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Wine Glass In Focus IIIn La Rioja, the UNWTO’s Visionary Conference Paves the Way for a Sustainable and Inclusive Future in Wine Tourism.

In the verdant landscapes of La Rioja, a region synonymous with exquisite wine-making, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) recently orchestrated a transformative event: the 7th Global Conference on Wine Tourism. This landmark conference, a first in La Rioja, heralded a new dawn for the wine tourism sector, underscoring an unyielding commitment to inclusivity and sustainability for local communities and territories.

UNWTO - Wine Tourism Forum.

UNWTO – Wine Tourism Forum.

At the core of this prestigious gathering was a resolute focus on fostering inclusive growth, particularly in rural landscapes. The conference illuminated the necessity of clear policy frameworks and a robust commitment to embracing the winds of change brought by digital transformation and innovation. As a vibrant nexus for stakeholders and luminaries from the burgeoning wine tourism domain, the conference was a melting pot of ideas, addressing critical priorities like education, skills enhancement, and astute data utilization.

The event marked a significant stride in acknowledging the imperative of skills development and a nuanced understanding of wine tourism’s impacts and trends. These elements are indispensable in cultivating value and augmenting the allure of wine regions. The emphasis was not just on elevating their allure but on enhancing their competitive edge in the global landscape.

However, the journey doesn’t end with competitiveness alone. In an era marked by the looming shadows of climate change, the conference bravely tackled the challenges of integrating sustainability into the fabric of wine tourism. The discourse delved into the progression of digitalization for streamlining processes and the harmonization of data collection. These discussions were not mere academic exercises but a concerted effort to leverage cutting-edge digital tools, including Artificial Intelligence, to foster knowledge creation and an uninterrupted experience for tourists and stakeholders alike.

The conference wasn’t just a platform for dialogue but a crucible for forging new paths in collaboration. It shone a spotlight on the importance of national and local wine tourism strategies and ignited discussions on innovative forms of collaboration. Participants from over 40 countries engaged in a series of masterclasses, broadening their horizons on the confluence of wine tourism with diverse domains like gastronomy, arts, culture, communication, branding, new technologies, product development, and, most importantly, sustainability.

As the event drew to a close, a symbolic gesture encapsulated the spirit of continuity and growth that the conference championed. La Rioja passed the baton, represented by a symbolic amphora, to Armenia, thus crowning it as the next host for the 8th UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism in 2024. This ceremonial act was not just a transition of hosting duties but a testament to the unbroken chain of progress and innovation that the UNWTO envisions for the future of wine tourism.

In summary, the UNWTO’s Global Conference in La Rioja was not just a meeting of minds but a beacon of hope and a blueprint for the future of wine tourism. It underscored a collective commitment to sustainability, inclusion, and digital innovation, steering the wine tourism industry towards a brighter, more inclusive future.




Written by: Christine Nguyen