Garden Route in top 12
South Africa’s Southern N2 from Cape Town in the Western Cape to Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape was voted among NetGeo’s 12 Global destinations. The Garden Route was recommended by NatGeo’s Maryellen Kennedy Duckett who was encouraging Northern Hemispherians to visit the Garden Route for their upcoming Spring.
He referred to the route as the ‘road trip that will break your instagram.’ The picturesque route is popular for its estuaries, lakes, beaches and mystical forests.
Other countries in the NatGeo list include Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, New York City’s Central Park and the Balkan express through Eastern Europe.
This is great news not only for SANParks’ Garden Route National Park but also for Tourism Boards, independent tourism consultants, establishments in the Garden Route. According to WEGRO’s barometer report for winter 2016 indicated an increase of local visitors (58,4%) and overseas (45,5%) to the Garden Route.
These were both day visitors and overnight stays.
‘NatGeo’s announcement is positive in pointing visitors to the right direction. The audience targeted by the message is actually key for the Region.’
This is significant for eco-travellers also which is a growing segment of visitors who want to explore the environment, the mystical forests and waterscapes.’
The last Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METTs) undertaken to audit the conservation of nature in the Garden Route National Park indicated good performance. The GRNP obtained an overall 77,6% with the highest scores for its planning division, research programmes, human resources, security and operations budget, income generation, education and awareness, public relations and processes.
The audit revealed a weakness in risk assessments, corridor and buffer zone management. There are necessary adjustments when it comes to working with landowners, cultural assets, capital budgets, staff housing and others.
‘It is the conservation of nature that underpins the tourism in the area. People come here to see the beauty of our waterscapes , landscapes and mystical forests.’
The Garden Route National Park has recorded some 188, 238 gate arrivals between April 2016 and February 2017 an increase from the same time last year. Between April 2015 and February 2016, 177, 890 gate arrivals were recorded.
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