Nose141 recounted the ructions in the two tourist authorities that serve the town of Hermanus: the Hermanus Tourism Bureau and the municipally-funded regional Overstrand Destination Marketing Organisation. Much of the concern was that both organisations were effectively controlled by a family with strong interests in Hermanus tourism, the Lerms – paterfamilias Henri, his wife (and ward councillor) Maxie, and his son, Clinton, who runs the Misty Waves Hotel as well as certain adventure-tourism businesses.
Well, things have moved rather quickly since the story was published. The members of the Hermanus Tourism Bureau called a special general meeting on 18 July to vote on a motion of no confidence in the committee, (the committee saved itself the embarrassment and resigned en masse) which has been replaced by one that is regarded as more representative.
And on 26 July the executive mayor of Overstrand Municipality, Councillor Nicolette Guthrie-Botha, announced that the Overstrand Destination Marketing Organisation would be scrapped immediately and replaced by a dedicated tourism officer. One of the reasons cited was that the law required “a greater degree of direct control by the municipality over the distribution and use of funds allocated”.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you there’s no point in complaining! (And see Noseweek’s letters’ page for a further update.)
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