The newly established Saldanha Local Tourism Association (Salta) was launched at a special VIP cocktail event held at the Saldanha sports facility on Saturday.
Salta was registered as a tourism entity in January, on the suggestion of the Saldanha Bay Tourism Organisation (SBTO), after it had been operating under the auspices of the Saldanha Bay Municipality in the past.
The request from the SBTO was that all towns in the municipal area have its own tourism office and take responsibility for its own tourism affairs.
Key community leaders identified a group of enthusiastic local community members to birth Salta as a new non-profit company.
The aim of the organisation is to empower local tourism entrepreneurs or potential entrepreneurs. Covid-19 and the closure of key industries in Saldanha have left the town with much unemployment and a feeling that the local economy is dead.
Salta’s board of directors, together with key staff of the SBTO, felt the urge to keep the economy churning when the levels were lifted by president Cyril Ramaphosa to allow for outdoor events to a maximum of 500 people.
Salta was challenged by SBTO to register its own entity, but also to arrange an event by 1 May.
The organisation managed to secure funding from Wesgro by virtue of its long-standing relationship with it and the Saldanha Bay Municipality.
As part of the plans to secure the funds, a Seafood festival had already been decided on. The Salta board, with its strong event organising skills and the expertise of the Saldanha Bay Municipality and the SBTO leadership through chairperson Vallerie Murphy, made sure all the necessary compliances were in order and the vendors mobilised.
Additional donations were acquired and social media advertisements designed and published in time.
Several donations were received from various local businesses.
After Saturday’s festival, Salta’s cocktail launch was followed by live entertainment. The catering was provided by renowned chef Corrie Witbooi.
Salta’s newly appointed board of directors are local role-players Abigail Murray (chairperson), Tracy Rass (deputy chairperson), Marilyn Matroos (secretary) and Anthea van der Westhuizen (treasurer). Additional members are Ashley Constant, Mandla Pama, Lawton van Oordt, Dieter Fortsch, Faith Filtane, Andile Manona and Frank Pronk.
It is Salta’s hope it will be allowed to use this successful event to build on many more.
Salta plans to rehash the revered Oesfees later in the year, have more frequent market days, have an all-white beach dinner, organise cycling tours and have cultural tours within communities.
“In the process we want to take local entrepreneurs with us on our journey and encourage potential entrepreneurs,” Salta stated in its press release this week.
“The ultimate goal is to invite international tourists to our shores to experience our skills, our geographic excellence and our unique communities.”
Anyone interested in joining the organisation can email firstname.lastname@example.org or any of the board members.
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