The 3rd International Wine Tourism Conference and Workshop closed last week, following a great week of, business, meetings, networking, talks, winery visits and wine tastings.
This year’s edition attracted 173 delegates from over 30 countries. New countries to have representation included Argentina,Austria, Brazil, Croatia, Latvia, India and South Africa, The number of tour operators and travel agents specialized in wine and culinary tourism was 45 reflecting a 30% increase on last year and total attendance including bloggers, exhibitors, speakers, traditional media, wine experience providers reached 326, a 46% increase on 2010 event held in Spain (unaudited figures). 40 talks were delivered over the 3 days of the conference. Hosted Travel Tour Operators and travel agents at the workshop undertook more than 810 Pre scheduled appointments, 66% increase on 2010 (subject to final confirmation). 12 businesses participated as exhibitors which is 100% increase on 2010.
Pre and post tours for bloggers, delegates and hosted buyers took place in a week that saw some fine sunny and mild weather in regions visited such as the Minho and Douro.
Many new features were launched at this year’s event to include a Grand wine tasting of Portuguese wines, hosted by Charles Metcalfe, Social Media Clinic for wine and tourism related businesses, a blogger/media trip, wines and tastings from Italy, Portugal, Spain, Texas and Turkey and Chefs from the same countries preparing traditional dishes for delegates. Anyone who didn’t attend can view eight days worth of event news on the Wine Pleasures site and on the Facebook page and will be able to see view the Speaker’s notes and presentations as well at a later date. Twitter hashtag for the event was #iwinetc. iPhone fans were also able to install an application for the event which delegates found useful – WTC 2011
Also new was the auction of the programme cover painting done by Gabriela Gonçalves. Victor Marques of Douro based Vitoria Koi was the highest bidder at 250 Euros and this will be donated to Novo Futuro, Lisboa who care for homeless children.
Other highlights included over Olive oil tasting (Tras Os Montes), port and wine matching (Sogevinus), the Great Spanish Wine Quiz evening (hosted by Celebrity Wine Review TV and wines provided by Ferré I Catsús) and dinners in venues around Porto and Gaia.
We would like to recognise Taylor’s Port and The Yeatman Hotel for being our premium sponsors and Sogrape Vinhos for their silver sponsorship and to all of the 30 + sponsors who have help 2011 Portugal prove to be a huge success. Also to our local DMC company (DOC-DMC) for their hard work.
The 4thInternational Wine Tourism Conference and Workshop will take place 30 January – 2 February 2012 in Perugia, Umbria, Italy. Our Premium sponsor is the Movimento Turismo del Vino.