30 Mei 2014
Pilgrim’s Rest exhibited at SA Tourism Indaba held in Durban earlier this month for the first time in many years. The town was represented at not only one, but three different stands. The indaba is a showcase for tourism in South Africa aimed mainly at local and international tour operators. Sherry Goodwin manned the exhibit for the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) on behalf of the Pilgrim’s Rest Chamber of Business and Tourism.
She told GPS News that one of the essential tasks she had to perform was to counter the persisting perception, caused by the publicity over store tender issues, that Pilgrim’s Rest had essentially closed down. She said she received excellent responses that she hoped would cause an increase in the number of visitors to the area.
The exhibit was jointly sponsored by the MTPA and Kruger Lowveld Tourism. Key tour operators were presented with a flash drive containing a PowerPoint presentation on the town and the activities it offers, such as gold panning and hikes in the mountains surrounding the village. These flash drives were sponsored by local businesses.
Royal Hotel was part of the MRTT Hotel Academy exhibit at the Kruger Lowveld stand, while Pilgrim’s Rest Museum Services exhibited at the Mpumalanga Department of Sport and Recreation stand.
Miles Laing, Royal Hotel’s manager, said that this year, tour operators were more positive towards Pilgrim’s Rest than the past year or two. He made valuable contacts amongst smaller tour operators, and operators from overseas were invited to stay at the hotel to experience the village for themselves while touring the country after the indaba.
Kruger Lowveld Tourism used the opportunity to launch a Mpumalanga travel app, Mpumalanga Travel Guide, which can be downloaded for free from Google Play Store.