The world gets a taste of Stellenbosch at ITB Berlin

The Stellenbosch Experience campaign, a destination marketing campaign developed for the Stellenbosch region, was represented at ITB Berlin by Destinate.

ITB, the world’s greatest travel and tourism gathering, presents a unique opportunity to showcase the versatality of Stellenbosch as South Africa’s leading wine tourism region and at the same time learn more about what trends are shaping the global travel industry.

A highlight of the event was the release of The Global Travel Trends Report for 2015/16 by IPK International. The report shed light on the travel behaviour of more than 60 countries worldwide and reiterated the importance of a continued presence in key source markets like Germany, the UK, Netherlands and the USA.

State of global tourism

Despite increased political unrest across the globe, the dramatic drop in oil prices, health scares and stagnant economic growth, 2015 was a good year for the global travel industry and overall worldwide outbound travel grew by 4,6% reaching over a billion international trips.

Not only are people travelling more (adding an estimated 50 million outbound trips per year), they are spending more. The average spending per outbound trip increased by 4% to 1,825 USD, generating a 50% increase in global turnover in the past six years.

Top performers

Germany followed by the USA, Great Britain, China and France remain the top countries of origin with China and the USA growing at 25% and 10% respectively in 2015. The top five destination countries in 2015 were the USA followed by Spain, Germany, France and Italy.

With urban travel growing in popularity (up 6% in 2015), in comparison to sun and beach (up 2% in 2015), as well as countryside (down with 8% in 2015) trips, the top three city destinations for 2015 were Paris (19,2 million), New York City (19,1 million) and Bangkok (16,8 million).

Current political unrest and terror attacks are likely to influence the sector

According to Rolf D. Freitag, CEO of IPK International, worldwide travel is expected to grow by 3% in 2016. Without the recent terror threats however, a growth of 4,5% would’ve been possible. The recent terrorist attacks in some of the main source markets of international tourism have created a great deal of uncertainty regarding travel planning habits for 2016, with 40% of international travellers indicating that terror threats will affect their travel plans for 2016.

Outlook for 2016

The Asian markets will as in 2015, take more trips abroad in 2016, although the growth rate will be lower compared to previous years. Figures for Japan could be negative opposed to China and India. For outbound trips from the US and Mexico, moderate growth rates can be predicted, whereas a decline from Canada is likely.

Despite terror fears, international trips by Europeans are expected to continue on a slight upward trend. Demand appears likely to increase from the Netherlands, the UK, Switzerland and Germany – and is expected to fall from Russia, Greece and Italy.

Overall, the IPK Outbound Travel Forecast for 2016 predicts 4% growth for the Asian market, 2% growth for European market, and stagnation for North and South America.

World Travel Trends

The sharing economy is alive and well, with a reported 5% of accommodation now made up of sharing accommodation including Airbnb and its competitors.

Millennials are leading this sharing economy and will rather spend money on experiences. This is a market attracted to technologically forward-thinking product, think smartphone room keys and new experiences. Added services like yoga classes also rank high on the millennial’s travel wish list.

In addition to this, destination websites are now the number one source of information for travellers deciding where to travel. Internet bookings dominate the landscape at a rate of 66% of all bookings. Travel agencies take a 27% share, while direct hotel bookings sit at only 18%.

Food and wine tourism showcased

The Stellenbosch Experience campaign partnered with iAmbassador, the world’s leading network of travel and lifestyle bloggers, for the ITB Blogger Tweetup. More than 120 online influencers gathered together on the first night of ITB and Stellenbosch was there to give them a taste of why the region is home to South Africa’s premier wine tourism experiences.

Guests were introduced to South Africa’s first Methode Cap Classique (MCC), Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel, and the acclaimed red wines from Delheim Wines.

Media and trade expressed a keen interest in Stellenbosch, especially in terms of its unique food and wine experiences, high quality lifestyle, family-friendly options and value-for-money offerings.

The Stellenbosch Experience campaign, now in its third year, has earned an impressive return on investment for the region with more than R17 million in traditional media AVE for 2015 and the added value from the  #Stellenblog blogger campaign worth R22 million in digital AVE.

The region is preparing for the next edition of #Stellenblog in April, which will again see a number of top international and local bloggers gather in Stellenbosch to uncover the secrets of the area beyond its quality wine.

Follow the action on social media using #Stellenblog and #visitStellenbosch or online at

www.stellenboschexperience.co.za.