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Synergizing wine and tourism: converting wine drinkers to Greek tourism ambassadors

altProfessor Marianna Sigala, director of the Centre for Tourism & Leisure Management, at the University of South Australia, will present a lecture entitled “Synergizing wine and tourism: converting wine drinkers to Greek tourism ambassadors” on Thursday 10 May, at the Greek Centre, as part of the Greek History and Culture Seminars offered by the Greek Community of Melbourne.

During the last years, wine tourism has evolved to a popular lifestyle and leisure activity amongst a great variety of market segments. Wine tourism is not anymore an activity only for wine lovers. Wine tourists visit wineries to also visit, immerse themselves, experience and learn about the winescape (the natural, physical and cultural heritage resources of the wine regions). In fact, the attractiveness and the authenticity of the winescape play a more critical role in generating, driving and satisfying wine tourism demand than the provision of high-quality wine. Greece possesses a long oenological wine making tradition and a rich wine and touristic terroir that can be valorized for achieving a unique competitive advantage and sustainable tourism development.

In this vein, the lecture analyses two major concepts (story-telling and experience design) that wineries and wine destinations can ‘exploit’ for embodying their natural, built, human and cultural/heritage resources into wine tourism experiences that satisfy demand and supply needs alike by: converting wine tourists from wine drinkers/consumers to ambassadors and lovers of the Greek culture and heritage; and building emotional, social and financial ties amongst wine tourists, wineries and local communities that in turn can generate financial, cultural and promotional social value. Two Greek case studies are used for better illustrating the applicability of these concepts.

The case of the wine entrepreneur of Ariousios Oinos demonstrating the power of story-telling in creating wine tourism experiences that link the revival of the viticulture of a local grape variety in Chios Island with the local mythology/history and local (food) culture and lifestyle.

The awardwinning case of a wine destination organization developing the wine festival Oinoxeneia (oinos+philoxeneia) demonstrating the important orchestrator role of a destination body to facilitate and support synergies amongst local communities and wine related sectors (e.g. art/creative sectors, food/wine producers, film producers etc.) for developing wine related stories and experiences that promote sustainable wine destination development.

Marianna Sigala is Professor at the University of South Australia and Director of the Centre for Tourism & Leisure Management. Prior to her current position she has been an academic staff at the Universities of Strathclyde and Westminster in the UK, and the University of the Aegean (Greece). She also has professional hospitality industry experience. Her interests include service management, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in tourism and hospitality, and e-learning. She has published eight books and her work has also been published in several academic journals, books and international conferences. She is currently the co-editor of the Journal of Service Theory & Practice, the Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Management and the advisor editor of the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Cases. She is a past President of EuroCHRIE and a past member of the executive board of CHRIE. She currently serves at the executive boards of IFITT and CAUTHE. In 2016, she has been awarded the prestigious EuroCHRIE Presidents’ Award for her lifetime contributions and achievements to tourism and hospitality education.

When: Thursday, 10 May 2018, 7.00pm 
Where: Greek Centre, (Mezzanine, 168 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne)

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