Popular seaside destination, Mossel Bay, is pulling out all the stops this Tourism Month to make sure it continues to attract visitors in future.
“The theme for this year’s Tourism Month is ‘Tourism - Linking Cultures,’ and this is particularly appropriate for Mossel Bay, which is something of a crucible of South African culture,” says Mossel Bay Tourism’s Marcia Holm.
She says that the work of the Mossel Bay Archaeology Project - the largest scientific project of its kind in the world today - has shown that modern human behaviour emerged in the Mossel Bay area about 164 000 years ago, and that the Cape St Blaize Cave (which is one of the focus areas of the project) is one of the town’s biggest tourism attractions.
“Of course this is also where Bartolomeu Dias and his crew became the first Europeans to land on South African soil - and thus the first Europeans to interact with the indigenous people - and this is celebrated in the Dias Museum Complex’s Maritime Museum, whose replica of Dias’ ship, the caravel, is also one of our great tourism icons.”
Events on the Tourism Month calendar kick off with the annual PetroSA Marathon (at the Santos Caravan Park), an Arts and Craft market (at the Craft Art Workshop on Market Street), and a concert with gospel singer Retief Burger (at the ATKV Hartenbos Amphitheatre), all of which will take place on 3 September.
“The big weekend for us this year will be the 9th, 10th and 11th of September, when we’ll be holding our annual Kraak-i-Mossel Festival, and the inaugural Honey Trail 3-day stage mountain bike race, as well as the inaugural Mossel Bay Triathlon,” says Holm.
She says that Tourism Month would culminate for Mossel Bay in the Garden Route Casino’s Miss Garden Route and Klein Karoo Pageant, which will take place on 1 October.
“In the run-up to the event, the twelve finalists will spend a week attending tourism educationals in the Mossel Bay - George - Knysna - Oudtshoorn area so that they can become true tourism ambassadors for the Southern Cape.”
Provincial destination marketing organisation, Cape Town Routes Unlimited (CTRU), has adopted the pageant as one of its official events for Tourism Month.
“The event is all about raising awareness for the plight of abused women and children while raising funds for shelters in Mossel Bay, George, Knysna, and Oudtshoorn - and CTRU has pledged R10,000 towards the fund,” says Holm.