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Eastern Cape workshop

With a multitude of corporate businesses and government departments ‘just down the road’ in the Eastern Cape, there is a market for Garden Route operators which hardly has been tapped into.  That changed earlier this week.

In a joint effort of over 40 individual products mostly based along the coastline of the Garden Route, Destination Garden Route’s representatives met with over 75 delegates at the tourism marketing workshop held in the Sundays River Valley near the Addo Elephant National Park.  Delegates arrived not only from nearby regions like Addo and Port Elizabeth, but also from as far as East London. 

The delegates were delighted and amazed to find out about the multitude of accommodation establishments and diversity of activities and restaurants on offer along the Garden Route.  Accommodation establishments range from self-catering as well as bed & breakfast accommodation at the owners’ house to slightly larger guesthouses and hotels which can accommodate groups of over 100 people.  The activities on offer in Tsitsikamma, Plettenberg Bay and Knysna include canyoning in the forest, animal sanctuaries in the Crags near Plettenberg Bay, canoeing on the Stormsriver, horseriding and different shopping experiences at inimitable ‘outdoor malls’.  Unique activities like the highest bungy jump at Bloukrans, interactive cooking experiences and horse-and-carriage wine tastings through the growing number of vineyards near Plettenberg Bay attracted further attention. 

The delegates to the workshop were overwhelmed by the generosity of the Garden Route products as the joint value of the give-aways at the workshop amounted to almost R50,000.  Prizes included free nights’ accommodation, restaurant vouchers and activities and had been grouped together to create multiple day getaways to the Garden Route. 

Although the initial contacts with the agents is most valuable, the follow up and relationship building through continuous interaction and updates is of utmost importance as that will in the long run bring in much needed business.  The educational stays will add first-hand experience to those who received the give-away prizes and additional exposure to the participating Garden Route products.

The next workshop Destination Garden Route will be exhibiting at is on the 9th of October in Cape Town.  An estimated 120 agents from inbound tour operators, travel agencies and corporate as well as private conference organizers are expected to attend.