China has been trading with South Africa since the days of the Song Dynasty, over eight centuries ago. Today Sino-African annual trade is in excess of $166 billion and there are 750,000 Chinese traders active on the continent. China is our largest trading partner and third largest source of tourists. Yet in 2012, SA generic marketing spent less than 3% of their budget on the entire Far East, including China, India, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore. There is clearly work to be done to promote SA wine and tourism in China.
The China/South Africa Wine Friendship Association, launched at Cape to Canton on Sunday. invites membership from progressive SA wine producers, hoteliers, restaurateurs, tour guides, airlines and wine lovers and is in discussions with various Chinese trade and tourism bodies and leading Chinese restaurants, hotels and tour operators in SA. The UCT Confucius Institute and Hong Kong Trade Development Council are two examples.
Benefits for participating wine brands include:
- On site staff training in Chinese etiquette, culinary and drinking traditions and rudimentary language skills, starting with how to say “good morning” in Mandarin and Cantonese;
- Participation in a Chinese Wine Route with Mandarin and Cantonese producer profiles, brochures and culturally sensitive tasting notes;
- A monthly newsletter;
- Liaison with Chinese tour operators – there are 158 in Cape Town alone;
- Culinary consulting on Chinese food, ingredients and preparation for winery restaurants;
- Chinese language informational stickers for tasting rooms;
- CSAWFA bottle stickers;
- Regular meetings and facilitation of visits from Chinese winemakers and chefs to SA and reciprocal visits to China.
For more information and to be kept informed, send your details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Boy with no beard fashion blogger Xanthus Viljoen was one of the first Cape Town wine lovers to join the China/South Africa Wine Friendship Association on Sunday.