"Knysna in an Oyster Shell"
Last week (11 - 12 April) Knysna hosted a group of local and national journalists and social media influencers who attended the official media launch of the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival which was coordinated by Festival Manager Glendyrr Fick.
The group was treated to a taste of Knysna and an itinerary aptly named “Knysna in an Oyster Shell”, which included a township tour with Peggy’s Art and Tours, an historical walk with Knysna Hike and Bike, a sunset cruise on Featherbed Co’s Heads Explorer catamaran, a guided walk in the Protea Wilds Eco Reserve, a tour of Mitchell’s Brewery and lots of delicious meals at some of Knysna’s popular restaurants, such as ile de pain, Daniela’s at Leisure Isle Lodge, WHE+, 34 South, and Blackwaters River Lodge. The group was accommodated at Simola Hotel Country Club & Spa.
Addressing the group at the official launch event at WHE+, Chairperson of Knysna Tourism, Elmay Bouwer said: “The aim of this media launch is to show the world how much there is to do in Knysna. The Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival is a wonderful time to be in Knysna, with plenty of events planned for the whole family, but it’s also an opportunity to explore the area and we hope we’ve given you a little taste of it. I hope you learned something new and experienced something different. And I hope we’ve whet your appetite for more!”
Bouwer explained that this year will be the 35th oyster festival and that the festival started in 1983 to attract people to Knysna during the quiet winter period. “Today the festival has grown to be one of the most popular annual events in the Western Cape and is estimated to attract over 60 000 visitors to Knysna every year,” she said. “The importance of the festival to the economy of the area cannot be overestimated. An Event Impact Assessment done by the Knysna Municipality in 2016 shows that visitors to the region spent almost R110 m over the ten day period of the festival on accommodation, food & beverages, transport, leisure and retail activities. This resulted in the creation of 2,392 employment opportunities.
“For some businesses, the figures for the two weekends of the festival are on a par with their turnover at Christmas-time.
“Something that you may not know is that every official oyster festival event must have a charity component, and so the festival contributes millions to local charities, schools and NPOs every year. Last year the amount raised for charity topped R3,6 m.
“So the festival is vital for Knysna. And we are extremely grateful to everyone who contributes to making it such a success every year, from the major sponsors Pick n Pay and Momentum, and the event organisers Worldsport, the Knysna Municipality and, of course, the media. Thank you.”
During the two day visit, the group enthusiastically grasped the opportunity to post their stories on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtags #VisitKnysna and #KOF2018 both of which trended on Twitter for a number of hours.
Rose Greyling Bilbrough
Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival
The 2018 Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival takes place from 29 June – 8 July. Book your accommodation now! For more info about the festival, visit www.oysterfestival.co.za.