Visit Stellenbosh will showcase the Western Cape Town. Picture: Liz Clarke.

Stellenbosch is a town in Western Cape province known for its vineyards and mountain reserves. Now, thanks to the Stellenbosch Wine Routes (SWR) and Stellenbosch 360 (S360), more tourists are expected to visit with the launch of  Visit Stellenbosch.

Visit Stellenbosch will connect all aspects of tourism and create a compelling and unique place experience for locals and visitors. 

According to a press release, Visit Stellenbosch will unite all tourism stakeholders in Stellenbosch under a joint destination brand and a unified destination vision with a long-term tourism plan. 

"Centralising the operational functions and resources of various tourism role-players, Visit Stellenbosch will enable stakeholders to invest more to improve service excellence, drive tourism innovation and enhance place product experiences. 

"At the heart of this plan is a determined social development drive that is focussed on job creation and skills development. “Stellenbosch is globally known as a place where people come to discover, learn, create, start up, launch and bring into being," the statement read.

Mike Ratcliffe, Chairman of SWR who championed the development of the plan, said Visit Stellenbosch will make Stellenbosch a living tourism laboratory where they can pilot, test and implement innovative and scalable high-impact solutions to tackle pressing social and economic issues. 

An inclusive steering committee – representative of all aspects of the tourism economy in Stellenbosch – has been formed and tasked with the planning and operational rollout of Visit Stellenbosch. This committee will jointly be chaired by Ratcliffe and Jan Scannell, Chairman of S360. 

The plan for Visit Stellenbosch is also closely aligned with the strategic objectives of the Stellenbosch Municipality, reinforcing the vision to position Stellenbosch as Africa’s innovation hub and South Africa’s top tourist destination for locals and visitors alike. 

Executive Mayor of Stellenbosch, Gesie van Deventer, said: “The strategic alignment of stakeholders under Visit Stellenbosch will unlock tourism potential, enhance our national and international image, and create more opportunities for our communities to thrive”. 

The first planning meeting is scheduled for June 2019.