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South Africa's Robben Island is to get a R10million face lift

Face Lift For Robben Island

By J.F, Kloppers

After two financial years filled with promises of development on Robben Island, South Africa's National Department of Tourism (NDT) has finally taken steps in getting things started.

The NDT has issued an R10m destination development grant for the island, aimed at enhancing the visitor experience through supporting identified and planned components.

Trevor Bloem, NDT spokesperson, told Traveller24 the funding is aimed at enhancing the visitor experience through supporting identified and planned destination development components.

"While the current support focus is on capacity development for tourist guides, digitisation of heritage information and archives, improving visitor information services, increasing existing and introducing additional food and beverage facilities, and a craft centre, the department is also exploring ways in which more South Africans can gain access to, and experience attractions like Robben Island through initiatives such as open days," Bloem says.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

The new improved Robben Island World Heritage Site is to focus on the following core purposes:

  • Implementation of an integrated management approach and tools for the site
  • Enhancement of universal access
  • Improved visitor experience through effective visitor management
  • Improved interpretation and public programming
  • Review and implementation of policies for the management of the site
  • Ensuring the significance of the site through sound conservation management strategies
  • Providing an opportunity for sustainable economic empowerment

These improvements form part of SA Tourism's R100 million investment in domestic tourism, aimed at getting South Africans to travel more in their own country.

South Africa's Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom in his annual Tourism budget speech in May this year said the NDT will make a concerted effort to Go Green in 2016.

Although the same was promised during the 2014/2015 Tourism Budget speech, this most recent NDT development grant to Robben Island seems to be a concrete step in the actual implementation of the goal.

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