Growing Sport Destination

Growing Sport Destination

06 June 2014

The Cape Winelands is positioning itself as a fast-growing sport tourism destination

The Cape Winelands District Municipality (CWDM) has partnered with the Boland Rugby Union, Breede Valley Local Municipality, Local Tourism Associations and Business to exploit the synergy that exists between sport and tourism. The Boland Rugby Union was entrusted by the South African Rugby Union to host the SARU Under 18 Academy Week that will take place from 6 to 10 July 2013 at at HTS Drostdy in Worcester. With hosting of this event the Cape Winelands is demonstrating how well the three pillars of community sport tourism, i.e. the municipality, tourism associations and local sport organisation is working.

Sport tourism is one of the fastest growing areas of the global travel and tourism industry and has become a highly competitive niche tourism business. As interest and participation in sport grows within the leisure industry, the desire of people to travel to compete or to spectate has mushroomed. At the World Travel Awards, held on 11 January 2012 South Africa was named the world’s leading sport tourism destination. It therefore makes sense that regions within South Africa, such as the Cape Winelands District, start pursuing the lucrative sport tourism market as a viable route to achieve not only tourism goals but economic goals.

A focus on sport tourism and sport events can bring economic value, social benefits and civic pride to the community. The Cape Winelands and its Local Municipalities recognise that sport events create opportunities for:
• Sport system development – Increasing the infrastructure of sport facilities, officials and coaches, as well as the capacity of athletes to achieve their potential.
• Economic development – The value of a sport as a tourism generator, as well as the potential to market the business and economic opportunities.
• Social and community legacies – Such as youth development, increased fitness levels and health, community and cultural celebration.

The Cape Winelands with its fantastic climate, top-class sports facilities, Stellenbosch University’s Sport Performance Institute (SUSPI) and superb tourism infrastructure is focusing not only on international sport tourism events such as the recent Cape Epic Cycling event that spent a few days in the Cape Winelands but also domestic sport tourism events. Local Tourism Associations have increasingly been organising, hosting and partnering with outdoor sporting events such as mountain biking, canoeing, rock climbing, trail running, horse-riding, golf, etc. in the Cape Winelands.

The Cape Winelands hosts the badminton national championship, the junior national horse-jumping championship, the national pool championship to name a few. Upcoming sport events include the international Sky marathon at Matroosberg, Mitchell’s Pass half marathon in Ceres, number of mountain bike challenges (e.g. Wolseley MTB Funride at Mountain Ridge Wines) and golf tournaments throughout the district, “Miles for Smiles” fun run during the Wacky Wine Festival in Robertson, “Ride to Nowhere” in McGregor, etc.

The value of sports tourism in not just found in large events but much of the impact is found in the aggregate of activity generated in smaller events, such as youth tournaments, university and college championships, high school tournaments, etc.

Recognizing that hosting sport events is a stimulus to sport development as well as an economic and community development tool, the Cape Winelands is continually working with the different sporting federations and the sport community to make the Cape Winelands a sports tourism destination of excellence. The Cape Winelands is confident that showing potential sporting organisers the high level of cooperation amongst all relevant role-players will lead to more domestic and international sporting events being awarded/and hosted by the different sporting codes.