Wine connoisseurs from across South Africa will gather in Cape Town in July 2009 to discuss opportunities for wine tourism in the run up to the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
The Wine Tourism Conference, taking place on 21 and– 22 July, will explore ways in which the wine industry can improve its current offering as a destination for the anticipated thousands of tourists expected to descend on South Africa’s shores next year.
The programme will have one major main objective: to improve the levels of hospitality within the South African wine tourism industry.
Delegates expected to attend this the conference include winery owners and managers, wine route managers, tour operators, destination marketing professionals and PR professionals, hoteliers, restaurateurs, hospitality professionals, and a global contingent of wine and tourism media,
The conference will be held under the theme, “Share. Innovate. Inspire” and will provide showcase those attending with the latest trends and best practices locally and internationally within the wine industry.
Invited speakers and panellists who’ve been invited to the conference to share their wealth of experience at the conference include Alan Pick, founder and proprietor of the internationally renowned Butcher Shop & Grill, Itumeleng Pooe, executive manager at of Cape Town Routes Unlimited; Ken Forrester from Ken Forrester Wines; Robin Shaw, Director of Tourism & and Business Services: Winemakers’ Federation of Australia; Kevin Arnold who will be representing Waterford and Jennifer Seif, CEO of Fair Trade Tourism.
Clarence Johnson, executive mayor of the Cape Winelands District Municipality, will present the opening address in his capacity as the chairperson of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network (GWCGN).
Delegates are expected to tackle a number of pressing issues and share valuable industry knowledge over the course of the event. Topics such as South Africa’s new liquor law and the possible implications for the local wine tourism industry will be discussed and debated.
During the two-day event, delegates will tackle issues of importance to the industry.
These will include interactive panel discussions, on topics including new liquor law and its implications for the local wine tourism industry.
Other interesting discussion on the agenda are, the relevance of wine festivals, the industry’s e-marketing in wine efforts, meeting the needs of wine aficionado tourists and the expectations, experiences and results of Germany’s wine industry , during the Fifa 2006 World Cup – lessons learnt by the German wine tourism industry, meeting the wine tourists’ expectations, and other topics will be discussed during the symposium.
Another hot topic, the Western Cape’s lack of formal representation within the wine fraternity, will add to the information packed event. Also of grave importance to the members of the wine fraternity in the Western Cape, is the lack of a formal structure representing the local wine tourism industry.
During the conference, a collaboration The South African Wine Routes Association and Wines of South Africa (WOSA) will unite as one committee to address the current situation, and future, of wine industry workers.
Between the South African Wine Routes Association and Wines of South Africa (WOSA) to form a committee that will address the issues of those working in the wine tourism industry will be discussed.
The committee, in its capacity as an integral role player within the industry, meets quarterly to set standards and goals, by means of education and skills development, while monitoring the national and international approach to wine hospitality.
The committee is run on a voluntary basis and includes some of the country’s top wine stalwarts. The committee will be run on a voluntary basis, the committee meets quarterly to set industry standards and goals, with education and skills development a high priority under the banner of promoting an integrated approach to wine hospitality.
Commenting on the anticipated event, WOSA’s Andre Morgenthal said, “I am excited that wine tourism is vibrantly alive and growing from grass-roots level upwards.”
According to Morgenthal it is imperative for the industry to continue with the growing demand of excellent service and the ever changing trends. “He says that in order for the industry to continue giving its customers the best service, its important to keep abreast of trends, “there has never been a time with more opportunities to turn the world on to our fantastic wine tourism experiences. But to do this, we need to be up to date with trends, exchange ideas, increase service excellence and concentrate our efforts, and this seminar should help us all to do just that.”
South Africa’s impressive reputation as a wine lovers’ destination has received much publicity globally.
The South African wine industry continues to draw international visitors to the country as a result of the fine reputation that South African wines have built for themselves around the world.
In January 2009, The Drinks Business, a specialist UK beverage publication with a global readership, rated WOSA as one of the world's most influential beverage organisations that has contributed significantly in creating public awareness of the environment.
WOSA received an impressive fifth place on the publication’s Green List, significantly ahead of other national liquor giants currently listed with the magazine.
The Green List, identified 50 of the most influential drinks companies, individuals and organisations, who have played a significant role in in making caring for the environment a prioritypracticing top notch environmentally friendly business.
Those mentioned on the list were lauded for their interest in and implementation of renewable energy, water saving initiatives, minimising carbon emissions and environmentally friendly packaging.
South Africa’s eco-sustainable wine production standards received a special recognition as the world’s most progressive wine industry, This included focusing on such issues as renewable energy, reducing the use of water, measuring carbon emissions and addressing packaging.
WOSA CEO Su Birch acknowledged South Africa's role in promoting best-practice in sustainable wine production. She added that WOSA will continue to further advance the country’s unique positioning as a leading producer of highly varied wines. was helping to still further advance the country's unique positioning as a producer of highly varied wines.
“In the present economic climate, in which consumers are more circumspect when spending their money, they are seeking not only outstanding value, which South Africa is able to offer across all pricing segments and a wealth of styles, but also an affirmation of production integrity,” she said. South Africa's eco-sustainable wine production standards were also recognised as the most progressive in the wine industry across the world.
The first three positions on the Green List were awarded to multinational retail giants, Tesco, Carrefour and Wal-Mart respectively. For his role as a campaigner for the environment, US President Barack Obama received his spot at number four.