ALTHOUGH most tourists perceived Port Elizabeth as a safe holiday destination, some had been the victims of crime.
Presenting his research at the Emerging Views on the Eastern Cape Economy conference at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) yesterday, NMMU student Jayde Brooks said 76% of tourists surveyed felt safe in Port Elizabeth.
This despite 13% of the surveyed tourists being robbed while visiting Nelson Mandela Bay.
Robbery was the most prevalent form of crime against Bay tourists.
Of the tourists being robbed, the majority were from abroad.
Brooks, who presented his paper "Tourists' perceptions of safety and crime in Port Elizabeth", said international tourists were often easy targets of criminals.
The 330 respondents to his questionaire, on which he partly based his research, comprised both domestic (42%) and international (58%) tourists.
Only 20% were aware of safety information supplied by the Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism office.
The crimes the tourists were mostly concerned with were being robbed and theft from their accommodation or their cars.
His research included an interview with Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism marketing manager Titus Chuene who said a lower crime rate would attract more tourists.
Recommendations Brooks offered in his research included to increase police visibility, disseminate safety information through social media and to introduce an ambassador programme to instil pride among locals.
Another tourism-related paper presented yesterday by Rhodes University's Biddy Chandler looked at the economic contribution of the tourism accommodation sector in Graaff-Reinet.
Chandler said tourism could be used as a tool to reverse economic devaluation of small towns.
She looked at the accommodation sector over a six-month period and tracked the finances of tourists in Graaff-Reinet. Some of her findings included that the average spend per day of a tourist was R679, of which the highest amount spent was on accommodation.
She calculated the contribution of accommodation tourism to Graaff-Reinet in the six-month period to be R81-million.
Article by: Cindy Preller.
Article Source: HERALD (Morning Final)