Visitfrenchwine.com : The international showcase for wine tourism in France18-03-2016
In 2010, 7.5 million tourists visited vineyards in France. Wine tourism is a booming industry, and the wine sector is attracting interest.
More and more foreign visitors are keen to savour the “Made in France” wine experience. They come to discover the ancestral expertise behind the names of prestigious French wine companies. “The high quality standards and innovation demonstrated by these companies, who offer a range of interesting activities targeting wine tourists, also makes a real difference” explains Christian Mantei, Managing Director of Atout France. The entire wine sector is behind this dynamic, in a bid to showcase the wealth and diversity of their vineyards and wines to international clients.
Tourists come from all over the world to discover the wine regions of France. In order of importance, Belgians, who account for 10% of visitors, are the no.1 nation to visit Alsace, Aquitaine, Bourgogne and Champagne. British tourists (10%) prefer the Loire, Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon, followed by Holland (4%), Germany (3%), Switzerland and the USA (2%). “France has a true wine tradition” continues Christian Mantei, and this is a big attraction for international visitors.
VISITFRENCHWINE.COM: discovering french vineyards
In February 2016, Atout France launched www.visitfrenchwine.com. This unique search engine, devoted entirely to the vineyards of France, is presented in magazine format, and created to address a market need for an all-encompassing website focusing on wine tourism in France, targeted at an international audience. To this end, Atout France has decided to showcase powerful brands – regions and wines – to act as ambassadors to drive wine tourism as a whole in international markets. “The website is a virtual showcase to attract potential visitors. In just 3 clicks, it will re-route visitors to the most relevant partner website to suit their needs” explains Christian Mantei.
The website is launched initially in English and French. “And will be available in other languages very soon” added the Managing Director. Ultimately the website will become the unique search engine for promotional campaigns implemented byAtout France’s Wine Tourism Cluster. “The magazine’s editorial features position France as a vibrant, contemporary, creative and cultural destination that knows how to keep its offer up to date,” adds Christian Mantei.
Promoting wine tourism abroad
www.visitfrenchwine.com caters for anyone seeking more information on French lifestyle. “Our primary target is international visitors who currently account for around 40% of wine tourists,” insists Christian Mantei. To do this, Atout France promotes extensive choice. Indeed, “if wine tourism focuses primarily on discovering wine, through tourists meeting winemakers, wine tastings, sales and activities organised in and around the vineyards, its potential does not have to stop there, and can extend to activities such as visiting wine-famous villages or cultural sites, taking part in wine-centred events, and even away-breaks on a vineyard estate, etc.”
Through its Wine Tourism Cluster, Atout France is multiplying initiatives to promote French wine tourism against a distinctly competitive landscape.
“The Pole d’Excellence Oenotourisme*, a centre of excellence dedicated to wine tourism, also aims to unite all those working in wine and tourism. It is vital to develop France as a tourist destination and ensure it is promoted effectively to international tourists,” points out Christian Mantei. In addition, the launch of a new “Vignobles et decouvertes” quality label, (“Vineyards and discovery”), in 2009, is a handy tool to guide tourists through the extensive choice available.
Four types of wine tourist
In a recent study, Atout France identified 4 distinct wine tourist profiles:
- “Epicureans” (40%), who are essentially looking to taste and buy wine and visit wine estates and cellars.
- “Traditionalists” (24%), for whom wine is all part of discovering the heritage of a destination, but not exclusively.
- “Explorers” make up 20% of visitors, for whom wine, vines and vineyards are the key motivators for their stay. They are looking for undiscovered gems and secret addresses.
- “Experts” (16%) want to learn more about the history and culture of the “terroir”, and everything wine-related.
To promote the different wine regions in France, Atout France has also launched Destination Vignobles. Operating every other year, this is a major event for wine-tourism professionals from France and international markets. In 2016, Destination Vignobleswill take place 11-12 October 2016 in Reims.
Atout France, France Tourism Development Agency. Amongst its missions: the development and promotion of the French tourism industry.