According to the minister of tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, wine tourism is one of the fastest-growing and most lucrative sectors of the global tourism market. "I believe wine tourism can contribute in a significant way to the South African economy and we look forward to continued constructive engagement with the industry," he said.
Linked to this is the national tourism sector strategy, which is working towards positioning South Africa as one of the world's top 20 travel destinations by 2020. It is for this reason that key stakeholders in wine and tourism are uniting to present Vindaba, which will take place in Cape Town from 24-27 September 2012.
"Wine and gourmet tourism is a trending travel category world-wide," states Susannah Holz, the project manager of the country's first specialist wine tourism exhibition, Vindaba. "But per capita spend is unevenly distributed amongst wine growing regions. Napa Valley in California by example earns $188 a head whereas the Western Cape is currently earning $41 per head. This huge potential for growth must be unlocked for the greater benefit of our wine and tourism industries as well as the communities they support," she said.
Collaboration between tourism bodies
With the backing of national and provincial government, Vindaba will be showcasing the best in South African wine-related tourism, targeting the local and international travel trade, as well as wine, travel and lifestyle media. Vindaba marks a new spirit of collaboration amongst tourism bodies and will form part of a long-term strategy to boost wine tourism, representing as it does a partnership between Wines of South Africa (WOSA), SA Tourism and Cape Town Tourism, as well as the SA Wine Routes Forum and WESGRO.
Vindaba will offer specialist seminars, focus on gastro-tourism and provide tailor-made wine tours for the international and domestic travel business fraternity to discover, hands-on, how much the wine routes have to offer. Although conceived as a stand-alone event, it will be staged simultaneously with Cape Wine 2012 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Cape Wine, hosted biennially by WOSA, exhibits a wide spectrum of South Africa's wines and wine styles to the international wine trade, from buyers to importers, media and sommeliers in important export markets.
"There is a natural synergy between Cape Wine and Vindaba," explains WOSA CEO Su Birch. WOSA has been one of the prime drivers in establishing a coherent strategy to promote wine tourism that involves decision makers from the wider tourism sector. As far as we know, this is the first initiative of its kind anywhere in the wine-producing world in which the wine and tourism sectors are jointly presenting a wine and wine tourism event," Birch said.
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