Tourism is one of the main economic drivers of the Kouga area and looking back over the past year since taking over the Municipality, Mayor Elza Van Lingen believes progress has been made.
“Dolphin Beach, the main beach at Jeffreys Bay, secured Blue Flag status for the 2016/17 season.
We also upgraded the main beach promenade and life guard tower in partnership with local business,” said Van Lingen.
“Council further increased its support of the JBay Winterfest, which includes the Corona Open JBay, the biggest international surfing event in Africa.
The festival brought about 50 000 much needed tourists to Jeffreys Bay in July 2017 and injected about R 45 million into the local economy.
Roads in the vicinity of the main contest areas were resealed while the capacity of the boardwalk at Supertubes, the venue of the surfing contest, will be increased in 2017/18,” added Van Lingen.
With Jeffreys Bay being renowned for its perfect waves, the new Council is supporting surfing.
“The SA Junior Surfing Championships was hosted in Kouga in 2016 and will again be hosted here this year. We are negotiating with the organisers to secure a three-year commitment for the event to take place in our area.
We have also been securing Kouga’s position on the open-water swimming map.
In March 2017, the SA Open Water Swimming Championships, an official world champs qualifying event, was taken away from the Nelson Mandela Metro, due to water quality concerns at the North End Lake, and moved to the Marina Martinique at Jeffreys Bay,” concluded Van Lingen.
Council is also reviewing the Tourism department within the Municipality to facilitate further growth in the industry across Kouga.
This will include growing rugby tournaments as well as working with existing assets like the Citrus Festival.