Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival benefits local community and economy

SEPTEMBER 15, 2016

The 2016 Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival is very proud to announce that it will be contributing R3 096 934 to various local charities and organisations this year. That is an incredible R550 000 (21%) increase on 2015. This brings the total of contributions to the community over the past eight years to a total of R16.8 million.

Raising money for those who need it most definitely speaks to the heart of the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival which took place from 1 - 10 July 2016. The contribution in 2016 will be double the amount raised in 2012, which shows the steady increase in awareness and interest.

The biggest contributor to the overall total was the Momentum Cape Times Knysna Forest Marathon which brought in over R1-million, followed by the Momentum Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour with R973 000.

Momentum, as co-sponsor of the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival, again donated 2,000 extra-warm,-fleecy blankets to the communities supported by the festival. The blankets were used by runners at the start of the Momentum Cape Times Knysna Forest Marathon and then gathered up and distributed locally after the race.

There was a significant focus on taking care of those less fortunate in 2016, with many local charities setting up food stalls where visitors could sample treats such as pancakes, “rooster brood”, curries, boboties and more. The Epilepsy South Cape Karoo, Vermont Centre, Loeriehof Old Age Home, Knysna APD and Die Werkswinkel were all out in full force over the festival weekends, raising a total of R110 312 for their respective causes.

An Economic impact study done on the 2016 Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival shows the event made a significant contribution to the local economy with close on 70 000 people visiting the greater Knysna area over the festival period, spending R124-million and resulting in the creation of 2 392 temporary employment opportunities.

The spend per-head of an estimated R7 171 per overnight visitor in 2016 significantly increased on the 2015 figures of R2 943 which is great news for local business. This increase was a result of more visitors booking into hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs as opposed to staying with friends, which research shows they did in the past.

Breaking the expenditure figures down further shows a substantial amount of R290 329 958 in new business sales for the Knysna economy, adding to the impact of R135 106 293 on the Gross Geographical product.

Greg Vogt, CEO Knysna Tourism concludes: “The Festival is rated within the top 10 festivals in SA. The event is a perfect example of an entire town pulling together to celebrate the ‘Ten Best Days of Winter’ and then giving back to many organisations who need the support.

“One should however see the charity component of the financial returns of the festival as only one segment of the town’s economic return from the event. Visitors spend on goods and services as well as employment created, is well documented in the research.”

Thank you to Pick n Pay, Momentum, other sponsors, event organisers and owners, and the Knysna Municipality for their contribution and investment in this event.  Thanks also to WorldSport, the event management company for their world class organization and coordination.  And most importantly - a huge thank you to our visitors who, in increasing numbers every year, join us for all or any of the ten spectacular days of the festival.  Knysna looks forward to seeing you next year.”

The dates for next year’s Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival have been confirmed as 7 – 16 July 2017. For updates on forthcoming events visit www.oysterfestival.co.za or follow the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival on Twitter @OysterFestival or on Facebook/KnysnaOysterFestival.