Exploring the West Coast

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?

Is Paternoster the best beach village in South Africa?
Is Paternoster the best beach village in South Africa?

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?

    Alexa.com's global ranking of West Coast websites on August 2, 2015.  Low numbers are best (Google is #1, Facebook #2.)
Alexa.com’s global ranking of West Coast websites on August 2, 2015. Low numbers are best (Google is #1, Facebook #2.)  The three lowest websites are not shown in the graph to make it easier to read.

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.

6 responses to “Exploring the West Coast”

  1. Farr Out Guesthouse in Paternoster is really shocked about this article.
    It seems like that any of the beautiful West Coast towns like Yzerfontein, Langebaan (never mind West Coast National Park), Saldanha, St Helena Bay and Paternoster are not on the map??? So much to see, so little time.
    You can spend easily 2 weeks at the West Coast and still wouldn’t have seen at all.
    We are happy to help with a more detailed leisure itinerary and surely our guests also can give some input on what to do , etc.
    There is always space for improvements! let’s tackle it…

  2. As to Yzerfontein…. we are on the map with the help and constant support of Leane Koegelenberg at Yzerfontein Tourism! We would love to host and direct visitors to our area. Unfortunately not all in our industry understand that THE EXTRA MILE is a minimum standard.
    Pick up the phone and let us know how we can assist!
    Karen Schräder / Kariza – Yzerfontein

  3. I am shocked at this article. Not once is Langebaan mentioned or the West Coast National Park.
    I will gladly give you information on our area. Claire Green Langebaan Beach House

  4. Whew … some heady comments here . No point in shooting the messenger …. that is how they felt. The sadness is that there is SO SO much more to see and do, Some really great places. So please come to Darling and we will give you a “Taste of Darling” , mark you map and send you of on a journey around the West Coast. You will not be disappointed – that we promise

    • Thank you Charles. I took your card when I visited your shop – you were overseas when I visited – to contact you for help on the wines of the area. I will be in touch. Diane at Darling Tourism is one of the stars on the West Coast.

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