The West Coast Way Routes offers intrepid explorers an intimate peek into the lives, heritage and craftsmanship of the people of the Cape West Coast. In turn, every tourist visit provides the people of the West Coast a source of income, incentive to develop and much, much more.
The West Coast Way’s Culture and Foodie Routes truly shows the way to responsible and sustainable tourism by bringing eager tourists and business-hungry locals together.
A Vibrant Mix
West Coast Way locals comprise a vibrant mix of cultures and backgrounds that weave together to create the charm and hospitality of an area as famous for its scenery, as it is for the warmth of its people. At every lodge you stay, nature reserve you visit or small padstal you stop at – both on the Culture and Foodie Routes – you’ll be greeted with a broad smile and down-to-earth authenticity that’s hard to miss.
A Remarkable History of Development
Community development on the West Coast Way goes back a long way. At the !Khwa ttu San Cultural Educational Centre, the original inhabitants of the West Coast Way – the San themselves – will take you on a journey into their history, traditional knowledge, skills, languages, customs and current affairs. At the Mamre Mission Station you’ll learn how two Moravian Missionaries built a church in 1808 that forms the origins of the town known as Mamre today.
Growth and development was around before man even set foot here. Spend a day at the West Coast Fossil Park, a National Heritage Site, to see world-renowned and exceptionally well-preserved fossil faunal remains that date back to a period 5.2 million years ago.
Visiting destinations on the West Coast Way Routes is not only a once in a lifetime event, it’s an opportunity to have a deep and lasting impact on someone’s life.
How Your Visit to the West Coast Way Stimulates Growth
Rural tourism initiatives like the West Coast Way benefits local communities in a variety of ways. The primary effect is that previously overlooked tourism destinations will suddenly see a constant flow of new – and repeat – visitors coming through their doors (and gates) to explore, experience, sample and buy local produce and attractions. When that happens, revenue starts going up as local interest and endeavour in everything tourism related grows.
Small Communities Get Big Rewards
The influx is of immense value to small communities, both on an economical and development level. Interest in local products stimulates growth and income, with the amazing knock-on effect which sees consistent visits from tourists leading to improved facilities and infrastructure.
Everyone wins and the West Coast Way as a whole stands to benefit most.
So every time you buy a curio at a shop or a roll of dried peach, you’re empowering a local to create their own industry by producing another roll, or weave another basket, screw together another draadkar (wire car) or make another necklace.
Unearthing the Rich, Vibrant and Unspoilt West Coast Way
The Culture and Foodie Routes have uncovered a whole region waiting with open arms to welcome the world. Most tourism enterprises on the West Coast Way have never had access to marketing and the benefits it offers.
The West Coast Way initiative has changed all of that.
In addition to main stream marketing, business owners, tour operators and local communities stand to benefit from group access to finance for expansion requirements or working capital, through collective grant application, or through a formalised programme with a financial institution, guaranteeing repayment and negotiating reduced interest rates for the product owners – increased bargaining power and the benefit of a shared “brand”.
How Your Pocket Benefits
Not only do you get vastly improved facilities and a fresh bouquet of destinations to visit, you get great value for money. The West Coast Way offers tourists the best experience at the best price. Healthy competition among business owners and service providers on the routes, combined with set prices on certain activities, minimises overpricing and ensure a fair deal, both for visitors and locals.
What Are You Waiting For?
By embarking on a West Coast adventure you’re not just going on a trip of a lifetime – you’re investing in the future of people, businesses and entire communities. The best of all is, the rich collection of fauna, flora, culture, adventure routes and trails you’ll discover will only get better each time you come back. And that’s not a bad return on investment.
So go birding, fishing and sightseeing. Taste the world-class wines of Darling or take a walking tour through the historic town; sit down for mouth-watering cuisine in Paternoster. Visit the Mission Station at Mamre; go fossil hunting at the West Coast Fossil Park, a National Heritage Site and spot game in the West Coast National Park.
The West Coast Way is no longer just a location on map – it’s a region bursting at the seams with growth potential and wonder. Pack the car, remember the padkos and hit the road – the vibrant gateway to the Cape West Coast beckons.