Top sports events lined up for Bay

THE tourism and hospitality industry in Nelson Mandela Bay is set to get a major boost, with three lucrative international sporting events expected to be held in the city over the next 15 months.

Councillors who serve on the sports, recreation, arts and culture portfolio committee gave the go-ahead for the municipality to sponsor R7.3-million towards the Nelson Mandela Golf Challenge, the Fifa Four Nations Beach Soccer Cup, and the 505 World Class Sailing Championships.

The events, if given the final stamp of approval by the full council, would assist in positioning the metro as a destination of choice to both investors and tourists, executive director Noxolo Nqwazi said.

The Nelson Mandela Golf Challenge – a brand owned by the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund – is held in Durban, but the organisers want to move it to Nelson Mandela Bay to be in line with the name of the municipality, and because of better weather in December.

The event is co-sanctioned by South Africa’s Professional Golf Association, the Sunshine Tour and European Tour, and a host of professional South African and international players are expected to participate.

A report to the portfolio committee said the Golf Challenge would be broadcast to about 250 million homes around the world, and accommodation establishments would be packed with participants, organisers, media and spectators.

Hundreds of jobs would be created as organisers expect to hire 500 volunteers, additional caddies and parking marshals. – Rochelle de Kock

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