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News Article

UNWTO hails Wine Tourism as an approach to Sustainable Rural Development


Eight areas for action identified

UNWTO called for wine tourism to be made part of national tourism and rural development policies at the 3rd UNWTO Wine Tourism Conference in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova (6-7 September 2018). The two days of discussions engaged experts from 30 countries and addressed UNWTO's priority of enhancing tourism's socioeconomic benefits, looking at specific segments like wine tourism.

The third edition of this UNWTO conference, held in partnership with the Moldovan government, came to the conclusion that to make wine tourism a tool for rural development local communities must be engaged in and benefit from the entire tourism value chain. It also called for governance models that could help destination managers offer wine tourism as part of a holistic rural and cultural tourism approach.

Eight key areas of action emerged from the discussion. These are:

1. Wine Tourism Strategy and Governance: Wine tourism needs to be recognized as part of the national tourism and rural development policies with the setting up of the corresponding governance model;
2. Partnerships and co-creation: the complexity of wine tourism development and the diversity of stakeholder’s involved requires innovative models of collaboration; we need to break walls and promote new clusters;
3. Act local - community engagement and empowerment: The contribution of wine tourism to rural development can only be achieved if local communities are engaged and included in and benefit from the tourism value chain; furthermore the overall community needs to understand and be aware of the value of tourism;
4. Support small business and entrepreneurship: Small businesses and entrepreneurs need adequate financing and regulation in order to advance innovation and digital transformation;
5. Wine Tourism beyond “wine sales”: Wine tourism is not only a means for wineries to increase their income; it is an approach to rural and cultural tourism and thus requires an holistic approach in terms of destination management;
6. Know your visitor: more research is needed to measure and understand wine tourism trends and consumers and allow for international comparability among destinations. We need to harmonize criteria and explore opportunities from big data;
7. Skills and opportunities – creating opportunities for jobs requires the development of adequate skills including those related to new technologies and sustainability but also soft skills such as storytelling, team work, adaptability, etc.
8. Tourism, rural development and the Sustainable Development Goals: Wine Tourism Strategies need to be fully aligned with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and indicators.


"The complexity of wine tourism development and the diversity of stakeholders involved requires innovative models of collaboration; we need to break down walls and promote new clusters," said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili.

The next UNWTO Wine Tourism Conference will be held next year in Chile.

Further information is available at the conference website. The Leisure Tourism database includes over 500 records on wine tourism, including around 30 CABI eBook chapters available to subscribers. A small selection of records is listed below.

Article details

  • Author(s)
  • David Simpson
  • Date
  • 12 September 2018
  • Source
  • UNWTO
  • Subject(s)
  • Hospitality Sector
  • Tourism