Tourism month: Groendal pic challenge

2015-09-17 06:00

South Africa’s tourism sector is emerging as one of the most important pillars of the country’s economy in terms of growth and competition with other emerging economies of the world.

This industry contributes significantly towards the creation of employment, growing the economy and developing entrepreneurs. It presents opportunities for self-employment, it contributes to rural and urban development andforeign exchange earnings.

Tourism Month is an annual celebration held in September to focus on the importance of tourism to the economy of South Africa. An additional purpose is to alert locals to the attractions within their own areas.

The locals are considered to be the best tourists and Tourism Month aims to increase civic pride and enable the residents to persuade visitors to spend at least an extra night in the province which will furtherboost the local economy.

In aid of this and to celebrate Tourism Month, the ECPTA has planned initiatives that will showcase the area to residents and visitors alike.

The ECPTA manages some incredibly diverse Nature Reserves in the Eastern Cape. A Promotional Campaign called “Go Wild” has been launched to increase awareness of the Wild Coast Provincial reserves and ultimately to increase the bookings.

The stunning coastal nature reserves like Silaka, Hluleka, Dwesa and the spectacular Mkhambathi offer more than just natural splendour. And this Tourism Month the ECPTA will be offering a 20% discount on all bookings for the months of September, October and November 2015.

The beautiful Groendal Wilderness Area is the only established wilderness area in the Eastern Cape roughly10km from Uitenhage, renowned for its remoteness and myriad hiking trails.

Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency (ECPTA) encourages visitors to the Groendal Wilderness area to enjoy a Hiking Trail Challenge during the month of September. Nature lovers and hikers will be encouraged to take up the Groendal Wilderness Hiking Trail Challenge hiking two or more separate trails featured in this hidden gem.

The reserve offers both marked and unmarked trails that include the relatively easy 16km Blindekloof trail that takes hikers to Crystal Cavern Pool, and a short 4km circular trail to the picnic area that is good for families.

Members of the public will be able to access the reserves at no charge during the month of September. The open days will take place on each Saturday and Sunday in September.

Groendal photographic challenge

The Groendal Wilderness Hiking Trail Challenge is a photographic challenge with categories in flora and fauna as well as landscapes.

It will be held on September 19th andamp; 20th as well as September 26th andamp; 27th at 08:00 at the Groendal Nature Reserve.

Each group will consist of not more than twelve hikers. And the categories for pictures include:

• Flora andamp; Fauna

• Landscapes

• A max of 10 pictures per group may be submitted.

• The cut-off date for submission of pictures is September 30th at 16:00.

Prizes

•Complimentary stay within either Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve or Groendal Nature Reserve. There will be one winner of each category and winners will be notified via e-mail.

)Visit www.visiteasterncape.co.za or Sandra.ross@ecpta.co.za

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