PLETTENBERG BAY NEWS - After the recent public spat between Bitou Municipality and Plett Tourism, an amicable resolve seems to have been reached between the parties.
The latest challenge that faced Plettenberg Bay's tourism body came about last month when Peter Wallington announced his resignation as chair with effect 1 July, bringing to an end what was a fruitful six-year tenure in that position.
Wallington's resignation was reportedly largely due to a budget cut which the organisation had received from the municipality, and what ensued was a host of he-said/she-said comments and finger-pointing between the municipality and Plett Tourism.
But alas, in the wake of all the chaos a light seems to be shining at the end of the tourism tunnel following meetings between the parties on 25 and 26 June.
"These meetings were held in an atmosphere of mutual understanding, reconciliation and a determination to find and document a way forward with a primary objective to ensure that Plett Tourism remains stable and continues to carry out its core functions in the best interests of the town," said Plett Tourism's acting chair Bruce Richardson in a statement.
The meetings proved to be vital in terms of solidifying the relationship between the two entities, with Plett Tourism managing to walk away from the meetings with an additional R400 000 in its budget allocation for two more events that will be facilitated by them.
"The additional amount was originally set aside for the Festival of Lights and … for the New Year's Evening event," explained Bitou municipal manager Lonwabo Ngoqo.
In his statement, Richardson admitted that the relationship thus far has not been conducive to investor and business confidence, and that the responsibility to remedy that now lies with both the tourism body and the municipality.
"It falls to both Plett Tourism and the municipality to show one another the necessary respect, commitment and cooperation in order to create an atmosphere that is conducive to attracting such investment," Richardson said.
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