South African Tourism Internal and Corporate Communications Manager, Mpho Mfenyana, and Darryl Erasmus, Chief Quality Assurance Officer were in Knysna last week at the invitation of the Benguela Collection who hosted a two-day launch of Benguela Cove wines at Lakeside Lodge and Spa in Sedgefield.
It was attended by a number of local tourism providers and tour operators who were treated to canapés and bubbly, cheese and wine pairings, a delicious three course lunch in the Benguela Brassiere and a cruise across the Swartvlei Lake on the boutique hotel’s pontoon boat.
Owner Penny Streeter said the aim was not just to showcase the lodge and wines but also to provide a platform for networking and collaborating on how to improve tourism and the tourism experience in the greater Knysna area.
“Many operators are not aware of what we offer guests visiting the area. Likewise, we need products and experiences to promote to our own guests. It is also very important to hear from other local properties and operators about the things that they are doing well and things that they are battling with. There is no need for everyone to make the same mistakes; we can all learn from each other.
“I think that the event was extremely successful and I certainly feel a lot more connected to the local operators and full of ideas for the forthcoming season.”
Elmay Bouwer, Chairperson of Knysna & Partners tourism board said that it was wonderful to see local tourism products in the private sector showing off their experiences and offerings. “This is the way that we are going to get the message out to the world that Knysna and Sedgefield and the surrounding areas are still open for business after the fire,” she said. “We need to work together to ensure that we stay top of mind when tourists are planning a holiday, and once they are here, educate them about all the activities and experiences available so that they keep coming back,” she said.