Oyster festival just what Knysna needs now
Shadow minister of Tourism, James Vos MP writes:
It’s my absolute pleasure to have been asked to officially open the Knysna Oyster Festival 2017 - at the launch function for event managers and sponsors to be held on July 6.
I’m happy to report that Knysna has declared itself ready to welcome visitors, with almost all tourist activities fully operational.
Following the devastating wildfires that led to tragic loss of life and extensive damage to property and infrastructure, the tourism industry together with the authorities are working hard to ensure that their town remains “open for business”. Truly their courage must be commended and ability for reinvention is inspiring.
Knysna is heavily dependent on tourism, and residents would be dealt an additional blow if their tourism economy were to decline.
I’m convinced that this particular event namely the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival, will provide the industry and town with great opportunities to advance trading and create massive travel and marketing exposure.
It’s going ahead with various signature events that, every year, give a boost to the tourism economy by creating work and generating income for residents. All these goings on are part of what makes Knysna and the Garden Route a great destination.
Besides being fun, well-managed festivals and events offer a host of economic and social benefits to communities. Festivals have the opportunity to bring communities together and instil a sense of community pride. The economic benefits of festivals stimulates the growth of tourism and other businesses in a town or region.
For example, last year Oyster Festival patrons spent close to R110 million (excluding festival tickets), and more than 2000 job opportunities were created by this event.
South Africa and the Western Cape are amongst the world’s leading tourism destinations, on the back of a new, focused approach to growing tourism, and a surge in private sector investment in hospitality infrastructure.
The recently launched domestic tourism marketing campaign, I Do Tourism, encourages all South Africans to embrace tourism in their everyday lives – because everyone has a role to play in making our country and especially every town a tourist-friendly destination.
The Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival from 7 to 16 July, the Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour on 8 and 9 July, and the Momentum Knysna Forest Marathon on 15 July are incredible events to participate in every winter too, so there is much to do.
Every cent spent will contribute to a sustainable livelihood for suppliers all the way down the tourism value chain and will help put food on the tables of Knysna’s most vulnerable residents and help rebuild this amazing tourism destination.
Let’s support Knysna especially during this time by doing tourism – going there to experience and support – and having a great time in South Africa’s very own Eden.