The Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, will present the inaugural Wine & Food Tourism Awards at Spier, near Stellenbosch on September 18.
This will be the first time a National Government Minister has attended the Wine & Food Tourism Conference.
Conference convenor, Margi Biggs, said Minister Kubayi-Ngubane’s scheduled appearance at the conference signalled the importance of the fast-growing wine and food tourism sector.
According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, travel and tourism in South Africa contributed 1.5 million jobs and R425.8bn (€27bn) to the economy in 2018, representing 8.6% of all economic activity.
Biggs said the awards were intended to celebrate the inventive and appealing ways that local wine and gastro tourism providers were responding to global changes in travellers’ lifestyles, values and priorities.
“Local wine tourism providers are proving innovative and responsive in how they cater for traditional and mainstream wine and food lovers, as well as to those with an interest in ethical, sustainable, cultural, health and sports-oriented experiences,” said Biggs. “From the artisanal to augmented reality, South Africans are wonderfully adept at fashioning and curating world-class experiences and events that acknowledge long-standing traditions alongside the very latest in technology. No wonder then that we have had such an encouraging response to the awards with so many original and exciting nominations.”
The Wine & Food Tourism Awards will be presented in three categories: Innovation, Service Excellence and The Authentic South African Experience. Individual specialist panels have been established to judge all three.