Henties Bay is Kwêla's “Town of the Year”

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Friday, 27th May 2016

Article in the Namib Times

For the first time in six years a Namibian town has won the “Dorp van die Jaar” competition hosted by the South African television programme “Kwêla” on the channel “KykNET.” Henties Bay is this year's “Town of the Year”. “It's super,” commented Gitta Paetzold from the Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN) in an interview with namib times. 

The announcement of this year's winner of the prestigious “Dorp van die jaar” competition was made on Wednesday evening. Henties Bay was crowned the winner, beating the two other South African towns in the top three, Potchefstroom and Paul Roux.

“We will undoubtedly see an increase in South African tourists after this achievement,” Paetzold continued saying. She described the win as “not a big surprise” because Namibian towns have in the past made great strides in the competition already. Last year Swakopmund made it into the top three, having missed the top spot by a small margin.

“What is remarkable is that Henties Bay was in a competition with other South African towns, which have a bigger capacity to market their town and call on the people to vote. The fact that Henties Bay won shows that the choice came out of the people's heart,” she said.

The Kwêla “Dorp van die Jaar” competition is hosted annually. From each province in South Africa as well as the whole of Namibia one town is chosen. People then have the opportunity to vote for their town. The winner will not only receive the official title of “Dorp van die Jaar”, but also a 30 second long advertisement spot about the town. Furthermore the winning town will receive airtime on TV to market the town to the value of N$ 1 000 000. Residents of Henties Bay can also look forward to a huge party to celebrate the win in the near future, hosted by Kwêla.

“If you think of Henties Bay you immediately visualize Carike Keuzenkamp's hitsong 'Sarah de Jager'. Now Henties Bay has another hit being the first Namibian town to win the competition,” Karen Meiring, Director of the Afrikaans channels of M-Net commented after the announcement. She added that “kykNET” is really excited about the new status Henties Bay has received.

Paetzold continued saying that although Namibia has in the past few years seen a significant increase in tourists coming from South Africa, she expects a further increase after this achievement. “It's not only Henties that will profit from this. The whole of Namibia has now been put on the map,” she said. She expects all accommodation establishments of Henties Bay to be booked out for the December season soon, which will lead tourists to look for accommodation in neighbouring towns, thereby also having a positive impact on Swakopmund and Walvis Bay.

“The South African market is very important. In the past South Africans were known to come to Namibia and camp, but now the market has diversified, which is really good for the tourism sector,” she added.

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