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Wine & Spirits

GWTO President: Greece Ιs Οne of the Μost Promising Emerging Wine Tourism Destinations

ATHENS – José Antonio Vidal, President of GWTO, stated in an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (AMNA) that Greece is one of the most promising emerging wine tourism destinations due to its cultural and natural significance. He added that identifying, understanding, and utilizing tourism resources should be the primary strategy of a tourism destination and the companies within it.

Vidal emphasized that sustainability and a commitment to nature are crucial factors encouraging wine tourists to choose a destination.

The full interview with AMNA follows:

What does wine tourism mean for the global tourism industry?

According to José Antonio Vidal, president of GWTO, wine tourism is a rapidly growing sector that will become an important driver of business, focusing on inclusive development in the economic and social spheres. This includes wealth creation, preservation of tangible and intangible heritage, environmental sustainability, and improvement of entrepreneurial potential through quality, competitiveness, innovation, generation of collaborative synergies, and institutional frameworks for participatory governance.

What is the size of the global wine tourism market?

Vidal referred to the wine-growing territories that are rich in tourist resources as the geographical areas with potential for wine tourism.

In recent years, tourism and wine have formed a symbiotic relationship that strengthens both sectors. Tourists travel to wine destinations to learn about their historical, artistic, and natural heritage related to wine culture.

What do wine tourism travelers want, and what is their travel expense?

The motivation of wine tourism travelers is to disconnect from their routine, have a great time, and experience something different, which wine tourism can provide. Unfortunately, entrepreneurs often lack sufficiently rigorous and objective statistics to make informed decisions. To address this, the GWTO Academy is working with an international team of experts on the GWTO WORLD WINE TOURISM ECONOMIC MONITOR.

What are the global trends that shape the development of wine tourism in countries?

The identification, knowledge and use of tourism resources must become the most important strategy of a tourism destination and the companies that make it up. One of the most important trends that encouraging wine tourist to choose the destination is sustainability and commitment to nature. This will be taken into account for the experiences/activities through GWTO QUALITY SEAL in order to be exhibited in the GWTO MARKETPLACE OF WORLD WINE TOURISM.

As experiential tourism, wine tourists have high expectations of their trips. Which destinations are leading on a global scale?

a) the resort or theme park model, typical of those companies that were born with a tourist focus (mainly USA, South Africa, Oceania), and

b) the model focused on the visit to the wineries, completing the experience with other resources of the destination, typical of establishments that were born with a winemaking focus but which have understood that entering the tourism sector is profitable (mainly France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Chile).

What is the position of Greece on the world map of wine tourism? How do you see Greece as a wine tourism destination?

Greece is one of the most promising emerging wine tourism destinations because of what the country itself represents in terms of culture and nature.

GWTO recommends the creation of a Greek Wine Tourism Association. GWTO advises on the associative model according to success stories from other countries.

To be a full member of GWTO is to be part of the WORLD WINE TOURISM COUNCIL, made up by public entities, the private sector, and academic institutions.

On the other hand, and this is not a minor issue, professionalization through training and internships must be a constant commitment. This is why the GWTO Academy offers training programs co-created with national and international academic institutions.

Which regions of Greece do you see leading in this field?

Greece, with more than 300 varieties of its own grapes, has a vineyard area of approximately 150,000 hectares, highlighting four regions:

  1. North: Epirus, Macedonia, and Thrace
  2. Islands of the Aegean Sea: Santorini, Samos, and Limnos
  3. Central Greece: Central Greece, Thessaly, and Attica
  4. Southern Greece: Crete, Peloponnese, and Kefalonia

All of these regions are really endowed with tourist resources.

What advice would you give to Greek tourism agencies and political leadership?

The leadership should adopt a GWTO GOVERNANCE MODEL (GWTO Academy) where Destination Management Organizations (DMOs) play a major role in efforts to create services and innovative products in the areas of social, environmental, and sustainability that can respond to global challenges linked to sustainable development.

GWTO recommends the creation of Destination Brands (Country Brands) in consultation with our specialists, as well as intensive communications campaigns through GWTO Events.

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