Wesgro has identified Food and Wine Tourism as a strategic priority in its 2015-2019 implementation plan, as Cape Town is emerging as a gastronomic destination.
Wesgro is partnering Karoo Food, Sustainable Tourism Partnership Programme, WOSA (Wines of South Africa) and other local tourism bodies to identify and promote unique wine and cuisine experiences to the domestic and international markets.
Food tourism is in a growth phase globally, with the World Food Travel Association estimating that it generates an economic impact of US$150 billion (€133 billion) annually.
“Aside from the tourism benefits, the establishment of geographic indicators like Karoo lamb also promotes economic growth and investment in the local communities because there is a vested interest in building the brand and maintaining products’ quality and unique characteristics,” said Judy Lain, CEO at Wesgro.
Food tourism has a positive impact on driving geographic spread, seasonality and job creation and Wesgro aims to catapult unique regional products such as Karoo lamb to the ranks of Champagne and Parma ham as a globally recognisable food brand.