The act of giving

2015-06-25 06:01

FOR my sins and through the initiative of the Wild Coast Sun, I was part of a group of who slept outdoors in aid of a nationally orientated fundraising initiative (via Radio 702) for homeless children in our country.

Besides Sun International’s generous contributions, our tourism community has also made much-appreciated pledges towards this good cause - hence my rather uncomfortable night under the stars in close proximity to the repetitive rumbling of the waves.

What is seriously impressive to me is how giving our South Coast tourism industry is. When we do promotions and campaigns, we often ask our members for prizes, giveaways, trade and media hosting trips etc., all as a means of inducing consumer and publicity interest in our destination.

Our marketing team informs me that this year alone over R500 000 in contribution value has come from our committed members. This, in my opinion, is phenomenal and certainly much appreciated. I often ask other destination areas to what extent they have similar support and their dejected response has been “People seem to do their own thing and do not see the bigger picture”. When it is indicated to them what our experience is down here, they seem rather bleak and envious.

Our members do not pay huge membership fees (R360 per annum), yet their own investment on joint advertising campaigns, being with us at promotions and making contributions mentioned above indicates to me that our area has a very special tourism community.

Often it is the non-members who derive income from tourism who offer glum critique of our tourism efforts. I really recommend that such people get onto our energetic tourism bus - the benefits far outweigh the paradigm of passive negativity.

Finally a big thanks to the Wild Coast Sun for arranging funraising sleep out at its beautiful property and from which local recruited funds will contribute towards some R25 million raised round the country. I have no intention of being homeless in paradise - my aching back and baggy eyes bear testimony to that. Next time a younger colleague will be press-ganged into sleeping rough.

In the act of giving we can collectively say with pride that our tourism sector is a very giving one - long may this last.

Tonight I look forward to the comfort of my home with more gratitude than ever.

Have a great Sardine Festival time – the whales are certainly celebrating their presence on our coast

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