Interesting plans for South Coast tourism unpacked at meeting

Julie Naidoo (left) of Deanre Guest House chats to Reshma Bijraj of Umdoni Municipality.

THE Paradise of the Zulu Kingdom could soon fly the South African flag high when it welcomes droves of local and international bikers who will converge on the South Coast for the South Coast Bike Fest in April.

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Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT) is also looking at long-term plans to boost tourism figures.

Tourism representatives launched an economic development and visitor strategy at Desroches Hotel recently.

Themba Zondi from Nyandezulu and Pauline Lee of the Waffle House.

A key component of the strategy focuses on growing ‘brand South Coast’, highlighting its infrastructure and showcasing the visitor experience to new markets.

Ugu South Coast Tourism says it wants to become the ‘most visited non-metropolitan tourist destination’, and the plan is also to uplift rural tourism.

“Issues pertaining to rural tourism are being dealt with,” said Justin Mackrory, chief executive officer of Ugu Suth Coast Tourism.

Hilda du Preez of Holiday 4 U (left) and Madeline Albrecht of Maddis Cleaning Services.

He added that there are programmes in place set to enhance tourism in the hinterland. New projects have been identified in KwaNzimakwe, Nyandezulu, Paddock and Gamalakhe.

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“With plans to work on these areas, we can’t afford to lose focus on the main components that boost the economy of the coast, such as our beaches, lakes and so forth,” said Mr Mackrory adding there would be a meeting shortly to discuss problems in and around Margate.

The meeting at Desroches Hotel saw the attendance of the business sector, which raised its concerns over issues which included the beach infrastructure, prostitution, lack of manpower as well as the increasing crime plus lack of accountability, which it was generally agreed are some of the persistent problems in Margate.

Louis Boshoff (left) of Holiday Information Centre and Dudu Malinga of Mfihlo Guest House.

“The safety aspect is really a huge problem in Margate. Because of lack of accountability people end up moving out of Margate because it is not safe and we are losing out on important business,” said Andrew Ramos of Tiago’s.

There were also concerns about the drug problem at the Hibberdene taxi rank, lack of sports tourism, Umtentweni municipal workers refusing to do their work and other problems.

Howard Kelly, vice-chairman of USCT, assured everyone that these problems were not being ignored.

Pat Symcox (left) of Re/Max and Howard Kelly, vice-chairman of Ugu South Coast Tourism.

“I don’t want people to think we are not engaged with the issues; the problems are getting our serious attention. We are pushing our district government to fix all problems that are delaying tourism development on the coast. I want to assure everyone that we are trying to solve the problems,” said Mr Kelly.

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Ntandoyenkosi Dlamini
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