By Shaanaaz de Jager and Barbara Hollands
A DROP in Eastern Cape accommodation establishment bookings points to this Easter being one of the quietest in years.
Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism reported that in January visitor numbers went up by 0.86% (5829 more beds) and in February by 0.34% (2056 more beds).
Brookes Hill Suites manager Tonya Gorham said their family apartments were fully booked, but smaller apartments which slept two people were only 60% booked.
“We still get bookings every day, although now they are rates driven. People want more for a lot less.
“In 2008 we would give people our rate and they would pay it – now the role is reversed. It is different market. People have other priorities, such as paying school fees.
“Usually for December people book five months in advance – last Christmas they booked a week in advance,” Gorham said.
Port Elizabeth and its surrounds have been bolstered by the news that the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has finally appointed an events management company for the annual Splash Festival to be held over the four-day Easter weekend.
Municipal spokesman Kupido Baron said yesterday the service provider would be named at the launch of the festival at the Hobie Beach Yacht Club on Wednesday March 28. The festival programme would also be announced.
Weekend Post has reliably learnt that Go Big Events, which has previously managed the Splash, has been appointed. Go Big was also named the preferred bidder in media reports earlier this month.
As usual a full programme of entertainment, beach and watersports was expected.
This is a shortened version of an article that first appeared in the print edition of Weekend Post on Saturday March 24, 2012.