Report shows 2015 Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival had “massive positive economic impact”

Knysna is so very proud of this fantastic festival! Not only do we – and all our guests – have great fun, but loads of money is made for local charities. With thanks to JOPR for this official release.

The 2015 Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival had a massive positive impact on the local economy with a total direct spend in the greater Knysna area of a staggering R124,7-million and the creation of
3 429 employment opportunities.

This is according to a document released this week which is derived from data gathered by the Knysna Municipality during the 10-day event.

Explaining the document, Festival Manager, Nicci Rousseau-Schmidt, said that 73 500 people attended the festival this year and collectively spent R118,7-million. The total of R124,7-million includes R6-million spent locally before and during the festival to stage the various events.

“The festival started a drive in 2011 urging events to support local, and the spend with businesses and individuals within the Knysna Municipal area continues to grow annually,” she said. “New sales generated in the area as a result of this spend are estimated at over R300-million.”

Pick n Pay’s General Manager, Marketing, Malcolm Mycroft, said it is truly heartening to see this incredible growth and that the festival is fast becoming one of the largest of its kind in the country. “Ultimately what this means is that we’re able to give more back to the surrounding communities, and this is what lies at the heart of everything Pick n Pay does. It goes without saying this couldn’t have been achieved without our partners and the overwhelming support received from the visitors to the festival this year. We have no doubt that going forward we will see the festival growing even further.”

The data also shows that of the 73 500 visitors to the festival, 83% stayed overnight and 44% stayed longer than four nights. Just 14% stayed with family, with the remainder paying for self-catering accommodation, guest houses, hotels, B&Bs or renting houses/apartments.

The majority of visitors participated in some form of activity, festival events (23%), adventure activities (19%) or nature activities (14%).

It is estimated that each overnight visitor spent an average of R2 943 per day on accommodation, food and beverages, transport, leisure activities and retail activities.

Rousseau-Schmidt said that this was the first time that such in-depth research had been done on visitors to the festival.

“It confirms a lot of what we already know, but also gives us some interesting and useful information which can be used to grow the event and target the advertising,” she said. “It’s also rewarding to see that 99% of respondents said that they will recommend the event to a friend and attend the 2016 festival.”

The event also raised a whopping R2 534 299 for local charities, an increase of R285 369 compared to last year. This brings the total funds raised over the past seven years raised to R13,7-million. The money came from events staged during the 10-day festival and will be donated to local charities, schools and NPOs.

According to Rousseau-Schmidt, the largest amounts raised were by the top two sporting events, the Momentum Weekend Argus Knysna Cycle Tour, presented by Rotary, which had 5 800 participants (12% up on last year), which raised R602 000, and the Momentum Cape Times Knysna Forest Marathon which had 8 600 entries, the biggest field to date, which raised R930 000 for charity.

In addition, Momentum, as co-sponsor of the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival, donated 2 000 quality blankets valued at R300 000 to charities and communities supported by the festival. The blankets were used by runners to keep warm at the start of the Momentum Cape Times Knysna Forest Marathon and then discarded in the forest. They were collected by race marshals, sorted, folded and distributed to schools, crèches and charity organisations in and around Knysna in partnership with local organisations such as Youth for Christ International and the Mayor of Knysna’s blanket drive.

“The record amount raised this year together with other festival statistics confirm that it is the best Oyster Festival to date, and that it is growing every year,” said Rousseau-Schmidt. “This year the festival received R112-million worth of media exposure.”

Knysna Municipal Manager Grant Easton said that the economic impact figures of R124 million direct spend over 10 days prove that the festival is a major contributor to Knysna’s economy. “This figure, together with the R300 million in new sales which was generated for the Knysna economy, is an amount equal to 70% of our annual Municipal budget. I want to congratulate everyone involved, including the sponsors, for making the 2015 festival yet another successful one for Knysna.”

Greg Vogt, CEO of Knysna Tourism said that the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival is greater Knysna’s biggest festival, easily generating the equivalent of what all other festivals and events held in the area generate in a year. “With each year’s success comes the challenge of growing and improving the festival in the right way. Post mortems and think tanks for the 2016 event are well underway, and we are very grateful to our event sponsors, Pick n Pay and their sponsorship partners Momentum, for what they have brought to the event. It is also important to highlight the robust role the Knysna Municipality has played in the staging of another successful event.”

The dates for next year’s Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival have been confirmed as 1 – 10 July. For updates about forthcoming events visit www.oysterfestival.co.za and follow the festival’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Media release by Jeannine Orzechowski, JOPR, 082 881 9468 or jeannine@saol.com