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Mayor’s Newsletter for George Herald of 24 March 2022

At present, George is fortunate in attracting many visitors who are participating in numerous sporting and other events. Over the recent long weekend a major provincial swimming gala has taken place at the Conville swimming pool.

Over the next few weeks we will be welcoming thousands of school learners who will be participating in different events that have attracted entries from across the country who will be utilising our various facilities.

Following the successful Cape Town Cycle event, a comment was made that we should be hosting a similar event here in George. This comment echoes our philosophy to regularly hold events in George that will generate tourism spend for our local economy and add to employment levels. In pre-Covid times, we experienced a trend whereby many businesses generated possibly 25-30% of their annual turnover over the traditional December-January holiday months. This would imply that 70% of turnover would flow over the remaining 10 months of the year at an average of 7% per month. Imagine if we could increase that 7% to an average of 8% per month resulting in boosting turnover for the year by 10%.

Recent events and activities ranging from the Dimension Data Pro-Am golf tournament, horse riding, the Old Car Show to paragliding, swimming, school rugby and other sports to bowls over Easter will all contribute to the economy ensuring that accommodation, restaurant and food establishments benefit from the additional visitors to George spending a few nights here. Many of these events attract not only the participants but also family members. It is vitally important that all our citizens extend welcome our visitors to ensure that they become repeat visitors who spread the word of their memorable experience to their friends elsewhere in the country. George needs to offer first class signature meals in restaurants, great guest house stays and improve our entertainment offering (uniquely we have a theatre and symphony orchestra). Over the recent summer holidays, the Municipality consciously invested millions of rands in setting a high standard of service delivery so that visitors could enjoy their holidays.

We wish to encourage events to be held in George over every weekend of the year to attract visitors to help build tourism occupancy rates. George already hosts many cycling and running events. With some imagination we could turn some of these events into iconic annual events of national significance through some tweaking. Many of our citizens are passionately involved in diverse activities or hobbies that could be developed into regular events or learning experiences, e.g. for crafts, artists, bridge, winter schools.

Some thoughts and ideas on more events and how to progress tourism can be forwarded to