More engagement before Tourism Tender awarded

Knysna Municipality has decided not to award any of the tourism-related tenders advertised at the end of last year.

Cllr Sharon Sabbagh, Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Finance & Economy, said we felt further consultation with the tourism sector was needed before we draft and award future tourism tenders. “With the importance of tourism to our economy and the negative impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had on the industry, a future strategy should be carefully crafted, inclusive and able to revitalise the tourism sector.”

“We want to thank Wesgro, the GM of the Visit Knysna office, Colleen Durant and the staff for their contribution made during difficult times. The digital footprint they created and maintained kept Knysna in the mind of travellers, even if they could not travel. Knysna being listed recently as one of the top 20 most loved tourism destinations in the world is a direct tribute to their efforts.”

Sabbagh said the Municipality is taking over the running of the Information office until a new tender is awarded. “This will ensure continuity in terms of information services, dealing with queries and keeping the various digital platforms maintained and updated.”

She continued to say that we asked Provincial Government to be part of the process. “We are not tourism marketing specialists and have asked the Provincial Department of Economic Development and Tourism to attend the stakeholder engagement process, scheduled for early March. Once finalised, the date, time and venue will be communicated.”

Sabbagh concluded by saying that local industry buy-in is vital. “Make time to attend the workshop. Work with us to develop a strategy that will increase visitors, boost the local tourism industry and help us to elevate Knysna another 9 spots to one of the Top 10 most loved destinations in the world.”