Tourism for all
The 2008 conference held from 14 to 16 June made a real and direct difference to the economy of the little Eastern Cape town of Nieu Bethesda. After government grants, tourism is the biggest contributor to the local economy.
Most of the economically active members of the community, including the township, were involved in some way in the conference. Some were hosts of conference venues, others offered accommodation, provide catering, cleaning, crafts, guiding, etc.
The delegates resulted in a more than a 10% increase in the annual bed night count alone. Other immediate and long-term benefits were immeasurable. The catering menu was drawn up to include as much local produce as possible and the majority of the conference supplies were sourced locally. Owlhouse Backpackers is environmentally aware and conference delegates will be exposed to permaculture, garbage recycling, solar geysers, compost toilets and grey water systems.
BSA Eastern Cape has brought delegates well off the beaten track. Many will keep on the back roads, learning and seeing more of the Eastern Cape and South Africa en route to the conference and back home.
Delegate & speaker piophiles: Click here to download the 2008 conference program.