Currently in its fourth year, the annual Business of Wine & Food Tourism Conference, will now be known as the Wine & Food Tourism Conference.
The event, which is set to take place on 18 September 2019 at Spier near Stellenbosch, will introduce the first ever Wine & Food Tourism Awards.
Margi Biggs, wine and gourmet tourism specialist and convenor of the Wine & Food Tourism Conference says the aim of the new awards platform is to recognise those individuals and teams who have made exceptional contributions to the development and promotion of the South African wine and food tourism industry.
“We have so much in our favour in South Africa. We have physical beauty and critically acclaimed wines that have captured the attention of leading tastemakers. Our restaurants and gastronomy are renowned. Once again, we feature on the list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2018. Our ingredients are fresh, traceable and delicious. Our food markets routinely star on social media. We are globally known for our friendly hospitality. These are all massive drawcards.
“Fortunately, tourism in the Western Cape is the region’s fastest-growing sector, employing over 200 000 people and generating R17 billion for the economy each year. We believe the potential is there to grow the number of jobs to 300 000. All of us can help to make that happen. My view is that the new Wine & Food Tourism Awards could play a definite role in doing so.
“We are also delighted to announce that Jean-Pierre Rossouw will serve as the awards programme chairperson, overseeing the judging panel. Publisher of Platter’s South African Wine Guide, the country most authoritative guide on local wines, as well as of Rossouw’s Restaurant Guide, an independently-minded guide on the South African dining landscape, Rossouw is a well-known and respected personality in the country’s wine and food industry,” Biggs explains.
The judging categories for the Wine & Food Tourism Awards 2019 include:
- Innovation, recognising outstanding and original innovation in concepts, products and/or services that make a valuable contribution, offer unique experiences, and/or boost food and/or wine tourism in South Africa;
- Service Excellence, highlighting those in South Africa’s wine and food industries who excel in service, consistently providing memorable customer experiences; and
- The Authentic South African Experience, acknowledging initiatives that create experiences true to the South African culture in which consumers can fully immerse themselves, at the same time promoting the country’s cultural heritage through wine and food.
The Innovation category will be judged by marketing thought-leader Steve Massey, strategic marketing expert Mac Mabidilala as well as tourism professional and co-founder of the Oranjezicht City Farm Sheryl Ozinsky; while Service Excellence will see tourism and hospitality expert Horst Frehse, conferencing specialist Gwynneth Matthews and accomplished sommelier Higgo Jacobs as judges.
Wine.co.za founder and owner Judy Brower, hospitality entrepreneur Janet Pillai and wine industry marketing and communications consultant André Morgenthal will serve as judges in The Authentic South African Experience category.
There will be a maximum of three honourees in each category, and each of them will get the opportunity to include the Wine & Food Tourism Awards 2019 logo on all their marketing material for the following year. Individuals or teams who have been named as honourees for three years in a row will receive membership to the elite Wine & Food Tourism Honourees Club. Thereafter they will not be eligible to be nominated for the same award again.
Participants may nominate as many wine and/or food establishments as they wish, in any or all of the categories. A separate form needs to be submitted for each nomination. An administration fee of R600 is application to each nomination.
Nominations could be submitted via the website, from 2 April 2019. The closing date for participants to submit their nominations is 10 June 2019.
The honourees per category of the Wine & Food Tourism Awards 2019 will be announced at the Wine & Food Tourism Conference 2019.