Wine, roses and tourism

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Wine is not only good and elegant for certain transcendent toasts. It can also boost sustainable tourism.

The UNWTO has discovered that wine provides much more than days of roses.

A recent Wine Tourism Conference in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova engaged experts from 30 countries with the priority of enhancing tourism’s socioeconomic benefits, looking at specific segments like wine tourism.

According to the UNO World Tourism Organization the conference came to the conclusion that to make wine tourism a tool for rural development local communities must be engaged in and benefit from the entire tourism value chain.

UNWTO also called for governance models that could help destination managers offer wine tourism as part of a holistic rural and cultural tourism approach.

Among the main findings of the conference was the conviction of all participants that, if wine tourism is bolstered by partnerships, skills development, data-driven research and support to small businesses and entrepreneurs, it could be an area for job creation, innovation and new collaboration models.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said to the experts that the complexity of wine tourism development and the diversity of stakeholders involved requires innovative models of collaboration.

“We need to break down walls and promote new clusters”, he added.

Pavel Filip, Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, called for more research “in order to measure and understand wine tourism trends and consumers” Filip compare destinations internationally with the same criteria.

The meeting also concluded that creating job opportunities through wine tourism requires developing human capital skilled in new technologies and sustainability, as well as soft skills such as teamwork and how to tell the story of wine.

Wine sector is a crucial pillar within Moldova’s strategy to attract foreign investments.

Mr. Pololikashvili encouraged Moldova to take advantage of other tourism promotion platforms and increase connectivity with important source markets, pledging UNWTO’s full support to Moldova’s tourism development strategy.

UNWTO said in a press summary that the conference produced eight key areas of action: wine tourism strategy and governance; partnerships; community engagement; supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs; wine tourism for rural development; researching trends and consumers; skills development; and aligning tourism with the Sustainable Development Goals.

It was announced that these action areas will be taken forward to the 4th UNWTO Wine Tourism Conference in 2019, which will be hosted by Chile. Portugal will host the 2020 edition.

Wine is an ancient ally of humanity not only to quench thirst and give fun but also for the economy.

The way in which wine tourism is utilized as a business strategy therefore depends on a mix of factors, including desired economies of scale, business strategies and, for many small owner-operated wineries, lifestyle choice, according to an experts study.

Wine tourism is a significant component of the business strategies of large wine organizations given the opportunities it provides for brand development, providing for positive customer relationships, consumer education and, of course, the search for sales and profits.

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