Letter from CEO – Exploring ways to bring relief to greater Bitou

I would like to start this letter by extending my very sincere gratitude to each one of you for the role you are playing in contributing towards the defeat of the COVID-19 Coronavirus by implementing all the required protocols to keep your employees and both present and future customers safe.

It is vital that each of us diligently follow these protocols at all times if we are to negotiate ourselves through this crisis in the shortest possible period of time.  

I hope you and your family are and remain safe and secure. This has been a very challenging time in that for the first time for most of us, we are living with daily uncertainty regarding our future. As a community if we pull together at this time in support of one another we will get through this together and emerge stronger than ever.

Over the past three weeks, we have had several high-level discussions with the executive of Bitou Municipality, the Economic Development Department of the Municipality, and the Plett Business Chamber to evaluate the potential and explore ways to bring financial relief to the business in greater Bitou area. As Plett Tourism, whilst we are primarily concerned about the financial well-being and future of our hospitality industry we recognise that in order for our hospitality industry to prosper it is essential that all other businesses in Plett which contribute to our economy also prosper and we feel the need to embrace the bigger picture and to play a constructive role in all fields of endeavour contributing toward the stability and prosperity of our town. We hope to have positive feedback on our initiatives by the 25th of May 2020.

Your efforts and contribution to help fight the devastating consequences of COVID-19 Coronavirus on our communities is greatly appreciated and has contributed towards assisting numerous members of our community. As a result of our collective effort we have fed 10,000 people per day with a total of 450,000 meals having been distributed to date. Our COVID Response team continue to work hard to make sure we have adequate resources to have enough food to produce 10,000 meals a day for the next 90 days.  

As Plett Tourism we are here to actively support and assist with the implementation of these initiatives. There is a continuous need to provide food relief and we are working closely with public health officials in responding to this emergency and providing a coordinated community response. We are also doing our best to regularly update our residents on the constantly changing conditions as they materialise.

I have been asked why, as a tourism organisation, we are playing a role in feeding people. Apart from the humanitarian considerations, from my many years of experience working all around the world I have seen that all disasters have a common challenge and that is when people go hungry they revert to crime and looting to feed their families which would cause a great deal of harm to our reputation as a peaceful low crime tourism destination.

For these reasons we felt it necessary to help ensure that no one in Plett will go without food.  Overall, it has been a very humbling experience to work among the many volunteers who have given of their time and resources to join in to offload trucks, packing food parcels and carrying out deliveries throughout the Bitou area. In short, low crime figures translate into high levels of tourism bookings in the future.






Marius Venter
CEO, Plett Tourism

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