The past long weekend saw thousands of tourists visiting the towns in the Overstrand. At times it felt like the December season came early this year with traffic jams being experienced as far afield as Sir Lowry’s Pass.

Walking through the streets of our towns there was a festive atmosphere as the blistering cold made way for bright sunshine, drawing large crowds to the ocean hoping to catch a glimpse of a whale.

Most business owners smiled from ear to ear as economic worries slipped away for a few days. As one owner remarked: “The long weekend in August spells the end of the quiet times that May, June and July bring with them.”

And after this past difficult year, many residents are sighing a collective sigh of relief that predictions for the number of tourists for the remainder of the year are showing signs of growth. As an area that is largely dependent on tourism this is indeed good news.

But the struggle for economic survival for many businesses in the region is far from over. In order for our towns to stay economically sustainable we need to adapt to the ever-changing marketplace and its needs. But business owners cannot do this on their own. What is needed is a partnership between all businesses in the Overstrand and between businesses and the local and provincial governments.

The days of petty politics dictating the success or failure of any initiative that is to the benefit of all, must be put behind us. There is no more room for egos or cliques. If we want to be successful, we must find ways of working together and find solutions that will ensue a brighter future for all of the residents of our region.

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