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Held in the city of Alba, Piedmont, Italy, the 6th conference on ‘Wine tourism: innovation, partnerships and technology’ brought together more than 300 leading public and private sector experts from 30 countries around the theme of “What next for wine tourism?”. The event was organised in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Tourism, the National Tourist Board – ENIT, the Piedmont Region and the Langhe Monferrato Roero Tourism Board.
Wine tourism for cultural preservation
Welcoming delegates, UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “Well-managed tourism is a powerful tool for rural development, innovation and the preservation of our culture and our nature. This Conference is part of our work to take the benefits of tourism and create new opportunities for rural areas. The past two years have brought major shifts in the world and in tourism. They have accelerated many challenges already in motion – from digital to sustainability. Wine tourism is no exception.”
Participants stressed the importance of expanding the links between wineries and wine-producing territories to promote innovative experiences that value local products and traditions, the landscape, heritage, gastronomy and people. The role of women and youth in the development of wine tourism was also highlighted. To this end, investment in wine tourism in rural areas should be encouraged, as this can motivate young people to become involved in the activity and preserve the knowledge and traditions of their region.
Digital transformation gathers pace
The conference also debated the role of technology in enhancing wine tourism offering and attracting tourists and how these innovative tools can impact on the experience of the client who seeks fulfillment in their lifestyle and traveler experience. Benefitting from expert insights from Argentina, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America, participants could deep dive into a road ahead created with a vision of community.
On this occasion, UNWTO and Slow Food signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate and formalize the intention of both organizations to work together in promoting gastronomic tourism as a tool for development and socioeconomic inclusion, especially in its links with rural development.
La Rioja in Spain will host the 2023 edition of the UNWTO World Conference on Wine Tourism.
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