Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to discern the intra‐regional visitation patterns of wine tourists. Exploratory research was conducted in two branded wine regions, to conceptualise the spatial movement of wine tourists in a theoretical construct. Design/methodology/approach – Information was obtained from a random sample of 214 visitors to 25 wineries in two branded wine regions in South Australia. Data were collected by means of face‐to‐face interviews using a highly structured questionnaire at each of the winery cellar door venues. Findings – A conceptual theory regarding winery visitation sets (VSs) was developed. Discernable spatial visitation patterns to wineries result from the dynamic interaction of visitors’ needs and the incumbent winery profiles that exist in a hierarchy within a wine region. The grouping of sequentially visited wineries in the three‐tier hierarchy form specific VSs of wineries. Winery profiles are initially determined by visitation incidence: the most visited Regional Centre Point (RCP) winery is followed by sequentially less visited regional profile (RP) wineries and a third tier of regional attribute (RA) wineries. Visitation pattern trends are identifiable and differ between first‐time and repeat visitors. Research limitations/implications – It is possible to detail the market segmentation of wine tourists quite accurately in terms of their psychographics and demographics and favoured visitation patterns within the branded wine region. This will also provide important insights into the balance of winery and cellar door roles in the region and confirm the “optimal” number of wineries required to fulfil the needs of the ever‐increasing numbers of wine tourists. Originality/value – This paper is of value to academic researchers, wine industry practitioners and travel and accommodation providers alike as it provides the foundation for a conceptual theory to explain the discernable intra‐regional visitation patterns of wine tourists to the cellar doors of wineries.
International Journal of Wine Business Research – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 8, 2010
Keywords: Winemaking; Tourism; Australia; Regional marketing; Brands
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