Media Statement - Hermanus Whale Festival 2019
The Whale Festival committee and the operational team would like to thank our visitors, sponsors, the community of Hermanus and the region, as well as local the Municipality, law enforcement agencies, SAPS and all who contributed to another very successful Hermanus Whale Festival.
In its 28th year, the festival attracted a large number of people from diverse cultures. People came from all over the world to be part of the festivities but we are especially pleased with the substantial local support. It still remains one of the biggest festivals and its eco marine theme sets it apart. A festival of this size does not go without challenges and one such challenge is to shrink the waste component every year. Much has been achieved if you consider the past 4 years.
We estimate that the Hermanus Whale Festival 2019 attracted around 90 000 - 100 000 visitors to the area this year and we also welcomed buses from 7 different countries, around 60 orphans from Cape Town, senior citizens from old age homes and youth from Western Cape churches to enjoy our beautiful Hermanus and watch the whales. The audience contributed to a festive vibe and atmosphere. According to a reliable source, the Whale Coast Mall had more tan 20 000 visitors.
The popular eco-marine tent was packed for 3 days. Eco-talks were well attended and there were more than 5000 kids playing in the “Pirate and Mermaid Treasure Hunt” where they learned how to protect and conserve our planet. Not even the rain stopped people from visiting the eco-marine tent and around 1000 spekboom cuttings were given away to visitors to plant and reduce carbon dioxide in their own region. There were a few new introductions to the festival such as the Hermanus Strongman competition that was popular and well attended, a competition “Finding Wendy the Whale” kept the kids and adventurous adults busy. Brand24 will audit the competition and the winner will receive a Pick n Pay sponsored tablet. At the Hermanus Old Harbour local talent was on stage and this event has grown steadily over the years showcasing the talent of our area while the Coke Music Stage buzzed with music.
Although still tired and recovering from the hard work we are looking forward to the next festival which will be our 29th. Planning has already started and the dates are set. A potjiekos competition in the Old Harbour on the 24th of September 2020 will ring in the next festival with a number of sponsors showing interest in being involved.
The Whale Festival remains the biggest and most widely promoted festival in the region. It is one of the biggest marketing tools of Hermanus, the Overberg and Western Cape with an online reach of more than 22 million. Ultimately we reach millions of people to unlock economic potential and millions in rand value.
There is no doubt that the Whale Festival remains committed to keeping Hermanus and its interest front of mind and contributing to making our destination a preferred South African tourist destination.
This year's collaboration with the Old Harbour Museum opened up Lemm’s Corner for affordable art, craft and food stalls. We will do the same for the 2020 Whale festival and we urge all local businesses and entrepreneurs to apply and complete the application form as early as possible for the Old Harbour, Lemm’s Corner and Market Square 2020 festival stalls. We calculate that 65% of stall holders was from the local region and are setting our target on increasing this figure next year. We are a local festival with an international reach. Once again we would like to thank all local stakeholders for their contribution to a successful festival.