The Opening plenary session included welcome speeches from Anthony Swift, IWINETC Director and Narcís Ferrer, General Manager at the Agència Catalana de Turismo and this was followed by a presentation of the The Wine & Culinary Tourism Marketing Strategy for Catalunya 2022-2027 delivered by Damià Serrano I Miracle, Experiential Marketing and Research Director at the Catalan Tourist Board. Roberta Garibaldi concluded the opening plenary session with a talk titled Wine Tourism Future. Between Sustainibility & Attention to the Local Community which looked at the current and future challenges in tourism and highlighted the importance of being connected with local wine heritage. Many wine tourism matching options concluded the talk showing just how wine matches with virtually all types of tourism and tourists except maybe coffee!
During the morning coffee break conference delegates were able to discover a variety of grape escape destinations such as Armenia, Czech Republic (Bohemia and South Moravia), Rhône Valley, Porto and Tarragona as well as a host of others through the Winalist OTA.
The day continued with inspiring talks from industry experts and IWINETC regular keynote speakers: Chris Torres showed delegates how to harness the power of user generated content, Peter Syme demonstrated live how to produce unique writing and photography with AI and Judith Lewis who threw out to the audience several bars of chocolate in exchange for questions delved into the world of connecting brands to markets. Of particular interest was the round table led by Ariadna Ribas, Wine & Food Tourism Brand Manager at the Agència Catalan de Turisme where representatives from 4 active wine routes (Armenia’s Vayot Dzor Wine Route, the Empordà Wine Route, the Penedès Wine Route and the Wine Roads of Northern Greece) discussed the business of marketing a wine route.
Day 1 of talks ended with a “D.O. Cava MasterClass” led by Silvia Culell who looked at the history of Cava, the Cava making process, permitted grape varieties and quality requirements. Sivlia made a specific focus on the Cava de Guarda Superior de Paraje Calificado and 3 of the producers (of 6) included in the Grand Tasting were in this category. Conference delegates were amazed by the quality of Cava included in the tasting.
In the evening many of the conference delegates attended the Torres Wine Tourism Experience and Gala dinner with others staying local for a networking event in the historic centre of Tarragona at Casa Balcells.