Members of the Drakenstein Local Tourism Association(Paarl & Wellington) walked away with several accolades during the recently held Cape Winelands District Municipality Tourism Awards hosted in Wellington. This was the fifth edition of the awards, which recognise exceptional performance within the Cape Winelands tourism industry and showcase the best tourism entities, products, service excellence and the people behind it.
The Drakenstein Local Tourism Association had the most entries of the five municipal areas situated within the Cape Winelands with a total of sixteen nominations in the seven different categories. Categories included New Tourism Business of the Year, Tourism Business of the Year, Wine Tourism Destination of the Year as well as Adventure, Outdoor & Eco-tourism Business of the Year, Tourism Related Event/ Festival of the Year and Best visitor’s information & services of the Year. A Special Discretionary Award to an Individual in Tourism is also presented to an individual in recognition of their commitment to tourism in the region.
The Paarl region produced two of the winners, namely the hugely popular Spice Route Destination in Tourism Business of the Year category and Le Bonheur Croc Farm in the Adventure & Outdoor category. Val du Charron Wine and Olive Estate in Wellington was the runner-up in the Tourism Business of the Year category, while Paarl’s Rhebokskloof came second in the Wine Tourism Destination category.
Dawn Jorgensen received the discretionary award in acknowledgement of her contribution to tourism in the region. Jorgensen’s tourism journey started at Diemersfontein Wine Estate before she embarked on running her own tour operating company Africa Awaits Tours & Safaris for ten years. She started the highly acclaimed blog The Incidental Tourist in 2010 and has worked with the tourism board committee and Travel Massive Cape Town.
According to Annelize Stroebel, manager of the Drakenstein Local Tourism Association, this was an incredible achievement by members of their association. “This is an indication that Paarl and Wellington have tourism products of outstanding quality and that our members are focused on delivering exceptional service and incredible destination experiences. I would like to congratulate both winners and the runners-up in the various categories and hope that these awards will serve as an inspiration to other tourism entities in our region. Sustainable tourism development is essential to economic growth and this can only be achieved if we excel in our tourism offerings,” mentioned Stroebel.