SA wine tourism players can benchmark by competing in Best of Wine Tourism & Ambassador Awards, says Wesgro

by | Jul 21, 2022 | Article, Wineland

Wesgro’s chief destination marketing officer Monika Iuel, is encouraged by new growth in the return of international and domestic visitors to the Cape.

Commenting on behalf of the Best Of Wine Tourism & Ambassador Awards, of which Wesgro is the custodian, she says: “The recent rise in tourism arrivals certainly bodes well for South Africa’s wine tourism sector.”

According to the latest airport statistics, passengers through Cape Town International Airport rose substantially since the start of the pandemic.

Domestic terminal passenger movement reached a recovery rate of 75% in April 2022 when compared to the same month in 2019 and international terminal passenger arrivals and departures recovered to 76%.

In addition, recent data on arrivals recorded in April 2022, released by Statistics South Africa, confirms a strong recovery for leading Western Cape source markets. Most notably, visitors from the United Kingdom arriving at Cape Town International Airport recovered to an almost perfect 98% of pre-pandemic levels.

Furthermore, anecdotal reports from wine tourism providers indicate an increase in overseas bookings for summer 2022/3. “This is welcome news after the many setbacks endured by the wine tourism industry over the past two years and more.”

She notes, however, that while lockdown and the alcohol bans are over, South Africans still face the impact of cost-of-living increases that might make potential domestic tourists review any travel plans.




Wesgro’s Chief Destination Marketing Officer Monika Iuel, is encouraged by new growth in the return of international and domestic visitors to the Cape.


“In order to remain relevant, with enticing offers to often hard-pressed travellers, it is essential for industry players to monitor closely their competitive environment. One simple, effective step involves benchmarking. Evaluating yourself against the best of the best provides useful context in testing claims of uniqueness or distinctiveness.”

She is urging wine tourism providers to enter the upcoming Best Of Wine Tourism & Ambassador Awards in any of the ten categories (seven in the Best Of Wine Tourism Awards and three in the Ambassador programme). There are no limits to the number of categories in which competitors can enter. The cost per entry is R575, including VAT.

All entries can be submitted online at no later than by close of business, Friday, 05 August.

The seven categories in Best Of Wine Tourism Awards, the local chapter of the international Great Wine Capitals Awards of Excellence, are

  1. Accommodation,
  2. Restaurants,
  3. Architecture & Landscape,
  4. Art & Culture,
  5. Wine Tourism Services,
  6. Innovative Wine Tourism Experience
  7. Sustainable Wine Tourism Practice.

The five top entries in each category will be evaluated by judges from the local chapter with input from the international body.

The Ambassador Awards encompass Authentic South African Experience, Wine Tourism Diversity and WWF Conservation Pioneer. The latter, as its name suggests, is sponsored by WWF South Africa.

Winners will be celebrated at an event in October.

WATCH: Best of Wine Tourism Awards winners 2022


ALSO READ: Winners announced in Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism Awards

The prestigious Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism Awards celebrate innovation and excellence in wine tourism throughout the eleven greatest wine regions of the world.

These awards provide an opportunity for these wineries and other visitor-serving businesses in each region to gain exposure and recognition for their commitment to presenting leading wine tourism options, while giving visitors a one-stop list of the best places to experience.

Now in their 23rd year, the 2022 Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism Awards saw a number of entries from wineries in each of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network’s member cities, in seven different categories, namely: Accommodation, Wine Tourism Restaurant, Sustainable Wine Tourism Practice, Architecture & Landscape, Art & Culture, Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences as well as Wine Tourism Services.

The judging process entailed an in-depth reviewing process, where applications received were reviewed and scored based on standard criteria. Seven expert judges and three Wine Tourism Ambassador Award judges conducted “ghost visits” to the wineries within each of their assigned categories. The judges then attended a final adjudication review, where each expert judge presented their findings, and a winner was selected for each category.

The winners were announced at a ceremony held at the Creation Wines, in Hermanus on Tuesday, 12 October 2021:

Accommodation | Winner: Delaire Graff

Wine Tourism Restaurants | Winner: Creation Wines

Wine Tourism Services | Winner: Creation Wines

Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices | Winner: Vergelegen

Architecture & Landscape | Winner: Vergelegen

Art & Culture | Winner: La Motte Wine Estate

Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences | Winner: Babylonstoren

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