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The 11th Annual Soweto Wine and Lifestyle Festival is Set for Tourism Month

CCoinciding perfectly with tourism and heritage month, travel destinations and service provider’s will exhibit alongside wineries and upmarket lifestyle brands, bringing together a high-end lifestyle experience attracting a large and influential audience.

The festival attracts up to 10 000 visitors annually, as well as wineries from across South Africa, tourism stakeholders, lifestyle brands and corporate exhibitors. Wine exhibitor packages start at R8 950 (ex VAT) and travel trade opportunities from R15 950 (ex VAT), and the four-star Soweto Hotel is offering a special deal to all festival exhibitors.

The vision of the first Soweto Wine and Lifestyle Festival in 2005 was simply to introduce South Africa’s quality wines to the local population but over the past ten years has grown to become one of the most sought-after lifestyle events in the country. It has established itself as the benchmark for success for township wine festivals, attracting thousands of visitors to Soweto, positioning Soweto as a tourist destination and business hub, and inspiring the launch of sister wine events in Gugulethu, KwaMashu and Mozambique.

On the back of past successes, the vision of the festival has now expanded to position itself as Africa’s leading wine, culture and lifestyle event in years to come.

#72hrsSoweto and 2015 Festival Highlights

More than just a wine festival, the #72hrsSoweto digital campaign will be the launch pad for SA Tourism’s tourism month celebrations. Top local influencers will be invited to experience 72 hours in Soweto during the Soweto Wine and Lifestyle Festival, thereby getting to know the real Soweto. They will experience life in Soweto, get to meet locals, and check out the street art, fashion and theatre. The campaign will feature, amongst others, Taste of Africa, Plastic-Free Soweto, an InstaMeet with I See A Different You and the LoCrate Market.

In addition, Soweto-based businesses and entrepreneurs will ensure that the festival provides a showcase of the Best of Soweto with the Best of South Africa for #72hrsSoweto.

Host City, Joburg Tourism, will be promoting their Signature Events, from Joy of Jazz to the Sansui Summer Cup and Gauteng’s Top Tourist Destinations.

VIP Host, Durban Tourism, will be launching their summer campaign to media, tourism stakeholders and key partners in a VIP night filled with music, wine and entertainment from the City of Sun.

A number of top South African wineries, breweries and distilleries will be offering classes, tastings, activations and sales to the public at cellar door prices.

Changes to the 2015 Programme

Having outgrown its existing venue, organisers are relocating the event from the University of Johannesburg - Soweto Campus, to the Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication. The move to relocate is effortlessly timed to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Freedom Charter on the Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication and is the perfect event to kick off a Spring Celebration in Soweto.

Another significant change to this year’s festival is the opening times. Feedback from previous editions of the Soweto Wine and Lifestyle Festival have prompted the following changes: the festival kicks off on Friday evening from 6pm to 10pm, Saturday from 5pm to 9pm, and for the first time ever will be open on Sunday, from 2pm to 6pm.

Marilyn Cooper, festival co-founder, says; “This year we introduce a new format to the festival that will increase the events capacity to create a multi-tiered platform for visitors, wineries, food, travel and lifestyle brands. We are able to host more guests than ever before, we are opening VIP ticket sales for the first time ever and we introduce the new #72hrsSoweto digital campaign; so brands looking to present their wares to an exclusive audience are able to make optimal use of the festivals many ‘stages’.”

Owner of Destinate, Mariette du Toit-Helmbold adds; “Wine tourism is a growing niche tourism market in South Africa and is a vital component of the wine, tourism and lifestyle industries. Wine is seen as an essential element in the attractiveness of a destination whilst for the wine industry, tourism is a great way to build relationships with visitors and grow a diverse customer base. The Soweto Wine and Lifestyle Festival is a great platform for all these industries to come together and position their products and destinations as must-haves to potential visitors.”

To showcase your product at the 2015 Soweto Wine and Lifestyle Festival, call Heinrich von Wielligh on 082 812 1112, emailheinrich@sowetowinefestival.co.za or visit www.sowetowinefestival.co.za.

For festival highlights and more information on the weekends activities see http://www.sowetowinefestival.co.za/press_releases/2015/soweto-wine-festival-moving-to-the-historic-walter-sisulu-square.htm.

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