On Tuesday, 7 September 2021, Minister David Maynier attended the opening of a new family-friendly whale exhibition at the Whale House Museum in Hermanus. Joining the minister was Executive Mayor of the Overstrand Municipality, Dudley Coetzee.
The exhibition is hosted at the Old Harbour Museum and forms part of eleven projects. All these projects are supported by the Tourism Product Development Fund. The fund was launched last year and has contributed almost R6 million to support new or existing tourism features. Maynier feels that this project is important especially in Western Cape’s rural and coastal towns.
Kid-friendly aspects added to the Whale House Museum
Even though the museum is situated at a prime location, it was far from realising its full potential. Part of the main focus for the upgrades is to focus the tourism aspects more on children.
“…thanks to the funding provided, the museum has been upgraded to cater more for children with the development of a Whale House Mascot character guiding visitors through the exhibition with short “Did you know” messages for kids,” explains Minister Maynier.
Apart from the “Did you know” messages, children can find all kinds of fun interactive aspects around the museum. Whale-related video games are available as well as a large “build a whale” floor puzzle.
Maynier explains the reason for these specific upgrades. “By strengthening the attractions in the museum for children, the aim is to attract more families, especially in the low season, which will increase the overall attraction value of Hermanus.”
Tourism goes far beyond the tourist
Maynier proudly states that the Tourism Product Development Fund has helped sustain over 300 jobs. They are working hard to support the tourism sector since it has been tough since the pandemic.
One of the goals of this project is to set the Western Cape apart from other destinations. And Maynier wants to ensure that it remains a world-class option for when tourists are allowed. In addition to the Whale House Museum, the project will be launching two other tourism attraction projects.
“These include a new and improved hospitality experience and purpose-built ‘Food from the Ancestors’ gastronomic experience at !Khwa ttu, a San culture and education centre, and a new kayaking experience for outdoor enthusiasts at the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve by the award-winning Gravity Adventures,” the Minister explained.
“Everyone can play a role in reigniting tourism in the Western Cape by supporting small businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector. And please remember to do so safely, adhering to the health and safety guidelines to protect yourself and your loved ones from Covid-19.”
Be sure to visit WESGRO for some tourist inspiration.