Wine tourism most lucrative sector

Wine tourism was one of the fastest growing and most lucrative sectors of the global tourism market, Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said on Monday.

“In South Africa, our wine industry plays an important role in terms of its contribution to specifically regional and rural economic growth and job creation,” he said at a stakeholder workshop at the Spier Estate outside Stellenbosch.

“In 2009 wine tourism contributed an estimated R4,3-billion to our country’s tourism revenue, and we believe there is still great potential for growth in this regard.”

Van Schalkwyk said increasing its revenue from tourism could help the South African wine industry offset international volatility caused by factors such as foreign currency and demand fluctuations.

Wine and gourmet tourism could also play a role in terms of South Africa’s goal of increasing the geographic spread of tourism as it provided additional options for tourists.

“Wine tourism is a vital product offering in South Africa’s tourism product as it helps improve the country’s competitiveness against destinations like Brazil, Australia, Kenya and Thailand,” he said.

“We believe stakeholder inclusivity and alignment is fundamental to the adoption and implementation of a winning wine tourism strategy.” — Sapa

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