IWINETC 2021 to Lodge in UNESCO World Heritage area

The International Wine Tourism Conference (IWINETC ) 2021 will be hosted in The Lodge Wine & Business Hotel. Built in the former centuries-old Port Wine cellars, the IWINETC venue will afford fabulous views of the Douro and Porto from the banks of the UNESCO World Heritage area in Vila Nova de Gaia.

On a recent visit and stay at The Lodge Wine and Business Hotel, Anthony Swift, IWINETC Director commented “The location of The Lodge couldn’t be bettter for IWINETC. The hotel entrance and chill out area comprises of interesting textures, materials, colours, shapes, woods, cork and an eye catching old barrel, now part of the structure of the stairs leading to the conference rooms and exhibition area on the first floor. Speaking of floors these resemble the floors of cellars with wicker baskets embracing the structure’s columns. As you wander around the hotel there are countless references to the wine world to be discovered . Service I have to say is top class”.

In total, there are 119 rooms and suites. The rooms honour the Portuguese heritage, with mattresses, bed linens and towels all of Portuguese creation.

The Dona Maria restaurant: orchestrated by Chef Ricardo Simões, pays tribute to Infanta D. Maria (the woman who gave her name to what is considered the first Portuguese cook book), but also to all the Donas Marias in our lives: mothers, grandmothers and aunts who have contributed to Portuguese gastronomic heritage. Over lunches Conference delegates will be able to discover the culinary delights of North Portugal such as tripe, braised veal with cured meats rice from Trás-os-Montes, confit cod with chickpea purée or Abade de Priscos Pudding.

Early brid registration is now open for the IWINETC conference & B2B Workshop which means that attendees can now secure their place to join us in Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto and the North of Portugal from 26 to 27 October 2021. With strict health and safety precautions in place the number of places will be fewer than in previous editions of IWINETC so early registration is recommended.

View the attendance options here>>

IWINETC 2021 announces keynote speakers

IWINETC has announced 5 keynote speakers for IWINETC 2021 Porto & North Portugal, which will take place on 26 and 27 October 2021 at the 5* The Lodge Wine & Business Hotel.

The conference slogan for 2021 is “Bouncing Back”. Judith Lewis will speak about Post-Pandemic Digital Recovery for the wine and culinary tourism industry. On a similar note Peter Syme will look at the wine tourism industry post covid and what digital change we they need to be aware of. Chris Torres will present market research that asked the questions so many of us in the industry want to know. The insights gained from this research will better inform tour and activity providers on how to market their businesses in 2021/22, including which demographics and product types to focus on. Felicity Carter will show how to stand out in a crowded market and get customer attention at all levels – destination, region, place, providers of wine tourism experiences and Adrian Bridge, awarded wine personality of the year will looking at the biggest investment in Europe in 2020 at €105M – WOW

More expert speakers at IWINETC will be announced in the coming weeks.

Anthony Swift, Event Director, IWINETC, said: “We’re very excited about the programme of inspiring content that will provide attendees with tangible learnings to take back to their own businesses. We can’t wait to share the IWINETC experience direct to a live audience this October under the slogan “Bouncing back”

IWINETC 2021 takes place 26 & 27 October and will incorporate a Welcome reception for all attendees, a day and a half of conference talks, an exhibition area, a B2B Workshop and Fam trips for Agents and Media.

Register your interest here>>

Porto & North of Portugal to Host IWINETC 2021

The International Wine Tourism Conference (IWINETC), the most established global wine tourism conference and trade event for the wine and culinary tourism industry, has announced the destination and dates of its 13th edition, which will take place at the brand new 5* The Lodge Wine & Business Hotel 26 & 27 October 2021.

IWINETC 2021 Destination Porto & North Portugal

In partnership with the Porto & North of Portugal Tourism Board, IWINETC will  incorporate two full days of plenary talks, panel discussions, case studies, and speeches, one half day of one-to-one business meetings, a comprehensive networking programme and several post tour programmes to the four wine regions defined in the newly launched Wine Tourism Routes namely Douro and Porto, Vinho Verde, Távora-Varosa and Trás-os-Montes. As in previous editions of IWINETC exhibitors, B2B Workshop providers, Hosted Buyers and Media will benefit from IWINETC’s bespoke appointment system, matching agent’’s business needs with supplier’s services to ensure they meet with people with whom there is a strong chance of doing business.

IWINETC’s  2 day Conference programme will leave attendees inspired and motivated to apply their learnings to their place of work and/or businesses. Speakers already confirmed include Judith Lewis, Chris Torres, Peter Syme and Felicity Carter. Additional expert speakers will be announced in due course.

Commenting on IWINETC 2021, Anthony Swift, IWINETC Event Director, said: “We’re excited about this year’s IWINETC as it’s been 10 years since we last held the event in Porto and it will be interesting to see the huge development that has happened with respect to wine and culinary tourism in the Porto and the North of Portugal region. Working with Porto & North of Portugal Tourism Board, we’ll be putting  together a comprehensive content schedule, full of sessions that have a genuine practical application for our delegates. The programme is a great opportunity for wine and culinary tourism professionals to enhance their time with us in Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia with targeted learning, business and networking opportunities that complement the whole event experience”

Luís Pedro Martins, President, Porto & North of Portugal Tourism Board, said: “Quality events such as IWINETC 2021 brings to the region the awareness that we aim to achieve when comparing with other destinations specially while we still face a pandemic period worldwide. This brings us the strength we need to proove internationally that the region has everything to offer with the security everyone is looking for. An event dedicated to wine and culinary tourism is fully aligned with our strategy for the Wine Tourism Route and we’ve decided to launch it in IWINETC – the first B2B marketing action for this Route. Therefore, it is with great satisfaction that we welcome each participant”.

People can register their interest to attend IWINETC 2021 from Monday 23 August onwards. The event is expected to welcome around 250 attendees from around 25 countries

Register your interest here>>

IWINETC announces Global Virtual B2B Workshop for Wine Tourism Industry

The International Wine Tourism Conference (IWINETC) has announced the launch of a new online event, IWINETC Global Virtual B2B Workshop, which will take place on 4 & 5 May 2021. The event is an addition to IWINETC ’s global portfolio of conferences, B2B events and webinars for the wine and culinary tourism industry.

IWINETC Global Virtual B2B Workshop will unite wine tourism professionals from across the globe for two days of one-to-one business meetings that will ferment new connections and enhance existing ones.

The event platform, “My Wine Pleasures” will be open over 2 days so that agents and providers can tailor their schedule to their time zone. Each day will provide tour operators, agents and event organisers the chance to discover new destinations, expand their provider contacts, and get the latest information on each region’s recovery. The programme is as follows:

  • Day 1 – The Americas (4 May 2021)
  • Day 2 – Europe, Asia and Australasia (5 May 2021)

IWINETC will also run in May and June a second series of live and on-demand webinars titled 10 More Grape Escapes to Wine for in 2021 that will provide tour operators and agents valuable learning experiences and inspirational ideas for their wine loving customers. Destinations scheduled for the series include Australia, Sussex, Sweden and South Africa.

 “While we all long for the return of face-to-face events it’s clear that there is a long-term place for high-quality online meetings”, said IWINETC Director Anthony Swift, “IWINETC Global Virtual B2B Workshop will be a valuable and easily accessible event for wine and culinary tourism professionals from around the world to connect and do business.”

Destination & provider information & registration here>>

Agent information & registration here>>

Kent, Wine Garden of England selected as one of the 10 Grape Escape Destinations to Wine for in 2021

From over a 100 destination talk proposals received, the organisers of the IWINETC have selected 10 webinars to be included in the programme 10 Grape Escape Destinations to Wine for in 2021. The webinars were uncorked on 11th February 2021 with Explore Armenia through a Glass of Wine and Bulgaria – a Virtual Wine Tour and the series ends on 25th March with Destination Kent, The Wine Garden of England presented by Louisa Mungall, (Destination Development Manager, Visit Kent) & Sally Murphy, (Marketing Executive, Wine Garden of England).

“The webinars are principally aimed at tour operators/travel agents that work, or are developing, wine tourism as part of their business. It also provides content and insight for media and wine tourism professionals”, said IWINETC Director Anthony Swift who added:

“These webinars have been well received by wine and culinary tourism profressionals from around the world as wine tourism is clearly one of the safest forms of tourism in these restrictive times we currently live in”.

“We chose to include Kent in the webinar series as England is probably not the first place a wine lover and wine tourist would think of visiting. Tour operators and travel agents working the niche market of wine tourism are always interested in discovering new destinations to keep their customers coming back each year. So why not England in 2021 or 2022?” Destination Kent will be live on Thursday 25th March at 16.00 CET and registration to attend is free. More info here: https://www.iwinetc.com/grape-escape-destinations-2021

Reading this after the 25th March 2021? Not to worry you can catch the webinar replay on the IWINETC YouTube Channel here>>

10 Grape Escape Destinations for 2021

IWINETC Grape Escape Destinations for 2021 features a packed live and on-demand content programme with 10 sessions looking at grape escape destinations around the world designed to help wine and culinary tourism professionals look towards a brighter future as our industry rebuilds and recovers post pandemic.

For those who register to attend there will 10 hours of live content available to be viewed over the course of the programme and content will be available to view on demand after each session.

IWINETC Grape Escape Destinations for 2021 online event will bring together some of the world’s exciting wine tourism destinations with agents and media from around the globe. Destinations included in the programme are: Armenia, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Champagne, Greece, Italy and Portugal, 

Commenting on the IWINETC initiative, Anthony Swift, Event Director, said: “Last year has been a huge challenge for the wine and culinary tourism industry and 2021 until around summer looks to be more of the same, so it’s fantastic to come together with IWINETC Grape Escape Destinations for 2021, to share our destinations, make valuable connections, hear from industry experts and of course, continue to do business. We’re delighted with the destinations and speakers lined up for the next couple of months.

IWINETC Grape Escape Destinations for 2021 online uncorks on 11 February at 16.00 CET with Explore Armenia Through a Glass of Wine with Dr. Zara Muradyan and Hayarpi Shahinyan of the Wine and Vine Foundation of Armenia.

For more information, visit: www.iwinetc.com

Thinking Wine Tourism in Italy’s Friuli Venezia Giulia? Think Vitinera.

Friuli-Venezia Giulia – where’s that?

Friuli-Venezia Giulia is tucked into the far north-east corner of Italy, between the Adriatic Sea and the Julian Alps, on the border with Slovenia to the east and Austria to the north. It is a young and dynamic wine producing region of extraordinary diversity, internationally recognised as a source of premium and super-premium wines.  The region is renowned for its interpretation of the international classics, from Sauvignon Blanc to Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay, but it is arguably Friuli’s unique local varieties which best crystalize the flavours and aromas of the terroir and project a sense of place.

Vitinera – what’s that?

Vitinera is a place where the DIY wine tourists can plan and book a wine tasting day or two by connecting to www.vitinera.com and selecting a specific winery to visit in one of the several sub regions of Friuli Venezia Giulia region as per the Vitinera web site namely: Gorizia, Pordenone, Trieste and Udine. The platform is currently available in English, Italian and German.

Before a wine tourist can start to create a personalised wine tasting tour the user first has to create an account (takes about 60 seconds to complete the process) which is free and then the user is able to search the directory of wineries to visit on a region by region basis.

Each listed producer has a profile page in the platform  which shows which kind of wine tourism experiences they have on offer, availability and a price per person. Wine tourism experiences include visits to vineyards, visits inside the winery, tasting, wine and food matching, vineyard picnics, treasure hunts for kids, whole lunches and dinners and even sleep over at certain wineries. A location map is provided to avoid getting lost.

Vitinera came about by a chance meeting of 5 people at the MIB School of Management in Trieste, united by their passion for wine tourism. The start-up is in fact the final project work of their Master degree. The team is as follows: Luca Buccino is the CEO of Vitinera; Francesco Bacarini is the Chief Operating Office; Mario Arnoldo is Chief Marketing Officer; Fabrizio Lesca is Chief Financial Officer; Enrico Codognini is the Chief Technology Officer.

CEO, Francesco Bacarina presented Vitinera at the 12th annual International Wine Tourism Conference (IWINETC) October 2020:

Vitinera presented at IWINETC 2020

Vitinera plans to add the neighbouring Veneto wine region and other Italian grape escape destinations such as Lombardia and Trentino in the near future. Vitinera also plans to make the platform available for tour operators and agents to use as a tool to help create wine tasting tours for their clients. Agents interested in know more should contact Mario Arnoldo

Wine Tourism battle plans for Covid 19 revealed at IWINETC Virtual 2020

Knowledge & Business have been the International Wine Tourism Conference’s (IWINETC) 5 day theme this year for close on 300 registered delegates from some 25 different countries tuning in from diverse grape escape destinations such as Austria, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Moldova, Portugal, Spàin, Slovenia, Serbia, UK, USA to name a few and from host region, Friuli Venezia Giulia and many other regions of Italy.

The 2 day Wine Tourism B2B Workshop between agents and media and wine tourism experience providers had more than 700 appointments scheduled and proved to be the business highlight of the 5 day event with many more meetings conducted after the meeting schedule through online meeting platforms.

IWINETC was scheduled to happen in person 27 – 29 October 2020 and to be hosted in the beautiful and spectacular grape escape destination that is Friuli Venezia Giulia with the support of Premium sponsors Promoturismo FVG

The 3 day conference programme saw a line of up of world class speakers providing excellent and relevant presentations for attendees to savour in these difficult times. Anthony Swift event Director provides some of the salient points from the conference talk programme:

“On day 1 Lucio Gomiero uncorked IWINETC giving delegates a taste of the Wine and culinary delights of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region. Chris Torres kept our spirits up by suggesting that the way forward at least in the next 12-18 months is to focus on domestic markets – staycation to coin a new word for the Oxford English dictionary. Jonathan Gomez Punzon of the United Nations World Tourism Organization gave a bitter taste of the new reality, the new normal but then served up that wine tourism and rural tourism are one of the safest kinds of tourism and will thrive during these challenging times but we have to adapt by providing safe experiences, by partnering up within a given destination, by providing excellence – a reason to travel he stated.

Day 2 saw WTM’S Responsible Tourism Advisor, Harold Goodwin present “The Business Advantage of Responsible Tourism”. Responsible Tourism is important for providing authentic experiences and ensuring that wine tourists do not have negative experiences. Caring for customers tailoring to their needs – show respect and care. You are only strong as the weakest link in your chain he said. Bubbly Judith Lewis gaves us food for thought when it comes to Post-Covid Website Optimisation and Digital Marketing in the Wine Tourism Industry. Cristina Mascanzoni Kaiser live from a winery on Lake Garda defined the luxury traveller of today as being a person seeking tailor-made experiences according to culture, a wine lover looking for a unqiue offer and for a wine tourism experience provider to be trained and responsible. She coined the phrase Be hospitalian! Francesco Bacarini topped up day 2 showing delegates the online booking platform Vitinera where a DIY wine tourist can book a winery visit in the Friuli Venezia Giulia and in other wine regions of Italy. A useful tool still in the fermentation stage.

Day 3 saw Marianna Sigala give a seminar  on wine tourism Innovation during COVID-19 and this was followed by  a seminar on “How to  Improve Customers’ Experience for Wine through Technologies” with speaker Roberta Garibaldi. Peter Syme stressed the importance of understanding the customer journey and a few dos and don’ts when it comes to using Online Travel Agents.Champagne Tourist Board Director, Philippe Harant presented the Winetourism Lab project which aims to assist (coaching, financial advice….) wine tourism business iniciatives in the the region. Following on was a presentation of The Lower Austrian Wine Region.

Swift in the closing plenary session ended the IWINETC 2020 conference programme by saying “Despite the challenging times we find ourselves in, the wine tourism industry is clearly on the rise and people are looking online for wine tourism, accommodation and complementary activities to do in a wine region such as wine country bike tours, trekking and tasting, yoga, a place where kids can run around doing treasure hunts and so on. Chris Torres showed us this in his talk on day 1”.

Swift went on to address the audience by saying: “You right now are in the right business. We must now invest in our marketing efforts, take heed of all the advice given by our expert speakers, sit down with a glass of your favourite wine and watch the conference replays, take notes, think, action. You will win. You will thrive. You will be enjoying the new vintages when others with their heads in the sand will not or may well not. The future is bright for all who understand that wine tourism is a sustainable business opportunity”

Lara Persello in charge of the Area Enogastronomia – Strada del Vino e dei Sapori del Friuli Venezia Giulia and on behalf of Promoturismo FVG said a few final words and extended an open invitation for all conference delegates to discover Friuli Venezia Giulia as soon as travel restrictions are eased or removed.

Swift finished up by saying that “IWINETC will be back in 2021 and an announcement will be made in the New Year”.

The International Wine Tourism Conference (IWINETC) is the world’s leading conference, exhibition and B2B Workshop for the wine and culinary tourism professionals. Organised by wine tourism professionals for wine tourism professionals, the IWINETC includes a conference programme of around 25 talks, an exhibition area for providers to show grape escape destinations from around the world, a B2B Workshop for agents to meet with wine tourism experience providers and networking events to discover the host destination for the duration of the event. IWINETC attracts professionals working in travel agencies, wineries, hospitality, tourist boards, regional govenrment, associations, universities, wine import and activity organisers.

For the first time, IWINETC was run virtually from 26 – 30 October 2020 (3 day conference and 2 day B2B Workshop). 


What’s fermenting for the wine and culinary tourism industry?

What’s fermenting for the wine and culinary tourism industry? In which direction do we point the bottle to pop? Answers to these questions will be uncorked at the International Wine Tourism Conference (IWINETC) 26 – 28 October 2020.

Without doubt wine and culinary tourism is by far one of the safest tourism options on the planet so let’s get ready for a great vintage by making sure you have all the knowledge and education you need to prepare you for 2021 and beyond.

Since March we have kept bubbles in everyone’s glass through our informative articles and webinars. Now we are serving up IWINETC Virtual:

Join Chris Torres on Marketing Wine & Culinary Tourism in the Post-Covid World, Jonathan Gomez on Bringing Back Wine Tourism. Post-covid19 Restart Strategies and Opportunities, Judith Lewis on Post-Covid Website Optimisation and Digital Marketing in the Wine Tourism Industry and Harold Goodwin on The Business Advantage of Responsible Tourism along with a bunch of more appetizing industry experts presenting research, grape escape destinations and topics on marketing, branding and professional development. You can always learn more about wine at https://veowines.co.uk/, they have a vast selection and some interesting posts.

Click here to view the conference programme>>

Registration for a blend of a live 3 day talk programme with on demand replays for every session is just €65!  

Click here to register as a conference delegate>>

Don’t miss out on IWINETC 2020 Virtual which opens with the talk Destination Friuli Venezia Giulia which will be delivered by Lucio Gomiero, Chief Executive & Managing Director of PromoTurismoFVG

IWINETC 2020: What’s next for wine and culinary tourism?

In the second part of the two-part IWINETC webinar series, two experienced tourism sector speakers for the upcoming IWINETC conference shared their opinions of what the future looks like for wine and culinary tourism. 

IWINETC speakers and tourism industry moguls Peter Syme and Chris Torres took a look at the likely future of wine and culinary tourism. They gave helpful advice on getting back on track with tour marketing and operations for the “new normal.” With host Anthony Swift, the panel discussed group sizes, vehicle considerations, locations, hygiene, virtual tours and answered questions from some of the 200+ live attendees.

Chris: what’s next for wine and culinary tourism?

Chris believes one of the best forms of tourism is what brings people together and as soon as restrictions are lifted, bookings will increase for flights and accommodations because people are going to want to get together with friends and family.

People are currently spending time at home, on their laptops and smartphones, fantasizing about travelling, so give them something to read or a video to watch. Inspire them, entertain them and give them useful content that helps them plan their post-crisis trip. Don’t sit back and wait for leads to come in. You have to go out and let people know you exist. You need to attract your demographics and markets. You should be putting out more articles and marketing now to get your content out for free during lockdown. It will help inspire new and existing customers to find things to do when they come out of lockdown.

According to Chris, one of the best ways of targeting key demographics is on Facebook. Facebook is one of the best targeting platforms and one of the cheapest forms of target advertising. Chris’s key demographics to target online for future travel include:

  1. Small groups. Small groups are the future of tourism because of physical distancing. Make sure you’re getting across in your product promotions that you’re following the right guidelines to keep people safe from COVID-19.
  1. Over 60’s. A lot of the over 60’s age group have created Facebook accounts, have been on Zoom meetings and are using technology more than ever before to stay in touch with their family and friends during this time. We are currently finding more of the mature generation spending time online, so now is a good time to target this demographic.
  1. Students. Students have been saving money for maybe the first time in their lives because they can’t go out with friends. When they’re able to, they’ll want to reconnect with their friends and may look for new experiences.
  1. Corporate/Business. Employees and employers have been stuck at home or working from home for months. Team building activities to bring people back together after they’ve been apart will be a goal for companies to reconnect those bonds. 
  1. Milestones. People are celebrating milestones like birthdays and anniversaries, but they have had to share these important celebrations over video chats instead of in person with friends and family. Once travel is possible, they may want to celebrate belated events in a bigger way.  
  1. Front line staff. The people who have been working throughout the COVID-19 crisis including doctors and nurses will want to take a break when their work with COVID-19 patients slows down. You could target those specific professionals and could offer a discount as a thank you for their services. 

Peter: what’s next for wine and culinary tourism from your eyes?

Peter just reopened his business and is learning as he goes to navigate this tricky time operationally. 

Positives of tourism right now: 

  1. $$$. Pre-COVID-19, the tourism sector which includes wine and food tourism was annually grossing $254 billion dollars. Within tourism, the fastest growing sector was food and drink before COVID-19. Although, you can get a off license near me and contact this company that delivers wine all the way to your house.
  1. Technology. He’s seen vastly more innovation in food and drink than any other sector. The adoption of digital products, services and technology by tour companies has been impressive and important to target consumers during this digital time.
  • Partnerships. He as an adventure tour operator has begun partnering with more food and drink tourism operators. There are lots of opportunities for food and tourism companies to partner with other sectors because everyone needs to eat and people like to drink, so there are opportunities to combine these tours and activities. 

Challenges of tourism right now:

  1. Chance of shut down. There is the possibility of needing to shut down again after reopening your business due to the unpredictability of the virus. 
  1. Planning. There are questions of when to reopen, how to reopen and what travel opportunities are available based on government regulations. Also consider what sorts of protective measures need to be taken by your business to be able to reopen. 
  1. Marketing.When do you start going from marketing to customers about their hopeful plans for the future to marketing to get paid clients? 
  1. New customers. Past customers might not be your current customers. International customers may be harder to obtain due to travel restrictions. You may need to change your products to target local clients for local activities.
  1. Affordability. Businesses need to understand their breakeven point and margins to be able to reopen. Volume will be lower because fewer people are traveling and those who are will need to travel in smaller groups. More time will be needed to allocate to cleaning and discussing cleanliness and physical distancing protocols with guests. You may also need additional transportation to allow for fewer guests per transport vehicle.
  1. Selling Direct. You may need to reshape your sales approach to focus more on selling direct to customers rather than losing commission to distributors of your products.
  1. Virtual tours. Virtual tours and digital tours can include wine tasting and virtual events. They aren’t as profitable as regular tours but they open up your business to a larger market.

Since reopening, the feedback Pete has received from clients is they are very understanding. They accept that there are lots of different new procedures and are just happy to be able to get out and do something. 

Questions & Answers

Attendees of the session asked questions in the live chat forum. Their questions have been answered by IWINETC and the two speakers for the upcoming IWINETC event, Chris and Peter. 

Question: What are, let’s say, the predictions about the wine tourism for the nearest future after lockdowns and generally, after the COVID19 situation? Have tourists’ interest in “tasting new cultures” increased or maybe decreased? And has their taste changed about wine (I mean new and old worlds, or maybe they look for new experiences)?

Answer: Chris – Generally, people have been stuck at home for so long, for whatever bit they are allowed to travel, they will want to get away to explore and experience something new. Their tastes may not have changed, but they may have to try new experiences based on where they’re allowed to go.

Pete – Trends from the last 10-15 years show that people want to go to more developing nations. COVID-19 has put a break on that for a period of time, but people will likely want to get more adventurous and look at new destinations that are less crowded than more popular tourist destinations in the future.

Question: How do you access wine tourism? People shouldn’t drive if drinking but can you get them in minibuses?

Answer: Peter – Yes, mini buses are a good solution. Right now, you may need more of them than before so your guests can physically distance. Tour businesses are logistics business for the logistics of their customer. You have to take the driving barrier away. 

Question: Many regions have wine trails, whisky trails, brewery trails, etc. Is there a case to be made for combined drinks trails with different types of producers collaborating at a city, regional and country level?

Answer: Chris – Every time you combine products, you get increased customer satisfaction because customers perceive combined offerings as higher value. People need to eat every day so it’s good to combine an activity with wine and food. As a business, think about other sectors you can collaborate with. There could be more collaboration between different wine destinations, for example Italy and France could collaborate their wine regional tourism.

Question: What should be the content for those virtual tours? Meeting with the winemaker? Tasting the wines? Visiting the cellar?

Answer: Tell a digital story, so it depends on what your wine and food operation is. You want to make the story similar to what your in-person product is like. What are you focused on? If you can make an interesting digital experience, the benefits are huge because the reach is massive. Digital events and experiences can deepen relationship with customers online who may become a real-life customer in the future

Question: We opened a brand new winery in Tuscany just a few weeks ago and the heart and soul of the winery is related to tourism. We know that this year is almost over and we can’t expect anything. My question is: would you suggest to send emails/presentations/offers and such to international tour operators for 2021? Or do you think it’s too early for operators to plan for 2021?

Answer: Chris – It’s never too early; you should already be marketing for 2021 because people are looking now for things to do next year. You can have customers book now for a tour in 2021. You could ask for a small deposit for an undetermined date in 2021 and then pick out actual dates next year.

Pete – I’m not taking bookings internationally for next year but I am getting interest. People are concerned about the economic situation for next year because they don’t know what their situations will be. It’s possible tour businesses could shut down again next year if there is a second wave of the virus, so businesses should plan for what could happen if they’re shut down again next year.

Question: In the immediate future of wine and food experiences, will they be top and expensive or basic and cheap?

Answer: Pete – As volume starts to go up, there could be a price war and discounting war between tour operators. Every operator will have less customers so they have to think about their margins. Every operator has to determine what added value they can give to the customer to reach their margins.

Chris – Volume is going to be less, so you might have to raise prices.

For more from Pete and Chris, you can meet them at the conference over a glass of wine at IWINETC in Italy 27 & 28 October 2020.

If you have any questions after watching the webinar “What’s next for wine and culinary tourism?” replay or reading this post, please ask your questions in the comments section below.

Register to attend IWINETC 2020 here