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Oudtshoorn joins Cross Cape cycle route that is set to attract thousands of tourists to rural towns across the Western Cape

Oudtshoorn, 17 May 2017 – Executive Mayor of the greater Oudtshoorn Aldm Colan Sylvester handed over a small bicycle chain to Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde, a souvenir at a commemoration of Oudtshoorn as the forth stop of the new Cross Cape Cycling Route held at Mooiplas Guest House, Volmoed in Oudtshoorn on Monday, 15 May 2017.

This event also comprised an inaugural ride of the new route of the Cross Cape Cycling Route, which was officially launched in Stellenbosch on 11 May 2017. This initiative is, according to Minster Winde, offering local and international visitors the best of the Western Cape’s mountains, sea views, food and wines along the Garden Route, Klein Karoo, Cape Overberg, Cape Winelands and Cape Town to cyclists.

Minister Winde said the 742km route would drive tourists to towns across the province, creating jobs and growth along its length.

“The route starts in Plett, and there will be a permanent marker to indicate the starting point in that town. From here, you travel along mainly gravel roads and forest tracks through Knysna, Rheenendal and George. The route then crosses over the Montague Pass into the spectacular Klein Karoo, touching Herold, Oudsthoorn, Calitzdorp and Van Wyksdorp, before heading back into Riversdale, Suurbraak and Swellendam. The last leg takes riders through Riviersonderend, Greyton and into Stellenbosch.

Rural villages along the route now form part of the Cross Cape, a cycling attraction marketed to tourists across the world.

“Cross Cape is an initiative under Project Khulisa, which has the target of adding up to 100 000 jobs to the tourism sector. With this route, we are seeking to increase tourist flow to towns off the beaten track. We are eager for residents in those towns to start packaging offerings around the route, including hospitality services. We’ve seen that a route like this can unlock economic opportunities for residents who cater for riders as they move through. Riders might want to camp along the route, or need a service which ports their baggage from one town to the next. Local entrepreneurs in these towns now have access to an international market. Additionally, in the months to come, we’ll be facilitating a globally-recognised bike mechanic training programme. The Western Cape Government will support a select number of locals to take part in this training, as part of Project Khulisa.”

Mayor Sylvester in his turn said to the Minister: “Oudtshoorn like many towns in the Western Cape claims a big share from tourism and sport tourism in the province and the country. Let’s all work together to develop economy in the Western Cape.”

Handing over the small chain Sylvester said: “This chain symbolises that when each of us does a bit towards sport tourism, then a bigger picture gets joined; and this is what this route will get right in sport tourism.”

The Oudtshoorn & De Rust Tourism represented by its manager, Corleen Barnard at the event who also handed over a gift to Minister Winde for the Cape Cross Cycling. The handover was followed by an inaugural ride by cyclist in the new route to Calitzdorp which was released by the Mayor Sylvester.

In the photo:  Mininster Alan Winde receives chain from Mayor Colan Sylvester