Tourism Month is reaching a climax in the Western Cape with a host of high-profile, community events enriching the local scene this Heritage Day weekend. Western Cape Minister for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Alan Winde, says: “Besides the social and cultural significance of these community events, the economic contributions should not be underestimated.”
Speaking from the Cape West Coast, ahead of the West Coast Tourism Awards this evening is Cape Town Routes Unlimited CEO, Calvyn Gilfellan adds: “Events and festivals play a very crucial role in our fledgling democracy. Festivals build community cohesion, pride, social integration and often act as a buffer against modern day community ills such as crime and teenage delinquency associated with boredom during holidays. This Heritage Day weekend and for the rest of Tourism Month, the public are spoilt for choice with the various events and festivals taking place.”
One such iconic festival is the Hermanus Whale Festival (24–27 September 2010). It is the ultimate celebration of whale watching, the Cape Overberg town’s main tourist attraction and one of the Western Cape’s many biodiversity tourism treasures. Stretching over Heritage Day and World Tourism Day 2010 (themed ‘Tourism and Biodiversity’), this popular annual enviro-arts festival illustrates the importance of a tourism destination’s natural assets.
The Hermanus Whale Festival, will attract an estimated 115 700 event goers and concludes Tourism Month 2010 in the Western Cape. It promises to once again be a festivity of local music, arts, culture and of course… whale watching! The economic impact of this festival is estimated at R22 million.
Other festivals celebrating Cape Town and the Western Cape’s tourism and biodiversity treasures over this period, include:
- Tulbagh Horse and Wildflower Show, 22-25 September 2010
- Cultivaria Festival (Paarl), 23-26 September 2010, estimated R17 million economic impact
- Outeniqua Country Hop Festival (George), 23-24 September 2010
- Elim Wild Flower Festival, 24-27 September 2010
- Stanford Glendower Bird Fair, 2-3 October 2010
- Breedekloof Outdoor & Wine Festival, 8-10 October 2010
- Robertson Wine on the River, 15-17 October 2010
The destination has just hosted the best ever soccer World Cup and festivals like these play a pivotal role in strengthening Cape Town and the Western Cape’s image as a world-class events, heritage and nature-based tourism destination. They also help us to ensure that our visitors’ experiences reconnect them with the people of our region. We wish their organisers, sponsors and event goers a safe, most enjoyable and enriching experience.