Growing tourism

2017-08-17 06:05
Attending the official opening of the JBay Winterfest 2017 are Kouga Mayor Elza van Lingen, Durban surfer Jordy Smith, Tourism and Creative Industries Councillor Frances Baxter and Cape St Francis surfer Dale Staples.                              Photo:MONIQUE BASSON

Attending the official opening of the JBay Winterfest 2017 are Kouga Mayor Elza van Lingen, Durban surfer Jordy Smith, Tourism and Creative Industries Councillor Frances Baxter and Cape St Francis surfer Dale Staples. Photo:MONIQUE BASSON

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TOURISM is one of the main economic drivers of the Kouga area.

Dolphin Beach, the main beach at Jeffreys Bay, secured Blue Flag status for the 2016/17 season. We also upgraded the main beach promenade and life guard tower in partnership with local business.

Council further increased its support of the JBay Winterfest, which includes the Corona Open J-Bay, the biggest international surfing event in Africa.

The festival brought about 50 000 much-needed tourists to Jeffreys Bay in July 2017 and injected about R45-million into the local economy. Roads in the vicinity of the main contest areas were resealed while the capacity of the boardwalk at Supertubes, the venue of the surfing contest, will be increased in 2017/18.

The SA Junior Surfing Championships was hosted in Kouga in 2016 and will again be hosted here this year. We are negotiating with the organisers to secure a three-year commitment for the event to take place in our area.

An international endurance event, Expedition Africa, was hosted in Kouga for the first time in 2017. The event brought teams from across the world to the region.

We have also been securing Kouga’s position on the open-water swimming map. In December 2016 the SA Open Water Swimming Championships, an official world champs qualifying event, was taken away from the Nelson Mandela Metro, due to water quality concerns at the North End Lake, and moved to the Marina Martinique at Jeffreys Bay.

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