Bitou Municipality in Plettenberg Bay has given notice that they intend to adopt their proposed tourism bylaw – a document which has had no input from Plett Tourism, the Plett Accommodation Association or any of the affected tourism parties.
We urgently need all tourism products to take action ASAP and we thank those who already have.
If you haven’t already done so, please submit your objections/comments with reference to the suggested points of concern as outlined below. Please use any or all of these points and add in your specific concerns.
Reject the bylaw as it is currently written. The main points of contention are:
The municipality will control tourism through appointing board and chair
The board will then determine the priority of spending after “consultation with tourism establishments”
Municipality not bound by advice from the board or board members and is at liberty to allocate funds as it deems fit
Compulsory fees/charges/tariffs to fund projects determined by Municipality
Is silent on Plett Tourism’s role (if any) and who will do the work of destination marketing and who will run the Tourism Information Office.
Compels establishments to register with a “tourist organisation” which must then
Collect & hand over data – including ownership info
Collect & hand over levies to the municipality
Report establishments not registered
Provides for “search and seizure” of premises and materials if non-compliance is suspected, and for fines and imprisonment if convictions follow.
Propose rather that:
Plett Tourism’s role as the independent, “tourism organisation” in Bitou is reconfirmed and legitimised.
The permanence of this role is recognised so the strategy and execution of the plans can take place in a certain and continuous manner.
A fixed funding mechanism is put in place to provide certainty and continuity, so Plett Tourism can plan and do its work in a professional manner.
The principle underlying the structure of the board is maintained – to consist of democratically elected representatives from tourism, community and business, with two municipal officials being appointed by the Municipality.
Clear lines of communication between the Municipality, Council and Plett Tourism are established so (a) Council and Municipal input into Plett Tourism is clear and within the scope of the agreement and (b) there are clear reporting mechanisms back to Council and the Municipality. This is crucial if a process of collaboration is to be fostered.
The only way to prevent this Bylaw from being passed through council is to inundate the Municipality with letters of comment and complaint and as a concerned residents of Plett, we are asking you to play your bit and send emails and/or drop off your printed objections and comments to [email protected] and cc both [email protected] and [email protected] to ensure all objections/comments are received.
It takes for local opinions to be heard. If there is no comment received from the public (the Municipality are hoping for this by quietly placing this ad mid-week expecting that few will take notice of it) then a simple council meeting gets the Bylaw through. We cannot let this happen.
Plett Tourism Association
BECOME A FULL PAYING MEMBER TODAY FOR ONLY R185P/YEAR AND START MAKING A DIFFERENCE TO YOUR COMMUNITY