Bi-Annual Narrative Report



Bi-Annual Narrative Report

07 March 2012

For period 1 July 2011- 31 December 2011

The new Montagu-Ashton Tourism committee started the new term with vigor and passion, with the main aim to invigorate the tourism members and the towns to create a shared passion for what Montagu and Ashton have to offer as part of our beautiful Langeberg region.

As part of the commitment to offer the best possible service for visitors and members, the first of many “Tourism Teas” took place on 11 August at the Bistro at Montagu Dried Fruit. This was the perfect opportunity for members to collaborate and network, but also taking the form of an information session where the MATA committee gave updates of opportunities and happenings.
This event was also used to introduce all the opportunities for a Planned Heritage Month Celebration.

HERITAGE MONTH and TOURISM MONTH IN MONTAGU – A SPRING CELEBRATION
There is definitely no better time to celebrate Tourism Month as well as Heritage month than SPRING. The beauty, colourful abundance, the energy, the smell of joy and sunshine… all thrown together in the beautiful Langeberg..
True to the Spring-spirit everyone was very busy and Montagu a hive of activity.
It was indeed a time for Celebration!!!!
Starting with the Montagu Youth Arts Festival that was wholeheartedly supported by Montagu-Ashton Tourism, and a special thank you to Helen Gooderson for her involvement and loads of energy and passion invested in this Festival. We stand amazed in front of so much talent and were very happy to see young, creative, South African and mostly “local” talent flourish.

Another successful collaboration was a very exciting Heritage Month calendar compiled, produced, printed and distributed in collaboration with Montagu Ashton Tourism and Montagu Museum and Friends of the Museum. A fairly complete calendar was compiled, in a very short time, with loads of exciting activities such as Andrew Hall (Director of Geographical names and places, Heritage and Museum Services Western Cape) sharing his passion for the Khoisan, a “chat with Pat” and a very energetic performance by Antoinette Pienaar, the best ever Melktert at Jouberthuis, story readings for the children on Saturday afternoons, special treats for Friends of the Museum visiting Carma Hair or Louise Vermaak Biden for a massage and treatment, to a real Braaidag Celebration with a Potjiekos Competition at Badensfontein and much more.
This was merely the “start” of so much more to come - now that we have experienced true co-creation and collaboration in the most exciting sense. So, next year September we will have a Heritage Calendar bursting at the seams and involvement from as many tourism partners in Montagu and the greater Langeberg as possible. Together we create Energy! ... and that is what a Tourism month should be about.

Another successful Rose Show was hosted in October and media coverage for this lovely event was overwhelming, with some great Montagu stories in many magazines and newspapers.

Montagu Rock Climbing featured in an excellent article in the Getaway Magazine and Bonnievale, Montagu and the well known chef Reuben Riffel at the Robertson Small Hotel featured in the Hamba Kahle Magazine.

To pave the way for more successful co-creation and collaboration Montagu Ashton Tourism also presented the perfect opportunity for getting to know our partners in tourism in the whole of the Langeberg with a Speed Marketing event at Montagu Springs on Thursday 13 October, at 10:00.

COLLABORATION IN THE LANGEBERG
Montagu and Ashton tourism members were proud to be part of the bigger Langeberg Tourism Strategy and were well represented on the various task teams. The Launch of the New Montagu Hiking map as well as the Robertson Hiking map (in collaboration with Langeberg Municipality and the Montagu Mountain Reserve Advisory Committee) was one of the first of such Task Team meetings held on 23 November.
These hiking maps have been very informative and well used over the busy Festive Season.

A BUMPER FESTIVE SEASON
The Towns of Montagu and Ashton were very busy over the Festive Season and the Montagu-Ashton Tourism office a hive of activity, friendly faces and happy customers…. all wanting to get the most out of their holiday in the Langeberg.

A MATA Members' Meeting has already been planned at the first Committee meeting of the year, which took place on 5th January. All MATA tourism members were invited to a “post mortem” of the Festive season, where we shared advice and had a good look at what worked and what did not work, handling all possible customer complaints and working through ideas and suggestions for an even more successful festive season in 2012.

This event also provided the opportunity to talk through all the planned festivals for 2012, which include:
The Montagu Mountain Mania
The Youth Arts Festival
The Rose Show
The Montagu Makiti
And many more collaborative ideas for making Montagu and Ashton the exciting, authentic destination where you can indeed “EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED”

Regular and well attended Committee Meetings help to keep a finger on the tourism pulse of Montagu.
Dates of these were as follows: 26 July, 11 August, 19 October, 23 November 2011 & 5 January 2011

The following Cape Winelands LTA meetings were also attended: 13 July – Breede Valley, 28 September – Dwars River Valley & 30 November – Montagu.

Schools Tourism Awareness Project:
The Grade 9 Tourism Roadshow was held at WA Rossouw in Montagu and Langeberg Sekondêr in Robertson. Grade 4 scholars and teachers were taken on tourism excursions and Ashton CP tourism scholars developed their own itinerary and the outing was sponsored by Cape Winelands.

As part of Arbor month, trees were planted at WA Rossouw School in Montagu and H Venter in Ashton.

A regular Tourism Column in the Langeberg and Montagu Mail – keeps all the members and the public up to date with the happenings, activities and issues from the Montagu-Ashton Tourism Association

Municipal Funding:
MATA is very grateful for the much needed funding from the Langeberg Municipality.
The R150 000 funding is used, as a priority, for salaries for the 4 staff members who man the Information office.
The Salary bill per month is: R13 860
With a total yearly expenditure of R166 320

With the increase in the number of members and subsequent higher income for the Tourism Association in the past year, as well as managing to do a lot of pro bono marketing, it was possible to pay small bonuses to the Office Staff. We, as the MATA Committee, are very happy to be able to do that, since these friendly faces and helpful hands are essential to the success of Tourism in Montagu and Ashton, even for Tourism in the bigger Langeberg area.
Our staff, Tabita Williams, Anne-Marie Coetzee, Mariza Klein and Ronel Preston (as part time office Manager) – were our most important asset during this period, thus also our commitment to their training, empowerment and futures.
One of the MATA Committee members, Richard Thompson (Life Coach & Business Training), committed a large portion of his time and knowledge over the past 6 months to up-skill and empower the Montagu-Ashton tourism staff.

Ronel Preston, who acted as part time Office Manger has also committed most of her time for a small monthly stipend, to strengthen the team, manage the office and at the same time being a very active webmaster of the newly revamped Montagu-Ashton tourism website.
It is with pride that we present our website, a showcase for all our members and activities, to the world.

Please visit: www.montagu-ashton.info frequently

The Current Montagu-Ashton Tourism Committee and portfolios are as follows:

Mareletta van Zyl –Wohlfarter – Chairman & Marketing
Nelda Wiese – Vise Chairman and Statistics
Kathy Sutherland – Secretary
Ronel Preston – Office Services and Website
Gert Lubbe – Industry Liaison, Marketing
Simon Bernstein – Treasurer
Marilyn Ball – Accountant and Finance support
JP Viljoen - Business and Chamber Liaison
Richard Thompson - Staff Appraisals, goals, incentives, skills training
Helen Gooderson – Co-opted as required for PR and events

Written and prepared by:
Mareletta van Zyl-Wohlfarter
Chairman - Tel: 023 614 1895

12 January 2012