Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism has innovated its visitor experiences offering to meet the challenges of closed beaches and the Covid-19 restrictions by launching an app that allows people to have fun in wide open spaces. File picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA)
Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism has innovated its visitor experiences offering to meet the challenges of closed beaches and the Covid-19 restrictions by launching an app that allows people to have fun in wide open spaces. File picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA)

Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism launches app for visitors for ’un-crowded’ fun

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Dec 23, 2020

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Cape Town – Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism has innovated its visitor experiences offering to meet the challenges of closed beaches and the Covid-19 restrictions by launching an app that allows people to have fun in wide-open spaces.

Chairperson of Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism, Shaun van Eck, said the new Wide Open Spaces initiative is based on a deep appreciation for the visitors who have chosen to retain their bookings despite the challenging situation.

“We are very appreciative that these holidaymakers have given us the privilege of hosting them after a year of challenges,” said van Eck.

He added: “We care deeply about their time with us and we are focussed on them returning home feeling revitalised and missing us.”

According to Van Eck, Nelson Mandela Bay is different from many other coastal destinations that tend to attract large crowds throughout the season.

“Regular visitors know that it is more about wide-open spaces as a holiday spot. It features an abundance of activities that are, by their nature, more socially distanced and less crowded.

“When the Metro was declared a hotspot, the destination team challenged themselves to express this competitive advantage and the result was the Wide Open Spaces initiative.”

On the Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism patrons can choose from 5 un-crowded activities.

These categories list experiences under Walk or Pedal, Sea Adventures, Hidden Gems, Kids Cool and Drive and See.

Anele Qaba, executive director of the municipal EDTA Division, said the app would allow “our valued visitors to get excellent guidance on what their experience options still are”.

“We are focussed on supplementing the banned activities with alternatives that will fill their days with un- crowded fun.”

Van Eck said at times it takes a crisis to drive a new way of looking at a tourism destination.

One NMBT tourism member has already reported saving a R12 000 booking with this initiative.

Qaba said the impact of the closures is devastating for the many employees and those that are dependant on their income.

“Sadly those who lose their jobs will have little prospect of re-employment in the sector in 2021.

“The impact stretches even further than the direct business owners and employees.

“Many of these small businesses rely on the tourism sector to keep their operations sustainable and open,” said Qaba.

NMBT is relying on their tourism products to encourage visitors to download the App.

“The use of the information on the App can ensure that the holidaymakers that are still visiting us have an incredible holiday and tell others about it,” concluded Van Eck.

The Wide Open Spaces experience options will be available for mobile devices on the NMBT Tourism App from noon on December 24.

It can be downloaded from the App Store for Apple devices or from Google Play.

A link can be found on: www.nmbt.co.za/port_elizabeth_apps.html.

IOL

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