by Phelisa Mangcu, 2 July 2019
Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT) is sending out a clear message to all KZN South Coast businesses that it is taking an active partnership role to drive tourism and contribute towards development.
It was certainly apt that the two major sectors within the destination, agriculture and tourism, met on 25 June 2019 at Selborne Hotel in Pennington to explore agri-tourism.
Agri-tourism can take many forms, from tourists visiting a working farm for enjoyment, education or taking part in the activities on the farm; or exploring an authentic rural culture in an agricultural landscape; or staying over on a farm, sometimes assisting with farming tasks during the visit.
Some of the existing agri-tourism products in the region include Beaver Creek coffee farm, with its coffee tours, restaurant and mountain biking trails; crocodile farms, Crocworld and Riverbend Crocodile Farm; and banana farms, with their informative banana tours such as the Outlook Trading Post or kids’ animal farm and adventure, restaurant and retail offering, such as MacBanana.
Agri-tourism may also include tastings, related cuisines and outdoor dining, function venues, visiting cultural and historic attractions on tours, farm stalls, teambuilding, workshops or organic farmers’ markets to name a few.
The benefits of joint agri-tourism products, are that it can diversify the destination’s tourism offering, but also encourage transformation, promote rural areas and attract tourism investment in the KZN South Coast.
In order to identify product-specific agri-tourism opportunities, a public-private task team was established. It will further seek the involvement and support of agricultural associations, which could lead to an expansion of rural programmes and the establishment of new agri-tourism products and businesses that would appeal to visitors.
On 5 July 2019, USCT met with the South Coast Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) at San Lameer to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that is aimed at strengthening relations with local businesses including those who are not directly involved in tourism.
These formalised partnerships provide a strong indicator that tourism means business and vice versa. And it’s by working together that organisations and businesses in the region will create a thriving environment for all.
We look forward to continued and constructive engagement regarding all tourism-related matters: [email protected] .