Minister encourages further development of wine tourism
18 Apr 2011
Mr Marthinus van Schalkwyk, the Minister of Tourism, today welcomed the steps taken by a variety of role players in the wine industry to further develop wine tourism and place South Africa on the map as a world class wine tourism destination.
Speaking at a stakeholder workshop at the Spier Estate outside Stellenbosch, the Minister said 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. 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," Minister van Schalkwyk said.
"Increasing its revenue from tourism can help the South African wine industry to offset international volatility caused by amongst others currency and demand fluctuations. Wine and gourmet tourism, which includes the enjoyment of food and wines, can also play a role in terms of our goal of increasing the geographic spread of tourism in South Africa, as it provides 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.
"We believe stakeholder inclusivity and alignment is fundamental to the adoption and implementation of a winning wine tourism strategy and in that context I would like to congratulate the organisers on convening this workshop today,” the Minister said.
Wine tourism is defined as visits by tourists and travellers to wineries, vineyards and wine regions to experience the unique qualities of the regional (and national) lifestyle associated with the enjoyment of wine at its source. Wine tourism includes the enjoyment of wine and food, the landscape and environment combined with community and cultural activities.
In terms of global trends in travel and tourism, the Minister said the industry was still one of the world’s fastest growing economic sectors, despite experiencing various setbacks and a fair amount of turbulence over the last two years.
“Travel and tourism now accounts for 9.2% of global gross domestic product (GDP), 4.8% of world exports and 9.2% of world investment. It is forecasted that travel and tourism’s total economic contribution in 2011 is expected to account for more than US$ 5991 billion (about R40 trillion), 9.1% of global GDP and 258 million jobs. By 2021, this is forecasted to reach US$ 9226 billion (about R62 trillion) or 9.6% of global GDP by 2021,” Minister van Schalkwyk said.
“We all appreciate the growing importance of the global tourism industry as a driver of economic growth and the role of tourism in emerging markets in particular as a catalyst of development, prosperity and job creation.
“Over the past decade an increasing number of emerging economies have successfully been leveraging tourism to boost development, and emerging economies have also been able to recover faster and with fewer losses from the economic downturn. The developing world’s share of global GDP has increased from 33.7% in 1980 to 43.4% in 2010, and all indications are that the share of discretionary spending and consumption in these markets will grow dramatically in the next decade.
“When we consider our markets and consumers, it is clear that we cannot afford to ignore the larger global picture in terms of growth and development. Any long-term response to shifting markets has to take cognisance of the value of the booming outbound flows from emerging markets,” the Minister said.
“Forecasts indicate that by 2013, the number of inbound arrivals to emerging countries will outnumber those to the developed world thanks to the new emerging middle class. Our pre-financial crisis market segmentation and understanding of the required product diversification are continually reviewed. We will continue to carefully balance domestic, regional and international tourism, the mix of high-value and middle-value markets, as well as business, leisure and events tourism.
“In terms of our consumers, we know they are more price-conscious and have a more value-oriented mindset. They seek more customised and authentic offerings and many of them want to travel responsibly.
“When we plan on how to cater for these new consumers, we should therefore continue to explore new frontiers both in terms of product innovation and the opportunities offered by the rapidly evolving technology and information landscape. Above all, it remains vital that we continue to align our value proposition, branding, product diversification endeavours and marketing strategy with evolving consumer preferences,” the Minister said.
Minister van Schalkwyk said the development of wine tourism also complemented the goals of the recently launched National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS), which aims to position South Africa as one of the top 20 global tourism destinations by 2020.
“Some of the key focus areas of the NTSS include the increase of tourist arrivals to South Africa, further developing the domestic tourism sector, the promotion of events tourism, niche product development and rural tourism promotion. I believe wine tourism can contribute to each of these goals in a significant way and we look forward to continued constructive engagement with the industry in this regard.
Tel: 021 465 7240
Cell: 083 242 7763
Natasha N Rockman
Tel: 021 465 7240
Fax: 021 462 5237
Cell: 076 429 2264
Issued by: Department of Tourism
18 Apr 2011
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