HOW disappointing it was to read of the planning efforts, or lack thereof for this year's Splash Festival ("Splash fest could flop", March 4). In a recent article I read on Tourism Update, Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk highlighted that tourism was not seen as a priority by some local municipalities.
Could this be the case in ours? The economic benefits of tourism have been well documented on a global scale.
In addition to this, the tourism industry provides a number of employment opportunities on both a permanent and a temporary basis. In a country riddled with unemployment, the tourism industry is certainly a worthy prospect to address this issue.
Events such as the Splash Festival attract a number of domestic and international visitors to our city. It is therefore imperative that the event planners and tourism practitioners ensure that these visitors are adequately catered for in every aspect of the industry, from transport, accommodation, safety and security, food and beverage to entertainment.
The tourism industry revolves around providing a service or offering that will ultimately satisfy the consumer and in turn warrant repeat visits. This would then further ensure the provision of sustainable jobs for the unemployed citizens of Nelson Mandela Bay.
Every year the organisers seem to have to scramble to organise the Splash Festival. Hopefully by the time of the event, those responsible would have covered all their bases.
Tourism graduate, Port Elizabeth