Nelson Mandela Bay all set for a major tourism boost

Published on : Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Nelson Mandela BayTourism, the second-biggest contributor to Nelson Mandela Bay’s regional economy, is preparing itself for a major boost in the next five years and beyond.

 
The cabinet has approved of an extensive Marine and Coastal Tourism Implementation Plan. The Department of Tourism’s plan is to bring enormous growth in the marine and coastal sector.

 
Nelson Mandela Bay – which will be paired with East London in its nodal approach to developing six coastal areas around the country within the next five years – is expected to benefit immensely. The nodes are Durban and surrounds; the Umkhanyakude District surrounds in KwaZulu-Natal; Port St. Johns to Coffee Bay in the Eastern Cape; East London, Port Elizabeth and surrounds; Cape Town and surrounds and the West Coast and surrounds in the Northern Cape.

 
The department said that the initiatives in all of the nodes will cover six thematic areas: marketing, events and routes; regulations and permitting; research and spatial planning; beach precinct development; tourism infrastructure and tourism safety; maritime tourism and skills development.

 
Tourism Minister Tokozile Xasa said, “The vision is to grow a world-class and sustainable coastal and marine tourism destination that leverages South Africa’s competitive advantage in nature, culture, and heritage.”

 
Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism (NMBT) chief executive Mandlakazi Skefile said the plan would help the NMBT to “leverage off the natural resources and the beauty our destination has to showcase while enabling us to harness and unlock untapped potential”.

 
She added, “With Port Elizabeth being included as one of the six nodes, this will further enhance the existing coastal and marine offerings through the implementation of a comprehensive marine tourism and leisure sector strategy.”

 
“[The metro] is also home to a world-renowned Hope Spot, known as the bottlenose dolphin capital of the world, and has the largest colony of endangered African penguins. It already boasts blue flag beaches, ocean safaris and unique biomes, to name a few. Recently being host city to the African Marine Waste Conference, the Southern African Marine Science Symposium and the South African Maritime Industry conference, the city is already seeing increased business and positive results.”

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