ECPTA supports the Grahamstown National Arts Festival

JULY 1, 2016

The Grahamstown National Arts Festival is a premier event on the South African cultural calendar, and the biggest annual celebration of the arts on the African continent. Starting at the end of June/beginning of July, the festival runs for 11 days and is held at the Rhodes University and surrounds, in the city of Grahamstown, is situated in the Eastern Cape.

The festival attracts over 50 000 visitors both national and international to the Eastern Cape province each year and is a crown jewel of the Eastern Cape. Arts, music, theatre and crafts take centre stage and over 500 different performances, ranging from music to dance and opera are put on display from the very best of both indigenous and imported talent. In 2016  , the festival will take place from 30 June to 10 July 2016 at various locations around Grahamstown.

The Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency passionately supports this colourful art and cultural event as it is a vibrant player in the tourism sector of the Eastern Cape Province.  

Due to the large numbers that the festival attracts from both national and international visitors this event contributes an excess of R90.69m to the GDP of Grahamstown and more to the broader Province and has proven to be sustainable for 42 years. Every year  Grahamstown’s population doubles, as people flock to the city and every hall or large room becomes a theatre, parks and sport fields become flea markets, quiet streets have to be managed by an army of temporary traffic wardens, and every available bed in the city is booked.

According to ECPTA’s Chief Executive Officer, Vuyani Dayimani the festival is a true testimony to the fact that events are an important contributor and a trigger to tourism as they widen the tourist market, attract tourists to destination, build the destination image, promote the destination and stimulate the creation of economic benefits.

He added that through events such as the festival awareness of Eastern Cape as a prime destination is built.

“With events like this one culture, tradition and customs are celebrated and entertainment and recreation complement each other and cultural and social advancement is ensured”, explains Dayimani.

He further continues to state that as an agency tasked with promoting the tourism in the Eastern Cape, ECPTA will this year support the festival through a number of initiatives including the hosting of media and international producers and hosting of the closing fireworks of the festival, The Adventure Province brand will this year further feature prominently on the festival’s shuttle/goers.

“Participating at the National Arts Festival will help ECPTA to achieve its 2020 vision of ensuring that the Province is ranked as  the top 3 most-visited destinations in the country as well as concritise one of the agency’s key strategic goal of leveraging resources for tourism and conservation priorities. Further to that ECPTA looks to strengthen the Adventure Province brand at the National Arts Festival.      

Amongst its 15 managed reserves, ECPTA has accommodation available near the festival within the Thomas Baines Nature Reserve. This provincial reserve offers game drives, canoeing, camping on the banks of Settlers Dam in non-powered campsites, bird watching, bass fishing, sailing and hiking. Animals available include the African buffalo, Chacma baboon, common eland and greater kudu, there are also over 175 species of birds recorded in the reserve, including a number of different kingfishers, making it a favourite amongst birders.

Image: Artlink