Tourism Month 2021: Reigniting the WC’s tourism attractions and experiences
On Tuesday, 07 September 2021, I had the pleasure of joining the Executive Mayor of the Overstrand Municipality, Dudley Coetzee, to open a new family-friendly exhibition at the Whale House Museum in Hermanus.
This exhibition at the Whale House Museum is one of eleven projects supported by our Tourism Product Development Fund which we launched last year, contributing almost R6 million to supporting new or existing tourism products and experiences especially in our rural and coastal towns across the Western Cape.
Situated in a prime location near the harbour, the Whale House Museum has hosted a small but steady flow of visitors throughout the years. However, the museum was far from realising its full potential. And so, thanks to the funding provided, the museum has been upgraded to cater more for children with the development of a Whale House Mascot character guiding visitors through the exhibition with short “Did you know” messages for kids. Further an important upgrade of the submarine exhibit, additions of whale-related video games, a revamp of the whale sound exhibit and a large “build a whale” floor puzzle were conceptualised and implemented.
By strengthening the attractions in the museum for children, the aim is to attract more families, especially in the low season, which will increase the overall attraction value of Hermanus.
We are proud of the Tourism Product Development Fund, which has helped to sustain over 300 jobs and is one of the many ways we are working hard to support the tourism sector, which has been hard-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Through the Tourism Product Development Fund we are also developing tourism experiences that differentiate the Western Cape from other destinations and ensure we remain a world-class and competitive option for travellers when global travel starts to recover.
During Tourism Month 2021, in addition to launching the exhibition at the Whale House Museum, we will be also be launching two other projects on the West Coast that have been supported by the Tourism Product Development Fund.
These include a new and improved hospitality experience and purpose-built ‘Food from the Ancestors’ gastronomic experience at !Khwa ttu, a San culture and education centre, and a new kayaking experience for outdoor enthusiasts at the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve by the award-winning Gravity Adventures.
I look forward to launching these exciting new tourism products that we have supported and showcasing many of our existing tourism offerings to remind travellers that the Western Cape is a world in one province, offering a diverse range of affordable experiences that are accessible to all.
Everyone can play a role in reigniting tourism in the Western Cape by supporting small businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector. And please remember to do so safely, adhering to the health and safety guidelines to protect yourself and your loved ones from Covid-19.
If you are looking for ideas for your next visit to Cape Town and the Western Cape, then visit our website where you can use one of our regional itineraries for inspiration: https://www.wesgro.co.za/travel/itineraries
Listen to soundbyte from Minister David Maynier:
Spokesperson for the Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities
(Responsible for the Provincial Treasury and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism)
Cell: 071 087 5150