Drakenstein shines at mayoral tourism awards

From left, Annelize Stroebel, manager of Drakenstein Local Tourism Association, with Alzette Mocke of Le Bonheur Crocodile Farm, Abigail Bisongo and Sunè Strydom from Spice Route, Marissa de Kock of Rhebokskloof, Cape Winelands District Municipality mayor Elna von Schlicht, and Miranda van Breda from Paarl Tourism.

Members of the Drakenstein Local Tourism Association (Paarl and 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 16 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 and eco-tourism business of the year, tourism related event/ festival of the year, and best visitor’s information and services of the year.

A special discretionary award to an individual in tourism is also presented in recognition of commitment to tourism in the region.

The Paarl region produced two of the winners, namely the spice route destination in tourism business of the year category, and Le Bonheur Croc Farm in the adventure and 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.

Ms Jorgensen’s tourism journey started at Diemersfontein Wine Estate before she embarked on running her own tour operating company, Africa Awaits Tours and Safaris, for 10 years.

She started the 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,” she said.

“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,” Ms Stroebel commented.

For more information on the area, visit www.paarlonline.com or www.wellington.co.za