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Wesgro puts Western Cape on the global map for hide and seek

Table-MountainModern day treasure hunters will soon be flocking to the Western Cape to seek caches hidden in the province’s six regions as part of a new tour launched by Wesgro.

Geocaching, where participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) or Smart device to hide and seek containers, called geocaches, is a popular outdoor recreational activity enjoyed by people of all ages around the world.

“Geocaching is being used more and more to promote destinations around the world, with tour operators designing geotour packages to grow their businesses. Wesgro has decided to use the growing geocaching tourism market to give people even more reason to visit the Western Cape,” said Nils Flaatten, CEO of The official Destination Marketing, Investment and Trade Promotion Agency for the Western Cape.

“With the growing popularity of geocaching worldwide, geotours have the potential to draw in a large number of international and local tourists, encouraging them to explore the Western Cape’s different regions and discover all we have to offer – not least what might be inside the caches.”

“The geotour will be developed in partnership with official Geocache site and marketed through newsletters, social media channels and blogs to an international community of more than five million registered geocachers, who we hope will be keen to visit our shores,” Flaatten said. There are currently 8 300 officially logged caches hidden around South Africa.

Geocaches will be looked after by the local tourism offices.

Sixteen caches will be hidden in different locations in Cape Town, the Winelands, the Karoo, West Coast, Cape Overberg, the Garden Route and the Klein Karoo. Each will have a small token gift inside the cache relating to the area, made by registered NPOs and hidden inside branded ammo boxes.

Specially-designed platinum and gold GeoCoins will be given to geocachers who find either all caches in the province, or 12 of the 16. There is a silver GeoCoin for the first 10 geocachers who find treasure in all six regions of the province, a bronze GeoCoin for the first 20 geocachers who discover all four caches in Cape Town and an international GeoCoin, awarded to the first five non-SA resident geocachers to discover one cache in the Western Cape.

“We hope that in joining the growing geocaching tourism market, we will offer tourists even more fun and curiosity and perhaps get them to visit a special destination they might have missed out on,” Flaatten said. “The caches could be on beaches, in caves, under waterfalls or in a vineyard, but thanks to technology it won’t be as hard as finding the proverbial needle in a haystack, and a whole lot more fun.”

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