Oys­ter fe­s­ti­val just w­hat Knys­na needs now

Knysna-Plett Herald - - Briewe | Letters -

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.

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