Tourism month is in full swing

Created by South African Tourism to focus on the importance of the sector to the South African economy, it is aligned with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) World Tourism Day celebrations taking place on the 27th of September this year.

Executive Deputy Mayor & Chairperson Planning, Economic Development & Tourism Committee: Cllr Alberto Marbi, said the 2022 theme of World Tourism Day celebrations this year revolves around resilience. “UNWTO theme is ‘Rethink tourism’ this year – to rethink how we can ‘do’ tourism in a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient sector. “

“Tourism is a key part of Knysna’s economy and now, post the devastation of COVID-related travel restrictions, it is more important than ever to work on building a sustainable and resilient industry. To ‘rethink’ tourism and appreciate and value everyone that is part of the tourism experience, from souvenir makers to rangers, guest house staff, hotel managers and local service providers to the industry.”

Marbi said that greater Knysna communities are fortunate to live within the unfenced borders of the SANParks managed Garden Route National Park.  “I believe as a local community we can have a positive impact on tourism in our area. Supporting local tourism business yes, but there is so much more we can do. Value and respect our natural resources. Understand the impact of our actions on the tourism industry, and ultimately jobs in the area. Do we understand that if we do anything to impact the water quality of the Knysna estuary that can have a ripple effect that influences visitor numbers, and jobs? That if we do not care about the cleanliness of our town, or if we damage infrastructure and facilities that can also have a negative effect?  Knysna is known for its natural assets – beaches, forests, the estuary and mountains in the back. Are we doing enough to look after our natural resources? Do we get involved in initiatives to counter pollution, litter, and sustainable use of resources? We must appreciate an acknowledge everyone’s efforts in the industry. We must invest in the future by facilitating training, creating new opportunities and foster an understanding for what tourism is doing, and can do for our community.”

He said people should be encouraged to be tourists in their own backyard. “Make an effort to get to know the people and the different areas of greater Knysna. Explore the nooks and crannies of the Garden Route National Park. Experience the ‘magic’ of Knysna by “connecting” to nature.”

“It is only if we know our area and what it has to offer that we can really understand the opportunities available, the niche tourism markets we can focus on, and the facilities needed. Work with us to create a resilient tourism economy in Knysna, for all our residents. Get involved!”

Here is a list of activities and events planned for Tourism month in the greater Knysna area – and a great opportunity to get involved.

17 September

International Coastal Cleanup Day and “Spring Clean” Knysna

Time: 9am – 11am There are different teams that will tackle different areas all over Knysna – to join them please contact Teresa at Ocean Odyssey on info@oceanodyssey.co.za

for more info.

12-16 September

SA National Parks week – this is a good reason to go out and explore the Garden Route National Park!

24 September 2022

Urban X brought to you by Remax Coastal

A fun trail run starting with 10 easy obstacles and now including colour stations. For more info Email: coyoteeventsandpromotions@gmail.com

Battle of the Buskers 

Celebrate National Braai Day at the Village Green in Sedgefield with arts & crafts, food stalls, and of course – a braai!

Email: olivier.debra@gmail.com

 27 September

Knysna 1-Hour “Amazing Race”

You and three teammates could be the lucky winners of four action cameras when participating in this timed exercise on World Tourism Day, 27 September 2022. To enter send your name, surname, and contact to info@visitknysna.co.za before 20 September 2022 with the subject: Amazing Knysna Race to receive further instructions.

30 September

Hollard Daredevil Run

Friday 30 September will see thousands of brave men in purple Speedos take to their streets to run cancer “outta their hoods” anywhere in South Africa – in our area a race is starting at Café Vienna in Sedgefield. All proceeds going to CANSA and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of South Africa.

To enter or for more info email rochellevorster2@gmail.com