Home From The Sidelines 6th Conference on Wine Tourism: Partnership, Innovation, and Technology

6th Conference on Wine Tourism: Partnership, Innovation, and Technology

In the past two years, there have been major shifts in wine tourism, with conversions in travel logistics, wine experience design, and consumer behavior. Many challenges have also been brought to the forefront, which is in motion—from digital to sustainability. The 6th edition of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) on Wine Tourism emphasized the significance of partnerships and cooperation that would help build sustainability and community development. The conference was held recently in the city of Alba, Piedmont, Italy, bringing together more than 300 leading public and private sector experts from more than 30 countries around the world around the theme “What next for wine tourism?”. The conference was organized in association with the Italian Ministry of Tourism, the National Tourist Board – ENIT, the Piedmont Region, and the Langhe Monferrato Roero Tourism Board.

Preserving Culture through Wine Tourism

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili welcomed the delegates by expressing his views on how well-managed tourism is a powerful tool for rural development, innovation, and the preservation of cultures and the natural world. The conference is part of their work to take the benefits of tourism and generate new opportunities for rural areas. The participants stressed the importance of expanding the linkages between wineries and wine-producing territories to stimulate innovative experiences that would value local products and traditions, the landscape, gastronomy, heritage, and people. The conference also highlighted the role of women and youth in the development of wine tourism. The emphasis was laid on the investment in wine tourism in rural areas, as it might lead to motivating young people to get involved in the activity and preserve the knowledge and tradition of their region.

Digital Transformation Garners Momentum

The conference debated the contribution of technology in enriching wine tourism, which leads to offering and attracting tourists. Technology provides innovative tools that influence the client’s experience of seeking fulfilment in their lifestyle and travel experience. By accumulating benefits from experts’ insights, including Argentina, Chile, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, the participants could deep dive into a road forward, creating a vision of community. On this occasion, UNWTO and Slow Food signed an MoU to collaborate and formalize the intentions of both organizations to work together to promote gastronomic tourism as a mechanism of development and socio-economic inclusion, especially linking towards its goal of rural development.

The 2023 edition of the UNWTO conference on wine tourism will be held in La Rioja, Spain.