Today, Wesgro exco members visited Knysna and Sedgefield to review the work done after the first month of the contracted relationship with local government to provide local tourism promotion for Knysna municipality.
The team was satisfied with the progress made in the month since the Service Level Agreement (SLA) was signed including:
- the appointment of an acting General Manager and three fixed term contract staff members running the operations in the Visit Knysna visitor centre;
- setting up of office backend and administration requirements including IT, HR and compliance;
- finalisation of the short list for candidates for the role of the General Manager of Visit Knysna and setting up of interviews;
- the printing of two format maps (fold up and tear off) for local businesses and visitors to use during season;
- meeting with various local tourism partners;
- planning the brand and marketing strategy consultations for week commencing 10 December 2018; and
- structures to join planning around the events for e.g. The Knysna Oyster Festival.
The SLA provides for a brand strategy to be tabled by 1 January 2019, so the next month will involve comprehensive consultation with the industry and stakeholders, starting with excellent previous tourism work tabled by Hunt Lascaris and the municipality.
As discussed with the tourism industry in Knysna and Sedgefield today, the working name for the operation promoting tourism in the town will be “Visit Knysna”.
As per the SLA, this operation will be a division of Wesgro run from Knysna by Marcia Holmes – who has been appointed as the acting General Manager while recruitment for a permanent appointment is under way.
Following today’s meetings with the Knysna Tourism Association and the Sedgefield Ratepayers Association, we are moving towards finalising one or more Memoranda of Understanding with tourism industry bodies to make sure that tourism promotion for the greater Knysna area is delivered in alignment with the tourism industry.
“With only one month since the signing of the SLA, we are pleased to report that the team at Visit Knysna have started to deliver on our commitment of promoting tourism in Knysna and Sedgefield. Our first order of business this past month was to ensure the tourism office at 40 Main Road is open and ready to sell the destination as part of a renewed effort by the tourism industry, the municipality and Wesgro to promote all the destination has to offer,” said Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris.
Following the meeting in Sedgefield, Harris – and Judy Lain, Wesgro’s Chief Marketing Officer for Tourism – officially launched the “Knysna Loving Local Craft Collective” Pop-Up Shop at the Tourism Office on 40 Main Road.
The Pop-Up boasts arts, crafts, food and beverages made from locally sourced materials with many products on display created by disadvantaged and differently abled individuals in the district.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the “Knysna Loving Local Craft Collective” on this innovative initiative creating opportunities in the region. The annual Pop-Up is one of many ways that the municipality is bringing locals into the tourism sector, creating a platform for creatives to showcase and sell their wares,” added Harris.