South African tourism hosts celebrities at Le Bernardin

Published on : Monday, April 21, 2014

download-47It has been many years since I was in Cape Town, South Africa, conducting primary research for my doctorate in International Business. While the hotels were lovely, the restaurants for dining and tasting South African wines were world-class; it was the imbalance between wealth and poverty that overshadowed my enthusiasm. The visible inequality in Johannesburg and Cape Town covered multiple social/cultural zones from inadequate housing and serious unemployment to safety and security issues.

So, when I received an invitation from Coyne PR requesting my presence at a small intimate lunch with the South African Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, at Le Bernadin, a Zagat top pick for 2012 and awarded 4 stars from the New York Times, I was shocked. A quick scan of the online menu prices combined with the reality that many South Africans earn less than $2.00 per day – immediately triggered an OMG reaction. Well – I naively thought, maybe there will be only 4 or 5 journalists at the lunch, and perhaps the restaurant owner has a soft spot for South Africa and offered a very reasonable price for the opportunity to host the very distinguished members of South African tourism.



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