ABOUT 250 Zambian and Zimbabwean tourism players have registered to participate at Wines of South Africa’s (WOSA) inaugural grand tasting and training event at the weekend.

The two day event started Friday at the Victoria Falls Hotel where participants were taken through some training.

Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ) Matabeleland North chapter chairperson, Farai Chimba said the plan was to learn, innovate and offer satisfactory world class standard wines as a required by the UNWTO.

The inaugural WOSA grand tasting event started Friday in Victoria Falls

“Wine knowledge and skills development helps to building confidence and sales, allowing our teams to offer a seamless service to travellers visiting the Victoria Falls region,” he said.

“Wine tourism, which is now recognized as a key contributor to tourism by the UNWTO, is a major component, which partnerships, skills development, data-driven research and support to small businesses and entrepreneurs, could be an area for job creation, innovation and new collaboration.

“We have about 250 guests from the tourism and hospitality fields but our aim is to see this event grow in our calender where international, regional and local travellers will gather here (Victoria Falls) to celebrate and taste what the southern region has to offer. UNWTO says a successful tourism drive is sustained through food, music and wine apart from natural attractions and this is what we are trying to do.”

Chimba applauded WOSA and its partners for bringing the event to Victoria Falls.

The event coordinator and marketing manager of Lewa and Co, Kudakwashe Hove she anticipated  the event to be a fun and insightful, allowing players in the hospitality sector to interact with wine producers, distributors and affiliated trade.

WOSA is a fully inclusive body and authority, representing all South African producers of wine who export their products.

It was established in 1999 and has over 500 producers on its database, comprising all the major South African wine exporters with a mandate to promote the export of all South African wines in key international market and also offers online training programmes.