Newly-elected Executive Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay Athol Trollip on Wednesday mapped out a plan that spelled out ways to untap tourism treasures and the creation of jobs as priorities during the next 100 days in office for the DA-led council.
Trollip said the council’s strategy and vision was to ensure that Nelson Mandela Bay became a world-class city, positioned to make the most of its citizens, its location, its capabilities and its offerings.
“Nelson Mandela Bay is a world-class tourism destination, and tomorrow is the start of tourism month, we will have to be much more innovative and strategic to unlock the latent potential that tourism holds in this city,” he said speaking at a council meeting.
“We have such huge potential in our beaches, two ports, our weather, and being the enter and exist to the world renowned Garden Route, yet we don’t benefit from that directly.”
He said that an economic advisory council would be established that would aim to assist the administration to take appropriate decisions in order to enhance economic growth and assist in job creation.
Trollip said that tourism was central in pursuing economic growth for the Bay.
“We have to ask ourselves why our tourists don’t go east. Travelling east is one of the most amazing experiences you can have in the Eastern Cape, but our tourists only go west. We have to turn that around and make sure international tourists enjoy the best that this province has to offer,” said Trollip.
He added that Nelson Mandela Bay would now collaborate with neighbouring councils in order to improve tourism. Areas include Sundays River, Kouga, and Makana Municipality, among others.
Trollip said there were many tourism areas that were untapped largely due to poor marketing, safety concerns and ignorance by potential tourists.