Thursday , February 22 2018

Wine tourism ripe for the picking

Around 25 percent of international tourists to New Zealand now seek out a ‘wine experience’, visiting beautiful wineries, cellar doors and vineyard accommodation.

To ensure this phenomenon continues to accelerate, Tourism New Zealand and New Zealand Winegrowers have joined forces to support the wine industry.

A set of interactive, online learning tools has gone live to help the wine industry grow the value of their tourism business.

“Research tells us that around 25 percent of all international visitors visited a vineyard or winery and that increases to 42 percent for those who visit to cycle or golf. It’s a growing market that is ripe for the picking and we want to help industry get a share of that business by helping them better understand the opportunity,” said Andrew Fraser, director of marketing, tourism New Zealand.

“It’s about sharing information with industry about our international visitors, what they are looking for and what they expect from a great tourism experience.”

New Zealand has a range of vineyard experiences on offer across the country. Tourism New Zealand and New Zealand Winegrowers worked with industry representatives and digital learning specialists to produce the modules. New Zealand Winegrowers head of global marketing Chris Yorke said wineries around New Zealand are choosing to ramp up their tourism offerings as a part of a strategy that is expected to see wine exports reach $2 billion annually by 2020.

“We’ve always done wine tourism well, but we are taking that up a notch. The online tools have been received extremely well by the industry. We expect to see our wine tourism numbers increase off the back of this initiative.”

The set of six interactive online learning modules, including topics such as leveraging digital marketing, improving service quality and harnessing the Chinese visitor market, can be used on desktop or mobile making it easy for industry to access.

There are 25 wine experiences in Auckland, 90 in Waikato/Bay of Plenty, 16 in Gisborne, 14 in Hawke’s Bay, 63 in Wairarapa, 51 in Nelson, 32 in Marlborough, 68 in Canterbury, and 38 in Central Otago.

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