Field Notes: Wine Tourism Conference 2015

By Andrea Badgley

Automatticians, the people who build WordPress.com, participate in events and projects around the world every day. Periodically, they report back on the exciting things they do when not in front of a computer.

Last week, Happiness Engineers Marjorie R. Asturias and Andrea Badgley attended the fifth annual Wine Tourism Conference in Loudoun County, Virginia. The event brings together leaders in the wine industry — from tour operators to wine bloggers — to talk about wine tourism and digital marketing (and to share a glass or two). Here’s Andrea’s account of her experience at the conference.

Vintners and tour operators from Canada, the UK, and Portugal flew into Virginia last week to connect and talk about how to reach out to wine enthusiasts and welcome them to the growers’ tasting rooms.

Tourism data or emerging markets aside, these folks are passionate about wine. They’d be crafting, drinking, and talking about it even if wine tourism weren’t a growing industry.

You know you’re in the right place when at 9 o’clock in the morning, you’re talking about wine.

— Beth Erickson, president of Visit Loudoun

Marjorie and I enjoyed meeting and connecting at a one-on-one level with the 175 conference attendees to hear their personal stories. Most proprietors we met operate small, intimate wineries, where they do all of the work, from growing the grapes to bottling the wine. The couple who owns the La Finquita winery cultivate and harvest their grapes themselves, and they even custom etch their wine bottles. Similarly, tour operators execute every aspect of their business, from booking the tours to balancing the books, and from managing the website to driving the bus. They do this work because they are passionate about it.


<img width="150" height="150" src="https://en-blog.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/marge-and-badgley-wtc15.jpg?w=150&h=150" class="attachment-thumbnail size-thumbnail" alt="Marjorie Asturias and Andrea Badgley at
Source:
Claire Huschle GMU  

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