Wine tourism development and marketing strategies in Southwest Michigan

International Journal of Wine Marketing 01/2006; 18(1):45-60. DOI: 10.1108/09547540610657678


Purpose – This research investigated wine tourism development and marketing in southwest Michigan, a longtime viticultural, but emerging wine tourism region. The aims involved discovering the motivations, expectations, and successes of Southwest Michigan Wine Trail member wineries in developing horizontal and vertical alliances. Design/methodology/approach – Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with individuals in charge of the wineries’ marketing activities (i.e. marketing directors and members of the marketing departments, winery owners). These interviews were recorded and transcribed. Activities fostered through the horizontal and vertical alliances were identified. Findings – Alliances along the Southwest Michigan Wine Trail have furthered the development and marketing of wine tourism. The trail's member wineries have formed strong horizontal relationships, which include joint advertising, promotion, and production. They have also built vertical relationships with tour operators, lodging businesses, and restaurants that promote individual wineries as well as the wine region. Wine tourism has provided wineries with another sales outlet and established the wine region as a destination. Originality/valve – This study contributed to the limited literature on the development and marketing of wine tourism in Michigan and in other emerging wine regions in the United States. For those working to further such rural/agri-tourism, this research indicated that there is considerable growth potential through an increased presence in restaurants and in packaging with accommodations. Adding new specialized wine tours, wine festivals,geographical target markets, and a focus on wine education on-site and at educational institutions can expand wine tourism and sales.

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    • "Collaborative marketing efforts through websites can be an important tool to develop wine tourism in Texas. Wargenau and Che (2006) investigate wine tourism development in southwest Michigan. They find that alliances along the Southwest Michigan Wine Trail have advanced the development and marketing of wine tourism. "
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    ABSTRACT: Wineries in the Northern Appalachian states have expanded significantly over the past 10 years, however, marketing still presents challenges in this globally competitive industry. We explore the linkages between general wine consumption and winery tourism. A market segmentation model is applied to local wine purchases and winery visit behavior. In this four state study of 1,609 wine consumers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee we provide insights into local wine purchasing differences among core, mid-level, and periphery wine consumers. We analyze the determinants of trying local wine and visiting local wineries. Finally, we examine differences in post-winery visit behavior. Our results suggest that the frequency of wine consumption and increase in wine knowledge positively influence the decision to try a local wine and visit a local winery. Keywords: wine consumption, winery tourism, market segmentation, local winery promotion and post-winery visit behavior.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · The International Food and Agribusiness Management Review
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    • "Adopting the Carpio et al. (2008, p. 255) summary definition of agritourism as 'visits to farms and other agricultural settings with recreational purpose' helps to identify the non-market landscape resources that might stimulate the development of the industry. Agritourism ventures include a variety of participant, educational and spectator experiences conducted on-farm, such as outdoor recreation (freshwater fishing, swimming, hiking, horse riding, birdwatching); educational experiences (farm and winery tours, cooking classes, wine tasting, stock droving, special interest, agriculture tours or on-farm work); entertainment (food and wine festivals) (Wargenau & Che, 2006); hospitality services (farm stays, country-style accommodation, restaurants sourcing local produce); on-farm direct sales (self-pick operations or roadside stands) (Galinato et al. 2010); and off-the-farm direct sales (farmers' markets) (Ecker et al. 2010; Hatley, 2009). Mugadza (2005) provides a comprehensive list of agritourist 'motivation factors' relevant to South African practice. "
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    ABSTRACT: This article shows how modern spatial computing technology can be used for the development of spatial policy and planning of agritourism. An application is performed in the Western Cape province of South Africa. The article overviews provincial tourism development policy, the tourism marketing framework and the expressed tourist preferences that translate into spatial suitability indicators or attraction features captured in the agritourism resource base. Special attention is given to the conceptual foundations of what defines attraction and which can be captured in a spatial format as mapped variables. The methodological approach of spatial multiple criteria evaluation is applied through weighted linear combination of spatial factor layers as images in a geographical information system. The outcome in map format demonstrates the applicability of the technique to the Western Cape. The finely detailed spatial result is compared with coarser regional indicators from a spatial development framework proposed for guiding official tourism planning. The entrepreneurial implications of the analyses are indicated. The results are useful for entrepreneurial and regulatory planning that can be replicated in different spatial locations if the appropriate database can be constructed.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · The South African geographical journal, being a record of the proceedings of the South African Geographical Society
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    • "According to this new view, food and wine events become polysensorial experiential units (holistic approach) through the " mise-en-scene " of different elements and the synergy of all operators. o Gastronomy: For instance, some researchers have mentioned the importance of collaborative relationships among stakeholders of a wine region (Wargenau and Che, 2006). In fact, the development of food and wine destinations through many centuries, as is the case of Mediterranean Europe regions (Brunori and Rossi, 2000) demonstrates that different consumer segments have a strong appreciation for travelling to rural areas to experience foods that are local, or that have been grown and produced locally for generations. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: Wineries face an increasing need to add value to wine tourism experiences. The goal of this study is to measure the performance of wine tourism business in several wine regions of the world and explain how performance correlates with winery characteristics and the regional environment. We isolate four explanatory dimensions of performance: 1) investments in tourism, 2) products/services offered, 3) marketing strategies, as well as 4) external factors (e.g. regional capital). Design: Based on an international survey launched by the Great Wine Capitals Global Network, we collected 186 surveys from six wine regions of the world: Bordeaux, Mendoza, Mainz, Florence, Porto and Cape Town. We analyze the structure of wine tourism activities, top sources of profits, wine tourism investments and other external contributing factors. We use a multiple regression analysis to show how the above four dimensions contribute to the performance of wine tourism, contrasting Bordeaux with the other regions. Findings: We provide some preliminary answers for explaining wine tourism performance. The Bordeaux region puts a greater emphasis on the cultural and educational aspect of the wine experience based on the region’s fame and historical capital. Other regions view their profitability originating more from a holistic approach, which encompasses wine tasting, hospitality and building a long-term relationship with the visitor. Interestingly, we find that the best performers in the Bordeaux region differentiate themselves by using strategies unique to the other group of regions, and vice versa. Practical implications: We have made the first step in creating quality and performance benchmarks in wine tourism and our study contributes to the understanding of the success factors and other conditioning regional factors.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · SSRN Electronic Journal
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