1 EUROPEAN PAPER ON WINE TOURISM
2 GENERAL PRINCIPLES I. THE FUNDAMENTALS OF OENOTOURISM 1. By oenotourism we mean to designate the development of all tourist and spare time activities, dedicated to the discovery and to the cultural and wine knowledge pleasure of the vine, the wine and its soil. 2. The wine-growing and wine-producing territories should get involved and give an absolute priority to the principles of sustainable development The wine-growing and wine-producing territories should play a decisive role in the conservation, the management and the development of the territory s property. They must give their concrete experiences a model role, both with regard to their objectives and in the application methodology and in the responsible management and of the relationships between the territory and its exploitation Territorial as well as wine-growing and wine-producing resources should be defended, preserved and carefully managed, as public wealth, in order to be able to be always available for the individual and economic use of all those living in the territory The use of territorial resources, and particularly of wine-growing and wineproducing resources, should not endanger the survival of the animal and vegetal species of the ecosystem The wine-growing and wine-producing territories should be efficiently defended and protected from the risks of an anarchic development of the urbanization The wine-growing and wine-producing areas can represent a reference area for the development of a territory. The management models, defined on a rigorously scientific basis, should ensure the conservation of ecosystems in their integrity and their biological complexity. 3. In order to reach their objectives, the wine-growing and wine-producing areas should promote an efficient cooperation between themselves and they should not limit their actions only to their territories. 4. The wine-growing and wine-producing areas should play a decisive role in the spreading of a genuine Wine Culture, which consequently implies the need of an integral, correct and serious management, of a reasonable exploitation of the winegrowing areas in ecological and social terms.
3 II. THE OBJECTIVES OF THE EUROPEAN CHARTER ON OENOTOURISM The signatories undertake to participate in the development of oenotourism based on the following objectives: 1. PROMOTING OENOTOURISM ACCORDING TO THE PRINCIPLES OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT The European Charter on Oenotourism expresses the will of the involved actors, of the tourist professionals and of the wine-growers to promote an oenotourism which complies with the principles of sustainable development. The European Charter on Oenotourism commits the signatories to define a local strategy in favour of the sustainable oenotourist development, defined as a form of development, planning or oenotourist activity which respects and preserves natural, cultural and social resources of the territory in the long run, and which can also fairly and positively contribute to economic development and to the full development of the people living, working and residing in these territories. The development of oenotourism planned this way needs a global concerted reflection as well as the reinforcement of all the positive interactions between the oenotourist activity (wine-growing and wine-producing as well as tourist area) and the other economic areas of a territory. 2. HELPING THE TERRITORIES AND THE ASSOCIATES DEFINE A TOURIST DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM OF THEIR OWN The subscription to the Charter should lead to the definition of a long-term common strategy for tourist development and to an activity program in favour of the territory, thanks to the contribution of the promotion companies and/or organisations.
4 3. SELECTING A COMMON STRATEGIC VIEW The subscription to the Charter should lead to the definition of a long-term common strategy for tourist development, with an activity program in favour of the territory thanks to the contribution of the promotion companies and/or organisations. In order to do that, winegrowing and wine-producing areas should promote the exchange of information in terms of data, knowledge, management models, technologies and analysis models. The oenotourism system is made of the following sub-systems: Territory Tourism Wine-growing and Wine-producing Culture Becoming a member of the European Charter on Oenotourism involves making a diagnosis, consulting the signatories of the Charter as well as their partners, defining common strategic objectives, offering the necessary means, carrying out an action program and assessing the results. To that end, we suggest regrouping the three sub-systems quoted above, in two large operational areas, for which we suggest accepting the following commitments: I. For the territory or all the organisations, whether they have a local, regional or national character, and which have competencies in the planning and the management of a territory: the commitment will have to result in the carrying out of an analysis of the territory s requirements (constraints and opportunities), elaborated and accepted by the associates. This matching aims at defining an oenotourist orientation that should be more adequate for the territory as a whole. II. For the wine-growing and wine-producing company and/or all the companies offering tourist services: the commitment will have to result in the analysis of their activity. They will have to adapt their offer to the clients expectations, to implement the measures for the development of the local heritage and to take into account the environment and the sustainable development in the management of the company.
5 4. THE WILL TO DEVELOP COOPERATION Becoming a member of the Charter means adopting a working method based on the principle of cooperation, which is expressed in the definition and implementation phases of the sustainable oenotourist development program. This will have to result in an intense and loyal activity and cooperation between the actors who manage the territory. This European Charter on Oenotourism will become an instrument for activating this cooperation. It will have to allow organising the sharing of responsibilities and defining individual and collective commitments of all actors involved, whether they are public or private. Actors of the territory: the strategy suggested for an oenotourist area, within the framework of the Charter, will necessarily have to be defined and carried out together with the representatives of the wine-growing and wine-producing as well as tourist areas, with those of the other economic areas and with the inhabitants (residents) of the concerned region, as well as the authorities. This strategy will have to be carried out by means of the agreements signed with the local signatories of the Charter and their partners, within the framework of the sustainable oenotourist development. Wine-growing and wine-producing as well as tourist companies in the territory: they will have to get involved in the reflection and application of the principles of sustainable development, with regard to the oenotourist territory.
6 ACTORS OF THE TERRITORY I. PREAMBLE By becoming members of the European Charter on Oenotourism, the managers of the oenotourist territory choose to promote a tourist development compatible with the principles of sustainable development. They undertake to give priority to the coherence of the actions being carried out in the territory and to work from a long-term perspective. THE OBJECTIVES OF AN OENOTOURIST TERRITORY To differentiate as a territory and especially as far as tourism is concerned. To set more ambitious objectives as far as tourism is concerned. To involve all tourist managers as much as possible in oenotourist policies. To influence tourist development in their territory. To reinforce visitor awareness activities. To promote a social-economic development, respectful of the environment, in the territory. To develop original, high-quality and highly competitive tourist products on the national and international markets. To acquire a set of assessment tools for the tourist policies.
7 II. OBJECTIVES I. To accept and respect the principles of sustainable development stated in this European Charter on Oenotourism adapting it to the local context. II. To define a mid-term strategy - 3 years - in favour of the oenotourist development of each territory. The strategy will have to set the objectives based on: Assessment and defence of the Wine Culture. Economic and social development. Protection and improvement of the inhabitants life quality. Control of tourist flow and typology and improvement of the tourist offer quality. III. To promote a sustainable and high-quality oenotourist development The territory managers will have to promote a sustainable oenotourist development based on quality criteria. To that end, the territory managers respect the principles and the rules defined in the European Wine Route Handbook.
8 IV. To elaborate this strategy by means of an annual intervention program whose cumulative objectives will be the following: 1. TO CREATE A SPECIFIC TOURIST OFFER. The oenotourist territory will have to promote the creation of tourist products and activities that favour the discovery and the exegesis of the Wine Culture, in its widest sense. These authentic, high-quality products can be considered as service deliveries for the potential clients. 2. TO IMPROVE THE TOURIST OFFER. In order to meet the clients expectations, the administrators of an oenotourist territory will have to develop together with their associates a program for the continuous improvement of the tourist offer quality, through: Client knowledge. The tourist products and activities will have to be designed for well-determined markets and based on the objectives of oenotourism. Integral and continuous quality management. Attention will have to be paid to quality management in all areas: reception structures, tourist structures, service deliveries, tourist products, promotion and marketing. The search for new clients. The territory managers will have to undertake to find new clients sensible to the sustainable and high-quality tourism. 3. TO CREATE AN ATTRACTIVE WINE-GROWING AND WINE-MAKING OFFER FOR THE OENOTOURIST CONSUMER. To promote the adaptation of the wine-growing and wine-making offer related with the oenotourist development, on visitor s demand and desire, in all areas: access, reception, instruments and structures, services, personnel of the consumer service department, tasting sessions, product purchasing.
9 4. TO INCREASE USERS AWARENESS, through: Education and consciousness development. Education concerning the environment and the discovery of the enological heritage will constitute a priority in the tourist policy of the territory. Information. High-quality and easily accessible information will have to be suggested for the visitors and the inhabitants of the territory, especially concerning the tourist offer and the exceptional richness of the Wine Culture. Marketing and responsible promotion. The promotion and sales activities of the oenotourist territory will also have to allow increasing visitors awareness with regard to the principles of sustainable tourist development. These activities will have to contribute to the management of the visitors in time and space. 5. TO TRAIN THE MAIN ACTORS. Training will have to become a fundamental tool for the implementation of the sustainable development strategy of the oenotourist territory. Training programs on the sustainable development for the technicians of the territory will have to be organized on a regular and periodic basis. More specifically, seminars will have to be organized on Wine Culture for the tourist operators, and on sustainable tourist development and planning for the operators of the wine-growing and winemaking area. 6. TO PROTECT AND TO IMPROVE LIFE QUALITY OF THE INHABITANTS OF THE TERRITORY. Improving inhabitants life quality will have to be a priority in order to preserve the quality of the relationships between inhabitants and visitors. From this perspective, the oenotourist territory will favour the participation of the residents in the decisional process, the promotion of local employment and the promotion of exchanges between visitors and inhabitants.
10 7. TO DEFEND AND TO PROMOTE THE NATURAL AND THE HISTORICAL HERITAGE OF WINE, through: Respect of the capacity to receive a visitor flow on the territory. Specific measures will have to be taken in order to ensure the tourist development respecting the capacity of the visitor flow and within the limits of the acceptable and reasonable modifications of the natural, cultural and social environment of the territory. Wine Heritage and Culture development. The tourist development of the territory will adapt to the development of the natural, cultural and historical heritage. Protection of natural resources. Hydrous, energetic and environmental resources management programs will have to be elaborated, in collaboration with the local communities. Contribution of tourism to the maintaining of the heritage. Systems integrating the tourist development, the conservation, the maintaining and the development of the local cultural and historical heritage will have to be defined. 8. TO DEVELOP THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL ACTIVITY, through: Local economy support. Oenotourist actions performed by the actors of the territory will have to promote the initiatives concerning the different areas of the economy. Having in view this objective, the oenotourist territory will favour the organization of a distribution circuit for the local products and services. Development of new employment forms. The oenotourist territory should undertake to promote new employment forms in the tourist area.
11 9. CONTROL TOURIST FLOW AND TYPOLOGY, through: Visitor flow knowledge. Regular analyses and controls of the visitor flow in time and space will have to prevail, in order to adopt management methods for these flows. Visitors flow channelling. The provisioning of tourist structures, the organisation of itineraries for the discovery of the territory and the information provided to the visitors will have to contribute to the channelling of the tourist flow and favour the visitors high-quality experience. These measures will have to allow at the same time increasing the economic impact of the tourist activities in the territory and to favour the permanent (not seasonal) option. Transport control. Promotion activities will have to be carried out for the use of public transport, both for the access to the oenotourist territory and for trips inside of it. Reducing the automobile traffic and promoting bicycle riding, horse riding and walking will constitute priorities. Management and integration of tourist structures. The recovery of existing buildings will be preferred to the making of new ones. On the other hand, charters committing the appropriate guarantee and management of the reception structures will have to be elaborated, giving priority to the use of local materials and to the respect of the architectural requirements. 10. TO PROMOTE AND TO MARKET THE OENOTOURIST HERITAGE. The promotion and the marketing of the oenotourist heritage will have to become a priority of the territory managers. The appropriate promotion and marketing of the tourist offer of the territory will guarantee demand flows which will have to respond to the principles of sustainable development. The territory managers undertake to take the necessary measures for the creation of new demand flows concerning the territory, according to a precise marketing plan.
12 PRIVATE ACTORS I. PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS By becoming a member of this European Charter on Oenotourism, the signatory company undertakes to work in close collaboration with the institution that manages the territory and to do everything that is necessary in order to eliminate any negative influence of its activity on this territory. It will also make sure to develop its activity in such a manner as to contribute to the improvement of the economic and social development of the territory. OBJECTIVES FOR A COMPANY To identify itself as a company especially involved in oenotourism. To create an attractive, high-quality and highly competitive offer based on the discovery of the wine culture, for the different target audiences. To attract new clients interested in the Wine Culture. To secure the loyalty of the existing clients and to establish fruitful relationships with the clients. To attract clients who are interested in oenotourism during the whole year. To participate in the synergy of the commercial association with the other economic entities of the territory. To promote the development of oenotourism in its territory. To intensify the awareness activities for the visitors. To develop economic activities which respect the environment. To promote its business to the different target audiences, by developing its oenotourist activity.
13 II. THE OBLIGATIONS 1. To accept and respect the principles of sustainable development listed in this European Charter on Oenotourism, adapting them to the activity of the company. 2. To define a mid-term strategy - 3 years - as far as the oenotourist development of the company is concerned. The strategy will have to establish the objectives to be reached in terms of: Offer, products and services related to the Wine Culture. Defence and promotion of the Wine Culture. Sustainable development. Control of the tourist affluence and typology. Constant improvement of the oenotourist offer quality. Promotion of the oenotourist offer. 3. To articulate this strategy in an annual action program whose objectives will have to be: a. Creating a specific offer around the Wine Culture. The company will have to promote the creation of products and activities that favour the discovery and the interpretation of the Wine Culture. Oenotourist products and activities will be created in the specific area of the company. They will be attractive, of high-quality and authentic, and they will be able to be identified as service deliveries by the potential clients. b. Constantly improving the oenotourist offer. In order to meet the clients expectations, the companies of an oenotourist territory will have to develop together with the territory managers a permanent improvement program for the quality of the oenotourist offer, through: An integral and permanent management of the quality of the offer. It will have to look after quality at all levels related with the Wine Culture, in the action of its own business. The company will continually search formulas for improving the quality of its clients oenotourist experience. It will also get involved in the politics adopted by the territory managers as far as permanent improvement is concerned.
14 Better client knowledge. In order to ensure a better satisfaction of their clients, the companies will have to regularly transmit to the territory manager all the information concerning their desires and needs. 4. To increase users awareness, by means of: a. Education and consciousness rising. Education concerning the environment will be one of the priorities of the company s policy. Moreover, it will have to equip all its activities with contents having a pedagogic value, which will aim at making users understand and appreciate the Wine Culture. b. Information. Visitors will have to be provided with high-quality and easily accessible information. c. Marketing and responsible promotion. All promotion and communication documents will have to underline especially the importance and the dimension of the Wine Culture. They will also have to mention the membership of the company to this European Charter on Oenotourism. 5. To train the employees. The training will have to be a fundamental tool of the company. Its personnel, its parttime workers and their accompanying personnel will have to be made aware of the oenotourist development. They will have to update their knowledge of the Wine culture and of the soil. In order to do that, the company undertakes to take charge of the continuous education and training of its personnel. 6. To defend and promote the natural, cultural and historical heritage of the wine, by means of: a. Facility management and integration. During the extension, renovation or adaptation works, the company will have to guarantee the respect of the volumes, of the local architectural style, of the materials and of the integration into the environment. For eventual new facilities, the renovation of the edified heritage will have to be used by priority rather than make new buildings.
15 b. The promotion of the heritage related with the Wine Culture of the territory. The company will undertake to enrich the heritage related with the Wine Culture of the territory. In order to do that, not only will it have to promote the offer concerning its own business, but also that of the whole territory. In order to reach that objective, it will closely collaborate with the territory managers and with the different oenotourist service providers of this territory. c. Contribution to the conservation of the heritage. The company undertakes to help to the conservation, the maintenance and the promotion, in its area of practice, of the local cultural and historical heritage. d. Natural resource protection. The company will have to be willing to start a water consumption, energy and space management program, aiming to reduce costs and to preserve natural resources. It will have to acquire products made respecting the environment, as far as their composition and condition is concerned (biodegrading, reusable, recyclable or recycled products). It will have to create a waste selective distribution and transformation program, in association with the territory. e. Transport control. The clients will have to be encouraged to make a maximum use of public transport or to discover the territory by bicycle, by walking or by other non-polluting means. This policy also includes the access to the company s facilities and the travelling inside the territory. 7. To develop the economic and social activity, through: a. Aid for the local economy. The company s policy will have to be based on the principle of giving preference to local products and services, with the framework of a quality / price report accepted by both parties. The company will also undertake to give priority to the local labour. b. Safeguarding the inhabitants life quality. With the aim of ensuring an enthusiastic welcome to its clients on the territory, the company undertakes to develop its activities respecting its inhabitants life quality
16 as much as possible. It will also have to participate as much as possible to the activities and events of the locals. 8. To control the tourist affluence and typology. The company will undertake to follow the policies adopted by the territory managers in order to analyse, control and channel the visitor flows with the aim of favouring a highquality experience for the visitors, of increasing the economic impact of the tourist activities on the territory, as well as favouring its seasonal adjusting. 9. To promote and market the oenotourist heritage. The promotion and the marketing of the oenotourist heritage will have to constitute priorities for the companies. The promotion and the marketing of the oenotourist offer will guarantee demand flows that will respond to the principles of sustainable development.