Cape Town – After two financial years filled with promises of development on Robben Island, the National Department of Tourism (NDT) has finally taken steps in getting the ball rolling.
The NDT has issued an R10m destination development grant for the island, aimed at enhancing the visitor experience through supporting identified and planned components.
Trevor Bloem, NDT spokesperson, told Traveller24 the funding is aimed at enhancing the visitor experience through supporting identified and planned destination development components.
“While the current support focus is on capacity development for tourist guides, digitisation of heritage information and archives, improving visitor information services, increasing existing and introducing additional food and beverage facilities, and a craft centre, the department is also exploring ways in which more South Africans can gain access to, and experience attractions like Robben Island through initiatives such as open days,” Bloem says.
The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.
In implementing the grant to good use, Robben Island World Heritage Site will focus on the following core purposes:
– Implementation of an integrated management approach and tools for the site
– Enhancement of universal access
– Improved visitor experience through effective visitor management
– Improved interpretation and public programming
– Review and implementation of policies for the management of the site
– Ensuring the significance of the site through sound conservation management strategies
– Providing an opportunity for sustainable economic empowerment
These improvements form part of SA Tourism’s R100 million investment in domestic tourism, aimed at getting locals to travel more.
SA Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom in his annual Tourism budget speech in May this year said the NDT will make a concerted effort to Go Green in 2016.
The same was said during the 2014/2015 Tourism Budget speech. But this most recent NDT development grand to Robben Island seems to be a concrete step in the actual implementation of the goal.