Business of Wine and Food Tour

Janine Laubscher/Southern Write

Business of Wine and Food Tourism Conference set to bring global bigwigs to Mzansi, get in while you can

It’s not often some of the world’s biggest names in food and wine tourism get together to share their expertise, and what better place to bring them all together than the Cape’s famous Spier wine farm.

Business of Wine and Food Tour

Janine Laubscher/Southern Write

South Africa’s current economic climate, as precarious as it seems, still offers great opportunities and allows for our tourism sector to boom under ordinarily challenging circumstances.

So it’s not hard to see why Spier wine farm in Stellenbosch would be the venue of choice for one of the world’s premier food and wine tourism events.

Spier conferencing.Spier Wine Farm

The Business of Wine and Food Tourism Conference will take place on 20 September, but the initial registration for the conference closes on Monday, 12 June, so you’d best get cracking if you’re interested in your early bird discount.

The annual conference, now in its second year, will be convened by seasoned travel and tourism specialist, Margi Biggs.

Read: Spier is going greener than ever, why not be a part of it?

She says that this year’s edition of the forum would be presented by a selection of international and local tourism specialists such as CEO of SA Tourism, Sisa Ntshona; Don Shindle, an expert in customer service and GM of the Westin Verasa Napa in California’s renowned wine tourism epicentre.

They will be joined by world-renowned TV personality, Andrea Robinson, one of only 23 female master sommeliers in the world; as well as Dr Robin Back, a South African-born, a US-based academic who conducts wine tourism research in both South Africa and the US.

The overall focus of the conference will be on best practice and how to improve the customer experience to build customer loyalty. The programme will also cover such topics as virtual reality, attracting new markets (even within South Africa), and PR troubleshooting.

Biggs contends that, if done right, travel and tourism can contribute even further to South Africa’s national GDP. The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has calculated that last year, the direct contribution of the travel and tourism sector to the South African economy was worth R127,9bn, accounting for 3% of the country’s GDP.

Conference registration information:

Trainees and professionals working in the Cape’s wine, food and tourism industries are encouraged to register now to take advantage of the preferential ‘early bird’ rate of R2 950 (excl. VAT) per delegate.

After 12 June, a standard fee of R3 950 (excl. VAT) per delegate will apply, up until 18 August. Those registering after 18 August will need to pay R4 500 (excl. VAT) per head.

For more information on the conference, or to register online, visit

Social media: Twitter and Facebook: @winefoodconf