Tourism out there

2016-03-31 06:00

LAST week we concluded our rural workshop series for people wishing to host events in our district. The venue was Mount Nebo just off the N2 about 15km towards Port Shepstone from Harding.

Well, I was impressed that this venue, in a really rural area, was operational and catering for mainly weddings and entertainment occasions from a site in the woods that has stages, seating areas and a fully catered for arena and pavilion.

On inquiring how events were presented there the directors also indicated their plans for multi-activity adventure offerings as part of their growth plan - whoever said that our rural areas can be a tourism back water?

Here is just one example of many in our district whereby rural entrepreneurs are just cracking on and successfully developing their enterprises.

In this case we have been offering business planning advice to assist in developing sustainable livelihoods in our hinterland.

But tourism is in fact an active economy in these areas albeit that it is difficult to quantify. Tourism KwaZulu-Natal agrees with us because weekend family visits from cities, weddings, funerals, celebrations, religious, political and cultural events etc., all bring in people and their spend and this is in fact tourism.

Our event management workshops were geared to inform the people involved in eventing to have better management and compliance knowledge in order to avoid pitfalls and have improved planning approaches.

One thing we encouraged was the use of local service providers to encourage retention of event spend in a micro economy - a bigger local spread of opportunity and income gives often deprived communities some semblance of reasonable livelihood.

These workshops were well attended which is an indication that people farther away from the sea know that there is opportunity in the tourism and leisure sector and long may this enthusiasm continue so that in due course the tourism spend broadens into less advantaged areas.

By just being there and being directly involved I have a reinforced belief in our destination area- those rolling hills and valleys certainly add to our principle of being a paradise in KZN.

Our event management workshops were geared to inform the people involved in eventing to have better management and compliance knowledge

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