INTERNATIONAL SPECIALISTS DISCUSSED THE FUTURE OF WINE AND TOURISM
SEMINAR ON WINE TOURISM, HELD AT THE COLCHAGUA CAMPUS, GENERATED A STRATEGIC VIEW ON THIS ECONOMIC ACTIVITY, STRONGLY LINKED TO THE REGIONAL IDENTITY.
Decembre 2, 2016
Sustainable tourism development and regional integration were the topics addressed at the International Seminar on Wine Tourism, or tourism linked to the wine world, that brought together the public and private sectors around a common strategy to significantly increase the number of local and international tourists.
The event was part of the Wine Tourism in the Central Regions of Chile Program, coordinated by Corfo, a key institution in the development strategy for the sector.
On the occasion, President Alvaro Rojas stressed the importance of disseminating our identity through tourism. “Under the title of ‘Wine Tourism’, what really draws the national public in our country is a holistic cultural, gastronomic and recreational offer that makes people feel identified with Chilean landscapes, tasting good wines and learning a little bit more about it. In the case of foreigners, it is about the search of local culture from gastronomy, fairs and crafts with neatness, hygiene and Sustainability", he said.
"We seek a social, cultural and environmental whole, and to appreciate something that is offered only in Chile. We are the ones responsible for the globalization of our Central Chile culture, which is the culture of the Colchaguan and Maulean peasant, and to sell it to the world to attract tourists," he remarked.
Also analyzed were the challenges and goals of the Wine Tourism in the Central Regions of Chile Program, the intelligent specialization in the development of this matter and the Argentinean experience in regional integration of the Southern Cone.
Jose Miguel Viu, Executive Chairman of Wine Tourism Chile, expressed that this seminar "is the first result of this program that started at the beginning of this year, and it seeks to incorporate those who are part of this public-private Academia is essential."
The Central Regions of Chile Program, which covers from the Coquimbo to the Bio Bio Regions, seeks the associativity between the public and private sectors for an integral development of it. In a second stage, and once the medium and long term program are approved, local committees will be created to raise and strengthen the key points of each sector.
Gonzalo Herrera, Vice President for Innovation and Technology Transfer, explained that there is a double dimension that should be highlight in this seminar. "On the one hand, the matter of the seminar is studied in one of the degree programs of this Campus, so it is very important that there is a link between the industry, the world and our students. On the other hand, it is a example of the opening of our University towards the Colchagua zone, and other different places, as an institution that is not closed, but that it possesses links with the environment."
Wine tourism has allowed the Colchagua Valley to be positioned as a world class wine valley, with top-of-the-line wines and high quality touristic offer. In this context, the University of Talca opened, in 2008, the program of Senior Technician in Wine Tourism, an innovative curriculum proposal that trains specialized technicians to act in wine tourism experiences.
Carlos Cardoen, a wine businessman and president of the Santa Cruz Vineyard, stressed that the work of the University of Talca in this area has been "extremely positive, with a proactive president who puts the action on the intention".
"We, as a Foundation, feel interpreted by the mechanics of thinking and doing. Here, he has gathered, together with Corfo, different characters of the wine tourism development from Spain and Argentina, countries which are well advanced in the subject. I congratulate the University for the efforts it puts into real action, not detached from reality and trying to contribute with their feet on the ground," he said.
Main speakers of activity were Jaime del Castillo, President of Infyde, a Spanish consulting firm that deals with the diagnostic, comparing and further development of a strategic plan phase, and Gabriel Fideli, former Mendoza Secretary of Tourism and responsible for a similar program implemented in Argentina.
"I believe that Chile today is living through a very good moment in this matter, because it had developed a very ambitious national program that works on supply and demand. The pubic-private integration, and between privates, is key, especially between the worlds of wine and tourism, because both should structure this product. I see a lot of willingness to work as a whole, the assistance to this seminar is clear evidence, so I am very optimistic about what can be done between Chile and Argentina," stressed Fideli.
For his part, Jaime del Castillo emphasized the importance of Academia in wine tourism. "It is critical, because if there is no qualified personnel it is impossible to have a good touristic offer, as well as research into new markets, new trends, how to organize the relationship between production and marketing of wine and the cellar offer. In general, everything competitive in wine tourism is related to a university that knows how to work on this issue," he emphasized.
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