Closing IWINETC 2016 Catalunya on a massive high – the wine & culinary tourism world connects in Barcelona Province.
Riding a growth wave, the 8th International Wine Tourism Conference, Exhibition & Workshop closed on Thursday 7th April in Barcelona province where the global wine tourism industry and particularly the host destination, Catalunya showed that it was in good shape.
Knowledge, Business & Networking was the IWINETC theme this year for almost 300 delegates from 32 different countries attending with significant attendance from grape escape destinations such as Greece, Italy, Moldova, Spain and of course host region, Catalunya. The Wine Tourism Workshop with more than 1,000 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 30 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 Italy in 2017 was met with a great reaction by IWINETC attendees.
This year saw a heavy emphasis on networking events including a pre-conference day of winery visits to 5 of the 50 Great Cava producers 2016. Evenings were enjoyed with Gala Dinners taking place at both of the event’s Gold Sponsors: Freixenet and Torres. Several wine tasting events within the talk programme provided a chance to discover diverse grape escape destinations and wines from Catalunya, Greece & Hungary as well as Cava (Penedès) in the IWINETC Grand Cava Tasting led by Master of Wine, Sarah Jane Evans.
65 Tour operators divided up into 4 groups discovered Catalunya as a grape escape destination with visits programmed to cover all 12 designations of origin of Catalunya. A group of international media, 16 strong also followed a visit programme.
Summing up IWINETC 2016 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 pre-conference tours began and at the Welcome Reception. The opening announcements
and the opening plenary session delivered by Premium sponsors the Catalan Tourist Board and the Barcelona Province Tourist Board had a full house where some 250 people attended along with important media such as TV3. As a team, we focus on delivering a quality experience because at the end of the event there is only one thing that matters – happy participants who leave taking away positive results for their careers and/or business.”