More than one Italian in two is a wine tourist

The first survey on wine tourism was presented at Vinitaly as the result of a memorandum of understanding between ISMEA and AITE, the Italian Food and Wine Tourism Association. The wine tourism experience, with 13.4 million Italian wine tourists, 64.5% of travelers, is an attraction mainly for Americans and Europeans.

The judgment of young people is more lukewarm. In the under-24 cluster, room for improvement was indicated, especially in terms of service quality, ease of booking and information retrieval, in the perception of digital natives evidently influenced by greater use of the Internet and social networks.

For Livio Proietti, President of ISMEA, “the purpose of the agreement is to put under the microscope the main qualitative and quantitative variables of Italian wine tourism, a relevant segment of the national wine system that connects products and territories, which also contributes to success. made in Italy. Wine tourism, as well as agritourism, a sector that the Institute has been monitoring for several years, represents an important marketing lever that maintains the attractiveness of rural areas that are increasingly exposed to the phenomenon of depopulation”.

“The wine tourism sector – added Roberta Garibaldi, president of AITE – now represents an important phenomenon from an economic point of view and continues to grow for the income of Italian wine companies. The level reached by wine tourism is such that it requires a real structured scientific analysis in order to outline the incoming flows and bridge the gap between the wishes of the tourists and the actual realization and implement the systemic projects accompanying rural tourism and the public and private investment necessary to revive employment and create wealth. We are moving towards a standardized definition of a wine tourist based on the work between UNWTO and OIV that will accompany this research”.

On the other hand, if there are cellars, the holiday is extended. The data highlights that the majority of tourists (around 50% of regular tourists, almost 55% of those associated with the world of wine) stay at holiday destinations for 2/3 days, going beyond the “plug and play” framework: 31% report a duration of 4 days or more, a value that rises to 38% for winemakers. Among wine lovers, half have visited one or two wineries, 36% at least three establishments, but even higher values ​​are observed in the age group between 25 and 34 years old.

That wine tourism is a strong stimulus for the development of the entire wine sector was also highlighted by Giorgio Del Grosso, head of the statistics and digital transformation department of the OIV, who spoke at the conference via video message. “Wine tourism – he explained – is a driving force for local and rural development and a tool for income diversification. For this reason, it was introduced as the third pillar of our current strategic plan. The need to have accurate, reliable and internationally comparable data prompted us to sign a memorandum of understanding in 2021 with UN Tourism, the United Nations agency that deals with tourism, to develop a common methodology for measuring economic impact. of this important industry”.

Wine-related tourism – as highlighted by the opening report of ISMEA sector expert Tiziana Sarnari – proves to be even more important for wineries in less fortunate years, such as the one just passed, when a slight drop in exports was combined with stagnation. in domestic demand. The year 2023, which will go down in history with particularly weak sales, the lightest since the post-war period, with 38.3 million hectoliters, which is 23.2% less than in 2022, but thanks to which our country, the only one among the big wine players, decreased. cross-border losses to a minimum (1% in volume and -0.8% in value in 2023 compared to much more negative figures from Spain and France).

The meeting was also an opportunity to meet the main protagonists of Italian wine tourism and to describe the constantly evolving reality in Italy, with a network of more than 500 wine villages linked to the city of wine, almost 90 wine streets and tastes that are developing throughout the country. An industry also driven by women, as recalled by Donatella Cinelli Colombini, former president of the Association of Women of Wine, who was responsible for creating the successful initiative Open Cellars with women who “book more than men and are the protagonists of the Hospitality Cellar”. The round table moderated by Fabio del Bravo – ISMEA was also attended by Martina Centa, UIV – Unione Italiana Vini, AGIVI-Cantina Roeno, Nicola D’Auria, President of the Wine Tourism Movement, Walter Massa, President of the Wine Roads and Flavors of Piedmont Federation, Marco Montanaro, CEO of Federvini and Angelo Radica, President of Città del vino.


Leave a Comment