The first three months of operation have been busy, but nevertheless, successful. The Central Karoo has been brought to the attention of newspaper and magazine editors and several tourism stories have been widely publicised. All press releases sent out have received good coverage in the local “platteland” press, as well as in national newspapers, such as Die Burger. A close working relationship has also been established with Radio Kontrei and with other radio travel programmes, such as the Saturday morning Travellers Check and Padlangs. The latest success is an item in Getaway magazine. It has resulted in many phone calls from all over South Africa, but mainly from the Reef requesting sightseeing and accommodation information. There have also been some local requests for assistance with holiday planning and information for visits to such areas as Namibia. Full name and address details are being kept wherever possible in case check back is necessary or for setting up a mailing list.
Die inligtingskaravaandiens, wat die Streeksdienste Raad by Victoria Wes, Richmond en Laingsburg, vir die Kersseisoen verskaf het, was uiters suksesvol. Dit was miskien ‘n duur manier om inligting te verskaf, maar toeriste verwag nog nie sulke dienste langs die pad nie, en hulle het dit waardeer. Die inligtinskaravaan- program kan opgebou en uitgebrei word om toerisme-dienste te adverteer en die toeris te bereik voordat hy van sy huis af wegtrek en so dat hy sy roete, stop plekke, en wat te sien en doen in the Sentrale Karoo-streek is, kan beplan.
INFORMATION CARAVANS A SUCCESS
The information caravan service which the Regional Services Council set up at Victoria, Richmond and Laingsburg, during the Christmas season, were a great success. It was perhaps an expensive way of providing information, but tourists do not yet expect such a service along the road and they appreciated it. The information caravan service can be built up and expanded to advertise tourism services and to reach the tourist before he leaves home. This will allow him to plan his route, stopping places and what to see and do in the Central Karoo area
AIM AT MORE STOPS
Some of the main factors underlined by the past festive season was that tourists find the extreme heat and long driving distances of the Central Karoo very tiring. We must aim at getting people to stop at each of our towns for a short break. To do thus successfully we will have to build up an awareness of sightseeing attractions, ensure that venues, such as museums, are worth visiting and, if necessary, create shorter, interesting stops. One which may be worth investigating is a “Dallas-type” story-board walk through covering the flood in Laingsburg. Travellers will not stop for long, but if we can get some of them off the road and out of their cars, albeit for only half an hour, we will build up the infrastructure and greatly contribute to road safety.
LOXTON SE BELEGGING IN TOERISME
Toe die Kimberley Karavaanklub besluit het om by Loxton te oornag het die plaasslike reklame vereeniging in die werk gespring om te verseker dat die kans om die area te bevorder nie verlore sou gaan nie. Hulle gasvryheid en pogings om die mense tuis te laat voer was suksesvol en hulle staan nou bekend as “die klein Karoo dorpie met die grootste hart”. Maar, meer belangrik,, die klub kom terug. Hulle bepan ‘n blomme toer en Loxton is klaar as oornagplek gekies.
LOXTON INVESTS IN TOURISM
When the Kimberley Caravan club decided to overnight at Loxton, the local tourism association jumped at the chance to promote their area was not lost. Their hospitality and efforts at making people feel at home were very successful and Loxton is now known as” the small Karoo town with the biggest heart”. But, more important, the club aims to return. They are planning a flower tour soon and Loxton has already been chosen as the place to overnight.
KEEPING THE BALL ROLLING
It’s a lean time now in the tourist trade and all efforts have to be made to serve the vastly decreased traffic flow. At the Herberg, outside Beaufort West, Dick and Herma Small, are now offering light meals and snacks on demand. No traveller needs to observe formal eating hours as the Herberg is happy to offer anything from late breakfasts and brunches to early lunches, snacks, light suppers, or simply a beer, tea or coffee and sandwiches. And, the Herberg is not just catering for the tourists. They are offering Sunday lunches to the Beaufort Westers. For those who fancy to give mom a break from cooking, a main course and pudding will cost only R15 a head. Hannes le Roux at the North South Hotel at Prince Albert Road has been following this same principle successfully since early December. As he is “off the beaten track”, he provides tourists and truck drivers with light meals and snacks wherever they request them.
Die verslae, vir die Wes Kaap Ontwikkelingsprojek, oor die toerisme-potentiaal van die Sentrale Karoo Streek, en die benutting van deurgangsverkeer, is geskryf en ingestuur. Opvoldg vergaderings word op Februarie 18, gehou en terugvoer kan teen Maart of April verwag word. Die doel van hierdie projek is om werkbare stategieë en versnelde ekomokiese ontwikkenling vir plattelandstreke te beplan en te formuleer en ‘n raamwerk vir ontwikkelingsaksie te skep.
Reports, for the Western Cape Development Project, on the tourism potential of the Central Karoo region and the maximization of passing traffic, have been completed and submitted. Follow up meetings are planned for February 18 and feedback is expected in March or April. The aim of the project is to develop workable strategies for increased economic development in the hinterland areas and to help plan and formulate a structure for tourism development.
Two members of the National Monuments Council visited the region during the last week of January. They were the regional manager for the Western Cape, Ashley Lillie and Joanna Marx, who is responsible for liaison. The main purpose of their visit was to inspect the Council’s current monuments and to investigate the area in general. During their visit they gave a short talk in the Board Room of the Regional Services Council on the necessity of preserving architectural heritage and how this should be done. They are also discussing the possibility of doing in-depth conservation surveys on Beaufort West, Laingsburg and Prince Albert. Detailed conservation surveys have been completed on Victoria West, Richmond and Loxton. This year we will endeavour to have several more buildings proclaimed in the region. The architectural heritage can be tied to the tourism programme and work is already in progress on a sightseeing guide along these lines.
WAT TE SIEN EN DOEN
In die lasste drie maande is so veel inligting as moontlik oor besienswaardighede in die streek versamel en samgestel in ‘n document wat nou al 50 blaaie beloop Die inligting word nou noukeurig nagegaan om seker to maak dat niks verkeerd is of uitgelaat is nie. Dit sal dan die basis vorm van ‘n reeks inligtings brosures wat gedurende die jaar saamgestel sal word vir die volgende groot reis seisoen. Op die oomblik bestaan die inligting meestal uit dorpe se besienswaardighede. Inligting oor plase word dringing benodig veral oor geskiedenis,, interessante gebeurtenisse, fossiele, voetslaanpaaie, boesman tekeninge, ens. As daar ies van belang in u gebied is, laat weet asseblief.
WHAT TO SEE AND DO
In the last three months a great deal of information has been collected on sightseeing possibilities in the region. It has been compiled into a 50-page document. The information will now be carefully researched ensure that nothing is wrong and that nothing has been missed. The information it will be used to produce a series of brochures during the year andin time for the next major tourist season. At present the information consists of sightseeing possibilities in the towns. Information on farms is urgently needed, particularly in regard to history, interesting happenings, fossils, hiking, walking routes, San rock art, and so on. If you know of anything of importance in the area, please let us know.
A self-help arts and crafts centre has just been opened in Richmond. The driving force behind the scheme is James Parker, a retired actor and theatrical designer. He chose Richmond when he left PACOFS as he felt it was an ideal, small, but quiet and friendly place to retire. He started a pottery business there, then began giving lessons. After a short while he encouraged a friend to move there as well. This friend, Charles Smith, also worked at PACOFS for 14 years. He is a milliner, jewellery, costume and props designer, as well as a hairdresser and wigmaker James is now trying to encourage the local people to make ethnic arts and crafts items. He is teaching them various disciplines with the aid of a Manpower Training Scheme. Because most cannot work from home, he has established a self-hep centre with a commercial outlet. It is in the annex of the former Richmond Hotel and it is literally available to anyone and everyone. James has a dream – to make Richmond the arts and crafts centre of the Cape, because, as he says, “It is the ideal stopping off place to just about anywhere.”
SATOER EN WESKAAP TOERISME BESOEK
Satoer, en die Weskaap Toerisme Vereeniging beplan om ‘n inligtings sessie in Beaufort-Wes aan te bied. Die voorgestelde datum fir hierdie eendag seminar is Maart 2. ‘n Vergaderingslokaal moet nog gekies word.
SATOUR AND WESTERN CAPE TOURISM VISIT
Satour and the Western Cape Tourism Association are planning to hold an information session in Beaufort West. The proposed date for this one seminar is March 2. A meeting hall is still to be arranged.
DON’T MISS THE SHOW
The Beaufort West Agricultural show is on from February 25 to 27. As usual it promises to be a superb event. Two National horse championships will be held – The Cape Burped National Championships and the S a Hackney Horse Championships. There is also a club show for Saddle Horses under the auspices of the Griqua Saddle Horse sub-union. Of course, there will be the usual interesting small stock section and natural wool and mohair show. Commercial and industrial stalls are already fully booked. And, what would the show be without a Show Queen. She will be crowned at the Show Ball to be held on February 19.
WHAT ABOUT A DISCOUNT
Een van die mense wat by ons kantoor vir meer inligting oor die Sentrale Karoo gevra het, het onlangs ‘n vakansie in Namibia deurgebring. Daar is hy by omtrent elke hotel ‘n senior burger afslag van tussen 10% en 20% aangebied, “Wat van die Karoo hotelle,” vra hy, “Will julle nie vir ons ou mense ‘n ietsie af gee al is dit op julle buite seisoen pryse?”
WHAT ABOUT A DISCOUNT
One of the tourists who recently visited the office needing information about the Central Karoo had recently spent a holiday in Namibia. There, he said, he was offered a senior citizen discount of between 10% and 20 percent at virtually every hotel. “What about the Karoo hotels,” he asked “Would they not consider giving us oldies something off even if it is on your out of season prices.”
The Gable Grading System for the informal accommodation sector will come into operation in April. It is based on an international system which will allow tourists to more easily make up their minds when choosing accommodation. Establishments will be graded on their accommodation facilities, as well as their services. So they may have top star accommodation and low star service, which will indicate that the establishment has only self-catering facilities.