The small Boland town of Wellington in the Drakenstein Valley raised its international profile considerably when it recently won the titles of “Best Town Spirit” and “Best Stage Location” during the 2018 ABSA Cape Epic.
This accolade has firmly established Wellington as a key sports destination and has proven once again that sports tourism can have a massive impact on local tourism industries. The town captivated organisers, riders and support crews with its incredible hospitality and diverse tourism offerings.
Spearheaded by the Drakenstein Local Tourism Association’s Wellington office, Wellington rolled out the red carpet for this prestigious international race. Activities included a colourful welcoming street parade for the riders, decorating the town in the official race colours and well as hosting four of the race stages in and around Wellington with spectator points at various points on the Wellington Wine Routes. The official prize-giving also took place at a local wine estate.
According to Annelize Stroebel, General Manager of the DLTA, this recognition is invaluable in terms of destination marketing. “These accolades were definitely well-deserved and the people of Wellington can be proud of this achievement. Thousands of people had the opportunity to experience what makes Wellington great and I have no doubt that it will have an extremely positive spin-off for our tourism industry. It has once again proven that sports tourism can be highly effective in marketing a destination, while at the same time delivering a considerable economic impact and making a significant contribution to the local communities,” mentions Stroebel.
Several local charity organisations, including the G Voucher Project, Norsa Community Care and Ma’s vir Wellington also benefited from the race through either daily food donations or cash donations to support their ongoing work in the local community.
“This event has showcased Wellington’s ability to host a world-class event and we hope it will attract similar events in future. I would like to thank our local community for their keen participation and support, which helped to make such a great impression on our Epic visitors. This is the spirit of #heartwellington,” concludes Stroebel.