The first Business of Wine and Food Tourism Conference will be held in Stellenbosch in November. Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom will open the event and will also be presenting the first national wine tourism strategy.
The conference aims to promote co-operation between the public and private sectors in the area of food and wine tourism, as well educating entrepreneurs and business owners on opportunities in the sector and to create the space for a new national wine tourism strategy and marketing agenda that will see South Africa being touted as one of the world’s top food and wine tourism destinations.
The conference marks the first time that government and industry players will get together to discuss the promotion and marketing of South Africa as a key international wine and food tourism destination.
“I am very proud of the fact that the ministry of tourism can take an active part in establishing this conference, bringing together the local public and private sector and launching an exciting new era for the marketing of South Africa. I do believe that we can make South Africa a preferred destination in food and wine tourism, and in so doing, create employment opportunities and stimulate our local tourism economy,” said Hanekom.
Food and wine tours, holidays and getaways are gaining in popularity on the international travel scene. The focus is on authentic, homegrown experiences and the Cape’s wineland region certainly has much to offer local and international tourists.
Provincial Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde says the growing food and wine tourism trend could have benefits for all concerned. “Tourism is an indispensable part of our local economy. This conference will enable us to grow our local and international markets, whilst equipping even the smallest producers and businesses to reach a global audience,” he said.
Rico Basson, CEO of VinPro says it is important to look at the numbers: “SA’s current wine tourism economic contribution of ±R6 billion with a target of R15 billion by 2025 can be a large contributor to job creation in the tourism industry – already 289 000 jobs have been added in the wine value chain to date and the new strategy will pave the way for significant growth in the wine tourism sector over the next 10 years.”
International wine fundis will be sharing their tricks of the trade with delegates, giving better insights into the international markets and their wants and needs. Included in the line-up of speakers are: Clay Gregory, the President and CEO of ‘Visit Napa Valley’, Peter McAtamney, founding Principal of Wine Business Solutions, Felicity Carter, editor-in-chief of Meininger’s Wine Business International, and Dr Robin Back of the University of Central Florida.
The conference will take place at Spier Wine Estate, Stellenbosch, South Africa, on 1 and 2 November 2016. For more information or to register click here.