Municipalities in S Cape to boost tourism after fires 

Published: December 7th, 2017
by EWN

fire-plett-knysnaSeveral municipalities in the Southern Cape are looking at ways to boost tourism in the area following the devastating June fires.

Seven people died and hundreds of homes were destroyed when wildfires tore through Knysna and Plettenberg Bay.

The Garden Route rebuild initiative has been underway since the disaster.

Co-ordinator Hildegard Fast says that the Knysna, Bitou, and Eden municipalities are finalising a long-term plan to improve tourism numbers in the areas.

“How can we attract more tourists in the off season, how can we have skills centres in the area to attract students in the off season and how can we just generally create more housing opportunities. So that strategy is being finalised in December and we’ll implement it starting in January.”

The George municipality’s Chantel Edward-Klose says a dedicated airstrip for firefighting planes will greatly improve response times. The Denneoord Aerial Fire Base was officially opened on Wednesday.

“George is privileged to have this facility on our doorstep as our proximity to the airbase will ensure very quick response. During test runs last week, response to the sight of a veldfire in the Wilderness took five minutes and allowed for quick reconnaisance and appropriate response.”