1.1 Definition and scope of the study
Oenotourism, or wine tourism, is a form of rural tourism based on the discovery of wine regions and their production. It includes many activities, such as :
- Vine and wine professions
- Knowledge of grape varieties and terroirs
- Historical and cultural heritage (museums, visits to estates, etc.)
Born in California in the 1970s, wine tourism developed later in Portugal, along with the recent boom in traditional tourism which has been the main driver of growth in the wine sector in Portugal in recent years. Port wine cellars alone attract more than one million tourists a year.
According to a study carried out by the AESE Business School and the University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD), 2.5 million tourists came to Portugal with the motivation to get to know Portuguese wines in 2018. 80% of the people who visited Portugal said that food and wine are the reasons that will make them come back to the country. The survey also predicts that the wine tourists may increase their consumption by around 20% in the coming years.
Despite the already acknowledged success, wine tourism is expected to benefit from significant government incentives in the coming years. A recent campaign to promote wine tourism in Portugal, entitled "Wine pairs with Portugal", was launched in 2019. With an investment worth more than €500,000 the advertising campaign, targeting the UK, Spain, France, USA, Brazil, Germany and Canada, is exclusively digital and will run until the end of 2020. In addition, the government intends to allocate more than 60 million euros of investment (already approved) to 38 tourism development projects in the country, including theme hotels, wine bars, museums, events, wineries, farms and manor houses, mostly located in the regions of Oporto and the North, the Centre and Alentejo.
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