Drakenstein hosts 100 women in tourism

Pictured, from left, are Lauren Waring, Drakenstein Municipality; Annelize Stroebel, Drakenstein Local Tourism Association; Drakenstein Executive Mayor Conrad Poole; MP Beverley Schäfer; Keith Edwards of Rail Tourism; and Cheryl Phillips, Drakenstein Municipality, during the Women in Tourism event.

In celebration of Women’s Month, the Drakenstein Municipality, in association with the Drakenstein Local Tourism Association, hosted 100 women on National Women’s Day, August 9, 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 the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (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 Metrorail, and took in key points of interest like Langkloof Roses in Wellington, Rhebokskloof Wine Estate in Paarl, and the iconic KWV Emporium.

Keynote speakers on the day included Lauren Waring, the executive director of planning and development, Drakenstein Municipality), Conrad Poole, Drakenstein Municipality executive mayor, and Beverley Schäfer, a 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 of economic growth and the role of women at the centre of this sector was emphasised. Ms Schäfer 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.

Ms Schäfer 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 had 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’,” she said.