Knysna & Partners recently met with various interested parties in the Rheenendal area to discuss the proposed Slow Tourism Route initiative. It was the second such meeting held in a series of 4 which have been planned in order to create awareness surrounding the 'Slow Tourism' concept. The meeting was hosted by the delightful, heritage-rich Totties Restaurant.
Many of those present at the meeting are already active members of the Rheenendal Ramble, a popular route which showcases a broad diversity of attractions along this rural and off-the-beaten-track destination of the Greater Knysna area. Many of these members would fit seamlessly into a greater Slow Tourism Route concept. The area also boasts a perfect natural environment in which to take part in slow tourism activities, such as mountain biking tours, hiking etc.
The mission of the Slow Tourism Route is guided by the intrinsic principles of the Slow Movement (an off-shoot of the original Slow Food Movement), which essentially strives to retain the authentic, wholesome, environmentally friendly and sustainable traditions of the past. According to the website the movement has evolved to “embrace a comprehensive approach that recognizes the strong connections between plate, planet, people, politics and culture.” Slow Tourism seeks to promote places and activities which follow this ethos.
There is no doubt that we are at a critical turning point in our world. A point where many of us are realising that much of what has been previously thought of as progress - across many spheres of humanity - has actually been more like regression. Specifically when it involves our health.
Fortunately there is a growing global shift in health consciousness. People are increasingly looking for alternatives to the mass produced, chemically laden, profit-driven mainstream madness. People are looking for things that are done and made without big industry commercial influence. In an effort to counteract the fast–paced, unbalanced, and impersonal nature of much of modern human culture, people are now taking the time to engage with each other and with nature, savouring the simple things in life. They are looking for food that is made using the best, freshest and most untainted local ingredients possible as well as crafts and other products that are lovingly made using time-honoured techniques.
The truth of the matter is, that for many living in the Garden Route, the penny dropped a long time ago in this regard. Countless businesses along the Garden Route are already passionately engaging in and living these 'slow movement' principles. Linking up with the Slow Tourism Route would give them a platform from which to share their unique story, their products, their vision and their mindful way of life.
The Greater Knysna area can add so much value to this fast-growing global trend. Knysna & Partners, the local destination marketing specialists, will develop this Slow Tourism Route along with the various stakeholders and in so doing will highlight those that fit this specific niche market. This will ultimately have a positive economic benefit on all those involved.
For more information call Glendyrr Fick at the Tourism Office in Knysna on 044 382 5510