‘Huge potential’ for SA wine tourism

19 April 2011

Wine tourism contributed an estimated R4.3-billion to South Africa’s overall tourism revenue in 2009, and still has huge potential for further growth, says Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk.

Addressing a stakeholder workshop at the Spier Estate outside Stellenbosch on Monday, Van Schalkwyk said that wine tourism was one of the fastest growing and most lucrative sectors of the global tourism market.

“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.

“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 that, by increasing its revenue from tourism, the South African wine industry could offset international volatility caused by factors such as foreign currency and demand fluctuations.

Wine and gourmet tourism could also held increase the geographic spread of tourism in the country by providing 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.”