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Oudtshoorn Municipality Partners with Local Tourism to Revitalize Tourism


(FLRT) Front row: Siviwe Sakata (Communication Intern), Aurelia Oliphant (Communication & Media Officer) Back row: Tania Steffens (Photographer & Graphic Design), Siyanda Fukweni (Language Practitioner), Alison Moos (Senior Manager: Cango Caves), Siphiwo Blou (Senior Language Practitioner) and Ntobeko Mangqwengqwe (Senior Media & Communication Officer)

Oudtshoorn, 27 October 2020 Tourism a major contributor to the economy of the Greater Oudtshoorn, was hit hard by the COVID19 pandemic. Oudtshoorn Municipality in conjunction with the Oudtshoorn and De Rust Tourism is therefore embarking on an awareness campaign to revitalise tourism for the survival of the economy of the town.

The tourism manager for Oudtshoorn and De Rust Tourism, Corleen Barnard, confirmed that tourism in the Greater Oudtshoorn suffered a hard knock during the recent COVID19 lockdown. “This year has been very difficult in tourism; we’ve seen people losing their jobs, and local businesses suffering as the lockdown caused a standstill in the flow of the economy in our town.

“We are also very much concerned about the sustainability of our tourist destinations and businesses especially that the international borders being partially open during the tourism season in South Africa,” Barnard added. “That is why supporting local businesses is so important, with many special offerings currently in the region.”

The tourism awareness campaign initiated by the Oudtshoorn Municipality in partnership with the local tourism office is targeted at marketing local tourist destinations to the people of the Greater Oudtshoorn and surrounds to support local tourism as the festive season draws nearer. Charity begins at home.

“One of our key strategic objectives is to create an environment that would enable a sound financial sustainability, to strengthen transformation and development with the focus on the needs of our communities,” said the Executive Mayor, Councillor Chris Macpherson.

The awareness campaign is called Local is Lekker Drive Thru and comprises visits by the Oudtshoorn Municipality’s Communication team to conduct interviews, take pictures and videos and to write about the various tourist gems that the Greater Oudtshoorn offers. The gathered images and content gets shared on the Municipality’s social media platforms such as facebook, twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

“We want the people of the Greater Oudtshoorn to be the first ones to indulge in these tourist destinations and also be the ambassadors of the Greater Oudtshoorn tourism,” Mayor Macpherson added. “We also encourage the public to take pictures when visiting our tourist destinations to create excitement and buzz of our own places.”

“Local and regional media is also key to our marketing campaign as we share these images with them too. We understand the power of the media and request that they share the messages and images to their respective audiences.”

The “Local is Lekker Drive Thru” campaign started on 16 October 2020 at the Cango Caves and Wilgewandel and will run until 11 December 2020. The social media posts will continue until the end of the festive season in January 2021.

“We believe that if we, as the community of the Greater Oudtshoorn can join hands to support our local business in all our areas including townships, we have the power to restore our economy and make our town to grow, work, play and prosper.”

Added to this campaign, the Oudtshoorn Municipality will also latch on to the Eden FM’s tourism campaign, which also shares the same goals of promoting tourism in our region. On 16 December 2020, EDEN FM radio will visit our town with its bus to do a live broadcast launch of their tourism campaign. According to Clinton Barrat a marketer on Eden FM, the live broadcast is set to reach approximately 189 000 listeners that are spread in parts of the Western Cape from Plettenberg Bay to Swellendam in the coast, to Uniondale, Oudtshoorn and Ladysmith among other towns.

“Our idea is to visit Oudtshoorn and put our branded van outside the tourism office or a popular spot that is accessible to many people in town. Businesses and tourism attractions will be invited to advertise on the radio and talk about their products and tourism related offers they have.

“We are striving to put the Greater Oudtshoorn on the map,” Macpherson concluded.