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Mid-Atlantic wine tourism consumer preference: an econometric approach

Chen Yue (Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA)
Ramu Govindasamy (Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA)
Kathleen Kelley (Department of Plant Science, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA)

International Journal of Wine Business Research

ISSN: 1751-1062

Article publication date: 13 June 2019

Issue publication date: 19 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Using an econometric approach, this study aims to examine Mid-Atlantic USA wine consumers’ willingness to participate in winery or vineyard tours based on their wine knowledge, wine drinking occasions, demographical factors, past experience with wine tourism and wine purchasing behaviors.

Design/methodology/approach

An internet-based consumer survey (N = 977) conducted 22-24 October 2014 was used to collect data. The screening criteria for the survey participants were: 1) being a resident of the Mid-Atlantic region (New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, USA), 2) at least 21 years old, 3) not an industry member, and 4) having purchased and consumed wine within the past year. In addition to descriptive statistics, a logistic regression was used to estimate consumers’ willingness to participate in winery or vineyard tours. Independent variables were categorized into five groups: sources of wine knowledge, wine drinking occasions, demographical factors, past experience and wine purchasing behaviors.

Findings

With 736 valid observations, the logistic regression shows that males are more likely to be interested in winery or vineyard tours, while young adults (<25 years old) are less likely. Learning about wines from winery tasting room staff members, from wine magazines or from local and regional magazines are the top three positive influencers on interest in these activities. Past wine tourism experience in the Mid-Atlantic region, drinking wine as an everyday beverage and giving wines as gifts also show a positive relationship with likelihood of participating in these activities.

Practical implications

Study results can help the Mid-Atlantic wine industry understand wine tourists’ behaviors and preferences. Advertising in wine magazines and local and regional magazines can be used to target wine consumers interested in winery or vineyard tours. Attributes (i.e. past experience with wine tourism and gaining knowledge from winery tasting room staff) that are related to the quality of wine tourism experience were identified. Participants were also interested in purchasing wine from the winery during or after participating in wine tourism activities; therefore, wineries should focus on guest interactions to encourage such purchases.

Originality/value

This survey collected data from both consumers who had or who lacked wine tourism experience, which allowed us to gather input from wine drinkers who had not necessarily visited tasting rooms. This survey instrument can be used to collect data from wine consumers residing in regions where the presence of wineries and wine tourism is low, which can provide insight that otherwise might be influenced by currently offered wine tourism activities. This paper uses an econometric approach to understand consumer interests in wine tourism in the Mid-Atlantic region and provides a comprehensive, clear and informative profile of likely wine tourism participants who reside in a region that has not been studied comprehensively.

Keywords

Citation

Yue, C., Govindasamy, R. and Kelley, K. (2019), "Mid-Atlantic wine tourism consumer preference: an econometric approach", International Journal of Wine Business Research, Vol. 31 No. 3, pp. 327-343. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJWBR-03-2018-0011

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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