*Pictured is Daniel Ryneveldt (second from the left) with his graduation certificate

Taking a forward-thinking approach to tourism in the Garden Route town, 20 Knysna Ambassadors recently graduated from a course that’ll enable each to assist with information about Knysna. In a ceremony hosted by Belvidere Manor, the 20 Ambassadors graduated after successfully completing the three-day Tourism Ambassador Course run by the Francois Ferreira Academy, sponsored by Skål International and coordinated by Knysna Tourism.

Among the 20 was Daniel Ryneveldt, a local car guard who’d been identified by Cheryl Britz, the Chairperson of the Knysna Community Police Forum, as someone who would benefit from the course.

Knysna Tourism Chairperson Elmay Bouwer said, “It was a wonderful opportunity for all people who interface with tourists to learn the skills and be empowered to promote various aspects of Knysna to our visitors. As Chairperson of Knysna Tourism and a member of Skål, I’m very proud of this initiative and thankful for the role that Skål’s international members continue to play to assist with local tourism and skills training.”

Each graduate received a certificate and Knysna Ambassador badge, and each of their establishments where they’re employed receive stickers confirming they’re part of of the Ambassador programme.

Thirteen local businesses sent their staff on the course including Belvidere Manor Hotel, Muse Restaurant, VXT Architecture Building Plans, Shell Garage, Pezula Golf Club, Stannard Guest Lodge, WESSA, 34 South, Tapas & Oysters, Drydock, Jonas Tours, the Featherbed Co and Knysna Tourism’s Sedgefield office.

Thandeka Diamond of the Francois Ferreira Academy, said that she has had excellent feedback from both the employers who sent their staff on the course and the ambassadors themselves. “Marcile Nel from Muse Restaurant, for example, told me that she has received better tips since she completed the course, because now she can talk to guests about Knysna and recommend places for them to go,” she said.

“We have created a WhatsApp group for the Tourism Ambassadors to communicate with and help each other, and it has been a great tool. They communicate and refer guests to each other. The training has really helped them a lot.”


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TechnologyMargot Janse