USE OF THE WINE TOURISM IN THE REGION DEVELOPMENT:
THE COMPARATIVE STUDY
Jitka Veselá, Lena Malačka
This paper deals with wine tourism and its influence on the development of rural region. Wine
consumption and wine education is very popular among wine consumer nowadays. Wine
consumption is also associated with such activities which are called wine tourism. These
activities include wine tasting in wine cellars, wine festivals or sport activities accompanied
by wine tasting (e.g. cycling, wandering or yoga). With the growing awareness of this type of
tourism is also growing interest to actively participate in various activities. Visiting of wine
producers in the cellars, tasting with expert commentary and folklore events can be found
among the most popular activities. The Czech Republic and Canada as a country with a
similar wine production was chosen for the international comparison. These countries are also
similar in offer of wine tourism activities.
Keywords: Tourism, tourism development, wines, wine tourism, regional development, Czech
Tourism has become an increasingly important part of many people’s everyday lives in these
hectic times. People seek the traditional way of relaxation: according to the methodology of
tourism research, they are tourists on holiday (they stay in the given place for more than three
days) (Ryglová, Burian and Vajčnerová, 2011). However, the type of a short-term stay, where
the tourist stays in the destination for less than three days has become increasingly popular.
The aim of such trips may be relaxation in the form of weekend wellness stays in spa resorts,
alpine tourism or relatively new and very popular areas of adventure tourism and rural
tourism and its categories, such as agritourism (Govindasamy, Kelley, 2014). This kind of
tourism is needed for rural areas because it helps to revitalize these areas and also helps to
solve the problems of the lagging agricultural production (Šimková, 2008).
One of the current trends, gaining on popularity, is the interest in regional cuisine and an
important related commodity – wine. Synergic effects brought about by the connection of
wine and tourism represent great assets for the entire region concerned. The development of
tourism assists in the economic growth of the region: first through the increased sales of the
regional wineries, and second by creation of new jobs and business opportunities. The above
motives are often the primary reasons for visiting the region; they are not just supplementary
activities (do Paço, Alves, & Nunes, 2012; López-Guzmán, Rodríguez-García, Sánchez-
Cañizares, & Luján-García, 2011; Zielinska, 2009).
Tourism is one of the important and developing parts of wine industry also on the
international scale (Neilson, Madill, 2013). The so called “wine tourism” is defined as “a
visitation to vineyards, wineries, wine festivals and wine shows for which grape wine tasting
and/or experiencing the attributes of a grape wine region are the prime motivation factors for
visitors.” (Hall et al., 2002, p. 3)
The beginnings of research focused on the issues of wine tourism date back to the mid-1990s,
when experts dealt with the influence of wine tourism on the development of rural areas
(Getz, 2001). The basic definition of wine tourism is the one mentioned in the paragraph
above, which is often cited in literature (Kunc, 2009; Alant, Bruwer, 2004). This definition
may be supplemented with the statement that the visit to a wine-growing region need not be
the primary motivator. According to Neilson and Madill (2013) the visit to a winery is only
one of the activities included by tourists into a whole set of activities they undertake in the
given region. In this context, wine tourism is part of a bundle comprising cultural and
historical attractions and other forms of leisure activities.
As mentioned above, on the one hand tourism provides the necessary platform to wine
industry enabling it forming customer relations, and on the other hand it is one of the decisive
motivation factors for visits to such regions. In other words, the combination of wine and
tourism significantly contributes to the sustainability of the region. However, this also
requires a certain level of conditions that reflect and comply with visitors’ requirements:
efficient strategies for tourist destinations and development strategies must be devised, and
real as well as potential behavioural models of customers must be studied, which shall
facilitate growth of sales and gain and keep customers on a long-term basis (Grybovych,
Lankford, Lankford, 2013).
According to Kučerová and Makovník (2009) it is necessary to develop the regional tourism
policy because it is important part of the socio-economic policy in many EU countries. It
includes a lot of activities and process of discovering which brings not only economic benefits
for the region and eliminates negative impact of tourism development on region (Kučerová a
Makovník, 2009; Luštický a Kincl, 2012).
2 WINE TOURISM IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
Wine tasting and wine consumption are included in wine tourism as one of the forms of rural
tourism, which is part of ecotourism and nature-oriented holiday. Next to cultural and city
tourism, sports and active holiday, spa stays and congress and trade fair tourism it is
considered the most important form of tourism, for which the Czech Republic has the best
preconditions (CzechTourism, 2013). In order to support rural tourism and bicycle touring,
the CzechTourism agency within its marketing conception introduced the project of Summer
Travels as one of subcategories of the product Travels Through Countryside, which focuses
on the utilization of cycle trails, paths and thematic routes, including wine trails (Palatková,
Tittelbachová, & Valská, 2012). The idea is based on the SWOT analysis of current trends in
Czech tourism, which sees the centuries-old tradition of Czech viticulture as a strength and
the development of rural and wine tourism as an opportunity (CzechTourism, 2013).
2.1 Awareness of wine tourism
The conducted surveys suggest that wine tourism is becoming more and more popular with
tourists in the Czech Republic. 85 % respondents were aware of visits to wine cellars of small
winemakers as part of wine tourism in the year 2007, whereas 42 % visited a wine cellar in a
distant past and 27 % not long before the survey was taken (Vinařský fond 2007). This survey
focused only on visits to wine cellars and not on wine tourism in general. Therefore the results
presented in the following text rather significantly differ from results obtained in 2007.
However, the lower figures still support the fact that wine tourism has the potential to
facilitate the development of tourism in the region. 40 % of Czech adults had heard of wine
tourism in the year 2008; 40 % of them (i.e. 16 % of the total number of respondents) had
experience with this form of leisure activities. More than a half of the respondents (54 %)
expressed interest in visiting South Moravia for this reason (Vinařský fond 2009). This
percentage was even higher in 2012: 46 % of adults and 52 % of wine consumers in the Czech
Republic. The above data concerning wine tourism correspond to the figures on the turnout of
visitors to South Moravia in 2012. 15 % of Czech adults and 19 % of wine consumers visited
South Moravia for the purpose of wine tourism (Vinařský fond 2012).
It is interesting that the respondents did not directly connect wine consumption with wine
tourism. This follows from the survey conducted in 2014, where only 23 % respondents said
they related wine tourism with wine consumption. On the basis of the data, we may assume
that it is the part of population (or wine consumers) who had used services related to wine
tourism, and thus we can speak of the growing popularity of wine tourism in the Czech
Republic. Wine consumption is most often associated with wine tourism by respondents from
the South Moravia region, which is probably attributed to the fact that wine tourism is mainly
offered in wine-growing areas of South Moravia. Also earlier surveys concentrating on wine
tourism document that tourists are interested in South Moravia in particular in the context of
2.2 Provision of information and wine tourism programmes
The level of information availability concerning wine tourism has been improving. 60 % wine
consumers knew where to get information about the possibility to visit a wine cellar in 2007
(55 % in 2006). The proportion of the relevant information sources has been gradually
changing. The two main sources of information are relatives and friends, and the Internet
(Vinařský fond 2007), whose information role has been gaining on importance. This fact is
illustrated in Table 1, where the proportion of the Internet use in seeking information about
wine tourism increased considerably.
Table 1 – Sources of information about wine tourism. Source: Vinařský fond 2007
Two thirds of respondents knew where to look for information about wine tourism in 2008.
They would primarily contact their relatives and friends (if possible from South Moravia) or
they would search the Internet (Vinařský fond 2009).
As far as individual programmes of wine tourism are concerned, an evening in a wine cellar
with wine tasting or a visit to a wine cellar with sampling and professional explanation was
considered as the most attractive. As the least attractive were found the programmes of
participation in grape harvesting and processing and somewhat surprisingly also bicycle
touring (Vinařský fond 2007). In fact, it is bicycle touring that lies in the focus of various
programmes included in the conceptions of tourism development in the Czech Republic.
Popularity of wine tourism programmes is illustrated in the chart below (Fig. 1).
Fig. 1 – Popularity of wine tourism programmes. Source: Vinařský fond, 2007
3 WINE TOURISM IN CANADA
Canada belongs to small wine producers. Canadian production is small-scale and although
never a global leader. Canada was chosen for this research because its amount of wine
production is comparable to the Czech Republic. There was different development in both
countries. In 2009 the Czech Republic produced more than 30 000 thousand liters of wine
than Canada. The situation was completely different in 2011 when Canadian production was
almost 20 000 liters higher. In 2012 both countries were on the same level of production –
65 000 thousand liters (Wine Institute, 2012). In relation to the “Old world wines” the “new
world wines” are quite new on the market (Dyk, 2015). Canadian wine industry has a great
repute (Lonely Planet, 2011).
Tourists can visit several wine areas in five Canadian provinces (Canadian Vintners
Association, 2013; Aspler, 2006):
Niagara region in Ontario;
Okanagan Valley (the country’s leading producers), Similkameen Valley, Fraser
Valley, the Gulf Island and the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island in British
South of Montreal, along the St. Lawrence shore and Quebec City in Quebec;
The Annapolis Valley, Avon River Valley, Bear River Valley, Gaspereau Valley,
LeHavre River Valley and the Northumberland Coast in Nova Scotia;
Prince Edward Island.
According to Bell (2010) and Canadian Vintners Association (2010), Canada welcomes about
3 million visitors every year. This number was more than four times higher when the Olympic
Games were held in Vancouver. They also state that the Canadian wine industry generates
$1.2 billion in tourism and tourism employment related economic impact.
The forms and range of wine tourism opportunities differ among the provinces. The total
tourism impact (represents the total direct tourism-related revenue and wages plus indirect
and induced revenue and wages generated by direct wine tourism) measured in thousands of
Canadian dollars was in 2013 643,798 in Ontario, 476,428 in British Columbia, 34,132 in
Nova Scotia and 63,707 in Quebec (Frank and Rimmermann, 2013). Also the number of
wine-related tourists is different in the respective provinces – 1,900,000 tourists in Ontario,
which produces a large volume of VQA wines and ICB wines, 800,000 in British Columbia,
where the wine tourism is growing (especially in Okanagan Valley), 100,000 in Nova Scotia
and 200,000 in Quebec also with growing potential stemming from the proximity of the large
city of Montreal.
As mentioned above, according to the Canadian Vintners Association (CVA, 2013a) there is a
system for quality assurance of wines produced in Canada. This regulatory system is similar
to the systems in other wine-producing countries such as France (AOC), Italy (DOC),
Germany (QmP) and also the Czech Republic (VOC). The Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA)
is Canada’s symbol of quality wine and ensures the high-quality Canadian wine to the
consumer. The VQA symbol on a bottle of Canadian wine assures the consumer of quality
production, content, varietal percentage, appellation, and vintage.
The second aspect worth mentioning is the International and Canadian Blend known as ICB
wines. This blend builds on the designation “Cellared in Canada” and wines labelled
accordingly, which are made from foreign grapes but are produced and sold in Canada. The
standard is to use the minimum of 40 % domestic content. The wine may contain up to 75 %
of imported wine (Grape Growers of Ontario, 2010; Frank and Rimmermann, 2013).
Another term associated with wine production is Icewine. Canada is the world’s largest and
highest quality producer of Icewine (Bell, 2010; CVA, 2013b). On 12 February 2014, the
Government of Canada published its Standard of Identity for Icewine within the Canada
Agricultural Products Act (SOR/2014-10). The regulation sets out that: “Only wine that is
made exclusively from grapes naturally frozen on the vine is “icewine”, “ice wine” or “ice-
wine”.” The Canadian Vintners Association (CVA) is the legal owner of the Canadian
“Icewine” trade-mark and actively protects the integrity and authenticity of Icewine in Canada
and in global markets (CVA, 2013c).
4 WINE TOURISM IN PRACTICE
It has been documented by the earlier surveys concerning sources of general information on
tourism as well as by surveys directly specializing in wine tourism that tourists often seek the
relevant information on the Internet. Therefore the growing number of tourist businesses
focuses their attention to the Internet, where they present their offer of services. The
CzechTourism agency established the portal called Kudy z nudy (Escape from Boredom), so
that all the information about destinations and the related attractions may be found in one
place. Here, tourists can find a destination and get some inspiration regarding to activities
offered in the area. Wine tourism is represented as well and this category comprises over 250
various activities and places to visit.
A relatively broad portfolio of activities related to wine tourism in South Moravia is offered
by the company Znovín Znojmo, one of the pioneers in this category of tourism in the Czech
Republic. Its conception contains interconnected activities and is targeted to general public;
not just to the company’s own clients. One of the interesting activities combined with hiking
is the so called Znovín Walking, joining Nordic Walking, which has recently become very
popular, stay in the beautiful countryside of the Podyjí National Park and wine tasting at
several stations. Tourists can individually choose from 14 planned trips or take part in the
Znovín Walking Day, on which they can walk the route with a guide. Znovín, supported by
the city of Znojmo and Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, strives for the inclusion of
the Šobes vineyard to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Such listing would significantly
assist the Znojmo region in attracting larger number of visitors and developing local tourism.
Similarly to Znovín Walking, cyclists can make use of the project of Moravian Wine Trails,
thanks to which they can tour the wine-growing region by bike. The project encompasses
1,200 km of bicycle paths reaching from Znojmo to Uherské Hradiště, interconnected by the
backbone Moravian Wine Path (Moravské vinařské stezky, 2000). The funds for the project
were obtained from the EU – Cross Border Cooperation Programme and European Regional
Development Fund – with the support from the Ministry for Regional Development.
Another type of wine tourism is the event called Open Cellar, during which the visitors can
attend the respective winemakers’ cellars and taste wine, if interested. Similar events are also
organized in the Lower Austrian Weinviertel region, a partner in the close cooperation with
Nadace Partnerství (Partnership Foundation) and Centrála cestovního ruchu Jižní Morava
(South Moravia Tourist Office). The cooperation consists in the mutual promoting of events
by Czech and Austrian partners (Moravské vinařské stezky, 2000).
Wine tourism is often connected with local gastronomy, traditions or historical events.
Examples of such projects are Historical Vintage in Znojmo, Pálava Vintage Festival, Znojmo
VOC Festival or Jarovín Rosé Festival. All the above events are great attractions bringing
many tourists from all over the Czech Republic and abroad to the region. The VOC Festival is
unique, because it enables the visitors tasting newly classified wines (VOC = Wines with
Original Certification). The event resembles for instance the beginning of sale of St. Martin’s
wines (young wines) in the Czech Republic, the variant of Beaujolais Nouveau Day in France.
As mentioned above, wine tourism is closely connected with gastronomy. Tourists are offered
thematic tasting menus, where meals are matched with wines. Special gastronomy is often
part of wine-tasting and wine-selling events, where emphasis is placed on local and regional
food. For instance, VOC Festival is accompanied with specialties from Pohořelice carp, and
Open Cellar event offers traditional homemade titbits. St. Martin’s wine tasting is historically
connected with eating St. Martin’s goose. Young (St. Martin’s) wines have become
increasingly popular in the Czech Republic.
The VOC Znojmo Association is starting a completely new project aiming at the support for
wine tourism. The city of Znojmo and surrounding wine-growing villages shall be connected
by a special wine bus (vinobus in Czech). The line shall begin in the historical centre of
Znojmo and the bus shall continue through wine-growing villages along the circuit of 62
kilometres. Therefore tourists who are interested in tasting wines of local winemakers do not
have to organize their private transport: the bus shall run at least four times a day. The bus
shall be equipped with bike racks for the convenience of cyclists. The Vinobus project is
sponsored by the city of Znojmo and the South Moravia Region.
In Canada there are differences between provinces in the offer of wine tourism opportunities.
According to (Getz, 2002) there were 44 wineries in Okanagan and 38 in Niagara. The main
difference is that the Niagara region has developed much faster than the Okanagan region,
including opening restaurants, places of accommodation and value-adding issues like culinary
schools or large retail operations. Another reason for the different development of the regions
was the reason why the wineries were built – in the Niagara region a lot of wineries were built
primarily for the purposes of tourism, to become tourist destinations (Getz & Brown, 2006).
These two wine areas are not the only ones in Canada (as mentioned in Chapter 3). Wineries
range from Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island on the west to the east coast peninsula of
Nova Scotia, and tourists can enjoy a lot of different events connected with wine tasting.
In British Columbia, most of wine-tasting events are complemented by culinary delights or
sports activities. When attending such events, tourists can taste wines of one winery or many
wine producers. The tours often lead from the winery or vineyard to the tasting room. Visitors
can also enjoy a tour which includes a picnic in the vineyard. Regarding sports activities,
there is an event during which the participants first practice yoga and after that they taste
wine. And, of course, wine producers also offer tasting of various species of wine including
rosé (Wine of BC, 2015a).
These wine tourism activities are similar to those organized in the Czech Republic. Czech
wine lovers can attend the Jarovín Festival of rosé wine tasting and also, as mentioned above,
they can undertake sports activities such as the Znovín Walking or cycling along the
Moravian wine trails.
Numerous wine festivals are held in British Columbia. One of the biggest and oldest wine
events in the world is the Vancouver International Wine Festival (Wine of BC, 2015b). This
festival offers varied events for all levels of wine drinkers, collectors and trade professionals.
Of course, visitors can meet owners, winemakers and senior representatives of 170 wineries
from 14 countries of the world. Wine Festivals in Okanagan (Okanagan Wine Festivals, 2015;
Robbins, 2013) are also well-known.
According to Canada South Wine Tours – a Tourism Industry Council of Ontario certified
tour company that specializes in Ontario tours, which typically last 6-7 hours and include at
least 4-6 wineries and lunch in a vineyard. The events also offer meet and greet opportunities
with winemakers and/or winery owners (Canada South Wine Tours, 2015).
Visitors are offered two kinds of tours – a guided tour that is available in each of Canada’s
wine regions. The second one is a “DIY” (Do It Yourself) tour, e.g. a bike tour. If the guests
come to the winery by car, there is one difference in contrast to the Czech Republic – the
driver must be designated in advance and is not allowed to participate in the wine tasting. He
or she can taste the wine, but after the sniff and swish he/she has to spit out the wine.
Canadian regulations are stricter than Czech ones in this area (Campbell; Dyk, 2015).
5 WINE TOURISM IN THE CONTEXT OF CONSUMER
BEHAVIOUR OF CUSTOMERS
To buy a bottle of wine nowadays means that the consumer makes a decision from an infinite
number of products offered on the market. Although the offer of the range of products is
abundant in other categories of food industry, too, we can say that in the case of wine the
choice amounts to hundreds of pieces.
This is not the only circumstance that makes the decision difficult for the average consumer.
High level of information for making the right decision is needed in this product category;
however, such information is not easily available to the average consumer.
As mentioned by Heslop, Cray, & Armenakyan (2010), the consumer usually makes the
choice on the basis of three aspects: brand, country of origin and price in relation to the
quality, suitability and use in different situations.
Other factors, which according to the conducted surveys mostly influence customers in the
selection of wine, include in particular the kind and type of wine, the consumer’s experience,
the variety and on the sixth place, the region or country of origin. Although the preference of
the country of origin does not play the decisive role, Czech consumers clearly prefer wines
from South Moravia or as the case may be, from Bohemia (MZLU, 2004; Veselá & Zich,
2015). Only less than a third of consumers prefer wines produced in other countries (Víno a
The way of wine consumption has changed in the past seven years in that the consumers
primarily favour quality. They seek quality wines with the help of their more experienced
friends and they put emphasis on trustworthy information (Víno a spotřebitel, 2012).
In the introduction to Chapter 2 we mentioned that wine tourism is a part of rural tourism.
Another of its forms is agritourism, whose rise significantly contributes to the development of
the geographic area concerned. According to Govindasamy & Kelley (2014), tourists visiting
destinations within the conception of agritourism tend to attend events which have wine
tasting as their primary aim. The prevailing number of respondents in this tourist category
thinks that the offer of wine varieties is better with the winemaker than in the supermarket,
and considers the price of winemakers more favourable than the price in supermarkets.
The question is whether there is a direct interaction between wine tourism and decision
making in the selection of wine with regard to the country (region) of origin. The research of
Famularo, Bruwer, & Li a McCutcheon, Bruwer, & Li (2010; 2009) suggests that the region
of origin is a relevant factor influencing the buying decision in the process of wine purchase.
The research also revealed several important relationships between the region of origin as an
aspect affecting the buying decision and various reasons why people visit wine-growing
regions. These relationships are measured using Pearson product-moment correlation
coefficient; the first examined element is always the region of origin as an aspect affecting the
buying decision and the second one is the reason why people visit the wine-growing region.
The correlations are as follows:
Medium to strong correlation with obtaining knowledge about wine (0.498);
Medium to strong correlation with wine tourism and obtaining knowledge about
production of wine (0.439);
Medium to strong correlation with wine tasting in winemakers’ cellars (0.433);
Medium to strong correlation with wine purchase in winemakers’ cellars (0.411).
Based on the above findings, the authors stress that the visit to a wine-growing region may
lead to greater interest in wine. The fact that the tourist can taste and buy wine directly at the
producer shall influence him/her during the next purchase of wine.
However, in case the tourists visit the wine region for the purpose of relaxation or sports,
mutual interaction with the inclusion of the region of origin into the buying decision is
represented by a relatively weak, negative correlation.
In conclusion we must not omit the fact that women put more weight on the region of origin
as a factor influencing the buying decision than men (McCutcheon et al., 2009).
6 CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSION
Presented paper dealt with the possible influence of wine tourism on the development of rural
areas. These areas are needed to be developed – to encourage their sustainable economic
growth through the tourism development and primarily, in the wine areas, the wine tourism
which is connected to the main product of agricultural production that is declining.
The tourism development is also necessary for improving the quality of services provided in
the particular region and its infrastructure and through this it contributes to the increase of
standard of living in the region. If the inhabitants are satisfied with the level of services and
infrastructure in their own place then the place can attract more tourists.
The main factor of encouraging the wine tourism was rural economic restructuring and
changed consumer preferences in the “Old world” (to which the Czech Republic belongs).
However, in the “New World” countries such as the United States of America, Canada and
Australia the consumers’ preferences tended to the greater consumption and to the high
quality wines (Hall et al., 2002).
Awareness and popularity of wine tourism in the Czech Republic is continuously growing that
is confirmed by the research results held by the Viticultural Fund in the years 2006, 2008 and
2012 and also the research results from the research which was conducted by the authors of
this paper in 2014. The respondents who come from the South Moravia most often connect
wine with wine tourism. Awareness of this type of how to spend free time is sufficient;
moreover the Internet is increasingly the main source of information.
For the comparison the Czech Republic and Canada were chosen because both countries
produce quite similar amount of wine yearly. Not only that both countries have almost the
same amount of wine production but also they offer to tourist similar activities related to
wine. Wine tasting is the main activity offered within wine tourism in both countries. What is
more, in Canada tourists can enjoy guided tours with picnic in the vineyard. In both countries,
there is also very popular to organize wine tasting festivals which are very popular among
both lay and professional public and in some cases they are organize with international
participation. Very popular, in the present time, is also doing some sports, e. g. cycling or
yoga, during or after wine tasting.
As it was mentioned in previous text wine tourism is integral part of development of rural
areas in both countries. It helps them not only to improve their services connected with
tourism but also to increase the standard of living of local inhabitants and enhance image of
the region. These positive factors then influence the consumer behaviour of potential or
exiting demand in positive way. So it would buy products originated in these areas and
contribute more to the region development.
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Ing. Jitka Veselá
Brno University of technology, Faculty of Business and Management
Kolejní 2906/4, Brno, 612 00
+420 736 269 273
Ing. Lena Malačka
Tomas Bata University in Zlín, Faculty of Management and Economics
Mostní 5139, Zlín, 760 01
+420 732 403 874