Category: <span>Tourism</span>

1 September 2022 Media Release: GRDM celebrates Public Service, Heritage and Tourism months – All in one

Media Release: GRDM celebrates Public Service, Heritage and Tourism months – All in one

Heritage Month

In celebration of Heritage Month, the Garden Route District Municipality (GDRDM) Councillors and employees will tomorrow celebrate its significance on the South African (SA) calendar by dressing up in South African colours including any South African attire, SA Sports gear, even local sports gear, national flag colours, to name a few.

The institution will be posting few images of how the staff embraced the celebration leading up to the Heritage Day that will be celebrated on 24 September 2022.

Public Service Month

Did you know? September marks Public Service Month in South Africa. Public Service Month (PSM) is an integrated strategic national event in the calendar of the Department of Public Service and Administration.

September marks Public Service Month (PSM) in our country. The integrated government wide programme will encompass:

  • Public Service Month
  • Heritage Day
  • Tourism Month
  • Police – Commemoration Day

The Public Service Month serves as a reminder of what it means to serve communities and to also look at the impact the government has, especially around issues of service delivery. As part of the Public Service Month, public servants are expected to:

  • Roll up their sleeves and spring-clean their service delivery points;

  • Visit schools, hospitals, police stations and courts, talk to citizens, mediate the delivery of services and getting things done;

  • Unblock the bottlenecks and red-tape in the delivery of services;

  • Ensure the systems and infrastructure are working and use public resources efficiently to the benefit of the citizens; and

  • Recommit themselves to belong, to care and to serve the people.

Enjoy and let’s recommit to serving our communities.

Tourism Month

Tourism Month is celebrated annually in September, and provides a heightened month-long focus on the importance of the sector to the South African economy. It features themed activities that are aligned to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) World Tourism Day celebrations.

This global observance day by The United Nations World Tourism Organisation aims to foster awareness of tourism’s social, cultural, political and economic value and the contribution that the sector can make towards reaching the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The Tourism Sector Recovery Plan encourages South Africans to travel domestically to sustain jobs and boost tourism.

The Department Tourism developed the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan with the tourism sector and it contains a set of interventions to protect and rejuvenate supply, reignite demand and strengthen enabling capability to support the sector’s recovery.

And, did you know that the Garden Route & Klein Karoo is one of the most beautiful, awe-inspiring stretches of land in South Africa, if not the world?

For more information about these sceneries, events and activities that our area has to offer, go to:
http://www.visitgardenrouteandkleinkaroo.com/

Visit/like our Facebook page and view all activities of this month.

Source: South African Government

ENDS

11 July 2022 Media Release: Partnership between GRDM, Wesgro, SATSA, FEDHASA and Local Tourism Offices – Destination Marketing Organisation Launch

Media Release: Partnership between GRDM, Wesgro, SATSA, FEDHASA and Local Tourism Offices – Destination Marketing Organisation Launch

For immediate release
11 July 2022

This morning, the Garden Route District Municipality launched a partnership with Wesgro, SATSA, and FEDHASA, as well as Local Tourism Offices in the Garden Route. In line with the mandate and mission of the parties to collaborate for purposes of tourism promotion of the Garden Route & Klein Karoo, the Destination Garden Route & Klein Karoo project has been initiated.

The purpose of the project is to collaborate for the purposes of tourism promotion of the Garden Route and Klein Karoo region in a manner that embodies strategic cohesiveness and the efficient utilisation of resources between the stakeholders. The stakeholders have all recognised the need for a coordinated approach when implementing the Project and to this end have committed themselves to conclude a Memorandum of Understanding.

The areas of collaboration include but are not limited to marketing and promotion, events, strategic initiatives (including cruise and air route development), and tourism, with the purpose of conducting joint marketing and development initiatives, as amended from time to time by the Steering Committee.

With the Garden Route and Klein Karoo region being a beautiful asset of the Western Cape, the Garden Route brand will now be promoted to the domestic and international traveler in a joint approach, supported by Government, together with the private sector that will participate and do all the right things to showcase this region as a whole.

The partnership was officially launched this morning at the King George Hotel, in George. The launch coincided with the establishment of the Sustainable Tourism Cluster workshop, as per the Garden Route Growth and Development Strategy and the 7 priority clusters that were identified.

Feature Photo:
FLTR: Corleen Barnard, Tourism Manager: Oudtshoorn & De Rust; Joan Shaw – Tourism Manager: George, Wilderness & Uniondale; Alderman Memory Booysen, GRDM Executive Mayor; Monika Leul, Chief Marketing Officer at Wesgro; Melanie Wilson, GRDM Manager for Economic Development & Tourism and Lusanda Menze, Executive Manager for Planning & Economic Development at GRDM.

ENDS

6 July 2022 Media Release: Calitzdorp Hot Springs to host a Music, Arts, and Food Gathering with a purpose

Media Release: Calitzdorp Hot Springs to host a Music, Arts, and Food Gathering with a purpose

6 July 2022
For Immediate Release

Echo Outdoor Gatherings is no stranger to the regional electronic music scene and for years they have hosted events of the highest quality.

After holding their flagship event – Elements of Life – successfully at De Hoek Mountain Resort near Cango Caves for the past five years, Daniel Mentz (event organizer), branched out to Calitzdorp Hot Springs in March with another exciting festival: Valley Of Dreams. The three-day event turned out to be a huge success, which was sold out completely, with people trekking from across the country to attend. According to David, the event attracted nearly 600 festival-goers, which was also a much-needed boost for business and tourism. Festival-goers venture out into the area during an event to explore and some opt to stay for longer as they usually travel from all over the country to attend such festivals.

“Our festival-goers want to make the best of their stay and frequently talk about what they were up to when venturing out to explore the area,” said Mentz.

This July, Echo Outdoor Gatherings will return to Calitzdorp Hot Springs with an even bigger event called ‘Elements of Fire’.

From Friday, 29 July to Sunday, 31 July festival-goers can look forward to a weekend that promises to be a visual and sonic experience like no other. Food stalls will sell falafels, breakfasts, steaks, and freshly pressed juice. Vegan and vegetarian options will also be made available.

Various craft stalls will sell items like dream catchers, leather works, jewellery, clothing brands, and macrame. There will also be two fire shows every night.

Winter Warmer Drive

Echo Outdoor Gatherings wanted to say thank you to the community of Calitzdorp for their warm welcome and decided to give back. This is why they are currently running a food and blanket drive for Friends Of Calitzdorp Animals (FOCA).

FOCA was launched six years ago when the founding member helped some friends to look after stray animals. Today they feed 250 dogs, 70 cats and facilitate up to 30 sterilisations a month. FOC are also constantly building kennels and continues to educate the local residents on animal welfare.

‘The amount of neglect FOCA witnesses every day is horrifying, to say the least,” said Mentz.

To supplement the Winter Warmer Drive, Echo Outdoor Gatherings and Feel Good Entertainment will donate 10% of the bar proceedings for the weekend to FOCA.

Garden Route District Municipality is proud to host the Echo Outdoor Gatherings events as Daniel takes pride in what he does. Every event is carefully planned and those attending must adhere to strict rules.

“Family is at the core of Echo Outdoor Gatherings and will always be,” said Mentz

ends

22 Junie 2022 Persvrystelling: Naam en kenteken van Calitzdorp Spa verander na Calitzdorp Warmbron

Media Vrystelling: Naam en kenteken van Calitzdorp Spa verander na Calitzdorp Warmwaterbron

Vir Onmiddelikke Vrystelling
22 Junie 2022

Die Tuinroete Distriksraad (Garden Route District Municipality Council) het vandag besluit om Calitzdorp Spa te hernoem en sy kenteken te verander na Calitzdorp Warmwaterbron wat in Engels bekend sal staan as Calitzdorp Hot Springs. Die besluit is geneem na verskeie reisagente en gaste hul kommer uitgespreek het oor die warmwaterbron wat nie spa-tipe fasiliteite bied nie, maar eerder by sy unieke verkoopspunt geïdentifiseer moet word. Tydens die World Travel Market Africa is die Distriksmunisipaliteit se oorde en kampeerterreine bemark en dis waar soorgelyke vrae opgeduik het oor Calitzdorp Spa se naam.

“Die naam Calitzdorp Spa is misleidend in die sin dat gaste wat nog nie die warmwaterbron besoek het nie van mening is dat hul verskeie geriewe en dienste verwag het – soos die ou naam wat “spa” insluit mens laat dink,” meen Tuinroete Distriksmunisipaliteit se Portefeulje Raadslid vir Eiendom en Batebestuur, Rdl. Jobieth Hoogbaard.

“Calitzdorp Warmwaterbron gee ‘n akkurate aanduiding van wat gaste kan verwag,” sê Hoogbaard.

Die kenteken is deur die kommunikasie-afdeling van die distriksmunisipaliteit aangepas en addisionele kostes is nie aangegaan om diensverskaffers te betrek tydens die proses nie. Die Distriksmunisipaliteit sal voortgaan om die uitrol van die nuwe identiteit kostedoeltreffend te bestuur.

Noudat die nuwe kenteken en naam onthul is deur die raad se goedkeuring, sal’n handleiding en -gereedskapstel saamgestel word, wat onder meer template sal bevat wat alle vir bemarkingsdoeleindes gebruik kan word. Om mee te begin, sal die nuwe kenteken op ons verskillende digitale platforms aangebring word, wat betreklik goedkoop sal wees. Namate die Warmwaterbron se ander kontakpunte met die publiek dan bygewerk of vervang moet word, sal ons die nuwe kenteken stelselmatig infaseer.

Foto van embleme: Ou embleem (Calitzdorp Spa, links) en nuwe embleem (Calitzdorp Hot Springs, regs).

 

EINDE

4 May 2022 Media Release: Garden Route and Klein Karoo Tourism currently marketing the region at Indaba in Durban

Media Release: Garden Route and Klein Karoo Tourism currently marketing the region at Indaba in Durban

For Immediate Release
4 May 2022

Garden Route District Municipality’s Tourism Section is currently attending Africa’s Travel Indaba in Durban from 03 to 05 May 2022. Africa’s Travel Indaba is one of the largest tourism marketing events on the African calendar and one of the top three must-do events of its kind on the global calendar. It showcases the widest variety of Africa’s best tourism products and attracts international buyers and media from across the world!

ENDS

11 April 2022 Media Release: Annual World Travel Market Africa attended by local and regional tourism representatives

Media Release: Annual World Travel Market Africa attended by local and regional tourism representatives

For Immediate Release
11 April 2022

This year’s World Travel Market (WTM) Africa 2022 kicked off with virtual sessions from 4 – 5 April, and continues now, starting 11 – 13 April at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). The Garden Route and Klein Karoo (GR&KK) Regional Tourism Office (RTO), several Local Tourism Offices (LTO) and Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Resorts, and other tourism products from the region are in attendance.

According to Amagene Koeberg, GRDM Senior Tourism Coordinator, the GR&KK and its LTO partners, seek to position the region as the preferred destination to live, play, work, and invest.

Passmore Dongi, Manager: Projects, Properties, Facilities & Resort Management, who is also in attendance with the GR&KK and LTOs, highlighted the importance of the GRDM Resorts being present at trade and consumer shows. “This is the first tradeshow for the GRDM Resorts to attend and it will certainly not be the last”. A marketing and promotional platform like this presents a perfect opportunity for the Municipality to network and build valuable relations across the globe. “It ensures that the Garden Route remains top of mind,” said Dongi.

WTM Africa provides a Business-to-Business platform for international travel professionals, buyers, exhibitors, and media to showcase the continent’s diverse offerings. The Tourism Industry embraces this much-needed promotional platform.

The WTM Africa includes a wide spectrum of speakers and events like the International Business Tourism Market (ibtm) Africa, EQUAL Africa, Travel Forward, the Sports and Events Tourism Exchange (SETE) and Responsible Tourism (RT) Conference and Awards.

The four resorts of Garden Route District Municipality can be accessed below.

Photo caption (fltr): Denver Johnson (GR&KK Tourism Officer), Herman Pieters (GRDM Chief Communication Officer), Amagene Koeberg (GR&KK Senior Coordinator), and Passmore Dongi (GRDM Projects, Properties, Facilities & Resort Management).

ENDS

05 April 2022 Tourism Promotion: Let’s tee off

Let’s tee off

The Garden Route and Klein Karoo region offers golf courses that are tailor-made to your taste. This area boasts 12 top golf courses, eight of which are championship courses that will challenge you from the beginning to the end!  Our coast is dotted with an excellent selection of courses providing memorable shot values and links-style layouts. They truly make the region’s golf stand out amongst the rest.

Tee off at a sensational coastline location or with a view of never-ending river valleys, lagoons, lake frontages, and rugged indigenous fynbos, all of which add to a magical golfing experience.

Known as the Golfing Mecca of South Africa, the Garden Route boasts numerous award-winning and world-class golf courses. Garden Route golf courses and estates have received numerous awards, competing among global courses and estates globally. While we can’t guarantee a hole-in-one on each golf course, we can assure you that you will have a memorable golfing experience on the Garden Route.

We look forward to welcoming you soon!

    Directory

Albertinia Golf Club
Centre Brak and Golf Street
(028) 735 1646
Dolphin Creek Golf Estate
Morrison Road, Great Brak River
(044) 620 3278
Goose Valley Golf Club
Next to N2, Goosevalley Plettenberg Bay
(044) 533 5082
Fancourt (The Links, Montagu & Outeniqua courses)
Montagu Street, Blanco, George
(044) 804 0000
George Golf Club
Langenhoven Street, George
(044) 801 9295
Pinnacle Point Golf Resort
1 Pinnacle Point Drive, Mossel Bay
(044) 606 5300
Heidelberg Country Club
2 Station Street
(028) 755 1573
Knysna Golf Club
Howard Street, Hunters Home
(044) 384 1150
Ladismith Golf Club
Van Riebeeck Street
(028) 551 2568
Oubaai Golf Club
Oubaai Golf Estate, Herolds Bay
(044) 851 1234
Mossel Bay Golf Club
17th Avenue
(044) 691 2379
Oudtshoorn Golf Club
St Saviour Street
(044) 272 4201
Kingswood Golf Estate
1 Kingswood Boulevard, George
(086)172 7170
Pezula Championship Course
Lagoon View Drive, Knysna
(044) 302 5307/5360
Simola Country Estate Golf Club
1 Old Cape Road, Knysna
(044) 382 0944
Plettenberg Bay Country club
Piesang Valley Road
(044) 533 2132
Riversdale Golf Club
Industrial Area
(028) 713 8065

15 March 2022 Media Release: Growth And Development Of The Agricultural Sector In The Garden Route

Media Release: Growth And Development Of The Agricultural Sector In The Garden Route

15 March 2022
For immediate release

Clyde Lamberts from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture was invited to speak at the first Garden Route Skills Mecca (GRSM) Forum of 2022 and his focus was on the growth and development strategy of the department for the Garden Route. He opened his comprehensive presentation with the following quote by Allan Savory:

“Agriculture is not crop production as popular belief holds – it’s the production of food and fiber from the world’s land and waters. Without agriculture, it is impossible to have a city, stock market, banks, university, church or army. Agriculture is the foundation of civilization and any stable economy”.  

To put this quote into perspective, Lamberts shared one of the Department’s recent success stories: A farm in Herald was in a dilapidated state due to a lack of interest in purposing the land. A businessman who was passionate about farming bought it, and spent the next five (5) years turning it into a viable business that now produces honeybush and proteas. He is the first black commercial farmer to produce honeybush in the Southern Cape. It is because the Department assisted him that his business was able to create sixteen (16) permanent jobs, with opportunities for an additional twenty (20) seasonal workers.

Before this, in Waboomskraal, the Department assisted another farmer, who became the first black farmer in the area to produce proteas and hops.

Lamberts noted: “When all spheres of government work together in an integrated fashion, these are the type of results we will see”. 

Lamberts listed the activities and services the Department provides to farmers and all other stakeholders as the following:

  • Independent agricultural advice and information
  • Supporting Livestock farmers – Development program. Livestock Forum
  • Performance testing/annual evaluation/ID limitations and opportunities
  • Investigating and implementing new hardy breeds and crossbreeding
  • Investigations in lowering inset cost through conservation agriculture – cover crops
  • Investigations into pasture species for marginal lands
  • Crop production advice and information
  • Niche crops/markets
  • Training

The type of training that is provided includes evidence-based and practice-based farmers’ capacity building. This is done through farmers’ days, demonstrations, peer-to-peer learning, and face-to-face interactions. Since 2018, the department trained 820 beneficiaries and this ranged from vegetable training to farm implement operation training.

The Department has a memorandum of understanding with GRDM and vacant land has been identified that the municipality owns which is conducive for agricultural development opportunities. The Department is researching the potential of commodity processing facilities in the Garden Route, which will be a source of immediate job creation – a game-changer for job creation in the region.

The Department furthermore envisions the building of Agri-Business Platforms for clients where potential products can be processed ready for consumption. Through Conservation/Regenerative agriculture, farmers are encouraged to rehabilitate and look after their own soil to turn it into organic matter that fertilizes with very few chemicals. Trials on livestock projects have yielded very positive results to date, and the global view is that going regenerative holds many financial and ecological benefits.

Agritourism needs to be promoted as it holds several untapped opportunities for the tourism sector. There is a need to compile tour packages to visit farms and processing facilities for both local and international tourism. The Roads Department has a role to play as well, as it must ensure easy access through regular road maintenance and upgrades.

The Department is in the process of revisiting mechanization which would allow for a central point that offers services such as ploughing, for example, as well as repair and maintenance services on farm implements.

Lamberts concluded his presentation by saying that we can be very proud of our district and that the Department is very excited to continue its work in the area.

31 January 2022 Media Release: Floods, tourists and the Garden Route environment

MEDIA RELEASE: Floods, tourists and the Garden Route environment

For Immediate Release
12 January 2022

“The very real threat of the renewed lockdown and travel restrictions with the emergence of the COVID-19 Omicron variant in South Africa over December 2021 did not materialise. With golden beaches, lakes and rivers open for use after closure in the summer of 2020, tourists flocked to the Garden Route in their thousands,” says Cobus Meiring, convener of the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF).

Just prior to the festive season, heavy rains and fairly severe floods did do their usual damage to infrastructure in and around George, with some roads and related infrastructure damage still in need of repair.

“Natural infrastructure, such as mountain catchments and rivers, was also not spared. There are visible fresh scars on feeder streams on the George (Outeniqua) mountainside and damage to certain river channels was also reported. There were also reports about dam walls on farmland that collapsed causing even more downstream havoc,” says Meiring.

“Heavy rainfall and subsequent floods are perfectly normal occurrences and the Garden Route, most certainly, is no stranger to them. However, we can expect and prepare for a lot more in coming years. Predictions regarding changes in South African rainfall patterns brought about by a changing climate indicate that the Garden Route will increasingly be subjected to episodic rainfall events and less of the soft but persistent rainfall the region has been accustomed to.”

“Severe weather patterns affecting the Garden Route are nothing new, but as the most recent rainstorms and flooding causing havoc in the town of George and surrounds are testimony of, their impact can be severe and seem to be on the increase with the passing of time enhanced by the advent of the unpredictable impact of a changing climate and resultant changes in rainfall patterns.”

Says Meiring: “The way in which urban and semi-urban areas contend and cope with severe downpours of rainstorms differs completely from how nature would be able to do so if left undisturbed and in a natural state.”

“The energy from flooding and fast-flowing water following hard and sustained downpours in an urban context is multiplied exponentially by a lack of indigenous vegetation on the landscape, degraded and denuded riverbanks and systems as flooding water gains momentum and volume when it flows over hardened (paved/ tarred) surfaces, stormwater channels and eventually river systems.”

“In a natural environment, flooding occurs as a natural phenomenon and is a part of a healthy system, but the severity thereof is curtailed by natural barriers such as vegetation on the landscape, wetland systems that slow flooding waters down considerably and trapping sediment, plants such as Palmiet and reeds.”

Population influx posing many challenges to local authorities

The Southern Cape is falling victim to its own scenic beauty, perceived political stability and capable governance and is fast becoming a top destination for many living in the South African interior.

According to Meiring, the significant influx of people poses a huge challenge in many respects, both from environmental management and a local government perspective. As a mere example, it is reported that as many as two thousand new housing units will be built over the next three years alone between George and Mossel Bay, and that excludes informal and undocumented urban sprawl.

“Not only are the Garden Route towns not designed to accommodate unlimited expansion, but the regional environment suffers permanent and irreversible damage as biodiversity cannot survive a fast-shrinking natural habitat which inevitably has to make way for ever-increasing developments and urban sprawl,” says Meiring.

“Perhaps, more importantly, the Garden Route has limited resources – the supply of fresh water and the availability of land suitable for development are but two limitations.”

“For the Garden Route to maintain at least a semblance of a viable environment, and without losing its sense of place, much more attention must be given to planning for the future. Interaction between those responsible for local government and those managing the environment is vital,” concludes Meiring.

The Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) is a regional forum and public platform for collaboration in conservation, environmental adaptation and community interaction. It is a think tank for national, regional and local government, conservation bodies, academics, the media, landowners and land managers, active in the full spectrum of environmental matters in the region. Website: https://www.scli.org.za/gref/

MEDIA ENQUIRIES

Cobus Meiring: Convener of Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF)

Cell: 083 626 7619

Email: cobus@naturalbridge.co.za

 

Picture: New development

Sprawling new developments have a permanent impact on the survival of biodiversity in the Garden Route. (Photo: SCLI)

21 January 2022 Tourism Promotion – Garden Route boasts Sparkling Coastlines

The Garden Route’s nearly 300km long beaches stretch from the whitest sandy beaches of Witsand, past the sky-blue waters of Plettenberg Bay, ending at Natures Valley. Known for offering a safe destination, the Garden Route is a preferred destination for families, adventure-seekers and beach-goers, to name a few.

Coastal municipalities boast twenty blue flag beaches offering locals and tourists quality water and clean public facilities. Numerous coves and lagoons, as well as untouched indigenous forests, can be seen along the N2 from east to west.

Amagene Koeberg, Garden Route District Municipality’s Tourism Coordinator, says that offshore there is the possibility to see Southern Right Whales, dolphins, and great white sharks.

“Come and explore the Garden Route, you will surely become a returning visitor of our area,” said Koeberg.

Visit the Garden Route and Klein Karoo (GRKK) website at www.visitgardenrouteandkleinkaroo.com or go to our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/grandkk and learn more about what our area has to offer.