Wine Industry Strategic Exercise (WISE)

Wine tourists are significant spenders and often South Africans.


A wine tourism baseline study and strategy development is one of ten new projects comprising the Wine Industry Strategic Exercise (Wise). Destinate is working with VinPro and Stellenbosch University to determine the impact and potential of wine tourism. The first phase of this work was an assessment of the current wine tourism industry and market trends. A total of 500 questionnaires were distributed by master’s students from Stellenbosch University at seven key tourism points in and around Cape Town. The survey was conducted on a Saturday during peak season.


The preliminary research indicates that South Africans account for a significant part of visitors to these tourism hotspots, and that the largest percentage of the visitors were in the 25 – 34 age group.


Destinate’s Mariëtte du Toit-Helmbold says the survey suggests that wine tourism encompasses a wine experience that goes beyond merely enjoying wine. “Natural beauty and good food are some of the most important aspects that appeal to visitors,” she comments. The majority of the respondents indicated that they spent more than R500 on their trip, highlighting the economic value of such visits.


The research emphasised the importance of word of mouth, with 65% of respondents indicating that they had heard about their wine experiences through this key form of marketing. Social media and websites were also key references.


A second part of the Wise wine tourism project is a survey that was distributed among wineries and estates in South Africa. For more information contact Mariëtte on


The South African wine industry is in the process of developing a new strategic framework aimed at improving competitiveness and coherence through, inter alia, more focused communication and an industry-wide governance structure.


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