Mayoral Newsletter for 1 July 2021
This past week we have experienced two contrasting perspectives in the ongoing struggle to restore our local economy from the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Last week-end saw the holding of the George MUT (Mountain Ultra Trail) where tough trail-runners participated in a 60km event in the Outeniqua Mountains. This event epitomises what we are trying to achieve through sustainable events in George – encouraging and welcoming Tourism.
On the other hand, the country has returned to lockdown 4 regulations of the Covid-19 pandemic as the third wave affects Gauteng that could spread in the Garden Route and elsewhere. Once again, apart from the need for all of us to observe safe health protocols, our economy is facing another setback through the negative impact on events, accommodation establishments, restaurants, etc.
While we deal with the pandemic, it will be useful to plan for the restoration and reinvigoration of Tourism in George and the Garden Route through the systematic re-building of our events calendar so that everyone in our tourism economy can benefit: from our airport, car hire businesses, accommodation establishments, restaurants through to all the retail operations and employees who would all share in the money being spent by tourists visiting the area.
George is the ideal location for a whole range of sporting, adventure and activity pursuits from mountain biking, to running, golf, paragliding, surfing, hiking and much more. Just as the MUT has taken place, other sporting codes are encouraged to actively explore how events can be organised that can attract participants to George.
By way of illustration, the golf and bowls clubs could organise annual events where clubs from around the country are invited to send teams to compete in events in designated weeks of the year. We need to roll-out our hospitality talents where everything that our visitors experience will result in good messages being conveyed across the country. Their visit to George should not only be about a fantastic event and accommodation or the great climate, but also special food and activity experiences. The message that each of our visitors should remember is that they enjoyed their time so much that they wish to return for the same event in the next year and bring their friends along as well. This is how we will grow tourism.
There are many and varied activities that take place around George that can be turned into events that will attract tourists to George. Increased levels of tourism should also spur growth in the various arts and crafts being practised in George.
We need to develop all tourism activities, arts and crafts. Interested parties are welcome to forward their suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org so that collaboration opportunities can be explored.