In celebration of Women’s Month, the Drakenstein Municipality hosted a hundred women on National Women’s Day, 9 August, to showcase the unique and diverse offerings of the region.
The celebrations focused on the role of women in tourism and were presented in association with PRASA. Representatives from provincial and local government, tour operators, travel agents and social media influencers joined the day trip, which started with a train journey on Metro Rail and took in key points of interest such as Langkloof Roses in Wellington, Rhebokskloof Wine Estate in Paarl and finished on a high note at the iconic KWV Emporium.
Keynote speakers on the day included Lauren Waring (Executive Director of Planning and Development, Drakenstein Municipality), Councillor Conrad Poole (Executive Mayor, Drakenstein Municipality) and Beverley Schaefer (Member of the Western Cape Provincial Legislature).
The theme of the day stressed the importance of breaking down barriers in tourism for women and the significance of sustainable growth in this increasingly valuable industry. Tourism was once again highlighted as one of the biggest potential drivers for economic growth and the role of women at the centre of this sector was emphasised.
MP Schaefer reiterated the importance of economic empowerment of women through improved female representation within the tourism sector. She encouraged the participants to continue pushing the boundaries and to carve their own way in South Africa’s fastest-growing industry. She identified the tourism sector as a potential breeding ground for ambitious women with a hunger for success. She called on women to become part of the decision-making process and to take charge of the economic availability in this sector.
According to Annelize Stroebel, general manager of the Drakenstein Local Tourism Association, it was a great opportunity for the region to create awareness of what the Paarl/Wellington region has to offer. “For many of the participants, this was their first exposure to our beautiful region. This joint venture was an incredible destination marketing exercise as we could create a platform to showcase the accessibility, natural beauty and amazing experiences of the City of Excellence.”