By Tika Bujiashvili

September 9, 2016. Chateau Mukhrani

The first Global Conference On Wine Tourism continued on September 9 in Chateau Mukhrani. The topic of the first session was about product development in wine tourism.

The speakers were: Pedro Vergas, International Project Director, Leading Brands of Spain, And Yolanda Perdomo, director of the Affiliate members programme, UNWTO.

According to them a tourism prototype is going to be planned, that aims at providing a new innovative way to promote and showcase Spain and its lifestyle through the member wineries of FMRE.

Georgian representatives also had presentations. The speakers were:

George Chogovadze, Head of Georgian National Tourism Administration

Levan Davitashvili, Deputy Minister of Agriculture of Georgia

Patrick Honnef, CEO, Chateau Mukrani

John Wurdeman, Owner, Pheasant’s tears.

Georgian representatives say that Georgia has unique wine-making traditions and are part of UNESCO’s intangible heritage and holding the first Global conference on wine tourism in is important not only to promote tourism and wine, but also to increase awareness of the country.

After the first session the guest visited Chateau Mukhrani’s Marani, a traditional wine cellar where they tasted different kinds of wine-old and new and also were told the history of the cellar.

The guests were impressed by the hospitality of Georgia. They liked the idea of different kinds of wine-tasting here in Chateau Mukhrani’s Marani. The guests from 42 countries agreed that Georgia has a big potential in wine tourism, that it is a safe country, has a visa-free regime with many countries and has good wine. They also emphasized the importance of government support for the development of tourism.

During the second session on this day Speakers spoke about the challenges in wine tourism.

The speakers were: Paulina Versace, PR Manager, La Cite du Vin

Santiago Vivanco, Director, Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture

Donald Hawkins, Eisenhower Professor, George Washington University

Zaida Semprun, Wine Tourism Commercial Manager, Freixenet Group

Paula Sousa, Marketing&Tourism Sales Director, Quinta Nova N.S Carmo.

After the speakers further discussions took place in a round-table format where the guests expressed their ideas about importance of collaboration, networking and the ways how to develop new innovative ideas.

In the end Georgia Declaration on Wine Tourism was presented.

Closing remarks were done by H.E. Mr. Dimitry Kumsiashvili, First Vice Prime Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia and H.E. Mr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization.