Turning ’Plain into a tourism destination

Recognising the potential for tourism to help grow Mitchell’s Plain’s economy, the Mitchell’s Plain Chamber of Commerce recently launched Plein Tourism, and announced a tourism plan for the area on Wednesday April 12.

Among the initiatives on the cards, said Mitchell’s Plain Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer Sean Achim, was an exchange programme between students from Mitchell’s Plain and France; and an opportunity for residents to make money by renting out rooms in their homes.”We are hoping to get at least 1 000 students over, living, spending time braaing, surfing on our beaches and, of course, taking selfies with our Mitchell’s Plain families,” said Mr Achim.

“We have the support of the Alliance Francaise, City of Cape Town and businesses. But, we need to start somewhere, which is now.”

Mr Achim said the committee had a five-year plan and was confident that it would be successful – with the assistance of residents.

“The team has looked at tourism in Mitchell’s Plain, and for six months they worked on ideas and strategies for Plein Tourism. We also have a memorandum of agreement with the French and have their support to make this work,” he said.

Moira Krige from Woodlands, who is a member of Plein Tourism, said she was excited about the plans as Mitchell’s Plain had talented people and much tourism potential.

“If we look back, in 1976 the first residents moved to Mitchell’s Plain and at the time they were reluctant to move because it was considered a ‘wasteland’, consisting of sea and sand dunes.

“Then, 40 years later, due to the entrepreneurial spirit, ingenuity and will to survive, the Mitchell’s Plain community has literally transformed itself from a wasteland to ‘wealth hub’. The vision of Plein Tourism is to use the next 10 years, leading up to (the area’s) 50th anniversary, to turn Mitchell’s Plain into a tourism destination of choice.

“If we look at it, 40 years ago, our community took charge of transport, to ensure the sustainability and growth of our community. How much more will we achieve through tourism?” she said.

Ward 81 councillor Danny Christians, who has been driving local tourism initiatives since 2002, said he supported the initiative and that he was excited about the plans. “Believe me, it’s a dream come true. I am happy to work with a dedicated and passionate team like this. It is what Mitchell’s Plain needs – cultural diversity and opportunities.

“It is great to see that people are taking action, because it’s long overdue. We welcome these initiatives and at the same time, I encourage people to join and be part of it,” he said.

There will be a workshop for people who would like to make money by renting out spare rooms in their homes, at the Alliance Francaise in Portland, on Thursday April 27. The workshop will run from 10am to 1pm. For more information, call 021 371 4415.