A Modified Mystery Shopping Approach to the Winery Cellar Door Experience

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Faculty of Business and Law


School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure




Fountain, J. (2006). A Modified Mystery Shopping Approach to the Winery Cellar Door Experience. CAUTHE 2006: To the City and Beyond, 1335.


The competitive nature of the wine industry in Australasia means many wineries recognise the importance of securing product sales and establishing brand loyalty through opening their cellar doors to visitors. Understanding what the wine tourist demands and wants from their cellar door experience is therefore critical for the success of the wine tourism industry. This paper reports on exploratory research which investigated visitor's perceptions and experience of service at winery cellar doors. In particular, it focuses on the qualitative methodology developed and applied in this research project; a modified mystery shopping exercise. This methodology is discussed, highlighting the challenges faced in using a naturalistic and qualitative approach. Finally, some of the insights this methodology provides for understanding the winery cellar door experience are outlined, as well as the implications use of this methodology in future tourism research.

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