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Market segmentation in wine tourism: A comparison of approaches

  • Hellenic Agricultural Organization DIMITRA [former National Agricultural Research Foundation]


In an attempt to approach wine tourism as a form of consumer behaviour, a substantial amount of research has focused on the demand-side, exploring the consumers who travel to wine regions. Despite the fact that there is no single, stereotypical "wine tourist", some distinctive characteristics regarding demographics, motivations or wine lifestyle can be drawn from literature. Several authors have recently addressed this issue and developed various wine tourist typologies, on the basis both of socio-economic and psychographic data. The objective of this paper is to provide a better understanding of the wine tourist, taking into account the different approaches for profiling and segmentation that have been used in recent studies.
Volume 6, Number 1, Spring 2011, pp. 123-140
UDC: 338.48+640(050)
Maria Alebaki
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Olga Iakovidou
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
In an attempt to approach wine tourism as a form of consumer behaviour, a
substantial amount of research has focused on the demand-side, exploring the
consumers who travel to wine regions. Despite the fact that there is no single,
stereotypical “wine tourist”, some distinctive characteristics regarding
demographics, motivations or wine lifestyle can be drawn from literature. Several
authors have recently addressed this issue and developed various wine tourist
typologies, on the basis both of socio-economic and psychographic data. The
objective of this paper is to provide a better understanding of the wine tourist,
taking into account the different approaches for profiling and segmentation that
have been used in recent studies.
Keywords: wine tourism, consumers, market segmentation
JEL Classification: L83, M1, O1
Wine is an essential component for wine tourism development, since
a set of tourism attracting enterprises can be built around it. However, as
Mitchell (2004:13, in Mitchell, 2006) asserts: “there is more to… wine
tourism than the simple consumption of a beverage (albeit a hedonistic
pursuit)…this experience is not limited to the senses and emotions
associated with the wine alone”. Hall (1996) and Macionis (1996) (in
Hall et al., 2000:3) define wine tourism from consumers’ perspective as
“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 motivating factors for visitors”. The above
definition suggests that beyond wine and viticulture, wine tourism is
“marked” by the whole wine region and its attributes, often referred as
© University of the Aegean. Print ISSN: 1790-8418, Online ISSN: 1792-6521
Maria Alebaki & Olga Iakovidou
“winescape” (Peters, 1997, cited in Hall et al., 2000). Three components
constitute the winescape: the presence of vineyards, the wine production
activity and the wineries where the wine is produced and stored (Telfer,
Hall & Mitchell (2002:69, cited in Sparks, 2007) discuss the concept
of “tourist terroir” in order to describe “the unique combination of the
physical, cultural and natural environment (that) gives each region its
distinctive tourist appeal”. In fact, someone who engages in wine-related
tourism, seeks for an overall tourism experience, which offers a regional
“bundle of benefits” (Getz & Brown, 2006), such as the rural landscape
and the appealing environment (de Blij, 1983:4), cultural heritage,
festivals, romance and relaxation, exploration, (Carmichael, 2005),
socialising, communing with other people, hospitality, meeting the
winemaker, or learning about wine (Alant & Bruwer, 2004; Charters &
Ali-Knight, 2000; Dodd, 1995). Authenticity, regional culture and
gastronomy are closely linked to wine tourism. As Simon states: “Where
vines flourish, McDonalds seldom does. Good authentic food is surely a
prerequisite for any wine-orientated holiday, and wine and food grow up
together in these [wine producing] regions” (Simon, 2001:6, in Boniface,
2003:132). For all the above reasons, wine tourism has been recognised
as a form of agricultural tourism, rural tourism, cultural tourism,
industrial tourism and special interest tourism (Yuan et al., 2005).
Getz (2000) argues that wine tourism should be examined from three
major perspectives: wine producers, tourism agencies and consumers.
Getz & Brown (2006) comment: ‘‘Wine tourism is, simultaneously a
form of consumer behaviour, a strategy by which destinations develop
and market wine-related attractions and imagery, and a marketing
opportunity for wineries to educate and to sell their products directly to
consumers”. Thus, understanding wine-related consumer behavior is vital
and can achieve marketing benefits (Yuan et al., 2006; Dodds & Butler,
2010). Towards this direction, market segmentation is significant for wine
tourism operators in terms of product development and marketing
purposes (Mitchell et al., 2000; Williams & Kelly, 2001) as it provides an
understanding of wine tourists and their behaviour.
Market segmentation has been defined as … “the process of dividing
a market into distinct subsets of consumers with common needs or
characteristics and selecting one or more segments to target with a distinct
marketing mix” (Schiffman et al., 2001:54, cited in: Bruwer et al., 2002).
Usually, market segmentation is based on socio-economic variables
(gender, age, income, educational level). However, in wine tourism
literature several psychographic variables are used as criteria for
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segmenting. Thus, motivations, lifestyle, interests, values, personality, etc
can give useful information in order to have a better insight into who
exactly the wine tourist is (Galloway et al., 2008; Gronau & Kaufmann,
2009). Besides, as Bruwer et al. (2002) state, visitors with similar
demographics may present considerable differences concerning their
attitudes, lifestyle and wine consumer behaviour.
Through the process of market segmentation, answers for a variety of
questions regarding the consumers of wine tourism maybe drawn: Do
they consider a distinct group with specific characteristics compared to an
average traveller in rural areas or urban centers? Does wine constitute the
main reason for visiting a grape wine region? Does wine tourism apply to
only one specific type of consumers? A wine lover may visit a winery
with his friends, or family, who do not share the same interest in wine.
Moreover, there is a variety of reasons for visiting a wine region, such as
the rural setting, which may not be directly and exclusively related to
wine consumption. All these considerations engage both academics and
wine tourism stakeholders to further research.
Within this context, the objective of this paper is to provide a useful
insight into the types of visitors engaged in wine tourism as well as to
identify their specific characteristics. In particular, a comparison of
approaches concerning wine tourism profiling and segmentation is
provided. Identifying similarities and differences among wine tourists,
both in Europe and in the New World countries has practical implications
for both national and regional tourism authorities in order to meet
customer needs and to improve customer service.
Approximately two thirds of wine tourism literature comes from
Australia and New Zealand, while a large amount of research comes from
Canada and the USA (Mitchell & Hall, 2006). Research in relation to
wine tourists is well developed, despite the fact that studies on wine
tourism policy and economics are in early stage (Goldberg & Merdy,
2006). However, only after 1995 academics began to focus on the wine
tourist, while it is important to stress that in many cases information has
been gathered from the wineries’ perspective (supply – side research)
rather than from the wine tourism consumers themselves (Mitchell et al.,
2000; Tassiopoulos et al., 2004). Moreover, a substantial amount of
research deals with winery visitors and their relationship with special
issues concerning specific tourism products or services and does not
investigate wine tourists in general (Williams & Kelly, 2001).
Maria Alebaki & Olga Iakovidou
Descriptions that refer to wine tourists before 1995 vary and in some
cases are not flattering. Spawton (1986:57 in Macionis & Cambourne,
1998:42) describes them as “mobile drunks”, McKinna (1987:85 in
Macionis & Cambourne, 1998:42) refers to wine tourist as “the passing
tourist trade who thinks a ‘winery crawl’ is just a good holiday”, while, a
milder description that has been given is “wine connoisseur” (Edwards,
1989 in Macionis & Cambourne, 1998:42). Folwell & Grassel (1995:14,
in Mitchell et al., 2000) give some more information about the wine
tourist’s profile, arguing that the visitor of wineries in Washington state
during the late of 1980’s is “middle-aged with an above average income”.
Dodd (1995) asserts that a winery visitor is generally of higher
educational level and income comparing to an average traveller.
According to the South Australian Tourism Commission (1997, in
Charters & Ali-Knight, 2002), wine tourism appeals to “couples with no
children and those with higher education and incomes in professional
occupations”. Mitchell et al. (2000), after a preview of the existing
literature mainly basing on studies in Australia, New Zealand and the
U.S.A., arrive at the following description: “(the wine tourist) is usually
30-50 years of age, in the moderate to high income bracket and comes
from within or in close proximity to the wine region itself”. More
recently, Treloar et al. (2004), pinpoint several similarities in previous
studies regarding the winery visitor, which they describe as
“predominantly female, generally university or higher educated and with
a slightly higher than average income...usually domestic or intrastate
traveller who has some experience with wine or wine education”.
In Australia, as Charters & Ali-Knight (2000) state, the winery visitor
in Margaret River and Swan Valley is mainly female (53,7%), young
(under 47 years old) and comes from the metropolitan area of Perth.
Likewise, O’Neill & Palmer (2004) suggest that the winery visitor in
Western Australia is female, young (under 44 years of age), with a
managerial or professional occupation, well-educated and comes from
Australia. More recently, O’ Neill & Charters (2006) also come to the
same conclusion, describing winery visitors in Margaret River as “mainly
young females, who are highly educated”.
According to the New Zealand Ministry of Tourism (2007, cited in
McDonnell & Hall, 2008), wine tourists in New Zealand are international
and domestic visitors, aged 15 years old and over, who visit a winery at
least once when travelling in New Zealand. Moreover, between 2001 and
2006, international visitors increased in an annual average growth rate of
16%. During the same period, the number of domestic visitors has been
almost cut in half. Similarly, while in 1999 there was a low percentage of
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international tourists who lived overseas (16%) (Mitchell, 1999, cited in
Alonso et al., 2007b), a recent research (Alonso et al., 2007b), indicates
almost 20% growth in international tourist numbers. The above
considerations emphasise the enormous potential of wine tourism
development in New Zealand
Research carried out in Texas (Kolyesnikova et al., 2007) suggests
that wine tourists are young females (less than 51 years old), in high
levels of education and occupation that usually belongs to the following
categories: professional/technical (engineers, architects, lawyers, doctors
etc) and executive/managerial (accountants, managers, administrators
etc). Carmichael (2005), while investigating the winery visitors’
characteristics in Niagara region, Ontario-Canada, states that the
Canadian winery visitor’s profile is quite similar compared to the general
winery visitor’s profile, as described in the New World countries. In
particular, visitors in Canadian wineries are mainly couples, middle –
aged, highly educated, high income and professional workers. The
majority of visitors are domestic travellers coming from regions in close
proximity to the wine area.
Brown & Getz (2005) explored wine consumers’ attitudes concerning
wine tourism in Calgary of Canada. Specifically, the links between wine
preferences and propensity to travel to specific wine regions were
investigated. The above research is consistent to Carmichael’s (2005)
findings in the same country. In fact, winery visitors in Canada were
found to be mainly females, middle-aged (average age: 49 years),
married, highly educated and with higher incomes. A third study in
British Columbia, conducted by Williams & Kelly (2001), describes wine
tourists as: “of a middle income, moderately well educated and females,
empty nester, baby boomers”.
In South Africa, results of a research carried out by Tassiopoulos et
al. (2004) suggest that wine tourists are mostly females, young (less than
35 years), single, without children and with a professional occupation.
Also, they are usually day-trip tourists and travel in a party of 2.1 persons.
Only 9.1% of them are international, while they mainly come from Cape
Town metropolitan area. More recently, Tassiopoulos & Haydam (2006)
argued that wine tourism in South Africa includes day trips and wine
tourists use their own mode of transport.
Winemaking activity has a long tradition in Europe and over 60% of
all world wine is produced there. Furthermore, France is the world’s
number one destination. However, research concerning the wine tourist’s
profile and characteristics is relatively inchoate (Charters & Carlsen,
Maria Alebaki & Olga Iakovidou
2006; Machlouzarides, 2010). A review from four European countries
(France, Italy, Spain and Greece) is presented in the current article.
Wine tourists in France usually visit wine regions in winter months
and less frequently during the summer season (May to September). Wine-
related holidays are usually short-term. Thus, wine tourism applies mainly
in domestic travellers, who prefer to organise their vacation out of the
main summer season. Contrarily, foreign visitors are more likely to be
attracted in the summer season, because holiday is longer and wine can be
mixed with other tourist activities (Frochot, 2000:79). According to
another research in Alsace (Waller, 2006), only 40% of visitors stay
overnight. Guzman et al. (2008) found that a typical wine tourist in
Southern Spain is between 50-59 years old, middle/high income and
usually travels with family. According to Gatti & Maroni (2004), the wine
tourist in Italy is mainly young, foreign male. In addition, female wine
tourists in Italy are usually younger than male. As Gatti (2001) states:
“Foreign tourists are usually the most organised ones. They take
advantage of specialised magazines and guides on Italy”.
As far as Greece is concerned, there is a lack of official data
regarding wine tourism. However, according to a relative research
conducted by the Association of “the Greek Women of Wine”
(Triantafyllou – Pitsaki, 2005) and based on winemakers’ perceptions,
this form of tourism so far seems to apply particularly to the domestic
market. In fact, domestic travellers constitute more than 70% of the total
number of winery visitors in Northern, Central and South Greece, while
their common characteristic is their strong interest in wine. It is important
to point out that there is a high percentage of international winery visitors
in the insular regions and that results to an increased percentage of
international tourists at a national level. However, it is possible that
visitation to islands is a part of an organised vacation in the framework of
mass tourism. Thus, a winery tour seems to be a collateral activity.
Sketching the winery visitors’ socio-economic profile in Greece, based on
a recent study in the Macedonia region, Alebaki & Iakovidou (2006)
argue that the average winery visitor is male, young, has high levels of
education and medium-high income, is either civil servant or employee
and comes from urban centers in close proximity to the wine region.
An extensive literature has suggested that demographic variables
have a great impact on wine tourism behaviour (Bruwer, 2002a; Mitchell,
2002; Treloar et al., 2004). Dodd & Bigotte (1997), using cluster analysis,
segmented visitors in Texas wineries on the basis of age and income. It
was found that younger respondents were more critical of their winery
experience and rated service quality in winery as the most important
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factor of visitor satisfaction. Charters & Fountain (2006) found evidence
that while older people give an emphasis to the product itself, for younger
wine tourists the overall experience and the received services are more
important than the quality of wine. Alonso et al. (2007a) pinpointed
differences among different age groups of winery visitors in New Zealand
in several dimensions, such as wine knowledge, product involvement and
winery expenditures. Specifically, it was found that older visitors have
greater wine knowledge as well as interest in wine than younger
respondents, and although they earn lower incomes, they have higher
expenditures at the winery.
As discussed, a deep comprehension of the nature of the wine tourists
and their needs is a precondition for a successful marketing of the wine
tourism destination and product (Macionis & Cambourne, 1998, cited in
Mitchell et al., 2000). Thus, as wine tourism development has been
increasingly international, one of the major themes expressed in literature
was the need to better understand the nature of wine tourist (Brown &
Getz, 2005). Many researchers have proposed a wide range of segments,
based on demographic, socio-economic and psychographic
characteristics, with important implications for wine tourism product
development. As Charters & Ali-Knight (2002) admonish: “ practical
terms (that is for the winery), segmentation maybe the most important
aspect of the wine tourist as a consumer, but - in order to be possible- it is
necessary to consider briefly the motivation of visitors to wine regions”.
Kay (2003) states that there are four main theoretical approaches to
tourist motivation, each of these being based upon earlier motivation
theories from other consumer behaviour research: needs-based
motivation, value-based motivation, benefits sought or realised and
expectancy theory based motivation. In addition to the above approaches,
another approach distinguishes motivations into push and pull factors.
Pull factors (or external motivations) draw the visitor to the winery and
include general characteristics or activities of the winery (wine tasting and
buying, tours, eating at the winery and rural setting). Push factors are
internal motivations that drive an individual to visit the winery
(socialising, learning about wine, relaxation and meeting the winemaker)
(Mitchell et al., 2000; Yuan et al., 2005).
Getz and Brown (2006) point out that the experience of wine tourism
includes three core dimensions, which they label the “core wine product”,
Maria Alebaki & Olga Iakovidou
the “core destination appeal’’, and the ‘‘cultural product’’. These
findings are supported by Sparks (2007), who proposed the following
three dimensions: the “destination experience”, the “core wine
experience” and the “personal development”. While “destination
experience” and “core wine experience” are pull factors, “personal
development” is considered to be an internal motivation (push factor) and
is strongly related to the desire to seek information about wine.
A basic distinction between wine tourists based on motivations was
introduced by Johnson (1998:15, in Galloway et al., 2008). Using as a
main criterion the purpose of the visit, he distinguishes two types of wine
tourists: The “specialist winery tourist” and the “generalist” visitor. The
first type refers to someone who “visits a vineyard, winery, wine festival
or wine show for the purpose of recreation and whose primary motivation
is a specific interest in grape wine or grape wine-related phenomen”,
while the second type includes those that are primarily motivated to visit
a wine region for other reasons. Wine tourists’ motivations were also the
basis for the segmentation applied by Gatti & Maroni (2004), who
conducted a more recent study in Italy. Using Multiple Correspondence
Analysis (MCA), they classified wine tourists into four distinct groups: 1)
The “Professional”, 2) the “Cultured”, 3)the “Enthusiastic” and 4) the
“Wine Tourist by Change”.
In an attempt to segment winery visitors in the Macedonia region,
Alebaki & Iakovidou (2006), used two-step cluster analysis, based both
on demographics and winery visitors’ motivations. The findings showed
four distinct types of visitors who engage wine tourism in Greece: 1) the
“Wine lovers”, who are usually highly educated and high income and
whose prime objectives for visiting the area are: visiting the winery,
meeting the winemaker and learning more about wine and wine making,
2) the “Neophytes”, who are mainly low- income students with a special
interest in wine and visiting the winery is their major incentive, 3) the
“Occasional Wine Tourists”, who are not interested in learning about
wine, but are attracted by the local gastronomy and 4) The “Hangers-on”,
who are not interested in wine or wine making, they are not wine
consumers in general and for them, a vineyard or a winery is just another
tourist attraction. It is of utmost importance to be stressed, that for the
‘hangers-on’, the membership of a winery in the project: “Wine Roads of
Northern Greece” is an important factor and can become a motive for
visiting it.
Wine tourism researchers have also demonstrated a strong interest in
wine lifestyle as a characteristic which can be used in segmentation. The
latter includes wine interest, wine cellaring behaviour and wine club
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participation (Alonso et al., 2007b; Mitchell et al., 2000). For instance,
lifestyle components, such as wine knowledge, motivations and wine
behaviour were used as a basis for segmenting the wine tourists in Italy.
According to the Movimento del Turismo del Vino, four groups emerge:
1) The “Professional”, 2) the “Impassioned Neophyte”, 3) the “Hanger-
on” and 4) the “Drinker” (Coriglano, 1996). Following the same
approach, Macionis & Cambourne (1998:44, in Cambourne & Macionis,
2000:88), used data from a previous research in Australia (Roy Morgan
Holiday Tracking Research, 1996) in order to create a “wine tourism
portfolio”. The latter classifies wine tourists into ten “value segments”,
using as criteria socio-economic variables as well as values, beliefs and
the general lifestyle. According to Cambourne & Macionis (2000:89), the
groups: “Visible Achievers”, “Socially Aware”, “Traditional Family Life”
and “Young Optimists” constitute the majority of winery visitors and
“appear to be the most appropriate target markets for wine tourism
marketers and practitioners”.
Knowing the level of interest in wine of wine tourists is of high
importance (Mitchell et al., 2000: 124). Therefore, using the interest in
wine as criterion, Ali-Knight & Charters (1999) segmented wine tourists
in two categories: the “Casual Tourists”, who just want to taste wine and
nothing else and the “Sophisticated Drinkers”, who seek to gather as
much information as they can about the product. However, it should be
mentioned that this study is supply-focused and is based on the
winemakers’ perceptions. This “intuitional approach”, has been also
adopted by Hall (1996, cited in Hall & Macionis, 1998). The
segmentation, using as a basis both tourists’ motivations and their interest
in wine, resulted in three primarily segments: 1) The “Wine Lover” (who
is similar to the “Specialist” of Johnson’s typology), 2) the “Wine
Interested” and 3) the “Curious Tourist”.
Charters & Ali-Knight (2002) built upon Hall’s typology and
approached the issue from a demand –side (consumer perceptions). They
segmented wine tourists on the basis of their lifestyle (wine knowledge,
interest in wine motivations for visiting the wine region). Five groups
emerged: 1) The “Wine Lover”, who has a desire to seek education about
wine, 2) the “Connoisseur” (which is a sub-set of the wine lover), 3) the
“Wine Interested” and 4) the “Wine Novice” (correspondingly to the
curious tourist). They also added a small group that consists of the
“Hangers-on”. The same study proposes a model that consists of three
dimensions: purpose of visit, general tourist motivation and relationship
to other tourist activities.
Maria Alebaki & Olga Iakovidou
In some cases, it is asked from wine tourists to classify themselves
regarding their knowledge about wine (“Advanced”, “Intermediate” or
“Basic”) (Maddern & Colledge, 1996). However, according to Charters &
Ali-Knight (2002), “the problem with knowledge is that it is only
suggestive of the respondent’s motivation as a wine tourist and it is
difficult to quantify”. Therefore, O’Mahony et al. (2006) use as a criterion
the involvement in the wine product category and classify wine tourists in
three segments: 1) the “Committed Consumer”, 2) the “Traditional
Consumer” and 3) the “Uninvolved Consumer”.
A part of research (Bruwer, 2002b; Houghton, 2001, 2008; Juan et
al., 2005, 2006; Weiler et al., 2004) was focused exclusively on the
characteristics of a particular group of wine tourists: those who attend
wine festivals. The latter have been defined by Yuan et al. (2005) as “a
special occasion that attendees actively engage in for the satisfaction of
their interest in wine and/or for the entertainment made available by other
leisure activities”. For instance, Houghton (2008) used Hall’s (1996)
classification as a basis for distinguishing distinct wine festival
customers’ types. The study, based on K-Means cluster analysis
suggested that wine festivals attract many different types of visitors and
there is the same possibility to attract “… a serious wine drinker along
with a novice”. Cluster analysis that has also been used by Juan et al.
(2006) on the basis of motivations, produced three distinct groups named
as: the “Wine Focusers”, the “Festivity Seekers” and the “Hangers-on”
(who showed no interesting in anything at the festival). Each category
includes visitors who emphasise in different activities or products when
attending a festival.
The first conclusion that arises from this study results from the
examination of the wine tourist’s demographics. In particular, when wine
tourists between “Old” and “New World” countries are compared,
distinctive differences concerning gender are evident. In the New World
countries, the typical wine tourist is usually female, while in Europe it
appears to be a male. The above consideration is highly important,
because, as Mitchell & Hall (2001b) state, there are differences between
wine tourists in terms of gender. For example, female wine tourists tend
to attract more easily from wine bottles/ labels (i.e. packaging), share the
winery’s wine with others and make post winery visit wine purchases. As
Mitchell & Hall (2001a) also report: “Females were also around twice as
likely to enjoy elements of the ambience of the winery, including the
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inviting or relaxed nature of a winery, socialising with friends at the
winery and sunny weather and alfresco dining”. This result has important
implications for the wine tourism stakeholders, as they can develop and
diversify their products and strategies successfully, according to the needs
and expectations of each target group, taking into consider gender
differentiation. Contrarily, common demographic characteristics of wine
tourists seem to be their age, educational level and income. Most of
research supports the assumption that wine tourists are young, highly
educated and have high - income. These findings are of particular
importance, as income is one of the most obvious predictors of wine
consumption and is used by wineries to target certain visitor groups
(Dodd & Bigotte, 1997).
Generally, there is a perspective that “…the ideal wine tourist is
male, professional and middle –aged, because they will spend most”
(Charters & Carlsen, 2006). However, although younger wine tourists
have limited knowledge about wine compared to older ones, they may be
more important in the long term. Thus, greater attention needs to be paid,
because high satisfaction from the whole wine tourism experience can
help in terms to bring them back for return visits (Roberts & Sparks,
2006), create a demand in the long term for specific brands, and built
customer loyalty towards individual wineries and their wines (Getz,
Market segments that have been identified should be valuable to wine
tourism operators since they can constitute specific targets for wineries or
wine tourism destinations. Each group of visitors can, albeit in a different
level, contribute in wine tourism development. There are distinct market
segments (i.e. the “Occasional Wine Tourists” or the “Hangers – on”),
for whom a winery visit is not the primarily motivation for visiting the
wine region. These types of tourists may visit a winery out of obligation
because their friends or family want to go. Therefore, they are not
particularly profitable for wineries and they have less commercial
potential. Nevertheless, they can contribute to rural tourism development
in general, as they take part in a variety of activities in the wine region. In
this case, a great emphasis should be given in promoting the attraction of
the whole destination. However, for the “Wine Lovers” and the
“Neophytes” (which can be potential wine lovers under the right
circumstances), the winery appears to be an important determinant of
visitation. Furthermore, a winery visit may provide a competitive
advantage both for the destination and local wines, creating not only
profit for wine enterprises but also opportunities for the development of
the regional grape and wine sector.
Maria Alebaki & Olga Iakovidou
It is significant to note that research findings have to be dealt with
caution and extractions of generalised conclusions without taking into
account both different approaches and dissimilarities in tourism structure
among countries should be avoided. It has already been suggested that
wine tourists are not a single and culturally homogeneous group (Charters
& Fountain, 2006; Dritsaki, 2009). For example, there are wine tourists in
Italy who are quite different compared with South African wine tourists.
Also, according to European research, wine tourists in Europe can be
broadly categorised into three groups: “Formal wine tourists”, “Tourists
with an acknowledged interested in wine” and “General Tourists”.
However, a “Formal Wine Tourist” in Europe, usually travels in an
organised tour. On the contrary, in the New World countries such as
Australia and New Zealand, a highly educated wine tourist is less possible
to travel in an organised tour compared with the “Wine Interested” or the
“Wine Curious”. As expectations and experiences of wine tourism vary
from region to region, intercultural differences among wine tourists as
well as their influence on wine tourism behaviour should be taken into
consideration (Charters & Ali-Knight, 2000; Charters & Ali-Knight,
2002; Charters & Carlsen, 2006).
Given the “shifting nature of the wine tourist in various places”
(Charters & Ali-Knight, 2002), there is a need for more quantitative
research to be carried out, especially in the European countries, including
data from several wine regions, in order to further investigate the factors
that influence on wine tourist’s characteristics, motives and preferences.
At last, even in cases where research is focused on the demand-side (wine
tourists’ perceptions), it is necessary to obtain data from broader samples
(Sparks, 2007) and different locations and not only by sampling winery
visitors or studying consumers at the cellar door. Therefore, more
research is needed to gain a fuller understanding of wine consumers in
general (Getz and Brown, 2006).
Alant, K. & Bruwer, J. (2004). Wine tourism behaviour in the context of
motivational framework for wine regions and cellar doors. Journal of Wine
Research, Vol. 15, No.1, pp.27-37.
Alebaki, M. & Iakovidou, O. (2006). Wine tourism and the characteristics of
winery visitors: The case of Wine Roads of Northern Greece. Paper
presented at the 9th Pan-Hellenic Congress of Greek Association of
Agricultural Economists. Athens, Greece, 2-4 November 2004. (in Greek).
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Ali-Knight, J. & Charters, S. (1999). Education in a Western Australian wine
tourism context. International Journal of Wine Marketing, Vol. 11, No.1,
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... By analyzing the responses of all the tourists interviewed, combined with those of the wine producers, it was possible to draw up a profile of the wine tourist in Sicily to outline similarities or differences with other results about the segmentation of the WT market in other countries [70,71]. In short, the wine tourist in Sicily is younger than 40 years old (60%). ...
... At the end of the visit, they generally buy wine or ask for information about where to buy the wine once they return home (e.g., through direct contact with the winemaker, at a retailer, or through the Internet). After having described the profile of the wine tourist in the Sicily region, it is possible to outline a market segmentation in WT describing the different types of wine consumers among wine tourists [70,71]. Table 13 shows the result of wine consumers among wine tourists. ...
... This result also appears to be of interest to wine producers and wine marketing studies because it reveals and confirms the importance to experience wine and its territory in influencing wine-buying behaviors and the importance of sharing with others in consumption habits across all types of consumers [11,13,14,16,70,71]. It also reveals the existence of a particular segment of very young wine consumers/tourists, for whom social networks represent a very important and daily means of communication used to share experiences and exchange ideas [72,73]. ...
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Wine Routes develop inside the larger context of wine tourism (WT), which is increasingly important for rural communities. Italy is one of the most important countries in the world for wine production and tourism. Sicily is one of the leading regions in Italy for wine production and wine tourists. This study focuses on the Sicilian wine routes (SWRs) and gives an excursus of their development during the last ten years, highlighting strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, the study wants to make an attempt to bridge the existing gap in the literature and highlight the nature and extent of the contribution of the SWR to the development of the WT ‘product’ from the perspective of the increasingly booming sustainable–rural tourism. Face-to-face interviews were conducted along the SWRs with 283 wine tourists, 65 wine enterprises, and eight expert stakeholders. The motivations for tourists to visit the first time and their intention to return were investigated by the explorative factor analysis. Moreover, the wine tourist profile was highlighted. Findings outline some specific features of the general experience economy model where visitors’ emotional involvement and local cooperation appear crucial for the integrated territorial development of the backward rural areas of wine regions in different parts of the world. Managerial implications of findings are discussed.
... Clearly, all wine tourists are not equally motivated by wine-related activities. In this context, significant attention has been paid to identifying a wider range of wine tourist markets, exploring significant differences in terms of their perceptions towards or preferences for various aspects of the wine tourism experience, which encompasses not only wine-related attributes, but also other physical or social aspects of tourism experiences (Alebaki & Iakovidou, 2011;Kim et al., 2019). In this vein, for example, existing studies have reported that social aspects (e.g. ...
... winescape play an important role for tourists that would like to engage in social, educational, and cultural aspects of the wine-related experienceBruwer & Rueger-Muck, 2018).Most previous research identified various types of wine tourist segments based on two main segmentation criteria, namely sociodemographic and psychographic characteristics (c.f.Alebaki & Iakovidou, 2011;Kim et al., 2019). Existing studies have mostly focused on psychological variables such as wine tourism-oriented motivesKim et al., 2019), knowledge and involvement with the wine product (Marzo-Navarro & Pedraja-Iglesias, 2010), and wine tourism experience(Bruwer & Rueger- Muck, 2018). ...
Wine tourism is a social phenomenon influenced by the presence and the dynamics of many individuals (e.g. service personnel, travel companions, and other tourists). This study, carried out in South Australia on 394 winery visitors, attempts to confirm, and further explore, the important role of social interaction as part of the winescape experience, its multidimensionality and its impact on wine tourist decision‐making behaviour. Results of the factor‐cluster analysis demonstrate that different clusters exist based on wine tourists' perceptions of their social interactions (i.e. ‘social interaction enthusiasts’ and ‘travel companion‐oriented interactors’), thus supporting the idea that social interaction can be considered a valid market segmentation variable. The findings also show that segments differ in terms of their overall wine tourism experience and behaviour. Moreover, the two groups show significant differences also regarding several socio‐demographic characteristics, as well as travel patterns. Contributions to the body of knowledge and managerial implications are discussed, and suggestions for further research are given.
... 'Management of demand' has the purpose of attracting the tourists that bring most benefits to the rural area (Kastenholz, 2004) and enhance the interconnectedness of diverse suppliers, community, visitors, and the cultural and natural resources of the area (Ping-Tsan and Chun-Te, 2020; Saxena and Ilbery, 2010), which is crucial to sustainable rural development. Indeed, management of demand and market segmentation is significant for wine tourism operators and destinations in terms of product development and for developing more successful and differentiated marketing strategies, specifically targeting distinct tourist groups according to specific preferences and behaviours (Alebaki and Iakovidou, 2011;Mitchell et al., 2000), which may further sustainable development (Kastenholz et al., 2018). To ensure effectiveness in achieving these goals, the messages reaching consumers about the products and services that convey the value proposition must be clear, succinct, and integrated (Ribeiro et al., 2006). ...
... Market segmentation is a strategy to divide a market with the same differentiated characteristics [35][36][37]. Market segmentation has mainly been studied based on geographical, demographic, psychological, and behavioral segmentation [36,38]. The main purpose of market segmentation is to secure competitive advantages by concentrating on marketing by group. ...
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The purpose of this study was to derive the visit motivations of wellness tourists and to derive strategies for the wellness tourism market through market segmentation based on visit motivations. First, this study derived seven motivators through a literature review with a discussion of experts: relaxation/healing/escape from everyday life, health improvement, novelty, luxury and prestige, self-examination/education, nature-friendly motivation, and social relations improvement. Then, in order to derive differentiated characteristics by motivation according to market segmentation, a difference analysis was conducted with the satisfaction, behavioral intention, and flow of wellness tourism participants. Data collection was carried out with the users of Chungcheongbuk-do wellness tourism products, and was supported by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism (South Korea) from 2 September to 4 December 2021. Through the analysis in this study, it was first found that the wellness tourism motivations of wellness tourists were divided into a total of six factors (relaxation/healing/health improvement, novelty, luxury and prestige, self-examination/education, nature-friendly motivations, and social relation improvement). Then, as for market segmentation according to the visit motivations of wellness tourists, it was found that the markets were divided into “novelty-seeking type, comprehensive motivation-seeking type, neutral wellness-seeking type, and exploratory wellness-seeking type.” Finally, it was determined that there were significant differences in satisfaction, behavioral intention, and flow among those types of wellness tourist groups, and the average levels of satisfaction, behavioral intention, and flow were commonly lower in the neutral wellness-seeking type than in the comprehensive motivation-seeking type and the exploratory wellness-seeking type. This study derived the necessity to conceive differentiated strategies for the wellness tourism motivation group with the development of a wellness tourism motivation scale and a market segmentation study, and provided practical implications according to the characteristics of individual groups.
... Descriptors and definitions of the winescape "are few and far between" (Bruwer et al., 2017, p. 160), building on studies related to both the servicescape (Bitner, 1992) and the experiencescape (Appadurai, 1996;Lefebvre, 1991;O'Dell, 2005, p.18). Given the importance of place heritage in branding the winery , it comes as no surprise that studies coining the winescape term commonly reflect a focus on the wine region and the socalled wine tourism terroir (Hall & Mitchell, 2002) rather than the winery itself (see Alebaki & Iakovidou, 2011;Bruwer & Lesschaeve, 2012;Hall et al., 2000;Peters, 1997;Quintal et al., 2021). Still, Table 1 summarizes extant definitions on the winescape which can mirror the winery rather than the wine region as a whole. ...
Wine tourism literature still falls behind other streams of research in its ability to assess phenomena associated with the implementation of digital practices to address strategic challenges. Moreover, studies on social media in tourism and hospitality prioritize the relationship between tourists’ behavioural aspects and technology. Relationships, experiences and timely responses on the digital environment are particularly important, taken the ‘new normal’ which COVID-19 necessitates. Within this framework, the present case study explores the role of social media (Facebook in specific) in the effort of Cretan wineries to respond to new encounters, as well as the importance, if any, of collaborative practices for developing online strategies of individual businesses. Findings help us identify (a) the role of the winescape studies in exploring the digital environment and (b) the main communication priorities of wineries as expressed through social media during the pandemic crisis.
Wine tourism is a fast-growing industry that can be particularly important to the development and sustainability of rural areas such as the Riverland wine region in South Australia. Capitalising on this growth can be quite difficult as wine regions struggle to differentiate themselves, and attract tourists due to the lack of consumer awareness of the region and inherent feelings of uncertainty and risks faced when selecting and paying for a destination before pre-experiencing it. Successful promotion of a wine region should enhance tourist knowledge of the region, mitigate perceptions of risk, improve attitudes towards the region and increase involvement. To tackle this challenge and promote international tourism, a Riverland wine region virtual reality experience was created that simulates the reality of the tourism destination and its attractions in order to enable potential tourists to pre-taste and learn about a destination before committing to visit. Virtual reality is proposed to provide a new approach to wine tourism destination marketing.KeywordsVirtual realityMarketingExperiencesInternationalWine tourismRiverlandSouth Australia
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Wine tourism is quite different from other forms of tourism because they cater to a different class of tourists. India has slowly emerged as a popular destination for the wine connoisseurs. The state of Maharashtra alone accounts for almost 80% of India's wine production. Nashik, which is fast developing as an industrial and educational hub, has a unique distinction of being one the most popular pilgrimage centres in India and is also known by the sobriquet "Wine capital" of India. The Godavari Wine Park, Vinchura, which houses a few prominent wine units, is slowly transforming the economic landscape for the region. Apart from the topography which is conducive for grape cultivation, the region is endowed with requisite infrastructure like a 1.72 MLD water supply scheme, broad roads for access to the industrial areas and a 33/11 KV, 5 MVA substation which caters the power supply of the industrial area. There are also government incentives in place pertaining to excise, sales tax, octroi and certain special incentives. This paper reviews the existing status of wine tourism in the region with respect to functioning of wine units, the economic impact on the area and employment opportunities. The paper also explores various brands of wine, marketing strategies adopted and government support and subsidies extended towards the industries. The challenges and problems faced by the wine makers are discussed and recommendations are made to improve the promotional strategies and popularize wine tourism.
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This study examined the wine tourists’ perceptions of the country’s image and the motivations and expectations of experiences in Georgia as a wine tourism destination. A survey of tourists in the most important wine region—Kakheti—resulted in 227 usable questionnaires. Using factor analyses, four dimensions were assigned to the country’s hedonic and aesthetic related image. Based on the experience economy of Pine and Gilmore, two motivational and three experiential factors were identified. Implications for the country’s branding strategy and managing the wine tourists' experience in Georgia are discussed. Keywords: wine tourism; country image; experience economy; motivations; Georgia
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In the pursuit of sustainability and competitiveness, digital aspects of the tourism experience become increasingly more significant and wine tourism is no exception to this. Still, studies building on established concepts and sustainable practices in the corporate environment often prioritize physical attributes. One such example refers to winescape frameworks, which are yet to explicitly incorporate the digital experience, despite the growing importance of the digital servicescape. This study contributes to this area by commenting on available data on winery websites and adopting the winescape concept to analyze social media activity during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The population of the study includes 53 wineries, located in two well-known Greek wine tourism destinations, namely Crete and Santorini. The results identify the most common winescape components that wineries emphasize, revealing similarities and differences across the two destinations. Implications highlight the winescape dimensions that (should) matter the most when considering digital experiences, and provide insights for wine tourism scholars and businesses alike towards a more sustainable wine supply chain.
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A MODEL PROPOSAL FOR THE ROLE OF GASTROGUIDANCE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF CONSUMERS' TRAVEL MOTIVATION: THE SAMPLE OF TURKEY Countries hava had rich culinary contents from each other as a consequence of the ethnic and local cultures of different civilizations in the world. These cuisines, which have rich content of countries are used as an alternative tourism type in the tourism sector, and it provides foreign exchange income to countries directly or indirectly. Considering the increasing competitive cutthroat conditions and rapidly developing technology, effective promotion and rich content presentations are necessary to bring owned cultural and local values to the fore. Effective presentations and promotions are not only limited through the media, fairs, panels, symposium etc., but it is also done by the tourist guides who are in direct contact with tourists and take part in the role of tourism ambassadors of countries. In this context, the study aims to develop a model proposal for gastroguidance so that the professional tourist guides, one of the most important tourism ambassadors of country can provide effective services for the field of gastronomy, which is rapidly developing and provides foreign currency inflows to the countries. The fact that there has not been a thesis examining the subject in this context before, preserving the originality of the subject and it is not included enough in the relevant literature shows how important it is. In this respect, since detailed and in-depth field research is needed for developing a model proposal in the study; the use of qualitative research method has been preferred. Within the scope of the study, the interviews with actively touring gastroguides, travel agencies organizing gastronomic tours, gastrotourists and guide-academicians accompanied by semi-structured questions have been carried out. The participants of the interview have been selected from experts and the experts in their fields by using purposive sampling method. In the interviews with different samples, a total of 55 questions, mostly independent of each other, were asked to the participants in order to examine the subject in detailed way and to develop a model proposal. Some certain parts of these questions were asked in the form of common question to develop a model proposal for gastroguidance, different opinions and suggestions of the participants from a separate sample were taken. Additionally, having participated in gastronomy tours with participant observation; previous individual experience has been used. The data obtained as a result of the research, has been subjected to descriptive method and content analysis. According to the findings of the research, many themes and codes were determined; however 4 different themes were created such as the qualifications that gastroguides should have, knowledge and skills, roles and trainings. In the model which is created for gastroguidance, it has been revealed that gastro guides have more promotional and transfering roles, and that they themselves should have theoretical and practical trainings for eating and drinking. Besides, it has been determined that they should have general culinary knowledge, product knowledge and knowledge about the history of eating and drinking, and they should be curious and explorers about eating and drinking by themselves. Keywords: Gastronomy, Gastroguidance, Travel Motivation, Tourist Guide, Tourism.
This book reviews a broad range of topics concerning wine tourism, including regional development, marketing, cellar door experiences, festivals and events, and tours and trails, with insights from case studies in Europe, North America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. The book has 20 chapters and a subject index, and will be of interest to wine tourism researchers and stakeholders in the wine and tourism sectors.
This book reviews a broad range of topics concerning wine tourism, including regional development, marketing, cellar door experiences, festivals and events, and tours and trails, with insights from case studies in Europe, North America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. The book has 20 chapters and a subject index, and will be of interest to wine tourism researchers and stakeholders in the wine and tourism sectors.