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Wine Tourism Essay

2311 words - 9 pages

Wine tourism is commonly defined as a form of tourism where visits to wineries or the tasting, consumption, or purchase of wine is a significant motivational factor for visiting a destination or influencing an itinerary. Wine tourism is a niche market that includes everything from events, festivals, classes or workshops, museums, tours, tastings, restaurants, and gift shops where wine is a meaningful product. These activities can take place over the time period of a few hours to over a week, depending on the involvement and interest of the tourist. Wine tourism is also very popular in conjunction with culinary tourism as incorporating wine and food pairings into contemporary lifestyles has become a growing trend in popular culture since the 1960’s. (Novelli, 2005) The $25.1 million dollar wine export industry in Canada (Statistics Canada, 2007) plays an important role in influencing and informing potential tourists of the sophisticated Canadian wine industry. While Canada is not a leading wine maker internationally, it has been able to earn global attention for the high quality, award-winning icewines produced in our cooler climate. (Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, 2011). This international respect and awareness has consequently sparked the interest of wine enthusiasts around the world to travel the main wine regions of Canada.
The wine industry first began in Canada in the early 1800’s when European grape varieties were grown. Unfortunately, the Canadian climate was not able to sustain these varietals and over the following century, only the native Canadian grapes were able to survive. Throughout this time, Ontario was able to develop its wine industry through exports to be one the largest in North America. To better regulate the industry, in 1927, each province was granted the authority to control the production, distribution and sale of alcohol. At that time, Ontario decided to suspend the issuance of new wine licenses, which lasted for over forty years. With the 1960’s came a new trend in the wine industry, forcing the modification of the wine products worldwide to be drier and lower alcohol percentage. Canada followed suit and began experimenting with hybrid and disease-resistant grapes as well.
Canada has been increasingly feeling the benefits of wine tourism as the consumption of wine has been growing at a faster rate than that of beer and spirits. The number of visitors and repeat visits has also been increasing with this trend, which in turn brings in more money and the potential to extend length of stays. According to Statistics Canada, wine and culinary tourism in Ontario and British Columbia was expected to increase by 50% from 2005-2015. As the industry grows, Canada is able to increase the amount and quality of activities for tourists, which improves their experience and satisfaction. Attracting more diverse visitors also gives Canada the opportunity to broaden the wine markets and create more of a Canadian wine demand...

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