By Rogerio Ruschel (*)
My dear friend. I was invited to contribute as a speaker at the International Congress of Wine Tourism - Europe, an event of the International Association of Wine Tourism (Aenotur), which will be held between 2 and 4 July in the Portuguese cities of Viana do Castelo, Melgaço, Monção, Ponte da Barca, Ponte de Lima and neighboring Cambados, in Spain.
Aenotur is an organization that aims to promote wine tourism internationally, linking an extensive network of 500 cities of wine worldwide in 2 continentes (in the future most continents). In addition to the potential gains of thos network of cities, Aenotur has another differential that will be demonstrated at the event: Latin American countries are not only wiewers, but protagonists.
As the participants are professionals of wine and tourism trades from several countries, I decided to contribute with a first-hand information and did a search I'm summarizing here now at In Vino Viajas, but wich you can see in complete version in my profile Academia.Edu whose link is at the end of this text. This story is in English because that is the official language of the Congress. So, lets go to know what really matters in wine tourism in the opinion of 88 professionals of wine and tourism trades from 31 countries.
First, let see what we are talking about, what already is wine tourism.
• France wants to reach 100 million tourists in 2020 - about 20 million will be enotourists (Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius)
• In Spain 42,000 wineries received 2 million visitors, generating 50,000 jobs in 2014 (Acevin)
• Great Wine Capitals, 2011: 32% of total volume of wine was sold on the premises to tourists
• United States: almost 21 million travelers visited wine regions in California in 2008 - Napa Valley alone received 5 million (U.S. Travel Association )
• Argentina received 1,2 million enotourists in 2011 (Bodegas de Argentina AC)
• Niagara on Canada received 1 million tourists in 2011 (Wine Council of Ontario)
• In Australia winery visits by international tourists reached 660,000 in 2009 (Tourism Australia)
Like any product, oenotourism has many different types of consumers. But one can say that they are divided into two major groups: The Professionals – all those who works in/to the wine or the tourism industries; they visit and evaluate places; and the non-professionals - people who travel to have some fun and joy and choose oenotourism for any reasons. But it is not enough to attract only the nose-oriented consumers because they would not be numerous enough to support the activity and ensure return to the investment. To be viable wine tourism needs to conquer ordinary consumers, who look for places and things beautiful, different, curious, stylish and amusing, where they can taste and buy good wine for a reasonable price. The big portion of our wine tourists will be the Fun-oriented consumer who could be on the beach, but choose to visit your home and your wine. And what in fact are they interested?
As the nose-oriented consumers are opinion leaders, meet their expectations will help us understand what nonprofessionals will look for. So I made a survey with professional consumers, loooking for international representativity.
• Survey conducted in June 2015 with Google.docs technology
• With professionals of wine (85%) and tourism (15%) trades
• In Vino Viajas readers (65%) and fellows of wine and tourism Facebook Groups (35%) speakers of Portuguese, English, Spanish or German
• With simplified questionnaire with five questions in English
In the final report were considered 88 respondents from 31 countries: Argentina, Armenia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Costa Rica, Croatia, England, France, Georgia, Guatemala, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Macedonia, North Korea, Paraguay, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Switzerland, Slovenia, Spain, South Africa, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine and United States. The first question was “What are the most interesting wine tourism destinations you've visited?” The answers includes a lot of places, but the most important were Tuscany, Nappa Valley, Bordeaux, Just France, La Rioja, just Portugal, Just Italy, Just Spain and Piedmont. In the second question (What is the wine tourism destination you would like to visit as soon as possible?) they answered in a similar way.
Then I asked “In your opinion which of these aspects are really fundamental, indispensable, to you choose a wine tourism trip?” and gave them Multiple Choice.
You can see the most (and the less) important things in the next images above.
Complete presentation in
(*) Rogerio Ruschel is the editor of In Vino Viajas, based on São Paulo, Brazil, but is looking for information about oenotourism in all the world.