It's certainly of some relevance that the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) decided to set such an event in Italy, in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Tourism: a chance not to be missed for the country and its winemaking regions, including Friuli Venezia Giulia, to draw attention as some of the most yearned for wine tourism locations worldwide.
Building on UNWTO’s work on advancing tourism at the center of plans for recovery, under the theme “What's next? Wine pairs with Innovation…”, this annual Conference represents a unique opportunity for experts from across the growing field of wine tourism to work together to find concrete solutions to build back better and make tourism an enabler of the way forward towards a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient future for rural communities.
The past two years have brought major shifts for wine tourism, with transformations in travel logistics, wine experience design and consumer behaviour. They have also brought to the forefront many challenges already in motion – from digital to sustainability. Sustainability increasingly drives both the offer of experiences designed by wineries and vineyards, as well as the attitudes of travellers and their purchasing decisions; while digitalization and e-commerce have become key tools at the hand of producers, distributors and wine tourism businesses and destinations.
Innovating in experiences, marketing and partnerships creates a wide range of opportunities for all members of the value chain at a critical moment for travelers, companies, authorities and locals when active participation and conscious thinking should enhance the value of wine tourism destinations and their environment. Working towards this will be the key to the development of the sector and the satisfaction of people who will travel with wine as a motivation.
The 6th UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism will focus on answering some of the following questions: what is the role of innovation in the future of wine tourism? How can wine tourism be more sustainable? What are the opportunities of digital and social to enhance the wine tourism value chain?
Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO Secretary-General, will be talking about these topics with guests such as Pau Roca, Director General of the OIV (International Organisation of Vine and Wine) and Carlo Petrini, Founder and President of Slow Food Italy.
One of the discussing session will focus on “Innovation & Wine Tourism”, exploring how to innovate across the entire value chain and seek the best alliances that can reach the joint benefit. Wine tourists seek to know, learn more and enjoy other cultures, traditions and history through their wines and ways of producing them and through innovative experiences.
A few workshops will be following, investigating how wine tourism can pair with sustainability, creativity or communication. Creativity, for instance, is a key tool for the development of wine tourism, both in wineries, vineyards and in the experiences that are offered to travellers. Promoting and making visible disruptive practices that have a positive impact is very important, as wine tourism experience is personal and subjective, and a result from the multisensory stimulation combined with emotive aspects of the consumption experience. The workshop will stimulate to create unforgettable and unique experiences around the wine tourism world, and to make them commercial as well as profitable.
And here's where communication comes in handy, making innovative tools available for people to share their experiences and products, using alternative and far-reaching channels such as social media, disruptive opinion leaders and content creators to reach other audiences and create more diverse markets.