The sniff of the season

2016-11-10 06:00

BEFORE we know it the annual migration of excited summer visitors will be all too evident and we are confident it will be a very busy and rewarding season. From sunny Scottburgh to pretty Port Edward and inland to our great Oribi Gorge and the incredible Ingeli Forest, there are a plethora of attractions and wonderful experiences to take in.

I would like to think that we may, after our season’s research, be able to report that the 2016/2017 holidays have been one of the best. There is certainly much in our year-end events programme to keep all and sundry favourably occupied and leisure filled.

We all know this year has been weighty on the wallet so in order to encourage maximum visitation here we all can do our bit. One aspect is to focus on the Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) market.

Instead of South Coasters going to other parts of the country to see loved ones, why not have them come to our popular paradise?

The VFR market is arguably the largest segment within the tourism industry so if more families here invite their friends and relatives there will be a major economic spin off in terms of retail and hospitality.

It is well known that many VFR visitors (and here I think of the retirees) like places so much and want to be close to those they love so they buy into property and retirement estates.

I know that a new estate is earmarked in the Umtentweni area so I guess the estate agencies will be going flat out to sell in what can be very much a buyer’s market down here. That is why we are very much a value driven destination.

Sellers will no doubt be sprucing up their properties to get the price they are looking for, but it goes beyond their intent. The look and feel of a destination like ours is critical so it is important that hospitality practitioners and businesses present their properties in an aesthetically appealing fashion. That good old lick of paint and beautifully landscaped gardens before season can go some way in making the right impression.

So as the busiest season of the year is in the wind, we trust that readers will share our optimism in a spirit of all round goodwill - something that the South Coast has showered on our visitors for decades.

Roll on summer.

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