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Eastern Cape Business 2023-24

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The 2023/24 edition of Eastern Cape Business is the 16th edition of this successful publication that, since its launch in 2006, has established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the Eastern Cape. The Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) is supporting this issue of the journal, both in providing up-to-date information for editorial use and in sharing information about its activities. It will also distribute the journal through its regular channels. The Eastern Cape’s multi-faceted approach to the challenges and opportunities of sustainability are explored in a special feature. From caring for agricultural land through partnerships between farmers, wool brokers and fashion houses, to solar panels and improved lighting and water systems, companies are finding ways to incorporate sensible and profitable solutions into their business models. The Nelson Mandela Bay Development Agency celebrates a significant milestone this year, it being 20 years since it began operations.


OVERVIEW Tourism Domestic tourists chose the Eastern Cape in 2022. Dylan Mostert was a popular winner of the first Nelson Mandela Bay Championship. Credit: Sunshine Tour A total of 5.7-million domestic tourists visited the Eastern Cape in 2022, 700 000 more than in the year before. The provincial economy benefitted to the tune of R8.6- billion and the Provincial Premier attributed this success to the province’s SMART marketing approach. This refers to a campaign that is specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time-bound. Part of the programme has been about getting the province on to film and television screens. The film strategy is covered elsewhere in this journal but the strategy of supporting the hosting of golf tournaments was another success. In addition to hosting the South African PGA for the third time in 2023 at St Francis Links, a new, DP World Tour-sanctioned event, the SDC Championship, was added to the calendar and played on the Jack Nicklaus-designed course in March 2023. Gqeberha also hosted a new tournament, and the metropolitan municipality put its weight behind the effort to market the city through the tournament. The Nelson Mandela Bay Championship was played as part of the DP World Tour at Humewood Golf Club and attracted considerable media attention. Infrastructure improvements at facilities run by the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency (ECPTA) are continuing. Most recently, R7.5- million was spent on erecting four new chalets and a viewing deck at Hluleka Nature Reserve in the OR Tambo District. To facilitate access to tourism destinations, a plan is in place to improve roads, such as the important roads for tourist access, such as those to Hluleka Nature Reserve and the newly-gazetted road from Viedgesville to Coffee Bay which are being prioritised. SECTOR INSIGHT The Wild Coast Sun continues to invest in upgrades and new facilities. In addition, the National Department of Tourism is funding the Interpretation Centre at Bavianskloof (a World Heritage Site) in the amount of R42-million; a further R9-million will be spent on a hiking trail; the National Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) will spend R45-million on the chalets at Cape Morgan. Work has been completed on the Silaka Nature reserve in Port St Johns at a cost of R11-million, another DFFE project. The ECPTA is tracking and profiling tourists’ needs and their perceptions about the province. Resorts and hotels Sun International runs the Wild Coast Sun and the fivestar Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World in Port Elizabeth, which includes conference and events facilities. Since the Wild Coast Sun became a four-star resort in 2020, there has been continuing investment in new facilities and upgrades. In 2022, the breakfast and function rooms were treated to a new floor and bathroom area, two new franchise restaurants were opened and a new convenience shop was introduced. EASTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2023/24 30

The major change came with the introduction of South Africa’s first indoor Skypark by The Magic Company, which also operates the resort’s rides, bowling alley and arcade games. The Mangwanani Spa will be upgraded in 2023. The Wild Coast Sun was fully booked by October for the festive season, with a maximum capacity from 16 December 2022 to mid-January 2023. The interior of the Eastern Cape is home to several high-end private game reserves such as Shamwari, Mount Camdeboo and Kariega Game Reserve. Some luxury game lodges are located within national parks, such as the Gorah Elephant Camp, which is run by Hunter Hotels and forms part of the Addo Elephant National Park. Premier Hotels has two hotels in East London, the Mpanga Private Game Reserve and it manages the East London International Convention Centre. The Radisson Blu in Port Elizabeth offers five-star luxury overlooking Pollock Beach. Tsogo Sun has five Eastern Cape properties. Addo National Elephant Park. Credit: NMB Tourism The Courtyard Hotel, City Lodge Hotel and Road Lodge are close to one another on Port Elizabeth’s beachfront and allow the group to cater to three distinct markets with a total of 442 rooms. East London has a Road Lodge. ■ ONLINE RESOURCES Buffalo City Tourism: Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency: Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism:

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