T'was a whale of a weekend
Hermanus was bursting at the seams this past weekend and the economy of the whole region benefited from a welcome surge of visitors who came to enjoy the Kalfiefees, hiking trails, surfing, whale-watching and other attractions.
“Heavy traffic into Hermanus on Thursday and Friday, and even more leaving the town on Sunday, with vehicles stuck in slow-moving queues all the way to Sir Lowry’s Pass, bore evidence to the number of people who visited our area for a mini breakaway,” says Cape Whale Coast Tourism Manager, Frieda Lloyd. “Although there were also foreigners spotted in town, the majority of long weekend visitors came from Cape Town and other towns over the mountain.”
Several local businesses, including restaurants and wine tasting venues, said they’d had one of their best Saturdays ever, not only in Hermanus but throughout the region, all the way from Betty’s Bay to Stanford and Gansbaai. Some even compared the long weekend to the festive season, remarking that “Christmas came early this year”.
“When I asked business owners how their weekend went, I was greeted with big smiles all round,” says Frieda. “It seems this bustling long weekend was exactly what we needed, providing the impetus for local businesses to push through these last, tough winter weeks.”
According to Frieda, large groups of friends and family members were sharing holiday homes this long weekend. “Most of the bookings made at restaurants were for tables of six to ten people, and restaurants were packed on Friday and Saturday.
“The markets also did excellent trade on Saturday, from the Gansbaai Farmers Market to the Hermanus Country Market, while many visitors took advantage of the sunny weather to go hiking or enjoy our beaches. The tourism offices were inundated with requests for whale-watching boat trips and the operators had a busy weekend catering for visitors, mainly from the Cape Town area.”
The 19th Hermanus Times Kalfiefees was undoubtedly a big drawcard for visitors over the long weekend. Although it was a shorter weekend (three days as opposed to four days last year), Kalfiefees Chairperson, Jimmy Hattingh says the festival venues achieved an average attendance of 80%. He was also pleased to report that a total of 14 artworks were sold at the Kalfiefees Art Exhibition in the Municipal Auditorium.
First team rugby player, Sean Castle (mid-air), scores an spectacular try with support from teammates, Marnus Hamman (left in blue) and Realdo Williams (right in blue) at Inter-schools on Friday 9 August. See more photos on P 23.