CapeInfo has struggled for years to get generic destination and event information for most West Coast towns from the tourism offices there. And it’s not been for lack of trying.
So I phoned Kiewiet who heads up West Coast Tourism a few weeks ago to say I was going to explore the area myself and were they able to assist. She told me to email Gurshell Abrahams who handles their marketing.
So I wrote to him, asked for a meeting and help in planning where I should visit and who I should interview. I said I was not looking for an itinerary because plans unfold as one goes along. I did say that we are looking for gamechangers that will grow tourism significantly.
He ignored my request for a meeting and supplied the following itineraries — which suggest that one could see the whole of the West Coast in three days! If this is how he responds to media enquiries, it’s time he found another job.
You need to scroll quite a bit but you’ll see West Coast Tourism’s suggested itineraries for a 1-day, 2-day and 3-day trip.
Please let us have your comments on these itineraries. I certainly would not miss Paternoster on any visit to the West Coast. And what about Langebaan?
He did suggest that I contact Anchen Lüdick at Swartland Tourism, which I did. When she needed more time to be able to help, I called Steve Cole at BFound in Riebeek Kasteel — one call and I was sorted! So much for my first encounters with tourism offices!
You’ll have to come back to read about what I found on our travels.
How do the tourism websites on the West Coast fare?
Darling Tourism is the clear winner here. (It’s also the only town on the West Coast that feeds information to CapeInfo regularly.)
The big surprise was that capewestcoastpeninsula.co.za didn’t do better. It covers the towns in the Saldanha Bay municipal area where, surely, Langebaan and Paternoster are two of the West Coast’s top tourist towns? The area’s tourism brand is very misleading.
capewestcoast.org is the regional website for the whole of the West Coast. Several towns are not on Alexa’s radar at all — they are not ranked.