Wine tourism in the Canary Islands: An exploratory study
Gobierno de Canarias
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Natural Sciences / Centre for Ecosystem Management
Wine tourism is experiencing significant development in both new and old European wine regions. In the case of the Canary Islands, wine has been produced and traded for centuries; however, little is known about the current state or potential for wine tourism development in this archipelago, despite the fact that millions of tourists, including many potential wine tourists, visit the islands each year. In this exploratory study, the perspectives of winery owners and managers on wine tourism are examined. In-depth face-to-face interviews among 23 small winery operators reveal that the scope for exploiting wine tourism on the islands has been recognized and that many wineries are either already involved in wine tourism, including as part of a wine trail, or plan to be more involved in the future. Issues that challenge the development of operations’ wine and wine tourism industry, including competition from non-Canary Island wines and anti-drink-drive laws that inhibit passers by to consume wine at the cellar door were noticed. Operators stressed the need to find a balance between mass tourism and the niche produce of wine. Moreover, the findings identify avenues for future research on wine tourism development in the Canary Islands.