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 much more in kind.
Brand Swellendam is the winner and it’s a credit to the board of Swellendam Tourism Organisation (STO) and the Municipality that this has been achieved. And to Peter Gratton for his dedication and perseverance — the submissions to DBSA were rejected twice before a visit to them convinced them of the benefits.
We (that includes Beezus) met Peter Gratton, who drove the project, and Rob Hicks, Swellendam Tourism’s development planner (discovering that we had crossed paths in a previous life) over breakfast at the pet-friendly Grace Walk B&B. It was a memorable breakfast in every respect… thank you Esther.