Faculty of Business and Law
School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure
In their quest for long-term sustainability and financial success, winery entrepreneurs increasingly perceive wine tourism and tourism-related enterprises as important facets of their business strategy. However, to benefit from wine tourism activities, winery operators will need to develop new skills and business capabilities. In this context, learning from and understanding consumers and visitors' preferences and expectations is of paramount importance to wineries' long-term sustainability and, importantly, their financial success. This study examines the extent to which winery owners and managers "study" their visitors, gathering data from 451 Italian, Spanish, and New World small and medium wineries. The majority of respondents indicate studying visitors to some extent; however, one third do not actively engage in activities that enable them to learn about visitor preferences and experiences, while over 40% would like to learn more about them. In addition, while respondents generally perceive studying visitors as beneficial, others are either skeptical or consider their current efforts sufficient. At a time when consumers have numerous leisure choices available to them, wineries and wine labels are operating in a highly competitive and increasingly sophisticated environment, these findings have significant implications for wine tourism specifically, as well as the hospitality and wine sectors generally.