THE recent holiday period in the Kouga was so successful that the estimated tourism revenue increased in leaps and bounds.
Restaurants had a peak season and holidaymakers battled to get a table without a booking at the popular restaurants in town. Some restaurants even set new records.
Although some bigger retailers experienced a flat season, with turnover matching the previous, most retail outlets ended the festive period on a high note. Big shops like Dis-Chem, Pick ’n Pay and SuperSpar had a record season.
According to Fountains Mall General Ma-nager, Jeanette du Toit, Fountains Mall in Jeffreys Bay can once again boast with fantastic results for the December 2016 period.
She confirmed that visitors to the Mall increased by 4% and its turnover by 5.1% year-on-year. “We are extremely pleased and thankful,” says Du Toit. “If you take into account that the economy is still extremely frail and that Jeffreys Bay experienced the most beautiful weather for spending time at the beach instead of shopping, the Mall performed exceptionally well.”
To cope with the extended trading hours and demand on resources, additional security guards and cleaners were employed during the festive season.
Du Toit is cautiously optimistic about the prospects for 2017. “Our economy is going to remain volatile, impacting on distributable income and consumer spend. However, through exceptional levels of customer service, clean facilities, convenient and available parking, access for the disabled and an ambient environment that encourages longer dwell time, we believe that the Mall will continue to attract the bulk of available spend in town.”
“The population of Jeffreys Bay grows close to triple the number of permanent residents during a festive season and this past year was no different,” says Kouga Mayor Elza van Lingen. “The season was shorter than normal in terms of activity, but there appeared to be more people in town during the peak of the holiday season.”
According to van Lingen, although the season was quite short, every day during the peak time was busy, while New Year’s Day was much quieter in general this year compared to last year.
Van Lingen contributes this increase in tourists to the improved marketing of the area by the Kouga Local Tourism Organisation and the Tourism and Creative Industries section.
“We use different platforms to market our towns, such as the Tourism Indaba, Two Getaway shows, World Travel Market and Beeld. Our aim is to ensure that the current visitors have an enjoyable and memorable stay in our area and that they become our additional marketing platform by way of conversation with friends and family.”