Festival Restaurants Reach for Authentic Tourism

Nelson Mandela Bay has become a destination of copycats in many of its tourism offerings. The Alliance Francaise Street Music Festival will act as the launch of an initiative to recreate and innovate dishes that offer culinary experiences that capture the nowhere-else stories of Nelson Mandela Bay.

Nelson Mandela Bay has become a destination of copycats in many of its tourism offerings. The Alliance Francaise Street Music Festival will act as the launch of an initiative to recreate and innovate dishes that offer culinary experiences that capture the nowhere-else stories of Nelson Mandela Bay.

Foreign tourism has changed quite dramatically and progressively sees tourists seeking ever more authentic, rooted and connected experiences. They want to be immersed in the local culture, and food is one of the common ways for visitors to be exposed to this.

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As compelling social media postings from contacts on social groups have become the most powerful influencer of destination choices of first-time visitors, Nelson Mandela Bay needs to up its dining offerings from providing a service to creating culinary experiences.

The Stanley Street restaurants are embracing the opportunity to offer menu items that reflect the stories and ingredients of NMB and believe that this will boost the initiative for the Richmond Hill area to become the culinary precinct for visitors to NMB.


 

 


On 3 September, the Street Festival will stage the first creations by the participating restaurants as take-away tasters on the pavements outside their eateries. These dishes will be tweaked and added to make it onto their menus by the peak overseas visitor season.

The initiative to innovate unique food, crafts, and creative experiences is being driven by Discover Mandela Bay. Project Manager, Shaun van Eck, has welcomed the partnership with the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and the Alliance Francaise.

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“The arts, culture and tourism directorates of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality have embraced this game-changing initiative, and this type of joint effort promises exponential growth for tourism in our Metro and will benefit the multiple levels of businesses that benefit from tourism spending,” he said.

The newly added Diversity Lane at the Street Festival will feature a complimentary Bay Chefs project. This will allow cooks from the Townships of NMB to enter their authentic story-based dishes to win one of 5 free booths to present and sell their dishes. The initiative in each community is being run by their Community Tourism Forums and will be an ignite project to achieve one of their objectives of creating sustainable earning opportunities for entrepreneurs in their areas.

Member of the Mayoral Committee for Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture in the City, Councillor Bassie Kamana has expressed his excitement that public and private partners are working together to bring authentic tourism experiences to our Townships.

“This is an initiative that will allow our people to express themselves and deliver their food and cultural stories to tour groups and events by this coming Summer Season. There are wonderful tourism projects such as the Crafters Workshop on 29 August that will enhance skills and produce nowhere-else offerings that will allow them to sell more and inspire hope in these areas, he said.”

Guillaume Favier Nirere, Director of the Alliance Francaise, has challenged foodies and the lovers of authentic dishes to be at the Street Festival on 3 September. “As a nation of authentic Chefs in France, we have prioritised sustainable culinary initiatives as an objective, and the Bay Chefs project will highlight the spontaneous cultural elements of our Townships and also shine a light on the culinary stories of Richmond Hill as the second oldest residential area in South Africa.”

As always, there will be two stages with great musicians, crafters, food stalls and some new features such as busker stages, choirs in the morning, more creative arts and special offers from the restaurants in and around Stanley Street.

The Street Festival, which promises residents that it is ‘the best 12 hours of your year’, will open at 10 am on 3 September and run through to 10 pm or by emailing bev@magnetic.co.za. Entrance to the pedestrian streets will be R30 for Adults, R10 for Scholars and Under 12’s enter for free.