The Shadow Minister of Tourism, James Vos, has announced the opening of two exciting new sightseeing and tourism routes in the Cape West Coast region. Both developed by West Coast Way, these circular self-drive routes encompass some of the most beautiful and interesting outlying towns and locations on the Cape West Coast and surrounding inland areas.
The West Coast Way Tractor Route begins in Malmesbury and includes Riebeek Valley, Hopefield, Koringberg, Moorreesburg, Yzerfontein and Darling. The West Coast Way Berg Route starts in Velddrif and follows a course through Laaiplek, Port Owen, Dwarskersbos, Rocherpan Nature Reserve, Elands Bay, Aurora, Redelinghuis and Verlorenvlei, the Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort, Citrusdal, Eendekuil, Porterville, Piketberg, Wittewater and Goedverwacht.
“It is an honour for me to officially launch the West Coast Way Tractor Route and the Berg Route – new and exciting tourism routes within the West Coast District Municipal jurisdiction incorporating the areas of Swartland and Bergriver,” says Minister Vos – who stated his enthusiasm for the fact that the establishment of routes such as these make the small towns in these areas into viable tourist attractions, thereby driving the creation of jobs for the people within the communities.
“It is without a doubt that these new routes can lead to the development of local enterprises, increasing the demand for goods and services, and contribute to much needed employment. Tourism is an effective tool to create jobs, provide opportunities for small businesses, promote livelihoods for communities and bring South Africans together to share experiences.”
“Furthermore it must be mentioned that these tractor routes are located within an area of vast natural and cultural beauty – they will take visitors through some of the country’s most awe-inspiring landscapes, where they will find plenty of fantastic attractions and charming towns to visit along the way,” says Minister Vos.
Carmen Lerm, the founder of West Coast Way, explains that these two new routes will drive traffic from the N7 to both the surrounding inlands towns as well as the coastal regions and also serve to connect the inland areas with the sea – creating a sightseeing corridor.
Lerm says that like the previously launched West Coast Way Foodie and Culture Routes, these two new routes are designed to showcase the many attractions and activities that are already on offer on the Cape West Coast and inland areas – but may be unknown to many.
“West Coast Way is a unique collection of themed routes that can be enjoyed by locals and visitors when they do an adventure-filled self-drive trip – the ultimate West Coast Way road tripping guide. Tour operators can use these routes as part of their itinerary and easily find what they need to put bespoke and new packages together.”
“West Coast Way stands for the road less travelled and showcases new experiences – with something different and fresh on offer every time,” says Lerm, who goes on to explain that the West Coast Way Trips and Tours offering also has unique options for visitors who don’t want to self-drive but prefer a chauffeured day out. “Amongst these are the Darling Wine and Beer Trip and wildlife themed trips. These trips are easily packaged and managed for tour operators who do not have a West Coast offering in their portfolio and now need a supplier – who can connect the visitor to the attractions in the Cape West Coast.”
“We have also used the West Coast Way Tourism Radio SmartPhone app to great effect – allowing visitors to have a comprehensive and free guide to each Cape West Coast Biosphere attraction available on their smartphones at the touch of a finger.”
“Whether your focus is sightseeing, photo opportunities, history, culture, food, family fun, fauna and flora or adventure and activities, the areas and towns traversed by the West Coast Way routes have so much to offer and we feel that it is important that potential visitors see the bigger picture. The small towns found along the Cape West Coast and inland off the N7 are about rich experiences, vibrant people, history and colours, beautiful unspoilt environment and the myriad of attractions and activities that can be enjoyed here.”
Lerm goes on to advise that West Coast Way have an overriding goal of achieving growth for the stakeholders and communities on these routes, and says that in just over a year since the initial launch of the Culture and Foodies Routes results show a marked increase in visitors and interest in the targeted areas – proving that the establishment of these routes and the corresponding marketing initiative for the attractions on these routes have been a huge success for tourism development.
“Local businesses have attested to improved results since working with West Coast Way – amongst which has been increased visibility in the media and on social media, and increased visitor numbers,” says Lerm. “We look forward to affording the same results to the attractions on these new routes.”
Lerm concludes by saying that she wishes to express her deep thanks to the landowners within the Cape West Coast Biosphere, City of Cape Town, SANParks, and the relevant Mayors, and tourism offices in the various towns for their support in getting the West Coast Way Routes up and running. West Coast Way is an excellent example of where Public Private Partnership comes into full effect to stimulate economic growth and sustainable tourism initiatives.
For more information on West Coast Way, the new West Coast Way Berg Route and Tractor Routes, as well as the existing Culture and Foodie Routes and the list of 101 Things To Do On The West Coast visit www.westcoastway.co.za or call West Coast Way on 0861 321 777. Connect with West Coast Way on Facebook and twitter at WestCoastWaySA.