Ricochet News

Tourism ambassador programme to be launched at four “hot spots”

Sep 9, 2014

The Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture (EDTA) Directorate is to launch a pilot “Tourism Ambassador” project at four major tourist “hot spots” - the beachfront, Donkin, Mendi and Langa Memorial.

The directorate states in a report to the EDTA committee that key to tourism business and promotion is “safety, cleanliness and hospitality of the locals at a particular destination.

“Nelson Mandela Bay currently faces the challenge of untidy tourist “hot spots” ranging from heritage sites to popular tourist attractions across the city.

“It is therefore critical that an intervention that will help curb untidiness and levels of criminal incidents while promoting the hospitality of the region is implemented as a matter of priority”.

The directorate explains that the programme will entail the training of young people who will be placed at various tourist “hot spots”.

They will “deal with tourists from a customer service point of view, conduct in-between schedule cleaning up of sites while generally providing a form a security and guidance in terms of information and directions”.

The directorate states that the initiative is in line with the municipality’s objectives of “promoting Nelson Mandela Bay’s heritage and recognising tourist attractions as important drivers of economic growth and job creation”.

It points out that the Heritage and Culture Tourism Strategy, launched by the National Department of Tourism notes that unlocking the economic potential of heritage and cultural tourism to stimulate the growth of tourism is “crucial to job creation”.

The directorate states that Nelson Mandela Bay, as a tourism destination, “is enriched with well-known heritage sites”. However, it adds, “most of these sites are in a dilapidated state due to a lack of maintenance and vandalism.

“The state of these sites needs urgent attention and the Tourism Ambassador Programme is just but one initiative that will provide a solution to this challenge.”

In addition, the directorate says, the programme will empower unemployed youth through tourism giving them skills and some form of salary/stipend while at the same time providing appropriate information, safety and guidance for visitors and residents. - metrominutes


CAPTION:Donkin Memorial and LighthouseIMAGE sourced from www.panoramio.com