More than 1 million visitors went around Argentina during the past long weekend. Most of these tourists were this country, whereas a small percentage of them were foreigners, mainly from Chile and Brazil.
According to the Argentine Chamber of Tourism, some destinations were almost full to their hotel capacity. Among them, Mendoza stood out, province concentrating the highest percentage of wineries, followed by Salta and San Juan.
This flow of tourists was perceived at wineries, which noticed an increase of their visits, compared with last year.
As regards the panorama of this long weekend and so far this year, Carolina Macaya, in charge of Tourism and Public Relations at Ruca Malén, mentioned that visits are increasing between 10% and 15%, in relation to 2012. “In winter, we have grown by 9% compared with last year. Whereas, during the last April and May, we experienced a 15% boost.
Nonetheless, she pointed out that there is a slight rise in the international tourism, unlike the national one that is growing and showing really positive figures. Another point Macaya spotlighted is the amount of money a person spends when visiting a winery. In this respect, she said that the average per capita spending is ARS 225, “considering that we have standard wine tastings at ARS 70 and the menu-tasting program costs ARS 390 per person.”
In the case of Luigi Bosca winery, its situation has improved considerably. From the tourism area, they detailed that at the beginning of 2013, they set out to increase the number of visits to the winery, “today, we can confirm a satisfactory boost of 45% in the number of people visiting our Visitor Center.”
In particular, “last weekend, we received 160 visitors, of which 90% were national tourists and 10% came from Chile and Brazil. Like Ruca Malén, according to Luigi Bosca, there is a significant rise in the number of national tourists. “Argentinians are traveling around the country from the beginning of 2013. This enables us to remove “seasonality”, so as not to have low seasons in the year. Lastly, they added that in the case of the average spending, from January to October, it amounted to ARS 150, including tastings and/or special activities, and the purchase of wines.
Finally, Tania Piaggi, Hospitality & Tourism Manager at Dante Robino, expressed that the winery has experienced a growth of both national and international tourists, versus 2012; and their purchasing power also went up. Lastly, Piaggi underlined that in the case of visitors from abroad, their average spending is higher, due to their purchasing power and an exchange rate favoring them.
What does a tourist look for?
With the great number of wineries in Argentina receiving tourism, companies should offer distinctive alternatives, so as to be different from the rest. However, it is also interesting to know what tourists look for when visiting a winery.
In this respect, Macaya explained that they mainly want to enjoy great wines paired with delicious dishes in a relaxed and stylish place. Likewise, she added: “in the case of both national and international tourists, they are attracted by the idea of eating and drinking a glass of wine surrounded by a vineyard with the impressive view of the mountains. And this aspect, beyond any kind of tasting and activity, is highly appreciated.”
In addition, Tania Piaggi agreed that tourists look to have a good time learning about wines and tasting them.
On the other hand, according to Luigi Bosca, depending on the origin, tourists look for different attributes and experiences. “National tourists go to the winery to visit the place that gives birth to their favorite wines (the brand’s house), and to know more of it. They want to learn more about winemaking techniques and useful information such as, the optimum temperature to drink the wines, how to store them, how to pair them, etc. While, foreign tourists look for an experience; they long to taste and buy wines, talk and know the varietal wines that are best developed in Argentina, in other words, they want to know the story behind the products.”