Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to use the experiential view of consumption to better understand the nature of the motivations of the wine tourist in a congested wine region environment. It also aims to determine the impact of travel antecedents such as the perceived characteristics of the wine region, information sources utilised, and previous knowledge of the region and its products on the destination decision‐making process and ultimately the visitation motivations. Design/methodology/approach – Information is obtained from a random sample of 304 respondents from 12 wineries representing all size groups situated on the Paarl Wine Route (PWR) in South Africa. Data are collected through the use of a self‐administered, highly structured questionnaire, self‐completed by respondents at each of the winery cellar door venues. Findings – The most important characteristic of the entire winescape is the region's scenic beauty. Other high impact characteristics are the friendly people and their hospitality, overall ambience and the diversity of wine estates. These factors point to hedonic behaviour in a highly social context and primarily a search for enjoyment/pleasure, mainly by first‐time visitors. The dynamic of first‐time and repeat visitation plays a key role in visitors' wine tourism behaviour. The decision to engage in wine tourism is generally impulsive, even spurious, the visit duration short and the motivations guiding the visitors' behaviour predominantly hedonic in nature. Research limitations/implications – The impact of the natural landscape underlines the premise that an experiential research approach can yield valuable insights and sheds new light on the fact that a memorable experience for a wine tourist does not only evolve inside the winery's cellar door. In the process it exposits what could be unique selling points for marketing differently positioned wine regions. Originality/value – This study is of value to academic researchers, travel and accommodation providers and wine industry practitioners alike as it highlights important aspects of wine tourism behaviour with regard to the actual (underlying) motivations that drive them to visit cellar doors in a wine region.
International Journal of Wine Business Research – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 21, 2009
Keywords: Wines; Winemaking; Tourism development; South Africa; Consumer behaviour
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