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BUSINESS OF WINE & FOOD: TIME TO AIM FOR EXCELLENCE & UNLOCK VALUE

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BUSINESS OF WINE & FOOD: TIME TO AIM FOR EXCELLENCE & UNLOCK VALUE
In the week the second Business of Wine & Food Tourism was held at the Spier wine estate in Stellenbosch. The programme covered a multitude of topics around the theme of Aiming For Excellence. Also on the spotlight were discussions on Quality Service, Brand Loyalty, Sustainable Food Chains, Doing Tourism through Food and Wine, some advise on How to handle PR and Communication crises; Attracting the emerging black travellers and Afropolitan travellers; and more.

Some key sentiments coming out of the conference were:

  • Travel and Tourism can contribute even further to South Africa’s GDP, provided we take note of new trends in consumer spending, behaviour and priorities to make our food and wine tourism offerings more compelling and more competitive. Equally important is continuously aiming to up the standard of our execution and service delivery.
  • South Africa has all the right ingredients: beautiful locations, a growing reputation for world-class food and wines, as well as friendly and welcoming hospitality staff. We just need to finesse what we are doing with the technology and research we now have at our disposal, while applying new thinking to marketing and problem-solving. This will in-turn contribute to build skills, create economic opportunities and reduce unemployment, generating prosperity for more South Africans. It’s time take note of this potential.
  • That its time for the broader travel and tourism trade to package and showcase South Africa from a Food and Wine perspective especially amongst the people of South Africa. In this way, the industry can contribute to the diversification and innovation of tourism into and within South Africa.

RESULTS OF NEW CALIFORNIA WINE TOURISM SURVEY RELEASED
Results of a new online survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults who recently visited California wine country were released this week, offering key insights in understanding and enhancing the experience of visitors to wineries and regions. Some key findings from the survey:

  • The profile of the California wine country visitor is consistent with wine drinker demographics. The average age of visitors to California wine country is 43 years old, with Baby Boomers accounting for 39.5%, Generation-X’s 21.9% and Millennials 36.1%
  • Over 70% of California wine country visitors surveyed drink wine at least once a week with 36% drinking wine several times a week. Nearly 60% consider wine “important” or “very important” to their lifestyles and see themselves as “very knowledgeable” about the beverage
  • Nearly 50% of California wine visitors stayed in luxury hotels (48.3% four-star, 25.6% five-star) versus a U.S. norm of about 15% staying in the equivalent of five-star properties. Visitors use a variety of resources in deciding which regions and wineries to visit and most often rely on word-of-mouth recommendations (62.3%) and general internet searches (43.9%).

The survey findings reveal some important lessons for South Africa, which is both a rival and a forward light for some of the established wine and food destinations globally. Click here to view more findings from the survey

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