New stars in wine tourism: Alentajo Okanagan Maipo Croatia
The desire for novelty wins, but also a warm welcoming: restaurants, hotels, beaches …. Now more than ever an excellent wine is not enough
Read for you by Donatella Cinelli Colombini
The list of the wine destinations chosen by the readers of “USA Today”, the most widespread daily newspaper in the States, states the definitive surpassing of lists dedicated to the prestige of wine. The Giants such as Bordeaux and Champagne disappear, so do destinations too uniformed such as Alsace. The new destinations for wine lovers are places that are very well equipped for welcoming guests or better still not yet touched by tourism. Here are the top 10 region to visit: Alentejo -Portugal, Okanagan Valley-British Columbia, Maipo-Chile, Malborough-New Zealand, Croatia, Napa Valley, Tuscany, Oregon, Hunter Valley-Australia, Virginia.
After the earthquake that changed the hierarchy, only Tuscany resists in the list but only in 7th position. Many cities of art, wines of international fame, events, good restaurants, the
possibility of staying in historic locations, local dishes, the beauty of the landscape……. are a strong point, but will they be enough in the future?
If we go and see the data regarding tourism we will notice that in Italy is on the decrease: -4,3% compared to 2012 in the presences (nights) and -2% in tourism consumption. And this
economic sector should be the engine of our nation! Tuscany is a bit more successful than the other regions and is able to compensate the contraction in Italian tourists with the increase in foreign visitors so the presences are equal to the previous year (IRPET data).
But while we battle with recession our foreign competitors are riding the wave of the moment in a world tourism that is on the increase by 5% and that, especially in the wine and food sector, is flourishing. Recently Fabio Piccoli has published
on Wine Meridian a report regarding two wine regions: Okanagan which seems to be the major emerging destination and the queen of wine torsi business Napa Valley. The figures are mind boggling: in Okanagan there are 136 wineries with a total of 4.000 hectares of vineyards, so a lot less than in Montalcino, but they develop a wine tourism business of around 70 million euro with an average expenditure of 325 € per tourist. In this case a comparison is necessary; foreign tourists in Italy, in 2013, have spent an average of 102€ and the Italians 79€ per day. Frankly one can only despair.
If then we go and see the results in NapaValley, one might even jump out of the window: 5 million visitors, 1,4 billion dollars in business, 10.500 employees and an increase in hotel turnover of 11%.
It is necessary to change our pace urgently and to stop thinking <<tourists will always come to Italy>>because without an efficient tourism policy we will be receiving in Italy only tourists that other nations are not interested in intercepting, so the leftovers. And be careful …our competitors are not so far away …just look at how Croatia is coming along!