Rugby great economic injection to George

The Executive Mayor of George, Ald Melvin Naik, welcomes more multi-year agreements to attract events and tourists to George after the successful Guinness Pro 14 Rugby hosted the past weekend.

The clash between the Southern Kings and Munster had great support from especially locals and fans from across the world.

He said the George Municipality has once again displayed its ability to host events of high international standards. “We have outdone ourselves, to be an excellent host for our visitors from Munster, Ireland, Port Elizabeth and across South Africa. I want to thank all of our municipal departments that were involved that made the day a great success especially the volunteers. You are our unsung heroes.”

Mr Pedro Oliphant, Manager: Local Economic Development at George Municipality, said from     an economic development and growth perspective, the commercial services sector, which includes tourism is a key economic driver of economic development and the creation of opportunities for communities to be economically active. “However, to fully reap the benefits of economic drivers, any event/ festival, initiative or programme needs to be sustainable.

“Aside from the huge economic injection into the local economy, this growth in events serves to create much-needed jobs, which not only secure an income for the workers, but also provide them with invaluable experience and training. It is also about showcasing George as a world-class destination, and we think the benefits are huge. We want our city to be the events capital of the Garden Route, and hosting the historic PRO14 Championship encounter in George is part of reaching that goal. “

Oliphant continued: “The City would really like to conclude multi-year agreements for anchor sporting and other events to attract more visitors.”

Ms Joan Shaw, George Tourism Manager said “we are extremely happy with the support for this event, not only by the people of George, but by the hundreds of Munster fans, who travelled from Ireland to support their players.

“The supporters I spoke to had all spent some time in the region, doing safari’s and adventure activities, stayed over for few nights and had enjoyed the hospitality of our restaurants and bars.  Most also visited Cape Town before or after the game.  Both teams stayed over in George for 3 nights and spent a significant amount on accommodation, food and entertainment,” Shaw said.

She said, “The players enjoyed the golf at our fantastic courses, and especially the Irish were enthusiastic about sending more visitors here to enjoy our excellent tourism facilities, or even returning themselves to explore the beautiful region.”

Through the broadcasting of the game the beautiful George had a 440 000 live TV viewers per round including the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States of America, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Nigeria, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and many more.

Caption: Charl Crous (right), COO of Southern Kings and Coach Deon Davids (left) handed over a Southern Kings jersey to George Municipality Executive Mayor, Melvin Naik as a symbol of partnership between the franchise and the City for the future.

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