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Wine GB gears up for first wine tourism conference

Published:  24 February, 2021

Wine GB is gearing up to stage its wine tourism conference next week, the first event from the trade body to focus solely on this part of the UK wine industry. 

The ‘Wine Tourism in the UK: The route to success’ conference, which will be a virtual event running over three days (2-4 March) is principally aimed at vineyards and wineries that operate, or are developing, wine tourism as part of their business. 

However, it would also provide content and insight for wine tourism professionals, or those interested in learning more about “this ever-popular sector”, said Wine GB. 

Topics set to be covered include the changing landscape of tourism in a post-Covid world and what this means to both operators and consumers, alongside a look at how to deliver best practice and service.

The importance of delivering excellence to visitors will also be outlined by leading wine tour expert Tim Clarke.

In addition, key insights will be shared from the UK’s own burgeoning wine tourism sector, with a spotlight on current cellar door practices and their future role presented by Mike Best MW.

“This the first conference of this kind that we have held, marking a milestone in our industry, as wine tourism is now playing a significant role in many of our vineyards’ businesses in Britain today,” said CEO Simon Thorpe MW.

“There are now over 200 vineyards in England and Wales that are open to the public in some form. A good number of tour operators are now running vineyard visits and experiences in the UK, and our vineyards are already enjoying a growing number of domestic tourists to our vineyards.

“As our sales grow in key markets overseas we can unlock the potential for more overseas visitors when travel can be resumed. The UK has much to learn from our friends in much more established wine regions and are very excited to welcome examples of such excellence to our conference.”

Each day’s session will be led by a different chairman who have each played a prominent part in developing Wine GB’s tourism strategy; Dr Steve Charters MW; Mark Harvey, chief commercial officer of Chapel Down and chair of Wine GB’s Tourism Working Group and Thorpe.

Wine GB first revealed it was turning the spotlight on wine tourism earlier this month as it released its 2021 calendar of activities.