If I never hear another vuvuzela in my life, it’ll be too soon!
Unfortunately the truth of the matter is that everyone will be practising their trumpeting skills in advance of both the Confederations Cup and the 2010 World Cup – so I’d better get over myself. Loud vuvuzela blasts provided the noisy backdrop to Travel Indaba in Durban. Even foreign delegates wandered around with the bright plastic ‘instruments’ protruding from their bags. I find the Hermanus whale crier’s kelp horn more melodious and friendlier – and we heard him a few times every hour on the Western Cape pavilion.
It was very obvious that soccer and 2010 are front of mind in tourism marketing with not just vuvuzelas but mini footballs and deconstructed arty safety helmets popular trophies at Indaba. I poured tasters of Cape wine to delegates from Chicago and Arkansas, Germany and the Netherlands. They were well aware of the quality that South Africa can deliver. But it was the operators from Botswana, Tanzania, Malawi, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Madagascar and Mauritius who wanted to know the most. And these African delegates are keen to translate their tasting experience into action. Almost without fail they wanted to buy South African wine – and if they’d been able to do so there and then they would have!
I know that a few large local producers are doing brisk business into Africa. There are great opportunities to be had and with South African banking, telecommunications, retail and construction companies showing the way shouldn’t local wine producers follow suit?