Following a recent visit to the USA by the Franschhoek Wine Valley Tourism Association CEO Jenny Prinsloo, a proposal for a twinning relationship between Franschhoek and St Helena in the Napa Valley is to be evaluated, reports the Franschhoek Tourism Bureau in its latest member newsletter.
According to Ms Prinsloo, the proposed twinning relationship is justifiable on the basis of both towns being members of the Great Wine Capitals, their similar demographic profile, their same high-end real estate offering, their compatible tourist target markets, their location in premier new world wine regions, their shared reputation as gourmet destination towns, their similar accommodation offerings, their similar business profiles, their shared niche speciality shops and art galleries (St Helena is one of two top shopping destinations in California), sharing being high quality lifestyle destinations, and a shared focus on wellness tourism.
The benefits in twinning are overwhelming, with a group of St Helena Chamber of Commerce members set to visit Franschhoek next year. Marketing information is to be exchanged, and ideas relating to festivals and events to be shared. Wine estate and restaurant intern exchanges could result; environmentally sustainable initiatives for the wine estates can be applied in Franschhoek, from the experience gained in this regard in St Helena; school cultural exchanges could follow; social media marketing could be strengthened in Franschhoek, already advanced in St Helena but still poorly adopted in Franschhoek; guidance in setting up a culinary school in Franschhoek, by the St Helena’s Culinary Institutes of America branch; and Franschhoek expanding its focus on wellness tourism, with the guidance of St Helena’s experience in this field.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com