Tackling the revival and swift recovery of the tourism sector in times of COVID-19 and beyond with characteristic ingenuity, Stellenbosch is embarking on a range of initiatives aimed at supporting local business, driving demand and inspiring locals to experience and share their town the same way a tourist would.
Few towns in South Africa have tackled the challenges that have arisen as a result of COVID-19 as innovatively and collaboratively as Stellenbosch has. Stellenbosch residents and businesses have stood together in solidarity and found novel solutions, whether through the establishment of Stellenbosch Unite to feed vulnerable communities or rolling out one of the first travel readiness campaigns in sub-Saharan Africa, Stellenbosch Ready.
“As an extension of Visit Stellenbosch’s initiatives, Support Stellenbosch has been created to inspire locals to support local and stimulate our town’s economy and pave the way for its swift recovery. To that end, we are extending this solidarity to support our restaurants and tourism businesses that continue to be affected by the lockdown and resulting lack of patronage,” explains Jeanneret Momberg, CEO Visit Stellenbosch, the town’s official Destination Marketing Organisation.
Endorsed by the Stellenbosch Municipality, Stellenbosch University, Cape Winelands District Municipality and Wesgro, the innovative Support Stellenbosch campaign calls on residents to support local business, experience Stellenbosch as tourists, and inspire their networks to discover what Stellenbosch has to offer, in times of COVID-19 and beyond.
Support Stellenbosch initiatives include an online directory of restaurants, accommodation and experiences which are Stellenbosch Ready, having adopted Visit Stellenbosch’s safety and hygiene protocols, endorsed by the World Travel & Tourism Council.
“On Saturday, 5 September, we kick off a Support Stellenbosch month with a fresh new rewards campaign where locals and visitors will receive a voucher to the value of 50% of what they spend (for transactions of R200 or more), redeemable through SnapScan at any participating restaurant within the campaign period (capped at a maximum of R400). There are also special travel packages, accommodation and experience discounts,” explains Momberg.
There’s never been a better time to visit Stellenbosch, she adds. “There are incredible Support Stellenbosch deals to be enjoyed: from wine blending, horse riding through the vineyards and discounted wine-pairing experiences across Stellenbosch’s award-winning wine region, to art walks and guided cycle tours.”
“Spend the night at one of our participating accommodation establishments, from 5-star luxury at Wedgeview Country House and Spa, family friendly Eendracht Hotel and Apartements, and value-filled Klein Akkerdraai. Indulge in foodie heaven at a number of incredible restaurants across the greater Stellenbosch region. From De Warenmarkt to Delaire Graff, The Fat Butcher to Hussar Grill, restaurants are ready to showcase the warm heart and hospitality of Stellenbosch not only in the Winelands but also in the town’s historic centre,” adds Momberg.
The town’s wildly successful Stellenbosch on Stage series will continue with a performance by Stellenbosch University Alumni on 24 September – featuring Laurika Rauch, Stuart Taylor, Sunday Kelechi and Jan Braai. Besides access to the event, ticket holders will receive a R100 voucher to be redeemed at participating Stellenbosch businesses.
Finally, Support Stellenbosch will include a special Showcase of the town for locals in the last weekend in September, October and November, providing locals with special offers.
“This astounding show of support among Stellenbosch accommodation, experiences and restaurants to revive the town’s tourism economy is an incredible example of what one town can do when it comes together behind the common goal of making it safe and easy for guests to visit. This really is a first for South Africa. There’s nothing we like more than hosting friends in Stellenbosch. This initiative gives us an opportunity to do just that,” concludes Momberg.