Dudley Coetzee, Executive Mayor of the Overstrand, hosted the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Elizabeth Thabethe, on Wednesday, 16 May 2019. She visited Overstrand as part of her Garden Route and Klein Karoo tour.
Her local visit included a guided tour to Gansbaai Academia, African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary, Grootbos, a meal at La Pentola hosted by Chef Shane, a visit to the Zwelihle Youth Café, Pebbles School in the Hemel-en- Aarde Valley with a final stop at Creation Wines before leaving Hermanus.
The Deputy Minister is no stranger to this region and confirmed that visitors to the Overstrand are spoiled for choice when it comes to places to go and sights to visit with their families and friends.
She added that is well aligned with South Africa’s thriving tourism sector which still has much potential for growth and job creation.
Mayor Coetzee was justifiably pleased with her observation, stating that the Overstrand is no longer a seasonal holiday destination, but rather an all-year destination of choice among both local and international tourists.
“Tourism is making an important and valuable contribution in our area and we are pleased that many businesses are taking the lead in sustainable tourism and eco-tourism,” he added.
This sentiment was echoed by Frieda Lloyd, Cape Whale Coast Tourism Manager. “Tourism has an extensive value chain, stimulating economic activity in manufacturing, infrastructure, services sector and in the creative industries.”
It is the success of sustainable efforts and community work of the likes of Grootbos Private Nature Reserve that win awards - including the recent Best Ecologically Responsible Safari Property in the 2019 Safari Guild Award.
Lloyd said that the Deputy Minister had to come and experience this first hand and agreed to a further line-up of stops at other tourism establishments.
Gansbaai Academia may be a school, but they are in the business of training tourism professionals and from next year Academia will be one of three South African schools to introduce Marine Science as a subject to Grade 10’s, unlocking a host of career opportunities, most of which will have a tourism angle.
Lloyd thanked the Deputy Minister for her valued support in the past.
The National Youth Chefs’ Training Programme and the Blue Flag Beach Stewards’ Programme, are but two programmes in which the Overstrand participated which will benefit developing skills of our youth. “Programmes such as the Chefs’ Training have done much to change the lives of young, unemployed people and provide our hospitality industry with a skilled workforce.”
“The Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, the National Department of Tourism and South African Tourism have been big fans or our region thanks to long-term relations with local business owners,” she concluded.