Wine, Tourism and Experience in the Canary Islands' Context
Croatian National Tourist Board
Faculty of Business and Law
School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure
The Canary Islands or ‘fortunate islands,’ a Spanish archipelago and a well-known mass tourism destination, is experiencing the redevelopment of its wine industry. In this regard, wine tourism appears to be a natural extension emerging from a traditional product – wine - that has been part of Canary Islands’ culture for centuries. This study explores the extent to which wine, tourism and related experiences are becoming integrated in local wineries’ business/marketing concept. Semi-structured face-to-face interviews were conducted with 23 local small Canary Island winery operators. The findings demonstrate that wine tourism is starting to play an important role for wineries, facilitating the relationship between the wine product, the existing tourism and the education of consumers. However, high costs of production, the effects of cheaper wine imports and very limited interaction between wineries, the local hotel industry and the large numbers of tourists are some of the challenges growers are facing to further develop wine tourism. As many destinations strive to attract tourist dollars, the diversification of mass-tourism by means of a traditional product, with great emphasis on culture, experience and education provide the ingredients for successfully developing a niche market.