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South Africa’s Wine Tourism showcased at ITB 2018

by Mariette du Toit-Helmbold on 12.03.2018

Tourism sustains more than 700 000 direct jobs in South Africa. It has been identified as a key growth area for government with support from the highest office in the country calling on the entire government sector to prioritise tourism.

ITB Berlin, the world’s largest travel and tourism event, is the perfect platform to showcase South Africa’s unique tourism and premium wine offering.

With no less than a 12% growth in arrivals from Germany in 2017, Germany remains a key market for South Africa. The strategy for ITB 2018 was to reaffirm that the Western Cape is open for business despite the drought and showcase tourism and wine brands that have been proactive in putting business contingency plans in place and manage their water supply and usage responsibly. Tourism is an important part of Cape Town’s economy, with over 1,2 million visitors annually spending more than R40 billion.

Destinate was invited by South African Tourism to coordinate a wine activation on the South African Pavilion on Wednesday, 7 March, during the SA Tourism trade and media event. 220 guests, including top trade, media and tourism stakeholders, were in attendance and listened to a message from the National Minister of Tourism and the CEO of South African Tourism reaffirming that Cape Town and the Western Cape continued to offer visitors unforgettable travel experiences.

Sisa Ntshona, CEO of SA Tourism; Theresa Bay-Muller, SA Tourism Country Manager Germany; Ian Utermohlen, SA Tourism Regional General Manager Europe

A media and trade kit was distributed with an overview of South Africa’s wine tourism offering, practical examples of water-wise tourism businesses like The President Hotel and a gallery of images and video on the destination and our marketing partners. Guests enjoyed premium wines from Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Wines of Elgin including La Motte, Mooiplaas, Lourensford and Paul Cluver Wines.

Premium wines from La Motte, Mooiplaas, Lourensford and Paul Cluver were showcased at ITB 2018

Members of the trade enjoying a glass of La Motte Chardonnay

The feedback from media, trade and exhibitors was overwhelmingly positive and they enjoyed learning more about South Africa’s wine and tourism offering over a glass of good South African wine. The Mooiplaas Sauvignon Blanc, Paul Cluver Pinot Noir, Lourensford Merlot and La Motte Chardonnay were popular choices.

The Mooiplaas Sauvignon Blanc was a favourite

The event was followed by a special trade presentation and wine tasting on Thursday with 45 members from the trade and South African Tourism.

Paul Cluver's Pinot Noir was enjoyed by the trade

We gave an overview of South Africa’s wine tourism offering and shared examples of water-wise initiatives by tourism and wine partners like The President Hotel and La Motte. Trade enjoyed the premium wines and expressed a keen interest in finding out more about wine tourism in South Africa.

Mariette du Toit-Helmbold talks wine tourism

The third activation at ITB was an event co-hosted with Traverse Events on Thursday, 8 March, at Wombat’s City Hostel. Traverse host influencer events around the world bringing hundreds of bloggers, YouTubers, Instagrammers and other content creators together.

More than a 100 media, trade and top bloggers from key markets as well as important tourism stakeholders enjoyed wine from La Motte, Paul Cluver and Lourensford and heard the story of South Africa’s wine tourism offering.

South Africa's wine pairs well with any occasion 

Kash Bhattacharya of Budget Traveller and Sabrina Wulf enjoy a glass of Lourensford Sauvignon Blanc

Full house at Wombat's City Hostel


I am proud to be part of team South Africa tourism led by the capable team at South African Tourism. I have been attending ITB Berlin for close to 15 years and this year’s event was a highlight. I believe we are entering a new era of growth and closer collaboration between private and public sector and am honoured to work with passionate tourism and wine brands who understand the importance of collaboration. 

Here's to growing our tourism industry through partnerships and showcasing our best at international platforms like ITB.