A NEW TYPOLOGY OF TOURISM
In recent years, wine tourism has been on the rise and represents a robust segment of tourism, because tourists search for more authentic experiences [See UNIT 2 – Wine tourism demand trends], travelling to wine-producing countries and visiting wine regions. The second main reason of this success is related to the fact that wine tourism can include other tourism segments, such as cultural, heritage and gastronomy tourism, appealing to more than just wine enthusiasts or wine experts and thus, attracts a large number of visitors (Woldarsky & Geny-Denis, 2019).
Starting from these premises, food and wine tourism represent a new typology of tourism, within the “tourism taste”, that could be indicated as “territorial food and drink tourism” (Hall et al., 2003; Lemmi & Siena Tangheroni, 2015).
Holiday motivation and food attraction (Hall et al., 2003; Lemmi & Siena Tangheroni, 2015).
WINE TOURISM POTENTIALS
Offering wine tourism goes beyond simply meeting a demand. Wine tourism offers huge potential, creating value both for the territory and wine producers.
- For the territory, wine tourism gives the opportunity to generate wealth in a specific place, promoting its heritage too
- Considering the winery perspective the direct and indireret gains associated to a successful wine tourism business are mainly 8 (Woldarsky & Geny-Denis, 2019)
DEFINITION AND IMPLICATIONS
Wine tourism can be defined as a visitation to vineyards, wineries, wine festivals and wine shows for which grape wine tasting and/or experiencing the attributes of a grape wine region are the prime motivating factor for visitors (Hall and Macionis, 1996)
It includes a visit to the company, the desire to know the productive process, traditions, history and culture of the wine but also of the territory, the region through images, economic, social and aesthetic values, cultural and natural elements, historical signs rather than consumerism.
Wine tourism is:
- A service experience
- A complex experience, involving the whole terroir’s attractions
- Related to the wine tourist’s different motivations and profiles
- Nowadays managed through electronic marketing tools
- A tool for regional development (e.g. wine routes)
According to this definition, there are many implications related to wine tourism.
WINE TOURISM TYPOLOGIES
From the offer perspective, wine tourism can be divided in 4 main categories (Karlsson, 2017):
- “Open Door” wine tourism, consisting in opening the cellar’s doors and receiving people for wine tastings and cellar visits
Let’s see the case of Cantine Aperte, the most important wine tourism event in Italy, created in 1993 by the association Movimento Turismo del Vino: every year, in the last week-end of May, the members wineries open their doors to personally meet people. During the years, Cantine Aperte has become a way to travel and discover Italian wine territories, which has seen an increasing number of tourists, wine wonderers and wine lovers visiting wineries from year to year hoping for a unique experience (www.movimentoturismovino.it)
- “Edutainment” wine tourism, consisting in something more complex and organized than the simple visit to the cellar. The word “edutainment” means in fact a mix between education and entertainment. Some example of “edutainment” wine tourism are: blending session, harvesting workshop, vineyard nature walks, cooking class….
- “Disneyland” wine tourism, consisting in big budget projects, often with mixed contents also including contens not directly related to wine. This is the case of special restaurants or hotels, wine museums, etc
- “Eventification” wine tourism, consisting in one-time events focused on wine. This is the case of wine festivals, gastro-walks, village harvest festival, etc
WHO IS THE WINE TOURIST? (1/3)
Considering the demand perspective, according to Per Karlsson (2017), there are different kinds of wine tourists:
- Wine geek: he wants to know everything about the company, its wines, product processes, etc; for this kind of tourist, wine is the unique purpose of his travel
- Gastro-tourist: this kind of tourist is interested in gastronomy in general; for him wine is one of the reason of his trip
- Passing-by casual tourist: he is not manly interested in wine, but if he visits a wine region he usually decides to visits almost a winery
WHO IS THE WINE TOURIST? (2/3)
According to an Australian research who tried to give an overall general proﬁle of the wine tourist (Chartersa & Ali-Knightb,2002), wine tourists are usually ‘‘couples with no children and those with higher education and incomes in professional occupations,’’ (South Australian Tourism Commission, 1997) and can be divided into 4 main categories:
- Wine lover: he has a comprehensive grounding in wine education, through attending wine and/or tasting courses, reading wine books, watching tv programs about wine, etc. Their motivation as wine tourists is also clearly deﬁned. They are more likely to want to buy wine, to want to learn about wine, and to want to taste wine at the winery
- Connoisseur: he shares all the lifestyle characteristics of the ‘Wine Lovers’ but he has an even more keen thirst for knowledge
- Wine interested: he attends tastings and visits wineries, but he has not any particular experience in wine education. He is interest in learning about storing and ageing wine, but much less concerned with food and wine links
- Wine novice: he attends tastings and visits wineries, but his motivation in wine sector is less focused
WHO IS THE WINE TOURIST? (3/3)
According to Alebaki & Iakovidou (2011), about the wine tourist profile there is a general perspective that “the ideal wine tourist is male, professional and middle –aged, because they will spend most” (Charters & Carlsen, 2006). However, although younger wine tourists have limited knowledge about wine compared to older ones, they may be more important in the long term. Thus, greater attention needs to be paid, because high satisfaction from the whole wine tourism experience can help in terms to bring them back for return visits (Roberts & Sparks, 2006), create a demand in the long term for specific brands, and built customer loyalty towards individual wineries and their wines (Getz, 2000).
WHICH ARE THE MAIN ACTIVITIES TO DEAL TO PROMOTE WINE TOURISM?
As in many other contexts there is not a single recipe valid for every winery. Strategies and activities depend on the specific projects and location.
In the definition of a wine tourism project, wineries should keep in mind 4 keywords:
If you are all alone no one will be interested in your activity, but if you start collaborating with other wineries, but also with restaurants, museums, hotels, tourist offices, wine shops, etc., the better it will work (Hall et al.,1997; Østrup Backe, 2013); let’s try to create a flexible network with all the stakeholders operating in tourism sector in the area you are located.
Stories are able to appeal both to the logical and emotional cores, meaning they tend to be more memorable than other marketing tools (Pera, 2017). It is not important having a beautiful cellar or a perfectly organised tasting room; visitors will expect that wineries share their stories with them; let’s tell to visitor authentic, clear and memorable stories about your work, your winery and your products. This will be your uniqueness element!
Wine tourism is all about giving people a memorable experience. Experience based tourism, in fact, allows tourists to be fully involved in the visit and to be a leading actor in the choice. It is also able to start up a process, gradually increasing the tourist’s awareness to become an active tourist (Hall et al., 2007; Lemmi & Siena Tangheroni, 2015). Lett’s focus your activity in giving to visitors something that will make them remember the winery and the wines and that will make them talk about it.
The trend to the local and the search for authenticity in food tourism are becoming increasingly important. Tourists want to be different and want to experience places and their food and drinks the same way locals do; (Sims, 2009; Østrup Backe, 2013;). Let’s offer to visitors an authentic experience of your winery and products.