….the wine & culinary tourism world connected in Viagrande at the Hotel Villa Itría (Catania) 27th March to 2nd April.
Riding a growth wave, the 9th International Wine Tourism Conference, Exhibition & Workshop closed on Thursday 28th March in the Catania province where the global wine tourism industry showed that it was in good shape.
Knowledge, Business & Networking was the IWINETC theme this year for almost 250 delegates from 32 different countries attending with significant attendance from grape escape destinations such as Italy, Spain, USA and host region, Sicily. The Wine Tourism Workshop with more than 800 appointments scheduled before the start of IWINETC proved to be the business highlight of the event with many more meetings conducted at the exhibition area during the 2 day conference programme of 24 talks.
“The wine tourism industry is clearly on the rise and can no longer be called a small niche market with so many wine regions around the world investing significantly in this kind of tourism. The future is bright for all who understand that wine tourism is a sustainable business opportunity” said Anthony Swift, Director of IWINETC.
The announcement that IWINETC will be heading to Budapest, Hungary in 2018 was met with a great reaction by IWINETC attendees with Dr. András TÖRÖK, Director, Hungarian Tourism Agency, Directrorate of Gastronomy and Wine Marketing closing the 2 day IWINETC Conference of talks.
This year saw a heavy emphasis on networking events. Evenings were enjoyed with visits to Etna wine producers Tenute Mannino di Plachi, Benanti and Tornatore. Several wine tasting events within the talk programme provided a chance to discover diverse grape escape destinations and wines from Franciacorta, Greece, Georgia Slovenia, & Hungary as well as Wines from Etna in the IWINETC Grand Cava Tasting led by Valeria Carastro and Giampietro Nadali
44 Tour operators divided up into 3 groups discovered the Etna from South to North and the Siracusa and Ragusa as a grape escape destination with visits programmed to a variety of wine tourism experience providers such as wineries, high end accommodation, agroturismos and cultural highlights of Noto and Ragusa. Fam Trips came to a conclusion on the 2nd April.
Summing up IWINETC 2017 Anthony Swift added, “Our objectives for IWINETC every year is to provide the stage for wine and culinary tourism professionals from around the world to gain knowledge and ideas, for agents and wine tourism experience providers to meet, do business and connect through networking. This year the buzz was obvious from the moment the Welcome Reception began with a feast of culinary delights created by Chef Giovanni Torrente and sponsored by the Distretto Turistico Vini e Sapori di Sicilia. The opening announcements and the opening plenary session delivered by Robin Shaw were well supported where some 250 people attended along with Sicilian media. As a team, we focus on delivering a quality experience because at the end of the event there is only one thing that matters – satisfied participants who leave taking away positive results for their careers and/or business.”