A new incentive, called “Come To Smithfield” is to be launched which aims at rebuilding Smithfield’s tourism appeal once the current roadwork is behind us, and to place more
emphasis on the town as an end destination for tourists instead of primarily an overnight stop. The success of the scheme depends entirely on the wholehearted active support of all concerned – because we all stand to benefit.
All existing tourism-related activities such as guesthouses and restaurants, as well as other would-be participants with ideas for extending the tourism facilities in or near the town, will be consulted and urged to become directly involved in the project. All interested parties are being contacted to ensure the maximum possible active support to work
together in the interests of the town – and therefore of their own businesses. This is a high unemployment region; the success of the programme would have the added attraction of job creation, tourism being generally regarded as a high employment industry. With this in mind, it is to be hoped that both provincial authorities and the municipality would show their support.
Inevitably, there would be a spin-off for this entire area, as increased tourism activity here would open up other parts of the southern Free State.
The long-standing aim of guesthouses working together has been to attract more attention among visitors wishing to spend longer than one night in the town.
To achieve this, ideas will be canvassed to create more facilities. Not only would this open up more potential for existing businesses but it would attract others to provide facilities not already offered in Smithfield.
Attractions which have been apparent for some time, are the considerable activity in arts and crafts (such as the immensely successful quilting club and the emergence of local artists and other crafters).
The “Come to Smithfield” initiative would aim to develop the tourism appeal of these and others, and to attract their involvement.
Hiking in the surrounding mountains was once a popular activity for visitors.
Reintroduction of defined trails and guides would be welcomed, as would means of attracting more mountain bikers.
When the Caledon River is flowing strongly, past experience has shown it has a great appeal for anglers, while the Smithfield Dam is also seen to have an enormous
Keeping the dam full
It is believed that an effort must again be made to encourage the municipality to put into effect a system which would ensure that the dam never again runs dry.
On the one hand a full dam guarantees sufficient water to keep the town supplied while it would also provide an outstanding attraction for visitors. The reintroduction of a quality caravan park offering full facilities has long been considered desirable.
Many years ago, boating was a popular activity on the dam and could be re-introduced, while fishing would be a natural additional activity.
A year to get it right
We have about a year in which to get “Come to Smithfield” up and running as a highly professional marketing programme.
By then both the N6 and the village roads should have been completed, which in themselves will go a long way to enhancing Smithfield’s appeal.
But a year passes very quickly. It is necessary to get cracking without delay.
David Geere can be contacted for further information on 051 683 0021 or 083 556 24360.