Top-name international speakers, including UK media celebrity and wine educator, Joe Fattorini, and US digital maven, data specialist and pioneer of wine e-commerce, Paul Mabray, will share the platform with other leading offshore and local specialists at next month’s in-person Wine Tourism Conference.
Set to re-energise the hard-hit local wine tourism sector, the live event is scheduled to be held at Boschendal wine estate in Franschhoek on March 16. The focus will be on the value of wine tourism as a key tool for driving wine sales, with the accent on forging direct-to-consumer (DtC) relationships as a way of building future resilience.
“It was essential that we arrange a face-to-face event to boost the depleted morale of the industry,” explains organiser Margi Biggs. “We want to dispel the stress and sense of isolation so many have endured. And what better shot in the arm than an opportunity to meet with some world-class international and local tourism and marketing mavens, visionaries and problem-solvers. They will share best-practice and give delegates the lift they are looking for to make the most of what remains of this tourism season and prepare for the next.”
Research body IWSR has projected that over the next five years, total beverage alcohol ecommerce sales across key global markets, including South Africa, are expected to grow by 66%, to reach more than US$42bn. By then, ecommerce is forecast to account for about 6% of all off-trade beverage alcohol volumes, compared with less than 2% in 2018.
Peter McAtamney, who leads Australia’s Wine Business Solutions and is a specialist on DtC wine business across Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, is another offshore speaker. He benchmarks these Southern hemisphere countries against global best practice.
Speakers at the conference will include Wesgro CMO, Monica Iuel, and Jimmy Eichelgruen, Delta Air Lines Sales Director for Africa, Middle East and India, as well as globally respected wine commentator, Michael Fridjhon.
Several high-profile local wine tourism personalities are also involved, including Mike Radcliff representing Stellenbosch Wine Routes and Visit Stellenbosch.
Key sponsors are Wesgro and Delta Air Lines.