The Paarl Wine and Tourism team has been working non-stop behind the scenes since the Corona pandemic hit our shores. We are often asked by media and businesses what is the impact of Covid-19 on tourism in the Drakenstein area, can we quote financial numbers?  The short answer is, we can not determine the impact as it is still unfolding around us.

According to CEO, Annelize Stroebel, “Tourism is one of the key contributors to GDP in the Western Cape and it is also an important contributor to the GDP in Drakenstein. We estimate that during the first two months of lock down we have lost almost R65 million in tourism and an estimated 700 people have lost their jobs.

People think that if they do not own a tourism business or if they are not employed in the tourism sector, that the lock down on these businesses does not affect them.  Unfortunately, this is not true.

Tourism brings in foreign currency and a big proportion of that is again spent within our destination.  A tourist does not only make use of the traditional tourism products, such as accommodation establishments or a visit to a wine farm.  They also stop at the petrol station to fill up their car, they buy from street vendors and they do some grocery shopping.  This means that many of us indirectly benefit from tourism.

People employed in the tourism industry also spend their income within the destination.  They buy groceries, go to the hairdresser, visit the dentist, etc.

A big proportion of the tourism businesses in Drakenstein is small businesses, often owner managed.  Some of these businesses did not receive any relief funding and their employees are now also without work to no fault of their own. The longer tourism is on lockdown the more devastating the results would be.

A failure to get tourism going again could thus destroy an industry that is vital to our GDP, but also foreign exchange earnings, employment creation and selling our town’s to potential investors as a great place to work and live. Therefore tourism is everybody’s business. That smile and greeting you give on the street can turn a visitor into an ambassador for our region. He will return home and that one moment of feeling welcome will create stories and influence others to visit.”

As a tourism organisation we have never experienced crisis management to this degree and we endeavour to be a reliable source of industry related information as the corona pandemic keeps unfolding to our members as well as the public. Our hearts beats passionately for Paarl and we will continue to do all within our means to convey the message that Paarl is and always will be a travelling destination of note.

One of the crucial elements in destination marketing is having a diverse and experienced team driving this marketing message.  We are convinced that our team is absolutely amazing and we offer both our members and visitors to Paarl, the same passion, pride and professionalism.

Meet our warm, welcoming, quirky and talented team!

ANNELIZE (CEO) – Annelize’s favourite time of the day is mornings. If she was a participator in the Olympics she would participate in synchronized swimming (Summer Olympics) and figure skating (Winter Olympics). Annelize loves pink.

CARIKE (Marketing Manager) – Carike says if she could kill a fashion trend it would be crocs. The weirdest food she has eaten is garlic flavoured ice cream and if she was a superhero her superpower would be to be able to control people’s thoughts in order to make the world a better place.

DESIRE (Tourism Assistant) – Deidre believes the life skill everyone should have is basic social skills. If she could be an animal she would choose to be a dolphin – they are intelligent, help each other and have a playful nature. Her favourite piece of clothing as a child was a jersey with a teddy bear in front.

MARIETTE (Administrative Assistant to CEO) – Mariette could listen to the song Mama Mia, all day long and her favourite TV show is ‘Ray Donovan’. ‘The kite runner’ by Khaled Hosseini is the book that has changed her life the most.

MIRANDA (Member Relations Manager) – Miranda wanted to be an opera singer or interior decorator as a child. If a day had 25 hours she would want to swim lengths in a dam and read a book during the extra hour. She would choose the Queen of England to be her historical imaginary friend.

WILANDRE (Tourism Assistant) – Wilandre’s most used emoji on her smartphone is a red heart. Spring is her favourite season, because flowers bloom, trees are green and the temperatures are perfect- not too hot and not to cold. If she could live anywhere on this planet it would be Paris, France.

Our office is open and adhering to the regulations as stipulated by Government. We ask you to please wear a mask upon entry. Due to COVID-19 protocols, visitors will also be asked to fill in a register, which will be made available at the reception desk and their temperature will be t.

We look forward to seeing familiar, and new, faces again!