Stakeholders pull together to secure a safe tourist season

In collaboration with SAPS and the George Municipal Protection Services department, George Tourism has secured the services of four (4) additional security guards who will be deployed in identified security hot spots in the Wilderness and Victoria Bay areas.

The additional security has started on 28 November 2019 and forms part of a pilot project that will be assessed and revised throughout the high tourist season.

“Safety and security is not a municipal mandate, but the safety of visitors to our area is of utmost importance, especially at a time when George Tourism is taking its products to market in our main source markets overseas. Funding was a major hindrance in implementing this initiative, but we were able to secure what was required for this festive season”, said Joan Shaw, Tourism Manager for George Municipality. “It is indeed heartening to see so many stakeholders, internal and external, working together towards a common goal and I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has stepped up.”

At a stakeholder meeting held early in November, for those concerned about the safety and security of tourists to the Wilderness and Victoria Bay the security hot spots were identified and responsibility assigned to the various stakeholders. George Municipality undertook to assist with securing one of the four hotspots identified. Working closely with our Law Enforcement Department, the George/Wilderness Police Services and the Wilderness Ratepayers Association, however, the municipality was able to expand this mandate and cover more than one area.

The other stakeholders taking responsibility for the remaining hotspots are the Garden Route District Municipality, SA National Parks, SANRAL, and Ward Councillors from George & Wilderness.  The Wilderness Rate Payers and Residents Association has shown strong commitment and done a sterling job in getting their members involved in the solution-based outcomes.

A brochure highlighting safety and security tips for travelers is in the process of being printed by the Garden Route District Municipality and will be distributed widely throughout the region with hotels and guesthouses requested to warn their guests to be vigilant and not display valuable items.  It is also strongly recommended that if they want to hike in isolated areas, the visitors request an accredited tourist guide to accompany them.  For information on such guides available please contact the Wilderness Tourism Office on 044 877 0045. 

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