Tag: #gamechanger

  • Municipalities/areas are NOT attractions or destinations!

    Municipalities around South Africa are wasting millions of rands promoting themselves and killing tourism in the process.  No-one gives a damn about what municipal area they are visiting – and why should they? If you visit a tourism trade show and see the brochure alongside, would you pick up a brochure for a place called […]

  • It’s time to debate the growth of holiday homes — major #gamechanger

    In 2007, driving through Langebaan towards Club Mykonos for the first time in ages, I was horrified by the huge housing estates — many Tuscan — that were primarily second/holiday homes which were empty for a large part of the year. I’ve seen this over and over again in towns all over South Africa.  Municipalities…

  • This is Criminal Incompetence, Pravin Gordhan: do something!

      There are hundreds of millions of Rands of foreign donor funding in these projects.  It should be an embarrassment to every South African. Dear Pravin Gordhan, please prohibit all Eastern Cape local government institutions from receiving any further foreign donor funding before they give the whole of South Africa a bad name.  They are…

  • George: why municipalities can’t run tourism

    I drove into George — the supposed capital of the Garden Route — at lunchtime on a Sunday looking for the information office.  I found the town as dead as a dodo after the irritation of unsynchronised traffic lights in the long main road, York Street.  And the info office was closed.  Unlike neighbouring Mossel…

  • Mossel Bay — a rising tourism star

    Mossel Bay has been on the up-and-up for some time and tourism numbers to the area have grown steadily.  The town includes more rural areas like Boggomsbaai (where Beezus and I stayed) on the Cape Town side to Herolds Bay on the George side, with Brak river in between. The tourism office is good and…

  • A Lesson for all Tourism Offices who whinge about inadequate budgets

    Most tourism offices whinge about inadequate budgets without demonstrating that they do provide value for money or create significant numbers of extra jobs with taxpayers’ funding. Well, Swellendam has turned the “liability” of development on its head and gained itself a cash budget of R11 million a year for the next three years.  And there’s…

  • Robertson’s opportunities lost

    There’s not that much to attract a traveller to stop in the main road that runs through Robertson, especially if you’re driving eastwards.  It’s probably an engineer’s dream road, but it’s hardly inviting. But driving into Robertson’s residential areas shows some of the most beautiful streets you’ll find anywhere in South Africa.  They are breathtaking…

  • Tourism will never be Helen Zille’s game-changer until there are lots of changes

    It’s been an interesting first few days of travels, and one realises how much observations and thoughts are always formed by the experiences that went before. What I observed in Montagu, my first stop, raised a red flag that was re-inforced throughout the Robertson Wine Valley.  The urgent imperative in SA today is to create…

  • Montagu is as charming as ever… BUT… tourism authorities need a wake-up!

    Montagu is one the the Western Cape’s premier heritage towns and a rock-climber’s haven.  It is a really great place to visit.  But has it really moved forward at all in the past two years as a tourist destination? Montagu is a wonderful getaway, a special-interest town and an architectural gem, but it’s not a…

  • How Franschhoek became such a successful tourist town

    Thirty years ago, Franschhoek was sleepy hollow personified, and very little had changed in the preceding 70 years.  It was a farming dorp which attracted a few city folk on a Sunday drive to escape the city and the only attractions were the Huguenot Museum (which was — unusually for a small country town —…