The 2nd UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism was held in Mendoza, Argentina in September to highlight the importance of wine and gastronomy as the crucial aspect of tourism development. The Conference was co-organized by UNWTO and the Ministry of Tourism of Argentina, in collaboration with the Region of Mendoza and the Chamber of Tourism of Argentina.
Mendoza, known worldwide as the heart of Argentine winemaking, accounts for 70% of the national production of wine and about 85% of the bottled wine sales. The identity of the city is strongly linked to wine production.
Minister of Tourism of Argentina Gustavo Santos elaborated that through the involvement of UNWTO in this event, the whole world convenes to give support tourism in Argentina and particularly in Mendoza about the growth prospects of wine tourism.
“Wine tourism helps enrich the tourism offer and attracts different publics. This conference tries to promote exchanges and to build cooperation among destinations that show potential in this field,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai.
As stated at the 1st UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism, held in the Kakheti Region of Georgia, gastronomy and wine has become key components for experiencing the culture and lifestyle of any destination. They also constitute a growing motivation for travellers and therefore exhibit high potential as a tool for local development.
The Conference brought together over 640 participants from 23 countries from Ministries of Tourism, destination management organizations (DMOS), international and intergovernmental organizations as well as tour operators, wine experts and media. Throughout the three sessions, dynamic discussions complemented by experts’ presentations shed light on the challenges, latest developments and successful examples of initiatives existing in wine tourism.
As the conference took place in the framework of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017, a special focus was dedicated to strengthening the relationship between sustainability and wine tourism, highlighting the valuable role of wine tourism in the sustainable development of tourism destinations.
The 3rd Conference on Wine Tourism will take place in Moldova in 2018 and the 4th in Chile in 2019.