From the CEO’s desk
Dear members of the Plett Tourism Industry,
The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a tourism economy crisis globally. In the US, the COVID-19 impact point currently sits at less 60% for international tourism in 2020. For South Africa, this would be a welcome figure. As we are all well-aware, our domestic tourism in SA is expected to recover more quickly. It offers the main chance for driving recovery, particularly in SA where the sector supports many jobs and businesses.
The direct impact of this crisis is being felt through the global tourism industry. Working alongside key stakeholders like the Bitou Municipality, the Plett Rate Payers and the Plett Business Chamber, Plett Tourism is working hard to keep Plettenberg Bay above water and in the minds and hearts of past, present and future guests.
Most recently, we have focused on the following efforts:
- Working towards the re-opening of the Plett Airport with CemAir and the CAA; ensuring new health protocols for safe travel are implemented and the airport will be ready to open as soon as the SA government lifts those restrictions.
- Restoring traveler confidence and stimulating demand with new safe and clean ideology for the sector, local COVID-19 product and service business engagement and domestic tourism promotion campaigns.
- Actively preparing comprehensive tourism strategies, to encourage innovation and investment and rethink the tourism sector with corporate business and key stakeholders.
- Participating with the proposed Draft Recovery Tourism Plan from the Department of Tourism.
- Securing a 2.4M contract with the Bitou Municipality to ensure the continuation of the Plett Tourism Association as the recognized destination marketing organization for the town.
- Negotiating the amalgamation of the Plett Accommodation Association with the Plett Tourism Association, we are busy with the restructuring of the PAA website to ensure this valuable asset will benefit all.
- Actively promoting Plettenberg Bay as Africa’s Leading Beach Destination with the World Travel Awards; this is Plett’s 11th nomination and we are feeling that lucky number 11 is on the cards for us!
- Assisting tourism products with appropriate licensing and rezoning issues.
- Hosting our annual Plett ARTS Festival event online; the first time we have hosted a traditionally live event online via streamed video.
- Negotiating a partnership with key stakeholders to develop a tourism shuttle bus between Robberg Nature Reserve, key beach and Main Street locations and potentially through to Keurbooms.
- Staying visible and even going viral during the pandemic, thanks to the efforts of our incredible team. Over the past three months, traditionally our slowest time of year, we have seen unprecedented facts and figures. We have launched our Facebook Watch series – Plett, it’s a Foodie Thing. The first season has 8 episodes and over 8 weeks, the series has had 36,000+ views.
- Hosting the Plett Tourism AGM event during unprecedented times. We welcomed two new board members, Alex Olivier from Emily Moon (Restaurant portfolio) and Jaco Kruger from Offshore Adventures (Eco-tourism portfolio). We are looking forward to working with these two new board members.
We would like to commend CemAir, the South African Civil Aviation Authority, and the Bitou Municipality for the continuous hard work to ensure the Plett Airport is up to standard and that all health protocols for safe travel are implemented. All is in place to open the airport as soon as the SA government lifts those restrictions. Plett Tourism will welcome the reopening of the airport as it will stimulate the economy further with an influx of guests into our town.
Notably, the renovation of two iconic establishments in Plett was completed over the past year. We congratulate the management of the Beacon Island Resort and The Bayview Hotel for their continued investment in Plett.
On a more playful note, we are excited that Plett played host to possibly the world’s largest Jerusalema Dance Challenge, with more than 700 local Plettonians dancing to Master KG’s global hit. What a proud moment for the town! At Plett Tourism, everything we do is for the greater good of our community. Our plans include providing a future for the people of Plett and to further instill that ‘Plett feeling’ into our community. In closing I would like to remind our community that each of us should be vigilant in following the prescribed health protocols and acting sensibly and with commitment to keep our town safe.
And last, but not least – don’t forget to take a drive to the Poortjies Lagoon or to the Bitou Wetlands to catch a glimpse of our special flamingo guests, before they migrate further north for summer.
Thank you and be well.
In the love of Plett,
CEO Plett Tourism