Kassiesbaai, the adjacent Arniston harbour and the Waenhuiskrans Nature Reserve have significant tourism potential, which can benefit the local fishing community.
Arniston/Waenhuiskrans is a recreational area with uninterrupted panoramas, endemic sea birds, seasonal whales, coastal fynbos, important archaeological sites, shipwrecks and the Waenhuiskrans cave. Recreational activities include fishing, angling, swimming, snorkelling, surfing and hiking.
In preliminary research over a period of six months local residents were employed to do a vehicle and pedestrian count of movement across Arniston. While more than 70 000 visitors and 13 000 vehicles visit the nature reserve annually, fewer than 10 000 of these visitors also visit the fishing village. Fish House and the adjacent renovated Fishermen’s Union Hall will establish a friendly entrance both to the fishing village and to various tourist opportunities across the village. It will help to bridge the physical divide between the Fishing Village and the holiday town.
Fish House and the renovated Fishermen’s Union Hall will provide:
- An information centre for tourists where a route map will be developed and provided, with indicated stops at houses in the village that offer crafts and other items of service to the public. Guided tours for tourists will be conducted to scenic and historic sites, like the ancient fish traps, the community cemeteries and numerous other places of interest. All other interesting activities, for example whale watching and eating fish cakes at a local fisherman’s house, will be advertised and promoted at the centre.
- A heritage centre displaying the history and living heritage of the site, including but not limited to historical artefacts, oral histories and displays of the pictorial and written history of Kassiesbaai. Extensive historical, archaeological and scientific information on the entire region, with its many historical and archaeological sites, will help create an awareness and understanding of the unique cultural heritage and special local history for visitors, the youth and other interested groups from the broader community. It will also contribute to the preservation of this special village in the history of South Africa and Africa as a continent.
- A facility, in tandem with the Fishermen’s Union Hall, for the community for meetings, functions, community matters, concerts, weddings and other social events.
An educational facility for school children and, in tandem with the Fishermen’s Union Hall, a facility to stimulate small and medium enterprises focusing on tourism opportunities.
- A communal meeting place, offering local refreshments.