The arguments for increased focus by vineyards on the development of wine tourism activities have received increased attention in the last five years. Wineries have often been criticised for not focusing enough attention on developing networks with tourist organisations, local governments, and cellar door activity in general. This approach ignores both the wider market context within which New Zealand wineries operate and the associated opportunity costs of developing wine tourism facilities. This research seeks to place wine tourism within the general market context in New Zealand. We present the results of qualitative interviews with key industry players and argue that wine tourism facilities may be under‐developed precisely because wineries are having more success in export markets which provide greater returns than cellar door sales.
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