South Africa: Deputy Minister Tokozile Xasa-Mzanzi

South Africa is fast becoming a culinary hotspot. Not only do we boast world-class tourism products but we are also firmly establishing their selves with their diverse lifestyle offerings. Culinary tourism is a subset of Cultural tourism and contributes significantly to the tourism experience which promotes cultural diversity and social cohesion. Food and wine is one of the best ways to explore the culture of any country, and culinary travel or tourism is a growing travel passion for many travellers. Every tourist eats at least three times a day, making food one of the fundamental economic drivers of tourism.

Culinary tourism is a growing niche market across the globe. Food and travel are so inter-linked, one cannot help by associating pasta to Italy, foie gras to France, paella to Spain, risotto to Milan, fegato to Venice, and old-fashioned braai to South Africa. Over the years, places like Franschhoek (the culinary capital of SA) and the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands have become popular destinations, thanks to a reputation for superb cuisine based on a wealth of local produce. The local tourism market has a keen understanding that travelers are seeking an authentic gourmet experience and the value of a perfectly cooked Cape Malay curry, a designer bunny chow or a chisa nyama reinvented.

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