Happy Hour 19 November 2018
McGregor Tourism’s new vision for the way forward:
The new McGregor Tourism committee hosted a Happy Hour function in the Tourism Office on Monday 19th of November 2018. This was an open event attended by a lovely crowd of members and non-members. Chairman, JP du Plessis, welcomed everyone briefly outlining the new vision, namely moving away from being an accommodation booking portal to one of marketing the VILLAGE of McGregor. The target is to encourage all local businesses and individuals to join McGregor Tourism and pay an annual membership fee. Funds generated in this way will enable the current ‘commission on bookings’ system to be done away with. This will free up Shirley and Rhowena from issuing and following up invoices and give them more time to publicise events happening in the village offering our visitors a unique McGregor experience. McGregor Tourism will also actively support the local community by becoming involved in various empowerment projects.
JP then introduced each member of the committee giving them the opportunity to describe their various roles:
Shirley van Staden elaborated on the new vision of tourism and highlighted the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and Night Market which will take place on the 21st of December. She also invited people to participate in the Christmas Gift Box initiative for the children of the Byekorf Creche. Shirley also reported that 7 funding proposals have recently been submitted for a wide range of proposed events in the future.
Apologies were noted from Jenny Stipcich who was not able to attend Happy Hour. Jenny recently accepted the invitation to join the committee and to take on the Open Gardens portfolio.
Rhowena Arendorf gave information about the opportunities for merchandise to be sold in the tourism office and also drew attention to the information in the picture frames, brochures, information booklets etc.
JP spoke on behalf of Isabelle Menzies regarding our current financial status and our new vision to drop commissions on bookings, but this can only be achieved by covering this income in other ways eg by increasing our pool of members. With our new strategy rolling out already, we are hoping to win back members who have left and also encourage other ‘private’ individuals running projects to join Tourism and this will boost our funds and enable us to host other exciting events.
Chris Steytler drew attention to the improvement project underway for the outside of the tourism office (blackboards, plants etc) explaining that this will be a slow process due to lack of funds (if anyone can assist with items like a lovely new ‘welcome mat’ this will be gratefully received). Chris explained the intention behind the recent ‘puppet show’ presented by the Mothertongue Project and The Great McGregor Bake Off Competition that will take place in December.
Ian Summers encouraged feedback and suggestions from anyone as this will help up to pave the way for the future. He drew attention to the “Comments / Suggestion” box in the office – or ideas can be emailed to Shirley or Rhowena.
Louwrens Rademeyer acknowledged the wineries which are part of the McGregor Wine Meander and thanked them for the wine donated for the Happy Hour function. Louwrens outlined the opportunities for all businesses to collaborate with one another – for the goodness of the village of McGregor. He drew attention to the fabulous new functions venue at Lords Wines explaining that events hosted there will have a spin-off effect for other businesses in McGregor. He thanked Jacie Oosthuizen for allowing the use of his plot for the Christmas Tree event.
Jenny Johnson mentioned the request at the AGM for better communication from Tourism and as a result of this she has taken on the Public Relations portfolio. This is rolling out with 2 focus points at present i.e a social media campaign to highlight all events happening in McGregor in the future and the publication of a monthly newsletter. Acting on the advice from Dennis Higgs to personalise this newsletter, a McGregor mascot has been created namely “Mr McGregor”. He is a knitted comfort doll lovingly crafted by Lies and Hester. Mr McGregor (with nicknames of Mac Gee or Mr Mac) was revealed and introduced to all present by Lies. Lies drew attention to the details of her creation: big feet to show he is well grounded; blue denims with a smart belt; the colours of blue and white in his jersey to represent trust and purity; a smart red waistcoat and a hat with McGregor Tartan band to give him great style and professor spectacles made by local jeweller, Karien van der Walt.
In keeping up with social media, we all have particular profiles and Mr McGregor is no exception. His profile is as follows:
- is a gentleman and a man about town!
- he is a snazzy dresser and loves to dress up for every occasion
- he is an all-rounder: thoroughly enjoying a beer at the pub with his mates while watching rugby but he also loves going to Wahnfried to a piano recital or film and joins in all the poetry happenings at Temenos
- he enjoys walking his dogs and exploring the Krans
- he is super kind and willingly helps out when a volunteer is needed
- he is a family man and a great host welcoming all and sundry for a cup of coffee and a chin-wag on his stoep
- above all, he loves going out and about and looks forward to your invitations ……
Anyone wishing to invite Mr McGregor out for dinner or a cycle ride or a drink at the pub or whatever….must please liaise with Shirley or Rhowena who will check his diary to see if he is available. There are certain conditions to each invitation: he must be picked up at the tourism office and returned at the stipulated time please. Photos of him during the outing are obligatory and these should be posted on Instagram or Facebook and McGregor tourism tagged. Use the hashtags: #mrmcgregor #mcgregortourism
Thank you to everyone who attended our first Happy Hour Function! See you at the next one early in 2019.