Mossel Bay Tourism bids 2010 coordinator Louis Harris farewell, welcomes re-appointed boardNovember 9th, 2009 by H&R | Categories: government, hotels, industry, people, tourism
Louis Harris, who has led the campaign to secure a team base camp for Mossel Bay during next year’s 2010 FIFA World Cup, has resigned his post as the town’s 2010 coordinator. He made his last speech in his official capacity at Mossel Bay Tourism’s AGM on 4 November, during which a new board was announced.
“The Council appointed me with three specific milestones in mind. I was instructed to secure a national federation base camp, to oversee the upgrading of the training facilities, and to see to the establishment of a public viewing area (PVA),” he says.
“As a result of my work we now have an agreement with the Paraguayan Soccer Federation, and the upgrade of the Extension 23 Fields to FIFA standards will be completed in two weeks time. But, although we were able to secure sponsorship funding for a PVA, the Council could not approve the project as the South African Police Services indicated at a late stage that they would not have the manpower to control the crowds that we could have expected at such a venue.”
“So, because I was able to complete my tasks as far as practical ahead of time, the Council and agreed that I would vacate my seat as coordinator, and that the municipality’s Joubert Coetzee would take over the position,” he explains.
Reflecting on his period in office, Harris says, “I’m particularly pleased with the progress we’ve made towards the establishment of legacies, particularly with regards to the South-South Strategy and the establishment of a Language Faculty in Mossel Bay.”
The South-South Strategy is a plan to increase tourism, commerce, social welfare and scientific exchanges between Mossel Bay and the Western Cape Province on the one hand, and the Latin American countries on the other. The Language Faculty is a project to teach Spanish to Mossel Bay residents ahead of the 2010 World Cup.
Harris says that the ongoing success of these projects would depend on how Mossel Bay Tourism manages them into the future: “The size of the South American market is such that these strategies will be sustainable long after the final whistle blows next year.”
Extensive local and international media coverage on television, print, radio and the internet are expected to have reached a huge audience in Spanish-speaking countries.
Although he has resigned his post, Harris will remain involved in 2010 because he remains the Mossel Bay representative of the Paraguayan Federation. The town is geared up to prepare for the arrival of the team.
During the AGM, Mossel Bay Tourism selected its board, the first four being re-appointments: Neels Zietsman (chairman and representing business), Andre Strauss (vice chairman and representing self-catering accommodation), Anthony Doherty (representing activities), Koos Schutte (representing guesthouses), and newly appointed Renee Bongers from Eight Bells Mountain Inn (representing hotels).