Our eventing paradise

2015-10-08 06:00


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WITH the massive Ringball Championships (similar to netball but for males as well) on the go this week where some 4 000 people are down here, sports and event-based tourism once again is highlighted a key market focus for us.

We are particularly keen to support events that go across age groups, and in particular, the youth. The rationale being that young people here on mass also bring with them their supportive parents, managers and coaches - all contributing to the tourism coffers.

The other benefit is when young people enjoy an event in the brilliant location they invariably, at a later stage, return as students and adults as would their parents if they too have experienced our district first-hand.

At the end of this month we will be attending the Sports and Events Tourism Exchange (SETE) in Pretoria at which we will profile our destination for events, networking with sports and/or events codes and promoters. Our staff will also attend the sports and/or events tourism seminars to glean information about the trends and opportunities for this vital segment in our industry.

We hope to introduce our destination to all sorts of sports administrators (in fact we first met the Ringball fraternity at a previous SETE event) so that where possible we can inflate our visitor numbers at a time when most South African destinations are under pressure to sustain suitable occupancy levels.

I am reminded by a story by an author - Larry Bugen - who tells an amusing story about a fiddler fellowship event in the U.S. whereby some small town has an annual festival and fiddlers from all over converge on this little town. The net result is that what could be construed as an unusual musical get-together ends up boosting the local economy of the area.

It is often the different sort of event that can find a permanent home and thereafter, towns become synonymous with that success. Think what Splashy Fen has done to the Underberg and Himeville area.

We will be going to SETE with an open mind and hopefully returning with some new opportunities to assist with the sustaining and growth of our tourism economy.

Finally we trust that our current visitors have a wonderful spring break and enjoy our greater South Coast and the events on hand, information about which can be accessed via our website www.tourismsouthcoast.co.za

Paradise is event-filled.

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