Garden Route booking cancellation losses estimated at R3.5M


An accommodation survey conducted by George, Wilderness & Uniondale Tourism, found that a significant number of holidaymakers have cancelled their bookings following the announcement of beach closures in the Garden Route last Monday night.

Tourism manager Joan Shaw says they have averaged the results of the sample of 36 establishments and the effects have been devastated.

“An average occupancy of 70% was measured pre-announcement and this dropped on average by 15-20% after the announcement by the president.”

Shaw said the sample is only 10% of the municipal area’s accommodation establishments, but even so, the loss of revenue is estimated at R3 351 000.

“So, the total cancellations applied throughout will have a devastating effect on the tourism industry in our area, not to mention the livelihoods of the employees and contractors affected.”

On Monday, Plettenberg Bay residents and visitors staged a peaceful protest in the coastal town on Sunday to highlight their plight to see the town’s beaches reopened following the ban that was introduced last week.

They also highlighted the “devastating” economic effects of the closure for a town reliant on tourism, especially over the festive season.

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