Leading market research organisation Mintel commissioned Acorn to research and write a specialist niche market report on the growth wine tourism around the world. Wine production is one of the world’s oldest trades and since the industry commenced diversifying activities beyond production, tourism has become one of its most important and successful niche components.
Extensive research was conducted to uncover key wine tourism activities around the world, seeking to define wine tourism as a tourism niche in its own right and understand the value of tourism to the broader wine industry. To inform the report, an analysis of wine production and consumption by wine-producing country was carried out, identifying the major players in the market, in both the Old World and New World, along with newcomers such as China which entered the market as recently as the 1980s.
Popular wine tourism activities and trends were identified and profiled, including wineries, wine trails and routes, wine museums and wine festivals. The characteristics of the wine tourist were also examined, differentiating each profile from those with an extensive knowledge of wine to those less curious. An analysis of the tour operator market was also conducted, profiling those specialist operators which only cater for wine tourism and others that include wine tourism activities within broader itineraries
The research identified wine tourism as an important component of Food Tourism and uncovered a global following of at least 50 million annual visitors and revenues of €22 billion. Wine tourism is a niche activity that is becomingly increasingly entrenched within the industry which itself is attempting to broaden appeal to a wider group of consumers.
At UNWTO’s First Global Wine Conference in 2016, wine tourism was identified as key to develop strong links between a destination’s culture, history and lifestyle. Using this model, there are opportunities for established and emerging wine producing destinations to develop regional tourism programmes that create a rounded, holistic tourism experience for growing numbers of wine enthusiasts.