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Friday, July 26, 2013

Wine Tourism Could Create 50,000 Jobs in Spain

Wine tourism is becoming a key sector when talking about job opportunities in Spain. This is the conclusion reached by a study carried out by http://www.winetourismspain.com, the number one portal in wine tourism distribution in Spain, which claims 50,000 jobs could be created in the next few years.

According to the study, in the USA, UK, Germany, Netherlands and Belgium alone, 14 million people define themselves as wine tourists and another 82 million plan to do some activity related to the wine sector during their travel, thus opening a potential market of over 100 million people from those countries alone.

Winery in San Lucar de Barrameda, Jerez region, South of Spain
The numbers and forecast for growth in Spain are more than encouraging. According to official data, the number of foreign visitors to Spanish wineries is only 250,000 per year, which represents only 17% of the total number of visits to Spanish wineries. This basically shows that, until now, wine tourism in Spain has been mainly a product for Spanish people.

According to the founder ofhttp://www.winetourismspain.com, Luis Lechuga Núñez, “the growth potential is enormous if we bear in mind that the 250,000 foreign visitors only account for 0.4% of the total number of tourists visiting Spain, which ranks as the third country in the world with more tourists.”

Luis goes further and points out that “7% of tourists coming to Spain claim they would like to visit a winery. This means there are over 3.6 million foreign tourists interested in wine tourism, which is almost 15 times more than the current 250,000.”

For http://www.winetourismspain.com, the key is in designing inland tourism packages and wine tours for foreign visitors which include gastronomic and cultural proposals as well as a variety of options provided by the wine sector.

“If we compare ourselves with competitors such as France, we realize that a great part of their tourism is inland, and France hosts over 60 million tourists a year. If we consider the infrastructure of airports, hotels, the cultural and gastronomic offer Spain has to offer, we should be able to attract 3 million more wine tourists per year. In order to reach this number, we should broaden the horizons of wine tourism by including gastronomy, culture and wine. This should be our objective for the next 10 years,” the portal explains, and this increase in the number of wine tourists could generate 50,000 new jobs.

Another interesting conclusion reached by the study is that it is not necessary to make great economic investments in order to attract these 3 million tourists, because the inland hotel infrastructure in Spain is well developed. Moreover, we must not forget that at present there are over 150,000 rooms in rural tourism, which means 52 million rooms per year, a big part of which are located in wine-producing areas.

Finally, the founder of winetourism.com points that “ the real challenge is in the distribution of the wine tour offer in Spain and the creation of touristic products. Lack of training and the need to change mentalities regarding ways of selling wine and tourism are often given as obstacles, but the truth is there is a lot of qualified and competent staff within the sector”.

“Last but not least, we must keep in mind the significant role of the internet in the booking of trips, which clearly shows the importance of bringing technology to the sectors of inland tourism and wine tourism,” he concludes.
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