Sustainable Wine Tourism Survey

Wine tourism has been an important part of the wine industry for decades. It helps generate income while preserving and developing the cultural heritage of a wine region. Wine tourism could therefore be the key element for the sustainable development of wine regions worldwide. To gather reliable information on this topic, together with Hochschule Geisenheim University conducted a global online survey with 1,579 wineries from more than 40 countries. Data collection took place in November 2021.

The results of the survey clearly show that sustainability has arrived in the wine industry, but also in wine tourism, and will certainly play a major role in the future. We are very delighted about the high number of participants, which reflects the global interest in this topic.

Global Research On Sustianable Wine Tourism Survey Participants
The main participant countries

Key findings of the survey

1. Sustainability plays a critical role for the wineries;

2. Wineries evaluate the overlap between sustainable wine production and sustainable wine tourism very heterogeneously – but the overall overlap appears to be relatively small.

3. For the wineries, the environmental dimension of sustainability is slightly more important than the economic and social aspects.

4. Among the measures that wineries plan to implement, using energy carefully, developing a long-term strategy for the company and collaborating with regional companies/actors are the most important.

5. Recently, 62% of the wineries stated that sustainable practices in wine tourism are essential for visitors; however, 87 % of wineries say it will become significantly more important in 5 years. 

Global Survey On Sustainable Wine Tourism Winetourismcom

93% of all wineries that participated in the survey stated that sustainability in wine tourism is important or very important. The importance of sustainability is rated highest in Chile (4.8). This result is significantly higher compared to the countries Germany and Hungary.

Global Survey On Sustainable Wine Tourism Winetourismcom (4)

According to the respondents, the environment is the most important pillar of sustainable wine tourism, at 40% of the given answers. The importance of the social and economic pillars is rated similarly, at 29 and 31% respectively.

Global Survey On Sustainable Wine Tourism Winetourismcom (5)

The main drivers for sustainable wine tourism are to build trust and reputation(57%), to increase visitor satisfaction(55%) and to make the world to a better place (55%).

The main barriers for sustainable wine tourism are lack of financial resources(48%), lack of human resources (35%) and lack of infrastructure(35%).

Online webinar

On January 25, and Geisenheim University hosted an online webinar, where we presented the findings of the survey. We would like to thank all the participants for attending and the discussions initiated. Questions that were left unanswered during the webinar, will be answered by the research team and will be published here, on this page.

If you missed the webinar, you can still watch it online on our Youtube Channel. The webinar covered topics such as the role wine tourism play in sustainable strategies, perception of sustainability in different countries and diverse sustainable practices in wine tourism.

Q&As about Sustainable Wine Tourism

The research team of Sustainable Wine Tourism survey answered all the questions asked during the webinar.

Hello, do you think that wine tourism, as a particular form of tourism, can show real practices and further actions/measures for the whole field of sustainable tourism in general?

Wine tourism is a particular form of tourism. Given that an agricultural product with a solid link to the environment stands behind this type of tourism, there are huge differences compared to general tourism. In the case of sustainable wine tourism, both wine production and tourism operation contribute to sustainable development. There are several sustainable practices wine tourism can take over from the general tourism industry. However, the fact that we deal here with wineries that produce an alcoholic beverage makes sustainable wine tourism unique.

Are there sustainability measures that can be called “bigger or more important contributors” comparing to others? Is it subjective to each winery to decide or there are certain studies which shows what makes a bidder outcome?

So far, we are not aware of any studies that have investigated the effects of various sustainable wine tourism measures. All answers in our study are based on subjective considerations of the respective wineries. We assume that in a few years a clear picture can be drawn of how certain measures contribute to sustainable development.

Actually, I think that Distribution / Consumption is usually also forgotten. How to make these two topics sustainable? Any idea about that?

Thank you very much for this very important question. Distribution is directly related to the carbon footprint and therefore has several aspects: lighter bottles, local distribution or returnable bottles, for example. Regarding consumption, the most important social aspect is wine in moderation.

What is the definition of sustainable wine tourism

After analysing our survey results, I would define sustainable wine tourism as making the world of wine tourism a better place by reducing the burden on the environment and taking into account the needs of one's winery and its employees, the next generation and all stakeholders/actors directly or indirectly involved in wine tourism.

It would be nice also to have portrait of managerial aspects of sustainability according to respondents. Institutional aspect is a base for sustainable development (especially for long-term development). For example is there any union of wine making companies, wine-based tourism business.

Unfortunately, we do not have a portrait like this. We know that some companies, associations or unions have been dealing with this topic, but it seems that these units are working separately and not in cooperation. Managerial aspects are of great importance and we assume that several organisations will start dealing with this aspect in the following years.

Hello from Greece and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. I would ike to see if social sustainability was one of the topics of the research!

Yes, the social pillar of sustainable wine tourism was also part of the survey. According to the results, the influence of these measures weighs 29%.

Apart from the regional component, is there any other kind of impact of COVID on sustainable wine torism?

Yes, definitely. In times of crisis, the importance of the economic pillar increases significantly. Especially in the first and second lockdown, some wineries had to fight to survive. In situations like this, sustainable development seems to be a luxury problem, and companies try to overcome the deepest phase of the crisis.

Contact for questions about the survey:

Niklas Ridoff |

Prof. Dr. Gergely Szolnoki

Supporting Partners:

UNWTO Logo EN (1)
GWC (2)