In an exclusive interview with Travel And Tour World, Alberto Alonso, Managing Director of Feria de Valladolid and Silvia Martínez Project Leader of FINE show the future of wine tourism and the role of FINE in promoting wine tourism to the world travel market.
Travel And Tour World: What are the steps taken by FINE to promote wine tourism? Elaborate for us.
Alberto Alonso and Silvia Martínez: Wine tourism is a segment of activity with a great projection of growth in the upcoming years and FINE – Wine Tourism Expo arises with the aim of favouring the meeting between professionals of both sides of the value chain; supply and demand: wineries, wine landscapes and buyers focused in the commercialization of this type of wine tourism experiences.
FINE is a contracting market in which a hundred destinations from Spain, Portugal and Italy will run business meeting with 76 tour operators and big travel agencies from 16 countries in Europe, Asia and America. Over two days, around 2,000 interviews will be held that, for sure will contribute to the development of the wine tourism market.
Travel And Tour World: What are the main objectives that will be highlighted in FINE – International Wine Tourism Expo?
Alberto Alonso and Silvia Martínez: FINE is held in Valladolid but has an strong international vocation. This year, difficult health circumstances have complicated international growth beyond Portugal, which has a magnificent representation, with the assistance of important wineries and wine regions, but our challenge is to grow and in future editions with Italian and French destinations and wineries.
There is another important aspect of FINE: training. For this reason, we developed a very interesting program of conferences.This year, the common thread of the program is market analysis. We will talk about how Big Data can offer solutions to wine tourism but also we will talk about how to create innovative experiences. Relevant experts like professor Juan Luis Nicolau from Viriginia Tech University Eduardo González of the founder and owner of Sublimotion Ibiza, a restaurant where technology accompanies gastronomy and offers visitors a completely original experience.
Travel And Tour World: How the wine tourism is helping to promote the local communities?
Alberto Alonso and Silvia Martínez: The wine tourism landscapes are fundamentally rural and the development of these initiatives contributes to fix the population, creating jobs, preserving the culture linked to the vineyard, discovering nature …, and also in countries such as Spain, Portugal, France and Italy is an excellent complement to sun and beach tourism, that extends the tourist season beyond the summer and opens the door to new destinations in areas still unknown to most travellers.
Travel And Tour World: What are the challenges wine tourism is facing in this post COVID-19 world?
Alberto Alonso and Silvia Martínez: Probably that will be one of the main topics at FINE, how to face the post-COVID-19 reality in such a social activity, so linked to the enjoyment of experiences and the pleasure of sharing them.
The experts in wine tourism, wineries, hotels and routes that are coming back to their activity after the pandemic impact, will be the ones who will give us the answers about how to adapt the business to the new reality.
Without a doubt, retaking the normality of international travel is an essential requirement for wine tourism, in order to be on a good track for growth, again.