Responsible tourism brand to give Agulhas ‘distinctive’ edge


Cape Agulhas Tourism will use the next five years to develop and incorporate a responsible tourism brand into its operations. According to Alison Coughlan, CEO of Cape Agulhas Tourism, the bureau is partnering with the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI), local organisations and municipalities to develop the brand.

Speaking at the Cape Agulhas Tourism (CAT) annual general meeting in Napier on 27 September, Coughlan said this involved lobbying the local Cape Agulhas Municipality to participate, building a membership base of responsible products and developing new products.

She said, “We’ve had a fantastic partnership with ABI, which helped us with research and to realign our vision around nature-based tourism and responsible tourism.” One of ABI’s focal areas currently is to develop a viable nature-based, responsible tourism strategy with all relevant tourism partners and stakeholders. ABI is a landscape initiative operating across the Overberg area. Flower Valley Conservation Trust is currently serving as the coordination unit of ABI.

According to Coughlan, some R70-million will be pumped into the area over the next two years by a variety of partners to upgrade tourist infrastructure. This includes the renovation of the lighthouse in Agulhas, constructing a southern tip icon, and tarring the road between Elim and Gansbaai. Developments are also being planned at De Mond Nature Reserve. A new tourism office will also be officially launched in Napier on 7 November. The new office will be housed in the Napier Hotel.

The Cape Agulhas Tourism bureau is looking to redefine the ‘Discover Cape Agulhas’ brand, to highlight individual towns such as Elim, Arniston and Napier. Coughlan said tourism in the region will build on the ‘Two Oceans’ theme. At the same time, an official ‘Tip of Africa’ route will be developed and registered, allowing for the creation of art, wine and birding routes, among others.

Cheryl Mulder-Verbruggen, Manager: Conventions Bureau and Event Support at Wesgro, said at the AGM that tourism operations should focus on the domestic market, and not set it sights just on international tourists. “Put your money into domestic markets. Start working on making local people aware of what you have, and attract them.”

Three new CAT executive committee members were selected during the AGM. Gary Delcarme (Cheers Pub in Struisbaai), Clint August (General Manager of Die Herberg in Arniston) and Renee Daneel (past chair of CAT) were elected to the committee. They join the existing members: Emile Richter, Rudi de Waal and Phil Fenwick.

For more information, contact Alison Coughlan: alison@discovercapeagulhas.co.za.

agulhas lighthouse

agulhas plain

flowers



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