Since the Ministry of Agriculture has also taken responsibility for Tourism because food and wine is one of the main drivers of travel choices, could we miss Vinitaly?
We visited one of the major international wine fairs to see how tourism and wine are connected in Italy.
This year the data from Vinitaly are impressive. After 40 promotional events during the year in Italy and abroad, the 2019 edition of the fair occupied an area of 100,000 square meters, with 4,600 companies from 35 countries and over 17,000 wine labels.
Not to mention the “Fuorisalone” in Verona (which was called “Business in the fair, wine lovers in the city”) which hijacked all the wine lovers who were not professionals in the sector.
But back to wine and tourism.
According to market research data, the desire to taste a particular dish or visit a territory with particular wines represents between 70 and 80% of the motivation for a tourist trip, and the difference depends simply on who conducted the research and on which angle he observed.
This data should not be confused, however, with wine tourism, i.e. with a journey whose only motivation is the tasting of wines, where the numbers are different. According to a research commissioned by VeronaFiere to Nomisma, the regions that have the greatest appeal for wine tourists are Tuscany with 27%, Piedmont with 12%, Veneto with 9% and Sicily with 7%. Then follow Friuli Venezia Giulia and Puglia with 5%.
And this data should not surprise us both fbecause of the great promotion that has been made for years with the linking of wines and landscape, just think of the ‘Chiantishire’, the Langhe, which is even a UNESCO World Heritage site, and more recently the hills of Valdobbiadene.
And Puglia is becoming the favorite destination for many Indian weddings as well as for all Pizzica fans who gather to dance in the summer in the many squares of Salento. And also growing are Primitivo di Manduria, Nero di Troia, Negroamaro, Salice Salentino, Castel del Monte Aglianico, Rosso di Cerignola, Cacc’emmitte of Lucera, Terra d’Otranto, etc …
It is therefore no coincidence that the regions with the greatest tourist interest are also those in which wine sales are greater and the number of tourists in search of exclusive experiences to discover wines is greater.
Attention then needs to be given to the numbers represented by Organic Wine, because in this case the link between wine and the production area is even stronger and therefore there may be new potential for penetration into the tourist market by wine producers in certain areas. The demand for Organic Wine was so high that Vinitaly dedicated an entire pavilion to present the nearly 3,300 labels.
The Italian choice to combine agriculture and tourism in one ministry has been strategic but it seems that the ministry is still not ready to promote these two organisations. The large space of the MIPAF in Verona showed nothing of the tourist opportunities offered by our beautiful peninsula. Storytelling was lacking of the territories capable of transforming the interests of individual producers into interests of the common goods of an entire community.
Certainly some producers are ahead and use story telling to attract buyers to their cellars, but without a strong frame given by the territory’s brands their strength is less than that of their competitors.
And there are strong and fierce international competitors, especially if you think about the importance of the new Asian markets that are opening up and that are choosing high quality products from all over the world. The Chinese market should be educated to wine and probably choose wines according to the ‘exotic’ appeal that inspires them or the advice of some of their ‘gurus’.
The combination of wine and territory is therefore essential to attract the emotional interest of the Chinese consumer by stimulating his lateral creativity. And for a Chinese, it is even more important to combine it with a trip: Australia, France, Italy, … Not to mention California and Chile. The first two have very strong consolidated ties, the rich Chinese are buying their second home in Australia, but we also have our cards to play.
And we can play our cards even better as soon as FieraVerona launches its landing program in China with its own exhibition platform.
But this is a theme that we will explore in a later article.