Hosting as a community

2015-11-26 06:00

ALREADY the first signs of our new summer season are becoming evident, and soon droves of visitors from Gauteng and KZN will be with us.

Young and old, families, pupils, students, honeymooners and our local day visitors will be converging here at the coast or out to our adventure-filled hinterland, captivating rural communities.

We obviously would wish for all to have a sunny and safe stay here so what can we, as a hosting populace, do to assist in that process?

Here are a few pointers.

Be extra friendly to our visitors in all areas they visit - we want them to return year after year and if people are in distress ensure they have the presence and help of responsible persons who will look after their well being.

Have police, emergency and essential services numbers handy to render immediate assistance, and added to this, report suspicious and criminal behaviour and/or acts to law enforcement agencies.

Treat our beaches, public areas and all natural environs with respect and avoid and discourage noisy and unruly behaviour in all public spaces.

Encourage visitor use of respected and registered hospitality establishments, attractions and local businesses- I suggest get a copy of the Southern Explorer from one of our Tourist Information Centres, or website www.tourismsouthcoast.co.za or www.southernexplorer.co.za.

Speak of our area with pride and passion as visitors respond well to a positive vibe and respect people’s rights to privacy and enjoyment of our wonderful greater South Coast.

Continually get people to follow the rules of the road and discourage drinking and driving - we want as few accidents as possible so that tragedy does not mar what should be a season of responsible togetherness and joy.

One of the biggest drawcards for people to return year after year is how the host area’s people treat their guests.

I know that the Irish are famed for their open and warm hospitality and when I was in Malawi a few years ago, on more than one occasion, locals came to me to say hi, welcome to our country and would I like a beer on them - so why not us.

The year 2015 has for many been stressful so what better advert for our destination if the thousands of visitors who can go back home refreshed, safe and utterly fulfilled. Every small gesture and kindness to all and sundry can make all the difference.

Then we can rightly claim to be the paradise of the Zulu kingdom.

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