In an awards ceremony held last night at Leipzig Country House in Worcester, the Franschhoek Wine Valley was awarded, for the second year in a row, the title of Best Local Tourism Authority Information Service (LTA) of the Year, at the annual Cape Winelands District Municipality Mayoral Tourism Awards. And the cherry on the cake was an additional award for the Valley’s annual Franschhoek Bastille Festival, which was awarded as the best Tourism Related Event of the Year.
The prestigious and highly sought after 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.
With regards 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.
As added awareness 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.
‘We are once again humbled and honoured to receive these prestigious awards, and as a team who works hard at delivering on these criteria, we continue to keep Franschhoek and its offerings top of mind’, comments Franschhoek Wine Valley CEO Jenny Prinsloo.