Innovation, partnerships and enhanced coordination are essential for making wine tourism a driver of rural development. That was the takeaway message from the 5th UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism, held last week in Reguengos de Monsaraz, Portugal, around the theme “Wine Tourism – a driver for rural development.”
Connecting tourists to territories
Wine tourism and its connection with the territory, local products and traditions opens new opportunities to advance jobs and inclusiveness in rural areas
“The pandemic has strengthened the role of tourism in advancing rural development. Wine tourism and its connection with the territory, local products and traditions opens new opportunities to advance jobs and inclusiveness in rural areas” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili, at the opening of the conference.
Joining Pololikashvili for high-level panel discussions were Rita Marques, Secretary of State of Tourism of Portugal, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, State Secretary to the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France, Sofia Zaharaki, Deputy Minister of Tourism of Greece and Mariam Kvrivishvili, Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia.
The Minister of State, Economy and Digital Transition for Portugal, Pedro Siza Vieira, affirmed: “Wine tourism is at the forefront of our National Plan for Tourism. Its mission is to reach more visitors, from more countries, around the year, all over Portugal.” He also announced the launch of the Portuguese Wine Tourism website and a first Wine & Travel Week to be held in Porto, in February 2022.
Growing demand for authentic experiences
Wine tourism is in increasing demand as consumers look for more open-air experiences in rural areas in the post-pandemic era. The conference stressed the importance of developing the whole tourism value chain to complement the activities at the wineries as a means to create more jobs and businesses, promote local products and improve the visitor experience.
Local Authorities play a decisive role in enhancing the built and intangible heritage of winegrowing territories. For Reguengos de Monsaraz, this conference was the most important moment of the Vine and Wine history in the largest wine-producing regions in Portugal and will provide a further boost to rural development.José Calixto, Mayor of Reguengos de Monsaraz
The Italian village of Alba in Region Piemonte will host the 2022 edition of the UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism.