27 July 2009 - by -
You just have to mention the words 2010, soccer or World Cup and everybody knows what you're talking about. To the tourism industry this is huge and to the Western Cape this means wine tourism.
Wine tourism is a concept that is somewhat ethereal. It's out there, everybody knows it's out there, but whether it is used to its full potential is another matter altogether. In addition, there are no real statistics to back up how much wine tourism contributes to the economy although figures of around the R6.75-billion mark have been bandied about for last year.
"The concept is simple," according to Monika Elias, publisher of the Wine Tourism News tabloid and The Wine Tourism Handbook, "wine estates must diversify their offerings in order to get more people through their doors and increase revenue streams. The obvious way to do this is to target the existing tourist market, the people who are already visiting the country or region and ensuring the wine estates are part of their holiday experience. This is the ideal marriage of wine and tourism."
With the endorsement of the Cape Town Routes Unlimited (CTRU) and in line with its Beyond 90 Minutes campaign - aimed at enticing 2010 visitors to enjoy more than just the beautiful game in the Western Cape - The Wine Tourism Handbook 2010 will once again provide a platform for wineries to showcase their unique brand, while at the same time providing tourists with a compendium of what they can see, do, experience and taste in the Winelands.
Living up to its name of the Ultimate Guide to the Winelands, next year's handbook (now in its fifth edition) promises a number of exciting new features. The cover is specifically designed to cover all aspects of wine tourism and entices the reader to take a look inside.
There are up-to-date new maps demarcating all the wine farms, major roads and places of interest for each wine route. In fact, given the size of the Stellenbosch wine route, there's a map for each of the five sub-routes for 2010. Each map comes with an easy reference guide giving grid indicators, contact details for every farm and tasting room hours.
Many wine farms have also opted for a new advertising format in which they can tell their story as well as showcase their attractions and top three wines, which gives the reader a far more informed choice of what's on offer.
Following the success of the maiden Easy Wine Guide in 2009, the winning formula has been recreated with respected wine writer, Fiona McDonald at the helm and contributions by Christine Rudman, Roland Peens and Greg Landman. Branded as Your Complete Winelands wine list, the Easy Wine Guide is 20 pages of carefully chosen wines in three price categories for each region.
In addition some of the top foodies have been roped in to give thumbnail sketches of the very best eating experiences in the different wine regions.
There's also updated offerings on the history of the South African wine industry, introductions to the different styles and varieties of wine, events and festivals, places to stay, activities ranging from things to do in the great outdoors to kids' activities and where to buy South African wines overseas.
On release, The Wine Tourism Handbook 2010 will be distributed through the CTRU at trade shows and other events and stocked on Kalahari.net, at leading book sellers, as well as through the wine farms and top hotels.
For more information, contact (021) 510-3316.