Putting the WOW in the Destination
When Adrian Bridge opened The Yeatman in 2010 he made a presentation to The International Wine Tourism Conference called ‘Defining the Destination’. He presented the rationale behind the investment in a luxury wine hotel in Porto and how he hoped it would impact the city. Many people at that time questioned the logic and location in a town where leisure tourism had been limited. However, he was proved right and The Yeatman has gone on to win many awards and to become a destination in itself for luxury wine tourism.
Since then he has moved on to The World of Wine. This is another project of perhaps greater ambition as it is a new cultural and restaurant district of the city. It was the largest investment project in Portugal in recent years with over Euro 106 million being spent to transform an area of 55,000 m2 of the historic Port wine cellars into this new icon for Porto and Northern Portugal.
Adrian has long argued that a key to sustainable tourism is about content. This is particularly true of wine tourism where there is a tendency to open yet another tasting room without thinking about diversification of the offer and the way that visitors and consumers will be able to enjoy such amenities. It has to be about the total content offer of a region or district.
The World of Wine (WOW) was a project started in 2013 and opened in August 2020. The project has been led from the outset by Adrian who intends to share the story of the development of the project, the ambition and the key learnings. The ambition is to place WOW and the destination of Porto on the ‘bucket list’ of every wine lover.
Despite opening during Covid lockdown the early indications are for a great success.