The 2022 December holiday was one for the books as compliments pour in for Overstrand Municipality following a successful festive season.
It was the first season without restrictive regulations and the tourism industry did well to recover losses suffered during the pandemic.
“I commend all the municipal teams as well as all of the role players for the huge effort they put into making it a successful summer holiday period. Hermanus has just come in at 18th position on the Tourism Sentiment index, ahead of Cape Town and Stellenbosch, and this achievement can be attributed to your contribution and the collective effort of all involved in law enforcement in the Overstrand.”
This statement was given by Overstrand Deputy Mayor and Mayco Member of Protection Services, Cllr Lindile Ntsabo, at the Safer Festive Season Project appreciation ceremony for the tourism safety monitors that was hosted by the Protection Services Directorate earlier this month.
Cape Whale Coast Tourism Manager, Frieda Lloyd, who was standing in for LED Director Solomzi Madikane, said the safer and more secure people are made to feel, the more they explore and the longer they stay.
More than any other economic activity, the success and failure of a tourism destination depends on being able to provide a safe and secure environment for visitors”.
She added that it is very important that visitors feel safe and protected. “Tourists are more vulnerable to crime than residents due to unfamiliarity with the area and language barriers. Crime against tourists can significantly damage a town’s image.
Therefore, the most important prerequisite for a successful tourist industry is a reputation for having crime under control and taking the safety of visitors (and residents) seriously”.
Addressing the tourism safety monitors and Fernkloof field rangers, Director of Protection Services, Neville Michaels, said it is sad that their three-month contract came to an end. He remains hopeful to again receive money to keep this Safer Festive Season programme momentum going.
The programme was envisaged in 2003 with the intent to create public safety awareness and reduce crime over the festive season across the Western Cape Province.
Key areas of focus include: Road Safety, Tourism Safety, Safety on Beaches (Beach activities) and Safety in Nature Reserves etc.
Director Michaels said the success of the programme can be attributed to the co-operation of the key intergovernmental stakeholders, namely the Department of Community Safety and Overstrand Municipality’s Protection Services who saw the value to re-introduce this programme in Overstrand for promotion of public safety during festive season.
He thanked every officer, monitor and person who played a role in making the people of and visitors to the Overstrand feel safer. “It is people like you that builds our economy and put our region on the map of travellers. Thank you for your hard work.”
- The Department of Community Safety funded 30 participants who were deployed to the Environmental and Tourism Departments. The program was for the duration of three months (November 2022 – January 2023).