That crime word

2015-06-04 06:00

EVERY responsible destination around the world has to pay attention to the well being of not only its residents, but also its money-spending visitors.

We are certainly no exception and for that reason Ugu South Coast Tourism and Tourism KwaZulu-Natal (TKZN) recently had a mini-workshop in Ramsgate to discuss crime issues for a tourism hot spot like ours.

We shared our Sunny and Safe Campaign and our members involved in community policing shared their programmes along the coast and in the rural areas. Our friends in the SAPS were also in attendance.

Furthermore, we indicated how there is a link between tourism’s area committees and local SAPS personnel – all as a means of tourism input towards safety and security.

Once all was said and done, the TKZN representative was asked how we, as a sector, are doing in terms of addressing what is a national dilemma. His response was that in his experience, the tourism community here is probably the best organised in KZN.

We took this as a compliment with the recognition that crime prevention, law enforcement and how the tourism sector can take initiative to tackle the issue must be sustained and effective.

The KZN Community Tourism Association had heard of our efforts and invited me to present the principles of our Sunny and Safe Campaign to their AGM in June. If other areas can roll out what we are doing here then I believe we are collectively doing our bit to reduce incidents that could negatively impact on our province’s tourism reputation.

Visitors to our district provide the revenue yield that props up our local economy. We recognise that crime is a challenge that has to be deterred in all segments of society. I am confident that the tourism community has its finger on that troublesome pulse and we will continue to use our various forums to address this country wide malaise.

If we are to be a destination of preference we all have to be vigilant, responsible, offer practical yet diplomatic advice and have a hot line to the nearest law enforcement service - after all prevention is better than cure.

Every one of us can be part of the solution and tourism has been taking assertive strides in that joint effort.

Have a sunny and safe week – this time of year is wonderful here

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