More com­mu­ni­ca­tion rec­om­mended

Tourism and wine good mix

Central Otago Mirror - - FEATURES - By JES­SICA MAD­DOCK

Bet­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the tourism and wine in­dus­tries is needed, ac­cord­ing to Lin­coln Univer­sity se­nior lec­turer in tourism man­age­ment, Joanna Foun­tain. She was the key­note speaker at a wine tourism work­shop in Cromwell, or­gan­ised by Tourism Cen­tral Otago and the Cen­tral Otago Wine­grow­ers As­so­ci­a­tion. Ms Foun­tain told the Mir­ror the tourism in­dus­try did not al­ways un­der­stand the chal­lenges faced by winer­ies and the sea­son­al­ity of their work, while some winer­ies were un­con­vinced about the ben­e­fits of be­ing a part of the tourism trail. There were fre­quent calls from the tourism in­dus­try for winer­ies to be­come more in­volved, but the vine­yards were of­ten small op­er­a­tions which grew from a love of grow­ing and mak­ing wine. Their fo­cus was on ex­port­ing overseas, not on be­ing a part of the lo­cal ser­vice in­dus­try. Get­ting in­volved in wine tourism meant in­creased in­fra­struc­ture and staff costs. "Some ask is there any point in be­ing open seven days a week for two peo­ple to visit." The tourism in­dus­try also needed to bet­ter un­der­stand the sea­sonal na­ture of wine-mak­ing. It was time for more com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the in­dus­tries, Ms Foun­tain said. Her pre­sen­ta­tion to the 70-odd wine and tourism in­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives who at­tended the work­shop was en­ti­tled "mak­ing the most of tourism" and ad­dressed two is­sues – why bother, and how to go about it. "The wine in­dus­try does not nec­es­sar­ily know how to make the most out of tourism op­er­a­tors. "We know that peo­ple who are in­ter­ested in wine have a higher in­come, are more ed­u­cated – of­ten what we would call cul­tural tourists – and in­ter­ested in small scale, au­then­tic ex­pe­ri­ences." Tourism op­er­a­tors and winer­ies in ev­ery re­gion needed to work to­gether, ad­vo­cate for each other and not com­pete. "If you have some­one who comes to your cel­lar door who doesn’t like your style of wine, if you’re aware your neigh­bour does what they’re look­ing for, you can rec­om­mend them. Make sure the vis­i­tor, when they leave the re­gion, has had a to­tally good ex­pe­ri­ence." Ms Foun­tain said New Zealand winer­ies usu­ally pro­vided vis­i­tors with a unique, per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence, of­ten in­clud­ing the chance to talk to the wine­maker. There was op­por­tu­nity to grow this, with­out los­ing the unique­ness. Winer­ies in New Zealand, Aus­tralia and the United States had the ben­e­fit of grow­ing with the tourism in­dus­try, whereas in tra­di­tional wine-mak­ing ar­eas such as Bordeaux in France, tourism op­por­tu­ni­ties were be­ing in­cor­po­rated into es­tab­lished winer­ies, she said.

Photo: JES­SICA MAD­DOCK 627434922

Co-op­er­a­tive: Woo­ing vis­i­tors with wine: Lin­coln Univer­sity tourism man­age­ment se­nior lec­turer, Joanna Foun­tain, tells awine tourism con­fer­ence in Cromwell there is plenty of op­por­tu­nity for the in­dus­tries to work to­gether, but a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of each other is needed.

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