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UN Wine Tourism Conference Focuses on Wine Tourism as a Driver of Rural Development

by Andrew Chalk

In Reguengos de Monsaraz in the Alentejo region of central Portugal last week the United Nations Wine Tourism Organization hosted a conference for governmental and private bodies representing the global wine tourism industry. I attended as a media representative.

Wine tourism has grown immensely in the last 50 years and is now a part of the wine industry fabric in countries as far apart as Georgia and Canada. This conference provided an opportunity for policy makers and private sector movers of tourism to share experiences and ideas based on their own country’s data.

The conclusions of the two day conference were set out in a document by the UNWTO.


1. Build a national wine tourism strategy

2. Ensure coordination with relevant policies (rural development / agriculture)

3. Support SMEs to enhance product & quality (standards, quality seals)

4. Promote skills and talent (attraction & retention)

5. Invest in infrastructure / accessibility


1. Open air, smaller known groups

2. New markets : domestic, proximity

3. Smaller groups, higher spending

4. Bookings - better planning, better experience

5. Online wine activities as a complement to stay


1. Storytelling

2. Data & client/visitor relationship (acquisition and retention)

3. Use technology to engage on site (languages) and online

4. Sustainability is also innovating

5. Innovate in partnerships


1. Take decisions which are good for the future

2. Cultural sustainability – sense of place + authenticity

3. Sustainable wineries = sustainable wine tourism

4. Social sustainability


1. Public-private sector cooperation

2. Public-public sector coordination

3. National Plan with engagement of private sector and destinations

4. Management organizations with public and private sector

5. Work in Network


1. Enhance the value chain of wine tourism

2. Add value and value ‘localhood’

3. Innovate in partnerships

4. Bring the discovery of wine to the territory


1. Develop common indicators for measurement and benchmark

2. Work towards a common statistical architecture

3. Better use of big data

4. Develop knowledge of the relationship between wine tourism and other sectors (wine exports) 5. Enhance national & international coordination

Great Wine Capitals Global Network (GWCGN) president Jacques Faurens and UNWTO secretary general Zurab Pololikashvili sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote wine tourism



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