The ability of tourism regions to attract tourists depends to a great extent on the position of these destinations in the minds of key travel markets. The projection of an appropriate image has been described as a vital element in the positioning process. This research examines the evolving character of wine tourism destination imagery as projected by wine producers and independent writers. The overriding research questions addressed in this paper are “What destination attributes are emphasised in the visual imagery of wine tourism regions, and how has the emphasis on those features varied over time?” The findings suggest that there has been a shift in wine country imagery from an emphasis on wine production processes and related facilities to move of a focus on aesthetic and experiential values associated with more leisurely recreational and tourist pursuits. Over the past decade, the wine tourism experience has become more positioned around the core attraction of a quality wine, accompanied by a set of natural landscape, culinary, educational, event hosting and cultural dimensions. The research identifies the need for a greater emphasis to be placed by wine tourism destinations on protecting rural landscapes, encouraging authentic and unique forms of development, and focusing imagery projection on those elements of the wine country experience which are central to the interests of wine tourists.
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