Municipal Manager of Knysna, Dr Sitembele Vatala, is happy to report an incident free holiday period in the Greater Knysna area. “There were no major incidents reported during the festive period. I want to thank our staff that worked long hours and on public holidays for pulling out all stops to ensure that visitors and residents had a great time during their stay.”
He said the summer holiday period is always a busy time in this area and that this season was no different. “One again we planned well and could see the results. As in previous years we’ve employed temporary staff to manage the increase in traffic and visitors and traffic flow was good.”
The increase in visitor numbers also provides additional business opportunities and Vatala said they allocated temporary trading licenses to 23 informal traders to operate at prominent trade spots. “These, as well as the additional point operators to manage traffic, created much needed jobs for the unemployed.”
Vatala said public drinking and alcohol misuse on beaches and public picnic areas remain a concern and relevant authorities within the Municipality have been asked to come up with a plan to manage this.
“Numerous roadblocks were set up in conjunction with the Provincial Traffic and focus was on vehicle roadworthiness, adherence to road traffic rules, zero tolerance to drivers driving under the influence of alcohol and ensuring general safety on the roads.”
Colleen Durant, General Manager at the Visit Knysna office said that local industry indicated that they enjoyed a very successful season – especially eateries, entertainment and activities. “Accommodation establishments showed varied results, with many indicating a very short season of reservations. Feedback has also indicated that we had a higher number of international visitors during the season, a trend that we must encourage as the local economic climate is under pressure.”
Vatala said the contribution of Knysna residents and businesses must also be acknowledged. “In addition to our staff, I also want to thank the local retailers, accommodation facilities, restaurants and tourism agents for the contribution they make in better positioning Greater Knysna as a premium holiday destination of choice.”