WineGB  Wine Tourism Conference

2 - 4 March 2021

UK wine tourism – the roadmap to success

WineGB's Business & Marketing Conference focus this year was on wine tourism

Tuesday 2nd – Thursday 4th March, 10am – 12pm

Held as a virtual conference

Tourism is a vital and growing part of the UK wine industry. There is a wealth of evidence-based research from around the world that highlights the economic importance of wine tourism for wineries. A study from New Zealand, for example, highlights that the domestic wine tourist spends 32% more than the average tourist, and that the international wine tourist spends nearly 80% more than the average tourist.

Wine tourism can add tangible value for a wine business and a wine region. Alongside the additional footfall, tourism brings greater opportunities for wineries to engage in direct-to-consumer and online sales, and with that higher margins and increased profitability. For many vineyards, it creates a bedrock for securing long-term commercial viability.

As the world of hospitality and tourism looks to the future in a post-pandemic world, the focus is on delivering appropriately-managed and appealing offerings to encourage visitors back. The future is looking bright; according to VisitBritain’s annual tourism forecast, the UK will hopefully see a recovery of domestic tourism spending in 2021, with the predicted figures suggesting that spending will be up 82% compared to 2020 - a value of around £51.6bn.

The UK already benefits from a growing global reputation for high quality wine, and as an emerging wine tourism region, there is opportunity to establish high quality tourism credentials to attract more domestic and international visitors and become one of the great wine regions of the world.

Over the three days of this virtual event, the conference will explore the following themes, each presented by authoritative speakers from both here and overseas, each sharing best practice, and a wealth of knowledge and experience:

Day 1 - Tuesday 2nd March: The new landscape for tourism

Speakers and topics included:

  • Alicia Miller, Travel Writer (inc Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Food & Travel Magazine and other publications)
    The new global travel landscape: where we're at, where we're going
  • Janet Uttley, Head of Business Support Transformation, VisitBritain
    Moving towards recovery: an update from VisitEngland
  • Mike Best MW
    Cellar door best practice: Moving from theory to reality
Day 2 - Wednesday 3rd March: The importance of regional co-ordination

Speakers included:

  • Mike Ratcliffe, Chairperson, Stellenbosch Wine Routes
    Successful regional collaboration – 50 years of the Stellenbosch Wine Route
  • Charles Simpson, Simpsons Wine Estate - Wine Garden of England
  • Jeannette Simpson, Denbies Wine Estate - Vineyards of the Surrey Hills
  • Ian Sargent, Laurel Vines - Yorkshire Wine Route
    Experience of setting up a regional cluster/trail
Day 3 - Thursday 4th March: Excellence of experience

Speakers included:

  • Franck Arnold, Regional Vice President and Managing Director of The Savoy Hotel
    The Customer Journey at the Savoy, how to differentiate the visitor experience in luxury hotel
  • Emily Sharland and Georgina Beniston, Vasse Felix Wine Estate, Australia
    Designing & Delivering Brand-Led Wine Experiences
  • Tim Clarke, Owner Wineroutes (also formerly owner of Arblaster & Clarke)
    Best practice in wine tourism - excellence in visitor experiences

Images courtesy of: Astley Vineyard, Amber Valley Vineyard, Hush Heath Estate, Chapel Down