Latest on impact of fires on Knysna tourism
The majority of Knysna's tourism offering remains in tact, and the town is welcoming visitors, said Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities.
While around thirty tourism establishments have been damaged in the Southern Cape and close to 500 beds lost, the vast majority are operating as usual.
In 2016, it is estimated that tourist spend in Knysna totalled in excess of R2 billion.
Minister Winde is in Knysna, and has visited the sites affected by the fire.
Despite damage to some of the town’s tourism infrastructure, Minister Winde said tourism in the region was starting to rebuild.
“We’ve seen a tremendous amount of support for this region’s tourism sector. We have 4 000 beds available and we’re drawing closer to what is traditionally a very busy time for Knysna. The Oyster Festival is set to go ahead as planned. It traditionally attracts over 70 000 visitors, generating in excess of R100 million for the regional economy. Most importantly, it creates 2000 jobs for Knysna residents. This is the economic impact of tourism in this town, and at this point, it is needed more than ever.”
Wesgro CEO Tim Harris, said: "Wesgro has allocated R100 000 to sponsor and promote the Knysna Oyster Festival and Knysna as an ideal place to visit in winter. We are on a mission to remind tourists and investors that the Garden Route and Klein Karoo region remains open for business.
“This financial year we will sponsor 10 other events in the region. These events play a pivotal part in promoting the region and creating employment opportunities, particularly within the tourism sector. We encourage all tourists to show their compassion during this difficult time by continuing to support these events and visiting the region.”
Spokesperson: Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities
Responsible for Tourism, Economic Development and Agriculture
Western Cape Government
Physical Address: 142 Long Street, Cape Town
Tel: 021 483 3550
Cell: 060 970 4301