Factors Contributing to a Memorable Wine Route Experience
Wine tourism, especially wine festivals and routes, is becoming more popular in South Africa, primarily because it gives wine cellars and wine farms greater publicity and exposure leading to increase in wine sales. The wine farmers or cellars are also expanding their product offering to involve more than just wine tasting and sales. They are therefore developing tourism products such as accommodation, restaurants, wedding venues, cultural activities and adventure activities. The unanswered question is what factors do consumers regard as important when visiting a wine route? Therefore, the purpose of this article is to determine the factors that contribute to a memorable wine route experience. This study was conducted at one of South Africa’s largest wine routes, namely the Robertson Wine Route, from 4-6 June 2014. A questionnaire was used for data collection. The results revealed four important factors for having a memorable wine route experience, namely amenities, food and entertainment, information dissemination and qualities of the route. The most important motive for visiting a wine route is to relax and escape, followed by experiencing a unique event. These results can be used by wine route managers and product owners to develop and market wine routes more effectively.
Keywords: Wine Tourism, Wine Routes, Travel Motives, Robertson Wine Route (RWR), Memorable Experience, Destination Mix