IN a bid to stimulate economic growth and draw tourists to Wilderness on the Garden Route, plans are in the pipeline to construct a shopping centre and tourist village along the town's beachfront.
The Views Boutique Hotel and Spa, marketed by luxury resort tycoon Adrian Gardiner's Mantis Group, has announced that construction of the Views Village Market should start next March.
Hotel general manger William Horner said the centre would be built on 7000m² of land behind the beachfront hotel and would be planned around a central piazza with its own band stand.
"It is not going to be your usual shopping centre, but it is going to be more like a tourist village," Horner said.
He said they were in talks with a supermarket anchor tenant, but that the centre would also include other smaller stores and incorporate an area where local crafters would be able to display their handcrafted items.
There are also plans for a 160-seat conference facility for day conferences and weddings.
"We hope to officially open in time for peak season next year." He said although it was difficult to calculate the cost at this stage, it would likely be more than R100-million.
"We hope that this development will stimulate economic growth in the area and draw tourists in."
Founding member of the Greater Wilderness Business Initiative, Graham Sell, welcomed the planned development.