In an awards ceremony held last night at Kronenburg Estate in Paarl, the Franschhoek Wine Valley walked away with the title of Best Local Tourism Authority Information Service (LTA) of the Year, at the annual Cape Winelands District Municipality Mayoral Tourism Awards.
This award is bestowed upon a Local Tourism Association (LTA) or privately run tourist or visitor information service that best promotes the town in its respective geographical area, providing visitors with the best local experience possible. Furthermore, nominees had to demonstrate a comprehensive approach to increasing tourism revenue into the region.
The judging panel took note of the fact that the Franschhoek Wine Valley devised and executed its Brand Franschhoek marketing strategy successfully by using all elements of the Marketing Mix. These elements included Research and Statistical Analysis, Website, e-Marketing and Social Media, Events and Festivals, Sponsorships, Tradeshows and Exhibitions, including Explore Franschhoek Tour Operator Workshop, CRM and database utilization, as well as PR and media campaigns.
Besides producing the promotional printed collateral such as brochures, route maps, flyers, their specialist team was able to produce innovative products, some of which are unique in the Cape Winelands, utilizing the latest technology. Innovative tourism products include a mobile website with a GPS proximity facility for use on Smart phones, a QR code to access their website by scanning from an iPad or Smart phone, an online brochure accessible via their website, an online accommodation as well as a loyalty card programme to promote retail business in the region. Franschhoek is also the first tourism region to produce a Food and Wine Route as an integrated product. In addition they are the first region to develop a local community tourism route which creates jobs, called Franschhoek Rond en Bont.
With regard to local economic development, they have a dedicated staff member focusing on the upliftment of the community which includes amongst others tourism hospitality training, youth development drama projects, a Youth Ambassador programme, Farm Worker of the Year, and Cellar worker training programmes. Through the grant-in-aid from Stellenbosch Municipality, and donations for events from the Cape Winelands District Municipality the association has been able to extend the reach of their tourism projects with the local community.
The Franschhoek Wine Valley holds festivals throughout the year including those in low season, all of which have become social calendar highlights. These festivals include the Franschhoek Literary Festival, Cook Franschhoek, Franschhoek Bastille Festival, Franschhoek Summer and Winter Wines, Franschhoek Uncorked and the Franschhoek ‘Magic of Bubbles’ Cap Classique and Champagne Festival. During low season the valley also offers four Mystery Weekend packages which, together with the festivals, increase feet and revenue into the Valley significantly.
They have developed strategic partnerships with organizations such as Comité de Pilotage Viti Vinicole Rhône-Alpes in France, IGLTA (International Gay & Lesbian Tourism Association), St Helena Chamber of Commerce Napa Valley, SA-French Seasons 2012-13 with the French Embassy and the Department of Arts and Culture. These organizations have assisted the Tourism Association with promoting Franschhoek Wine Valley’s wine tourism objectives and marketing strategy.
“It is an honour to receive this prestigious award as we continue to keep Franschhoek and its offerings top of mind,” says Franschhoek Wine Valley CEO, Jenny Prinsloo.