First major milestones Soekershof in USA and Europe
16 Aug 2006 18:40 GMT
recognition for true environment friendly tourist destination in South Africa
the Solar Umbrella is an own development of Soekershof
Robertson (Western Cape) August 16 -A 'snailmail' to approx. 500 (specialist) touroperators with 'leakage' to some media a few months ago had a remarkable result in especially the USA and Europe.
A visit to Soekershof will be incorporated in the new (2007/2008) portfolios of some of the major touroperators in Europe and the USA and is already incorporated in the itineraries (individual travels) they provide their customers travelling to (or through) the Western Cape.
Two major travel magazines in the USA (Go Nomad and Outdoors; both related to globally operating specialised touroperators) will publish 2 and 4 page features about Soekershof towards the end of this year.
Within South Africa: features in Die Burger, Cape Argus and Weekend Argus between May and August resulted in a significant influx of extra visitors; for this reason partly booking accommodation in this area.
Later this year there will also be a feature in the magazine The Gardener which will focus on the unique collection of succulent plants of Soekershof.
Extensive talks and (later) correspondence with specialised touroperators who visited Soekershof during the past few months has learned (and confirmed) an outside look on this region as a tourism destination and also how and why their customers (consumers) make their choices.
Reasons to integrate Soekershof Walkabout in their programmes are the unusual character of this attraction plus the high degree of personalised hospitality.
For a few of these tour operators also the certificate of Fair Trade in Tourism in South Africa played a role in their decision (see also http://www.fairtourismsa.org.za).
August 8 and 15 Soekershof organised two open days for (local and regional) tourism businesses with the emphasis on wine cellars and accommodation propietors within the municipal boundaries.
The representives of the invited businesses attending the open days all became enthousiastic (a few after some sceptisism). A positive result is also that a few wine cellars are incorporating Soekershof Walkabout in the itineraries for their so called VIP-guests. The participants of these open days also learned that Soekershof has a "real succulent garden" (and not a nursery garden) with more than 2400 different species from all over the world in the unprotected open air.
What's more: As the only botanical garden in South Africa Soekershof does not use any artificial fertilisers and other chemicals. At the moment this unusual tourism business is preparing itself for the building of a self sufficient guesthouse with solar energy, rainwater catchment and reed filter. As building materials primarely materials (wood, clay, reed, etc.) of the own premises will be used.
Soekershof Walkabout; Mazes & Botanical Gardens is located in
Klaas Voogds West, near Robertson, 2 hours easy driving from Cape Town, South Africa. Their website: http://soekershof.com
And their 'Mission statement':
Soekershof Walkabout is a sacred enterprise, based on an appreciation of nature, humor, play, creation, expression and respect for the land, and the growth and development of the people and plants who participate -employees and visitors alike.
phone:: +27 (0)23 626 4134