Travel and alcohol bans resulting in the closure of wine farms in 2020 significantly constrained the trade sector in the Cape Winelands District. It is estimated that the Cape Winelands District shed 21 550 jobs in 2020, with the Drakenstein municipal area being the largest contributor to this decline (6 452 jobs). In terms of the local tourism value chain, it is also assumed that several restaurants and guesthouses needed to close their doors owing to the economic strain caused by COVID-19. The local events industry came to a halt which had a direct economic impact on the tourism value chain. The Municipality also had to redirect its event support funds to fund COVID-19 relief measures.

What role does tourism grading play in marketing one’s establishment? Tourism grading plays an integral role when marketing one’s establishment as it offers a guarantee of the expected standard of service. It also determines whether visitors will pay repeat visits to the establishment and destination. Which are Drakenstein’s largest international and domestic tourism source markets? Our largest international key source markets are firstly the United Kingdom, secondly Germany, and thirdly the United States of America, followed by Australia, France, and Belgium. Our largest national key source markets are day visitors from Cape Town, followed by Johannesburg and the Southern Cape.

What are the plans to resurrect the tourism sector?

The Municipality has developed a tourism roadmap and is currently having focus group discussions with various tourism role-players. The aim is to increase our local tourism industry’s competitive advantage, foster better collaboration, and promote our destination as the sports and adventure hub of the Winelands. We want to set new brand priorities. We also want to outline the key focus areas and destination marketing messages and how we will get there through partnerships and through embracing innovation. How important is it for tourism establishments in Drakenstein to be graded? Do people still care about three, four, or five stars? To get graded is extremely important, as local and international visitors recognise the quality and service excellence of the tourism experience through the star-grading. Visitors still care about it as it acts as a measuring tool for facilities and amenities available at respective tourism establishments.

What is our domestic tourism approach specifically?

Our focus is to align our campaigns with the existing domestic marketing campaigns of Wesgro and South African Tourism by strengthening our collaboration with other industry partners. Which plans does Drakenstein have to promote the area as a business-, meetings-, and incentives destination? We are currently doing the groundwork to establish ourselves as a destination that can host smaller business conferences and meetings for up to 200 attendees. This is a work in progress and we work closely with Wesgro, the Cape Town and Western Cape Convention Bureau, and the South Africa National Convention Bureau in this regard.


VARS | September

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