In an awards ceremony held on 4 December the Franschhoek Wine Valley was awarded, for the fourth time, the title of Best Local Tourism Authority Information Service (LTA) of the Year, at the Cape Winelands District Municipality Mayoral Tourism Awards.
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. In addition, 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 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, Tradeshows and Exhibitions, CRM and database utilization, as well as PR and media campaigns.
Besides producing the promotional printed collateral such as brochures, route maps and flyers, the tourism office’s specialist team was able to produce innovative products, some of which are unique in the Cape Winelands, by means of utilizing the latest technology. Innovative tourism products include a mobile website with a GPS proximity facility for use on Smart phones, as well as an online brochure accessible via their website, and online accommodation booking facility.
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 Bastille Festival, Franschhoek Wedding Showcase, Franschhoek Summer Wines, Franschhoek Uncorked and the Franschhoek ‘Magic of Bubbles’ Cap Classique and Champagne Festival. The valley is represented in Gauteng by the Winter Sculpture Fair and Franschhoek Food and Wine 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
Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards won the category Wine Tourism Destination of the Year, with La Motte securing the runner-up position in the same category. Both producers are members of the Franschhoek Wine Valley.
‘We are once again humbled and honoured to receive this prestigious award, 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.