Wine Tourism in Champagne

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Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research
http://jht.sagepub.com/ Wine Tourism in Champagne
Steve Charters and David Menival Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research 2011 35: 102 originally published online 17 November 2010 DOI: 10.1177/1096348010384597 The online version of this article can be found at: http://jht.sagepub.com/content/35/1/102

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WINE TOURISM IN CHAMPAGNE
Steve Charters David Menival Reims Management School, France The goal of this article is to expand the understanding of wine tourism in a European context (less closely researched than that of New World countries) by examining aspects of its operation in Champagne. Two separate studies contribute toward this goal. The first qualitative project examined the perceptions of small champagne producers on a range of tourism-related issues. The second quantitative project investigated the perspectives of visitors to the region. The article offers three conclusions. First, it suggests that producers show three varying approaches to wine tourism (related to structural factors in the businesses concerned) with most feeling it was not relevant to them even though they sell wine direct. Second, producers may have little idea of what tourists find acceptable. Finally, it demonstrates that tourism may be a way for smaller producers to add value to their product, as tourists display a propensity to pay more than local purchasers. KEYWORDS: wine tourism; Champagne; adding value; supply-side

The goal of this study is to add to our understanding of wine tourism at both practical and theoretical levels. Apart from being one of the few empirical studies concentrating on a European wine region, it also offers other crucial foci. These include the following: first, a comparison of producer and consumer perspectives; second, a categorization of small producers into three types, depending on the way that their business operates and their views about wine tourism; and third, a demonstration that, for some producers at least, wine tourism appears to be a way in which value can be added to their product. This article arises from two studies that were carried out in the Champagne region of France.1 The first was a qualitative study, which examined the perceptions of small producers—vignerons—on a range of issues relating to management and marketing in the region, including wine tourism. The second was an exploratory quantitative study, which investigated the perspectives of visitors to the region, with the data obtained at vignerons and a larger and well-known champagne house. While both projects were wider than merely examining wine tourism, that topic was covered in each. The article compares the expectations and perspectives of both suppliers and consumers concerning the provision of wine tourism in Champagne, its role, how it should operate, and the strengths and weaknesses of the region. Given the varying nature of these studies, they are each considered discretely in their entirety (Process and Findings/Results) before the concluding section draws the two studies together. However, before Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, Vol. 35, No. 1, February 2011, 102-118 DOI:...
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