book has changed drastically compared to how it was done a few years ago, and the Cape Town self-catering industry is catching up and using technology to grow business and the entire market segment as a result.

“The weakening of the rand has certainly also been a big draw card over recent weeks, but this growth in self-catering has taken place over several months so it is far more than just the weak rand.”

What used to be a fairly disorganised and fragmented industry in Cape Town is quickly becoming highly developed and a preferred accommodation choice for many travellers using the digital space to make their travel arrangements. “We are likely to see continued growth in the volume of self-catering inventory with more widespread use of technology across the sector,” said Woolley.

Content marketing practices – Airbnb case study

In our next case study we bring you a very current and active brand that has utilised content as a way to engage audiences further, bring new audiences in and generate leads resulting in sales.
Airbnb is a website that allows users to cash in on extra unused space in their homes by renting rooms to travellers. Now in 192 countries, it has broken the status quo in traditional short term vacation rentals industry.

With the expansion of the company, Airbnb has had to evolve to suit the needs of users. They’ve done this by delving into content marketing and featuring a range of interesting and useful content, with their strategy utilising customer-centred, original and user-generated content to grow sales and increase engagement.

Airbnb has implemented content marketing practices by adding special features to their site that go above and beyond the user’s experience of booking a room through them and giving their users a reason to return to the site through offering value.

Some of the new features include a step-by-step guide to booking on Airbnb, a trip planner, tips and information. It has also introduced video content through AirbnbTV, which features a series of videos such as guided tours, host stories, promotional videos and a guide to ‘living local’.

1. Extended engagement: Airbnb Neighbourhood Guides

The neighbourhood guides are placed directly below the fold on the homepage for easy user-centric navigation, and each city’s thumbnail is paired with rich quality images that represent the city culturally and visually. Each guide’s landing page offers categorised content on places of interest: from “Famous for Food” to “Trendy” and “Peace & Quiet”.

It also includes traditional travel guide information like dining, shopping and nightlife. This brilliant use of content is created purposely for the needs of the users, who have access to authentic information from locals and previous visitors, helping them to make informed decisions on their destination city.

2. Inform and educate: Airbnb TV

Airbnb TV is focused on creating a community around its service, with the site housing video content from across its various platforms, providing users with testimonials, tutorials and guided tours.

One video focuses on safety and security and Airbnb’s efforts to work in conjunction with communities to ensure visitors and renters are protected from fraud and damages.

Meanwhile, the tutorial section offers informative videos on topics from creating an attractive listing to asking for a security deposit. This type of user-orientated content is helpful and interesting and easy to consume.

3. Testimonials: The Airbnb Lifestyle

Airbnb Life is a content hub dedicated to testimonials, and is comprised of content about how users have benefited from the website, be it financially, socially or emotionally.

Testimonials allow Airbnb to curate authentic, motivational and educational content easily through the community built around their service. From personal success stories to apartment reviews, Airbnb Life shows off a strong sense of community.

4. Drive leads: Social engagement and calls-to-action

Airbnb has successfully utilised social media contact points – primarily their Facebook and Twitter accounts, although they have a strong YouTube presence too – to promote their user-created content.

In order to encourage engagement, Airbnb held a competition using Twitter and Instagram, $2,000 worth of travel credit was up for grabs. Users were asked to share “cool, innovative twist on a summer cliché” photos and then tag it #Airbnbfun.

5. Drive customer loyalty and trust: Airbnb Connections

Airbnb introduced a feature called Social Connections which allows Airbnb users to sync their Facebook account with their Airbnb account. The tool indicates whether friends have previously booked into a place you’re currently considering. This feature is important in that it taps into the most powerful propeller of online sharing and commerce: word-of-mouth recommendations.

The Social Connection feature indicates the top-rated rentals within a user’s social network by tailoring the search, making users feel safer and more confident booking through Airbnb.

It’s not difficult for a brand to embark on a strategy like Airbnb have, ultimately what you need to do is think about what your users want, what you have to offer, and link the two with clever use of content.

Content marketing and strategy may seem far removed from what you can do, but in fact they are simply new ways to think about your already existing content, and plan what to do with it!

Vacation Rental Homes, Vacation Rental Condos, Villas

The RentalDelight website has over 20,000 vacation rental locations in over 80 countries. Since inception, Rental Delights has been an ideal resource to find a vacation rental property which meets your needs. Travelers across the globe can search for rental properties on for free. Its an online platform for Users to search and promote vacation rentals. Our main motive is to bring together travellers and the property owners or managers to rent vacation home directly.

Our Vacation Rental properties offer superb alternative to Hotels for travelers seeking peace, additional space, amenities and value that Hotels are not able to provide. The Vacation Rental properties offered on include homes, condominiums, villas, and more… With us you can earn whenyou’re not using your property. Whether it’s a apartment in Spain or a suite in Singapore or a condo in Bahamas, we always have the best ideal place for you.

With a huge spurt in international travel & increased inclination of travelers to have a home-away-from-home led us to develop business strategy with the aim of assisting travellers in the search for rental properties and helping them contact the rental home owners. You will love the extensive collection of vacation rentals with us as we provide an array of properties to choose from. You can search for your preferred destination, amenities, and interests with ease. It also makes it easy for vacation rental owners and property managers to showcase their property in a rich & descriptive flavour.

Rental Delight is dedicated to helping travelers find and rent vacation rental properties worldwide. comprises of highly skilled professionals who have a vast & rich exposure to International Travel, Quality, Real Estate Management and Business Analytics domains. At Rental Delight we work as a team and work hard and competitively to achieve our goals.

Superb Rentals
Going on for a Vacation Rental which is unseen can be quite scary. And we at Rental Delight make it sure that its Safe, Fun and Easy to live in for you. All vacation rentals with us are spacious with all amenities and without any Hidden Costs. With us, people can list their properties and also help travellers plan excellent vacations with personal touch added to it.
Best Deals Guarantee
When you choose a vacation rental, you get an experience and memories that last a lifetime. And we make it sure that you get the Best Deals and a Fixed price promise from the Property managers or owners. Our Best Deal Guarantee will take out the worry of searching out the Best price rental vacation or a dream destination.
Vast Availability
With more than 20,000 locations worldwide, Rental Delight connects travellers to their dream vacation rentals and apartments.
Rental Delight provides privacy, relaxation, delight and peace – things that a hotel room would not give. When you choose vacation rentals over hotels you join the growing ranks of people who demand more value from their vacation accommodations. Most of the Vacation Rentals are fully equipped with Modern kitchens, Private dining rooms, Swimming Pools, etc.

Orlando Vacation Package – Choosing Your Vacation Rental Home

Soon after a working day with the wild creatures, cool down with some splashing water rides at Blizzard Beach and Sea Entire world or bask in the porch of your beach condominium from even though the sun sets down in the horizon.

From cozy beach condos to lavish flats to huge trip properties, we supply all sorts of rental houses to make sure you have a great vacation in Orlando. Dine in the privacy of your cozy trip rental residence or expertise some special ways of dining and entertaining in Orlando’s numerous glittering sights. A cozy getaway rental residence in Orlando offers you the prospect to commence your working day with a lavish breakfast in the firm of your favorite figures at Universal’s Islands of Experience. In the afternoon stage out of your vacation residence to have lunch with Mickey, Minnie, Winnie the Pooh or Goofy at any one of Disney’s restaurants. In the night time appreciate cozy food in the comforts of your holiday rental house or paint the city crimson with a pay a visit to to any a single of the wonderful eating eating places.

Grownups can have an similarly entertaining dining experience, no matter whether it is a romantic evening meal in the cozy atmosphere of your vacation rental property provided by or enable the superstar chefs to cook up a storm for you at any one particular of the elegant restaurants.

A holiday rental home from presents you the luxurious of deciding on your variety of vacation with out compromising on your comforts and privateness. With a getaway rental house in Orlando buyers can have a discipline working day as they get to store at Central Florida’s largest and most common buying vacation spot the Florida Mall, which is home to far more than 250 merchants. The enjoyable does not end when the sun goes down at Disney step out from your cozy getaway rental home to be element of the motion as you will find loads of enjoyment to keep you engaged all through the night time.

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People require time to unwind and indulge in R&R (rest and recuperation or relaxation and peace) as soon as in a whilst to reduce their stress amounts. Several folks prefer a scenic seaside or a comfortable beachfront to vacation in for their holidays. Even their greatest for every day charges are significantly decrease as when compared to what other civilian resorts charge when they supply rock bottom staying fees and accommodation charges. So it really is worthwhile to think about the navy or defense staff alternative if you can get one.

Timeshare membership owners

A timeshare is a membership facility which can make it possible for property proprietors to own or acquire entirely furnished lodging on a sharing foundation with other members at a extremely lowered value, and use the facilities supplied at predetermined instances in any lawful way and fashion – even rent the lodging to households and folks if they want to do so.

Vacation Rentals Catskills’ & ‘catskills Vacation Rental

The rustic charm of the Catskill Mountains is a magnet to holiday makers and adventure and spirituality seekers. These exciting holiday destinations sprawling across 19 acres in the Hudson Valley have convenient, well appointed and luxurious vacation rentals at Hunter Mountain, Windham, Margaretville, Woodstock and Saugerties. Just a couple of hours drive away from New York, with every necessary amenity like restaurants, air-conditioning, internet access, public transport, acceptance of all major credit cards, the vacation rental homes in the Catskill mountains are disabled friendly and are strict no-smoking areas. In addition there are bars, and pools and outdoor hot tubs.

Rental chalets at Margaretville are perfect for people on the lookout or a quiet holiday. The lovely villas are designed to give the perfect taste of country life. Smoky wood stoves for a whiff of the old world charm, fireplaces for cold nights and so on. Rental houses in Hunter Mountains are great for pool side relaxation amidst sylvan beauty. And when you tire of relaxing you can take off on hikes and motorbike and horseback rides. There are ample activities for family and groups

Windham has rentals right on the vineyards. Enjoy the hustle and bustle as also the panoramic view of the Catskill Mountains. Enjoy the great outdoors in a hot tub! Besides, Windham also has luxury suites for nightly rentals-these are equipped with sauna, fireplaces, kitchens etc. Visit during any season – you will always be comfortable and there will always be plenty to do, or not do – just as you please.

At the heart of the Catskills is the Bellaire Mountain ski resort, with vacation rentals available all year round. Arkville also has house rentals. These vacation lodging in the Catskills are highly affordable. A single bedroom rental generally has a single full size bed, a bunk and maybe a couple of sofa pullouts. The resort at Bellaire has yurts that sleep four. This is ‘roughing it’ redefined -safe and comfortable in the woods.

Woodstock rental houses boast 1800 farmhouses, mountains and streams in the middle of Catskill forest. Woodstock rentals have, in addition to the celebrated music fest, further bucolic delights –are barn cottages (commodious, can sleep up to 15), equipped to give you a quintessentially rustic holiday. Massive outdoor hot tubs, running streams and fresh trout on the property, a wildflower garden, riding the rustic trails along the Catskills and Berkshire Mountains – the works! For the lover of creature comforts – Jacuzzis, steam bath and a great bar and restaurant!

To ensure you get the best out of your holiday, Vacation Rentals Retreats have long term and short term rentals at very affordable prices. Our main house and ranch is warm, inviting and stylish, the perfect ambience to unwind. A well equipped kitchen, linen and laundry and all home comforts, with a swim and a hike just five minutes away, makes the most of the indoors and the outdoors. The Saugerties has long term and short term vacation rentals for mountain trails, horse farms and skiing, with special rental packages for corporate bodies.

10 Reasons To Choose A Vacation Rental

If you’ve been thinking about choosing a rental for your vacation, but you aren’t sure, below are ten reasons you should select a home rental instead of going the more traditional route of staying at a hotel. These tips might make your choice a little easier!

1. Vacation rentals can save you money. Whether you are taking a long weekend with a significant other or a full week trip with a group of friends, you’ll find that a vacation rental can be a great value.

2. You’ll feel less like a tourist, and more like a local. Staying in a home in a residential neighborhood will give you a more genuine travel experience than staying in a hotel.

3. More room for the kids, and for you and your partner. All rentals are not kid-friendly, but a lot are, and along with saving you cash (see #1) a house provides a lot more room for kids to play without driving you crazy (and more potential for private time with your partner).

4. You’re traveling with a furry friend. Vacation rentals are much more likely than hotels to welcome pets. Of course, not all rentals allow pets (and if you’re unsure, you should ask the owner), but many do.

5. You’ll have a kitchen. Even if cooking is not your favorite thing to do, eating out all the time can get old, and who really wants to have a meal in a cramped hotel room? With your vacation rental kitchen, you can make your own meals and have snacks and drinks on hand more easily for the kids.

6. You’ll be able to do laundry cheaply and easily. Laundry can be pretty boring but, hey, sometimes it needs to get done! A great thing about rentals is that most possess a washer/dryer, so you can do laundry at your convenience, without paying extra.

7. Vacation rentals can give you the feel of luxury, for less. A lot of properties have spa-like amenities like a hot tub, plus they’re larger than that suite at your favorite luxury hotel, but at a fraction of the cost.

8. Unlike hotels, houses offer a truly unique experience. There are a multitude of different styles of vacation rental homes – so you can choose one that suits your mood or preferences for your vacation.

9. You’ll have more privacy. Whether you’re with your family or your sweetheart, you’ll be able to enjoy a little more seclusion in the comfort of your vacation rental.

10. You’ll have more of a bonding experience with your group, sweetheart or family. Hotels just don’t have the same cozy feeling that vacation rental homes do. Vacation rentals allow for more opportunity for bonding experiences like cooking together, playing cards, or watching a movie in the living room.

Finding The Best Deals For Relaxation: Searching For Miami Vacation Rentals

If you are planning a vacation to the beach, then you may be hesitant because of the accommodations that are currently available. The global economic crisis leads to fluctuations in the vacation rentals market, so don’t be surprised if you don’t find enough good offers to choose from. Just keep looking and you will surely find a Miami Beach vacation rental that is perfect for you.

The fluctuations that are in the market for vacation rentals can sometimes leave you with a limitation of accommodations available. . Knowing how to find the best vacation rentals Ft. Lauderdale or with Miami Beach vacation rental options will then lead you into a more relaxing vacation.

When you begin to look into a Miami Beach vacation rental, or another specific beach front, you will want to define exactly what you want for your time away from home. Most will consider vacation rentals Ft. Lauderdale or in Miami according to the accommodations available. Whether you are searching for luxury or simple comfort, is the ability to get into different vacation rental areas for the best results. Defining which amenities are most important to you can then provide you with the best in stay.

Not only do you want to look at the amenities available for luxury or for a basic stay, but also want to consider the length of stay. For instance, if you are only staying for a weekend, then you will be introduced to short term vacation rentals Miami or Fort Lauderdale. The Miami Beach vacation rental alternatives that are available for those that want a stay for three months or less will open up new doors to those wanting to enjoy the beach. Searching by your length of time then becomes one of the most essential components to getting the best deals.

After you search through your personal options, then you can begin to look at the different pricing considerations available from specific agents. There are numerous rental agencies specializing in Miami Beach vacation rentals, so you should check out a few of them first to see which one suits your needs best. When working with one of these agencies, you will have the ability to find comparable rates, all which include discounts and deals that can assist you with your needs. Knowing how to contrast the vacation rentals can then lead you the best pricing, while allowing you to enjoy the amenities you desire.

If you are planning a vacation to Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale or any other beach front, then knowing how to search for vacation rentals Ft Lauderdale should be one of the primary focuses. This will allow you to enjoy more of your time away from home, while allowing you to get the most of luxury and comfort. The several alternatives that are available can then help you to move into a new level of relaxation.

Lodging That Fits In Pocket – Virginia Beach Vacation Rental

Virginia Beach is nestled in the south Hampton road, common wealth of Virginia. Virginia Beach is regarded as an independent and the largest city in the common wealth of Virginia. It is basically known for its long beaches, parks, museums etc. Virginia Beach attracts all its visitors through out the year, that is from it ocean front to its beach side condos and various other vocational rentals. Virginia Beach vacation rental is regarded as the best and affordable way to relax and enjoy Virginia Beach.

Virginia Beach vacation rental can be in the form of villas, cabins, cottages, condos, apartments or bungalows. These are available in different size and at different location. Their rates also vary with it but the choice must be made in such a way that it fits in the pocket.

Virginia Beach vacation rental serves all the amenities which a home does such as laundry, television, computer, DVD, gym, music, and many others. The presence of all the amenities gives a feel as if the person is in his home itself. The best part of accommodating at Virginia vacation rental is that it has fully furnished kitchen in which the person can cook as he feels like.

Accommodating at Virginia Beach vacation rental is the cheaper than any other source of accommodating. This is also a reason that it is preferred by all the travelers to Virginia Beach. Not only, are the cost of the vacation rental which attracts to the person but the comfort and privacy it offers also the key of its preference.

Today due to the internet the task of locating the traveling agency or owner offering vacation rental at Virginia Beach has becomes easier and simpler. Through a search on the internet the person will get number of offers and finally he can choose from a wide range, the most competitive one. Usually before the agency provides any information of vacation rental to the person, they generally ask the preference of location and the budget of the person, so that they can suggest them accordingly.

The person should stay at vacation rental while holidaying as if he is living in his own house. And, if he incur any loss or damage to the property then it is possible that he is asked to pay for that, loss incurred. So, it is always recommended that he should use in such a way as if he is using his own property.

Provides “home Base” On Holiday-newport Beach Vacation Rental

Newport Beach is nestled in orange country, California. There are number of places to visit in Newport Beach, that are Balboa Island, Corona Delmar, San Joaquin and Newport coast. Newport Beach in California is a complete blend of adventure and culture. It has perfect location to discover other neighbor cities such as Los Angeles and San Diego. Newport Beach is a place to enjoy, shop and a perfect place to live in. And, if you want to feel the essence and culture of Newport Beach then, Newport Beach vacation rental is the best place to accommodate in.

A simple and common thought can come in the mind of the reader that why most of the travel agencies and other person recommends, Vacation rental over other places of accommodation at Newport Beach. This can briefly explained through following points:

•Accommodating at Newport vacation rental is cheaper than accommodating in hotel. The reason that why the hotels are expensive is that they include overhead cost in the rent of the rooms. On the other hand, vocational rental have no or negligible overhead costs.

•If the comparison is made between the vacation rental and hotel at Newport Beach, it is usually seen that vocational rental at Newport Beach are more spacious.

•There are varieties of Newport vacation rental available from which you can make choice of the kind you want. It can be a condo, bungalow, apartment, villa, cottage etc. And, above all they are available at different location and size from which you can choose as per your need and budget. On the other side in hotels it’s a single building with same square rooms.

•The best part of the Newport vacation rental is that it also has different rooms as they are in one’s house that is from living room to dinning room and even kitchen also but hotels do not have kitchens. In other words you definitely will not get deprived of home food while holidaying as you can cook in Newport vacation rental.

•Accommodating at Newport vacation rental offers convenience and flexibility in the sense you can come and go as per your wish. But, in hotels it is generally seen that one while going out of hotel for whole day, can let to keep security and also other charges which subsequently increase the cost of staying at hotels.

Eventually, it is absolutely right to say that Newport vacation rental offers much more amenities than a hotel offers. So, it is recommended, make each moment of holidaying at Newport Beach, an unforgettable holiday by accommodating at Newport Beach vacation rental.