Opening a dialogue: How to re-invigorate Tourism in Swellendam
PROGRAMME (there may be changes to the order of speakers)
- Welcome and brief introduction
- Guest Speaker: Alison Coughlan GM of Go See Do Cape Town, Cape Town Tourism Director
Key Recovery Actions – Cape Town Tourism.
3. Local Initiatives
Speakers have a short time (3 mins) to present their initiatives / ideas / experiences
|Glen James||Langeberg Meander|
|Mari Louise Van de Merwe||Hermitage Meander|
|Eduan Swanepoel||Art, Music, Books|
|Bev Missing||Under the Oaks / Newcomers Welcome|
|Alison Walker||Gourmet Getaways|
|Pieter Grobelaar||From Cape Town to Cocktails|
|Graham Mutyambzi||Swellengram Magazine|
|Freek Oerson||Shack Theatre|
|Johan van Niekerk||Eco tree house – Insta success|
4. Open questions / discussions to any of the above speakers
5. Refreshments and general informal discussion
6. Summary: Mayor Francois du Rand
Please RSVP to this email address: email@example.com
This invitation is to the group of people in Swellendam and Buffeljagsrivier who have arguably suffered economically more than most, as a result of the pandemic and subsequent lock-down – the people whose livelihood is the hospitality industry.
Prior to the events of 2020 tourism in Swellendam was already in the throes of change and challenge. The breakdown of STEEP, closure of the Tourism Information offices, the dissolution of the STO – these factors led to disgruntlement and apathy. No-one realised at the time that these emotions were in fact luxuries – compared to the devastation that was to follow.
- Some fell. Businesses were sold at rock bottom prices, pensions were reduced to nothing, and once travel restrictions were lessened, some fled the country.
- Some survived. Barely. Struggling to keep up with the ever changing rules and regulations -trying to keep staff employed, dealing with the alcohol bans and curfew – it has been a horrible horrible time.
- A few thrived. It is possible to see this when you go down Swellengrebel Street and see how much work has been done there – it is becoming a truly beautiful entry portal to all that is good about this very special town.
Hope is on the horizon. While our international guests may currently be few and far between, South Africans are desperate to travel and the country is opening up. Swellendam and Buffeljagsrivier are in an absolutely amazing location to take advantage of domestic tourism.
Now – to work out how Swellendam can get itself on the top of that list.
So – lets develop a culture of collaboration. Some of us have already started. Pooling ideas, supporting one another, finding common ground for new events, creating new opportunities and making sure that every weekend the restaurants are buzzing and the guesthouses are crammed.
To kick-start a new or revived spirit of cooperation there is going to be an event at Republic Restaurant on Monday 18th October at 6 pm.
RESILIENCE AND INNOVATION – FUTURE FORWARD
MONDAY OCTOBER 18th
There will be a few local speakers who have been asked to give a few minutes’ talk about their experiences of lockdown and how they have adapted to the ‘New Normal’ , initiatives that they have started and the varying successes they have achieved.
(if anyone would like to add their name to the speakers list please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org )
A Guest speaker, familiar to many of you, General Manager of Go See Do Cape Town, director Cape Town Tourism, Alison Coughlan, is going to present the initiatives that Cape Town Tourism are putting in place, and share with us the best way to get those Capetonians in their cars at 2 pm on a Friday to head for Swellendam.
The Mayor, Francois du Rand and Municipal Manager will be attending – not as protagonists but as listeners. If changes are to be made in the future, they will play an important role, so they should hear the thoughts and suggestions and the way that product owners are thinking.. They will say a few words at the end of the event.
There will be an informal and open discussion after the speakers. A social get together fuelled by the generosity of Swellenbrew and Republic.
It is ESSENTIAL that you RSVP with your intention to attend. Numbers will be limited so it will be on a first come, first served basis.
Please RSVP to this email address: email@example.com with your contact details, how many in your group if more than one, and the name of the product which you will be representing.
by Friday October 15th
If you attend. please wear your masks and adhere to the Covid protocols.