Wine tourism is a growing and important part of Canada’s tourism industry attracting three million annual visitors and driving $1.2 billion in spending for the national tourism sector, according to a joint report released by the Canadian Vintners Association (CVA) and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC).
“Canadian wine regions are world-class, not only because of the great wine, but also the hospitality, infrastructure and natural beauty, which we believe can be further promoted to would-be international visitors,” said Dan Paszkowski, president and CEO of the CVA. “Our wineries already welcome more than three million visitors annually and are in a position to substantially increase the number of guests they receive.”
Charlotte Bell, president and CEO of TIAC, noted that, “Canada’s beautiful and accessible winery experiences strengthen our competitiveness in the growing global market for culinary tourism. Discerning travellers want high-quality authentic experiences and are finding what they are looking for with Canada’s award-winning vintages, local culinary treasures and beautiful geographic settings.”
With international travellers spending on average three times more than domestic travellers, TIAC is looking to boost international travel to meet the global growth rate of 5%. The CVA supports international winery tourism as a mechanism to support local jobs, while also creating demand for wine exports. For example, China is Canada’s fastest growing tourism source country, as well as the top export market for Canadian Icewine (valued at $6.7 million in 2014).