Wine tourism touted as growth area for Latin America

Montevideo, Sep 19 (IANS/EFE) Wine experts from Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile, and special guests from the US, Spain and Portugal gathered at the Uruguayan capital 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, EFE reported on Friday.

“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 also talked 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.

Gastronomy and enology are factors contributing to build tourism trends, as they are “associated with national heritage”, according to Liberoff, Uruguay’s acting tourism minister.

“Montevideo is the only capital in the Southern Cone where cruise passengers can visit a winery,” he said.

“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.

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