The Garden Route in the Western Cape is expecting a bumper festive season with 96 % of accommodation facilities already fully booked.
The sector suffered heavy losses during the COVID 19 pandemic.
With beaches, mountains, forests and lakes, the Garden Route offers something for everyone.
To give tourism businesses a much-needed boost, the District Municipality has partnered with the hospitality industry. District councillor Cobus Meiring says the private-public partnerships will ensure that tourism benefits as much as possible in the upcoming festive season.
“The Royal Garden Route is a platform we’ve established to engage with the hospitality industry from government’s side and we’ve also devised a platform to market the entire Garden Route and we call this the blue-sky route. Anybody who has ever visited the Garden Route and travelled around knows what we mean by the blue-sky route. It’s no doubt one of the most scenic places in the country.”
A restaurant owner from Wilderness, Massimo Mariotti says, together with guesthouses and other establishments, they are looking forward to their first busy season since the pandemic.
“Where else in SA can you check into a B&B and walk to half a dozen venues that have got fantastic food, offering live entertainment. There are very few places in the world and this is one of those. Very unique, very special part of SA and we look forward to a very busy season, which is what’s going to happen.”
George Mayor Leon van Wyk says the town normally serves as a base for visitors travelling to other areas of the Garden Route and Karoo.
“A great attraction, the beaches, but we’ve also got the mountains, beautiful hiking, running and cycling trails. We’ve got wonderful restaurants where people can come and enjoy themselves and various other activities. Many people make use of George as their base and travel around the Garden Route on day trips. We really look forward to our guests and wish them a wonderful holiday here this year.”
The George Municipality has however appealed to visitors to adhere to their water restrictions, as the town has experienced lower than normal rainfall.
Yesterday, several beaches along the Garden Route coastline reopened following a small-scale oil spill earlier this week. The oil droplets were found mostly on beaches in Mossel Bay. Traces of the pollution have now been found in neighbouring municipal beaches between Plettenberg Bay and Gouritzmond.
The Garden Route District Municipality has assured locals and visitors that all the beaches will be cleaned and reopened as soon as possible.