Plans to turn ailing resorts into hotspots for tourists

The dilapidated buildings at the Maitlands resort
Picture: Judy de Vega

Metro moves to halt decay and boost revenue

The Nelson Mandela Bay municipality hopes to revive the city’s ailing resorts with the drafting of a new management policy by May. Mayor Athol Trollip said the municipality was working on new management models to maximise the potential of the facilities.

The municipality runs the Springs resort and the Maitlands resort, while the Van Stadens, Willows and Beachview resorts are managed privately.

“Over the years, all five holiday resorts in the metro have been neglected and left in a state of ruin by companies they had been outsourced to,” Trollip said.

“This has been allowed to go on unabated through lack of leadership and foresight.”

Trollip said the municipality was receiving minimal revenue from the resorts.

“By nature, resorts are environmentally protected areas and, as such, the new policy seeks to ensure there is full compliance and that the necessary legislation is adhered to,” he said.

On completion, the policy will be taken for a round of public participation meetings before it is presented to council.

Trollip said the city hoped to adopt the policy after the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) was adopted in May.

“[The policy’s] introduction would inform the successful management of these prized facilities through tailor-made and resort specific management models,” he said.

“The metro is positioning itself as a sports tourism city and a preferred tourist destination of choice.

“However, the state of our resorts does not bode well with the city’s tourism blueprint as they are below acceptable world-class standards.

“The passing of this policy would pave the way for the appointment of a service provider who would carry out necessary refurbishment work and restore the facilities to their former glory.

“This coalition government is committed to ensuring the city gets a return on its investment through a water-tight management and revenue-generation system. The years of neglect and lack of development at these facilities has denied the city millions of rands in revenue collection.”

Sports and recreation executive director Noxolo Nqwazi said the new policy would act as a blueprint between the city and the companies that rent the resorts.

“The resorts that are leased out are under contracts that have gaps,” she said.

“There is no policy that guides their management.

“The policy will focus on how the resorts should be managed and ensuring that they comply with environmental rules.”

From today until Wednesday next week, the city will host public meetings for residents to comment on draft policies such as outdoor dining, liquor outlets, student accommodation, guest houses and tall building policies.

Meetings will be held with communities from 4pm to 8pm.

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