It’s no secret that I absolutely adore the Cape Winelands. Therefore, I’ve recently started exploring more of the charming town of Franschoek. Last week, 7th December on a sweltering hot Cape Town day, Alan Winde, the Minister of Economic Opportunities, oversaw the cutting of the ribbon to mark the official launch of the recently introduced Franschhoek Wine Tram Double Deck railway trams.
Standing in front of the striking almost 5-metre tall tram at the historic Groot Drakenstein Station, Minister Winde was joined by his Deputy Director General, Rashid Toefy; Solly Fourie, the Head of Department at the Department of Economic Development and Tourism; the owners of the Franschhoek Wine Tram, David and Debbie Blyth; media, invited guests and local and international wine tourists. Franschhoek Wine Tram General Manager, Brett Garner, acknowledged the “vision and inspiration of the owners of the business, the Blyth family, whose relentless pursuit of the exceptional has inextricably linked the Wine Tram and Franschhoek brands”.
In his speech, Minister Winde highlighted the fact that the Franschhoek Wine Tram is frequently referenced in the context of local and provincial tourism because of its extraordinary success and the overwhelmingly positive direct and indirect economic impact it has had on the region. He also pointed out that tourism in the region is growing at 27%, year-on-year, and acknowledged the contribution and value of the Franschhoek Wine Tram in adding to this figure.
Over the past five years the Franschhoek Wine Tram has grown its offering from a short rail journey in a 32-seater open-sided tram visiting just 2 wine estates in the Franschhoek Village, to a service that today spans the entire Franschhoek Wine Route, visiting 22 wine estates, with the opportunity to spend between half an hour to an hour on the 80-seater double deck railway trams as part of a full-day R220 wine tour.
And just in time for the busy festive season, the introduction of the double deck railway trams will allow the Franschhoek Wine Tram to host in excess of 120 000 guests in the upcoming 2017/2018 tourist season. So no one has to be left behind – all aboard!
www.winetram.co.za | firstname.lastname@example.org | + 27 21 300 0338