Sixth UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism presented in Rome

Presentation of the Sixth UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism in Rome

 ROME - Innovation, creativity and sustainability are at the heart of the Sixth UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism, presented at a press conference organized at the Foreign Press Association headquarters in Rome, attended by Tourism Minister Massimo Garavaglia, UNWTO (UN tourism agency) Europe Director Alessandra Priante, ENIT CEO Roberta Garibaldi and Piedmont Region Tourism Councillor Vittoria Poggio. The planned remote connection with UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili did not take place due to time constraints.

The Conference

 The World Conference, promoted and organised by the UNWTO in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Tourism, ENIT and the Piedmont Region, will be held from 19 to 21 September in Alba, in the magnificent setting of the Langhe, Roero and Monferrato territories, a UNESCO heritage site. The pandemic has deeply marked wine tourism, which, while showing some resistance, is now called upon to innovate. It must be able to offer experiences capable of intercepting the needs of a broad public, made up not only of experts but also of those who love to discover the beauty, history and values of places and the people who live there through the pleasure of wine. And be structured to create economic,social and cultural value for territories, companies and the local community. The Conference will be an opportunity for discussion and reflection on the current situation, prospects and future challenges of the sector. Experts and operators will discuss how to innovate wine tourism, the role of creativity as a lever for innovation, and sustainability as a paradigm for generating lasting value. Speakers come from all over the world. Among the Italian speakers called to speak are Mauro Agnoletti (University of Florence), Francesca Planeta (Planeta vini), Luca Balbiano (Urban Vineyards Association) and Filippo Polidori (Polidori and Partners).

 The role of Italy

 Italy boasts a unique wine heritage in terms of products, identity, culture and landscapes. The growing interest in tourism has led over the years to the development of an offer capable of satisfying the needs of a wide and varied public, with innovative ideas - such as, for example, wineries in historic residences and in contemporary buildings designed by architects of national and international renown, wineries with artistic installations open to the public or with musical, literary, theatrical, ... - recognised as excellences of national and international level. This Global Conference,stressed the Minister, hosted for the first time in our country, is a unique opportunity to make our excellence known to the world. And to reflect on the development prospects of a sector that, if properly exploited, can become a driver of sustainable development and revitalisation of many territories.

The approximately 25 thousand wineries open to the public are the protagonists of what is defined as 'slow tourism', made up of people who enjoy hiking or cycling, visiting small villages and seeking contact with nature. A sector that offers enormous potential: 4 out of 10 Italians are interested in living at least one slow tourism experience in the future, particularly outside the traditional tourist circuits. It is no coincidence that 27% of tour operators propose itineraries to discover Italy's food and wine traditions, and our country leads Europe in terms of the number of Taste Museums (129 compared to 107 in Spain and 88 in France). Wine is the most exported Italian product abroad and Italy is at the top in Europe for certified products (526). In 2021, turnover reached record levels (over 12 billion) and in the first 5 months of 2022, there was a 14.2% increase in foreign sales compared to the same period in 2021 and a 21.3% increase compared to 2019. For the first time, exports exceeded 7.1 billion and could touch 8 billion this year. And with wine,"said Garavaglia, "we promote exceptional territories, some of which are, not by chance, Unesco sites: from the Langhe and Monferrato to the Prosecco hills, from the Val d'Orcia in Tuscany to the terraced lands in Liguria. 'Yet,' the minister points out, 'Cameroon has a plan on food and wine and Italy does not. This is a gap that we have started to work on: soon we will have the strategic plan on which we will invest 30 million euro, doubled with the support of the Regions, for the development of the sector'. The plan should be ready within this year, we learn on the sidelines of the conference.

 "Rural tourism is the key to sustainable tourism and also to innovation, not only for the less-visited places in each country, but in general in all parts of the world. We have an exceptional programme with more than 30 speakers and 8 ministers,' Alessandra Priante announced, pointing out that 'this type of tourism - it is also important for solving the problems of tourism that we are having all over the world: rising costs, the proximity of war, and the issue of staff shortages. The Piedmont Region's Councillor for Tourism, Vittoria Poggio, in turn, expressed her logical satisfaction with the choice of Alba and the Langhe to hold an event related to wine, a region that has a tradition of excellence in the field, with its 80 labels including DOC and DOCG.



Poster of the Sixth UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism