More tourists smack their lips over Cape's food and wine menu

29 October 2019 - 10:22 By TimesLIVE
Vineyards in Franschhoek, the favourite destination among food and wine tourists in 2018.
Vineyards in Franschhoek, the favourite destination among food and wine tourists in 2018.
Image: AFP PHOTO / STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN

Food and wine tourism is booming in the Western Cape.

Bookings grew by 60% in 2018, according to research by Wesgro, the province’s tourism, trade and investment agency.

“There’s a growing interest in immersive authentic experiences with inside knowledge and private guides,” said Ian Haggie, business development manager at food and wine tour operator Explore Sideways, Wesgro’s partner in the research project.

“The UK and US still make up a large percentage of the market. Franschhoek and Stellenbosch are still the top destinations for food and wine enthusiasts.”

David Maynier, the MEC for economic opportunities, said it was promising that food and wine tourism grew in spite of the 2018 drought. He said this was a testament to the level of service delivered by staff in the sector.

Most food and wine tourists were couples between 30 and 50 years old. “[Visitors from] African countries contributed little to these activities. This shows the need for this target market to be prioritised,” said a Wesgro statement.

On average, tourists joining food and wine tours spent more than R60,000.


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