The agreement follows a series of engagements with Knysna Municipality and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, who initially requested Wesgro to assist with the delivery of the mandate.
A non-negotiable condition from Wesgro in responding to this request from the municipality is that the service is to be delivered with the support of the tourism industry of Knysna. The Agency has urged the existing Knysna Tourism board to formally align with the Knysna Accommodation Association so that a fully representative industry advisory board can be constituted.
It is Wesgro’s intention that the relationship with this board will be governed by a MOU that will be signed between Wesgro and industry, parallel with the SLA the agency would sign with the municipality. Both documents are currently being finalised.
Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris, commented: “We intend on signing a three year contract with the municipality in the upcoming weeks, we will aim to start delivering against this contract from 1 November - as per our mandate set out in the Wesgro Act. This will be similar to the tourism, trade and investment contracts we deliver against for municipalities like the City of Cape Town, Drakenstein and Saldanha Bay.”
The local tourism promotion work for Knysna and Sedgefield will be delivered on the ground from Knysna by a reconstituted team of staff. The intention is for the team to be led by an existing senior Wesgro staff member, who will relocate from Cape Town to Knysna to take up this designation.
Once the contracts are signed, the first order of business on 1 November will be to ensure the tourism office at 40 Main Road is open and ready to sell the destination as part of a renewed effort by the tourism industry, the municipality and Wesgro to promote all that Knysna has to offer as a destination.
“We believe we will be able to introduce a pilot initiative in the town from the beginning of November, subject to the finalisation of a contract with the municipality,” commented Judy Lain, Wesgro’s Chief Marketing Officer for Tourism. “This contract will in no way affect delivery of our existing long-standing mandate to promote Western Cape tourism, and with it every region, town and attraction across the province.”
In a final comment, Harris added: “One of my earliest memories is visiting Knysna to see the iconic African bush elephant baby in the window of the tourism office. The destination has so much to offer and it is a personal honour that Wesgro has been requested by the provincial government and the municipality to assist with delivery of tourism promotion services for this unique Cape destination.”
Issued by Wesgro Media Team, 23 August 2018