Who's knocking at your cellar door? Report on wine tourism visitors released

Monday, 5 September, 2022
Visitors to SA’s wine tourism destinations can look forward to even more memorable experiences, thanks to insights from the SA Wine Tourism Visitor Research Report 2022.

“As we kick off International Tourism Month in September, this was the ideal time to release wine tourism visitor insights that will help South African wine tourism destinations identify specific market segments and create marketing campaigns, products and experiences tailored to them,” says Marisah Nieuwoudt, Vinpro wine tourism manager.

Globally, the tourism industry spends millions of rands on market research to discover what motivates people to travel, why they select a particular destination, how much they spend, how frequently they travel, and more.

In addition to qualitative metrics, research includes demographic, geographic, economic, social and psychographic factors that help wine tourism destinations to gain a deeper understanding of their visitors.

“One of the key objectives of Vinpro’s wine tourism strategy is to generate wine tourism intelligence that focuses on industry needs and addresses knowledge gaps in the sector,” Marisah says. “The aim with our wine tourism visitor research study was to develop and implement a method to collect and analyse information about visitors to wine farms. This will help wineries to better understand and cater for their visitors’ needs.”

The research and report were made possible by a collaboration between various stakeholders, including the respective wine routes that form part of the SA Wine Routes Forum, Vintelligence, a business intelligence solutions supplier to the South African wine industry, and the Pinotage Youth Development Academy (PYDA).

“We are also grateful for funding support from the Cape Winelands District Municipality (CWDM) for the wine tourism field research, as well as their ongoing support of our wine tourism efforts,” Marisah says.

Wine tourism visitor insights

The report is divided into three sections, starting with a wide wine-consumer lens based on online surveys that explored visitors’ awareness of South Africa’s 23 wine routes and identified what influences their awareness, wine route visitation and travel behaviour.

In the second section, the report unpacks the profiles of 709 wine tourists interviewed at South African wineries, focusing on demographics, travel motivation and wine engagement. Finally, the report zooms into three types of wine tourists to help marketers understand the characteristics, size and motivation of each segment.

Some of the key insights from the report included:

  • People who attended wine tastings or food-and-wine pairings, or who visited a wine farm would in future more likely pay more for a bottle of wine and buy more bottles of wine per month.

  • Most winery visitors interviewed were from the Western Cape and Gauteng, followed by KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. The international visitors mirrored South Africa’s top tourism source markets, namely the United Kingdom, Germany, the USA and the Netherlands.

  • A large portion of visitors who indicated that they had children living with them visited wine farms as individuals or pairs without children. This could be due to a perceived lack of activities for children, or they viewed a visit to a wine farm as a break in their normal routine.

  • Visitors cited relaxation, the scenery and farm setting, and socialising with friends and family as the main reasons for visiting a wine farm, following the obvious wine tasting.

  • Close to 15% of visitors interviewed were curious tourists (moderately interested in wine, but winery is just another attraction to them), 61% wine interested (high interest in wine, but not the sole purpose of their winery visit) and 24% wine lovers (extremely interested in wines and winemaking; wineries may be the sole purpose of their visit to a region).

What the collaborators say

“The cellar door is at the heart of many of our South African wineries & direct to consumer strategies and as such the inclusion of wine tourism questions in the annual Great Big Wine Survey was a natural progression for our business,” says Andrew Douglas, director at Vintelligence.

“We believe that the wine tourism insights from our online survey, coupled with the face-to-face surveys conducted by Vinpro, will provide wine routes and wineries with a powerful marketing resource.”

“It is with great pleasure that the CWDM applauds Vinpro and affiliated partners for their ongoing projects aimed at attracting not only visitors to the Cape Winelands, but also those projects that promote our wines and wine tourism destinations to markets abroad,” says Ald (Dr) Elna von Schlicht, executive mayor of the CWDM.

“In our capacity as the regional tourism office for the district we have helped strengthen tourism-related projects through various marketing campaigns to the tune of R1.2 million. Wesgro confirmed in their April 2022 report that the Cape Winelands was the most popular region (75%) for repeat visits, and the district had a slightly higher repeater rate than the average for the province (70%).

These figures tell us that once people have visited the Cape Winelands, they return for more. We suspect this is not only due to the variety of high- quality, budget-friendly destinations, and activities on offer, but mostly the incredible warmth of the people who serve our visitors.”

Get the report

Download the South African Wine Tourism Visitor Research Report 2022 for free and watch an introductory video at vinpro.co.za/category/news

In addition to exploring the insights of the report, wineries can use Vinpro’s Wine Tourism Toolkit – a free online resource with practical tips and tools available at www.toolkit.vinpro.co.za – to help them identify, understand and communicate with their target markets, while implementing the research findings in their wine businesses.

subscribe to news

Vinpro wine tourism manager Marisah Nieuwoudt
Vinpro wine tourism manager Marisah Nieuwoudt

more news