Whether the goal is to taste a wine, visit a restaurant or simply chat with the winemaker, wine tourism is booming – and gaining more political interest; in January 2020, the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) signed a strategic partnership. The attention can be attributed to, among other things, the fact that tourism was one of the most lucrative industries worldwide (before the pandemic) and was growing rapidly. In 2018, it generated $8.8 trillion and grew faster than the global economy for the eighth consecutive year. Tourism also plays an important role in job creation. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), one in five new jobs created worldwide in 2018 came from this lucrative sector. By the start of the pandemic, tourism had become responsible for 10% of global employment.
Obviously, Covid-19 had a strong – and devastating – influence on the wine tourism industry. This article contains results of a project carried out in 2017 and 2018, which was obviously pre-pandemic, but we believe it is relevant for the future when the pandemic is over.