MONTEVIDEO – Experts from Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile and special guests from the United States, Spain and Portugal are gathered in Montevideo for the 5th Latin American Wine Tourism Congress.
“Together, we in Latin America are senders and receivers of enotourists,” honorary conference chair Ivane Favero said during the opening session. “The enotourist does not tire of seeking out and getting to know the regions that produce a wine and the entire culture surrounding its production.”
The congress’ agenda includes discussions about government policies to foster this type of tourism, the potential demand for enotourism, using social networks to attract wine tourists and training for people who work in the sector.
Participants are also talking about a “South American wine route,” strategies for the international expansion of small and medium-sized companies and Uruguay’s experience in promoting enological tourism through mobile devices.
Uruguay’s acting tourism minister, Benjamin Liberoff, spoke of what he called “mediamorphosis,” or a metamorphosis of the media.
“Every top priority production in Uruguay must be able to have some tourism attraction,” he said. “That goes not just for wines, but also for olives and other products.”
Gastronomy and enology are factors contributing to build tourism trends, as they are “associated with national heritage,” according to Liberoff.
He said that travelers would not cross the Atlantic Ocean “merely to get to know a particular wine or region,” which presents the challenge of finding the best promotion through “multiple destination” opportunities.
“Montevideo is the only capital in the Southern Cone where cruise passengers can visit a winery,” he said.
The meeting will hear from Clay Gregory, president and CEO of Visit Napa Valley, about the successful development of tourism in that California’s wine-making region.
“In recent years, wine tourism has grown around the world, and our country has been part of the expansion, which has required an upgrade of wineries to meet the demand and the visitors’ expectations,” said Wilson Torres, president of Uruguay’s Enological Tourism Association.