Today, Wesgro signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Visit Knysna, a division of Wesgro, and Knysna Tourism Association.
The signing of the MOU follows the successful signing and implementation of the Service Level Agreement, signed between Wesgro and Knysna Municipality last month.
A non-negotiable condition from Wesgro in responding to the initial request from the municipality to assist with tourism promotion for the Greater Knysna area was that the service be delivered with the support of the tourism industry from the area.
The relationship between Visit Knysna and the industry would be through a Steering Committee made up of representatives from Visit Knysna, Wesgro, Knysna Tourism Association (an industry body formed through the amalgamation of Knysna Tourism NPC and Knysna Accommodation Association) and Knysna Municipality. This relationship would be governed through the MOU.
“We recognise that there are significant benefits that can be gained through the development of a collaborative approach for tourism promotion for the Greater Knysna area. The aim of the MOU is to achieve improved awareness and attractiveness of the greater Knysna area to both local and international visitors. This contract will in no way affect delivery of our existing long-standing mandate to promote tourism for the Western Cape, and with it every region, town and attraction across the province,” commented Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris.
The objective outlined within the MOU include:
- developing an agreed upon brand and marketing strategy – input and insight for this will be developed through working groups with the help of the local industry and the Steering Committee;
- sharing of relevant information, knowledge, resources and marketing strategy for the benefit of the greater Knysna tourism industry; and
- platform for industry concerns to be tabled and potential solutions to be provided to assist the local industry.
“We can only build from here and create increased awareness of our destination and tourism offering. We as both tourism and business people need to work together to make our area a success. It is important that our Municipality invest in our town and surrounding areas, making the greater Knysna area even more desirable as a preferred tourist destination. I want to thank my committee for all their hard work this year and look forward to continuing our efforts to promote the region in 2019,” commented Albert Lombaard, the Chair of Knysna Tourism Association.
Judy Lain, Wesgro’s Chief Marketing Officer for tourism added: “Leveraging our network, skills and access to research – we believe the combination of support from the municipality, the strength of the local tourism industry, and the destination marketing experience of Wesgro will make this new arrangement success for the area.”
Minister of Economic Opportunities, Beverley Schäfer, concluded: “All parties to this MOU have the best interests for tourism in the Greater Knysna area, and its signing cements the partnerships that will help to develop and grow tourism in the region. We believe that going forward, it will provide certainty in the industry as well as a forum where issues can be collaboratively worked on, and solved.”