Robben Island has been a go-to destination for numerous tourists, both domestic and international, since its establishment as a museum in 1997, and as a world heritage site in 1999. And in 2016, the landmark’s popularity was reaffirmed by its 49 738 visitors during the festive season alone.
This figure is 4% greater than the amount of tourists that flocked to Robben Island in 2015. Such an increase is no doubt auspicious for Robben Island Museum as it celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.
‘We are thrilled that the number of guests is steadily increasing,’ says Mava Dada, CEO for Robben Island Museum. ‘This can be attributed to the improved operational governance structures we’ve implemented to ensure the safe commute to and from the island. A big success factor lies with the agreements that we have in place with ferry operators. The improved infrastructure has allowed us to increase the daily number of tours and visitors to the Island.’
According to Dada, the majority of visitors were from Gauteng and the Eastern Cape, a surprising statistic as the usual influx at this time of the year is generally international tourists. But seeing so many South Africans making the voyage to such an important historic site is pleasing.
And with seven tours each day, during a festive season that saw terrific weather throughout, we can easily imagine the size of the crowds that gathered at the Nelson Mandela Gateway.
But Dada did not only reflect on the past success. ‘We have many exciting initiatives planned throughout the year. The visitor experience is crucial; we are looking forward to introducing exciting engagement scenarios and encourage visitors to look out for more information on our website.’
So, if your eager to a pay your first, second or umpteenth visit to Robben Island, go to robben-island.org.za for more details. Alternatively, you can pop an email to [email protected] or call +27 21 413 4200.