INGREDIENTS FOR A GOOD WINE TOURIST DESTINATION: MENDOZA

Wine

A good tourist destination has to have:


1. Tourist attractions: places that arouse interest. They can be natural or cultural. In the case of wine tourism, it will of course involve wine, vineyards, wineries, related festivals, museums, etc.
Mendoza is the Malbec capital of the world! Visiting the terroir that produces the best Malbec in the world is a great attraction on its own! About 150 of the more than 600 wineries in operation offer programs for tourists. Many of those wineries have restaurants, the possibility to spend the night there and live great and original experiences, from golfing to make your own wine. In addition, not far from the wineries you will find towns or cities with a varied cultural and gastronomic offer. The landscapes that frame the wineries are also worthy of admiration. Not many places in the world can offer views of huge snowed picks behind the vineyards.
Every year Mendoza organizes an important festival honoring the grape harvest: the ‘Fiesta de la Vendimia’ (Harvest Festival). This show takes place at the beginning of March and brings together more than 1000 dancers. It is performed on an open amphitheater at the foot of the hills of the General San Martín Park. This festival is the culminating point of a series of celebrations and festivities that extend throughout February and March and include concerts, tastings, a parade of floats, etc.
Many other festivals are held in the wineries throughout the year. They attract numerous tourists. Some of these events are Classical Music along the Wine Roads, the Classic Cars Race, Cinema in the Wineries, among others.
In addition to wine tourism, Mendoza is recognized for being the base camp to climb Mount Aconcagua (6,962 masl), the highest mountain in the world outside the Himalayas. This activity attracts annually groups of tourists from all over the world seeking to reach the summit. The presence of the Andes Mountain Range and the snow fall also allow activities such as skiing, trekking, horseback riding, paragliding and different other adventures.
In Mendoza you can be in contact with nature, enjoy the sun, the good weather, the best food and drinks through the years.

 

2. Superstructure: public and private organizations that establish policies, look after the interests of the sector, develop projects and promote investment.
Mendoza is a highly developed destination at an institutional level and counts with great interaction and dialogue between the different actors in the sector. At the provincial level, there is a Mendoza Tourism Board (EMETUR) within the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the
province, which is in charge of promoting the destination, enabling the different tourism services suppliers, developing policies for the growth of the sector. There is also a variety of associations that bring together important players such as hotels, restaurants and travel agencies.
It is also important to note that within the Mendoza police, there is a specially trained unit to assist tourists. It is called Mendoza Tourism Police and its agents speak English and are trained to deal with situations in an intercultural context.
On the other hand, Mendoza is the headquarter of the National Institute of Viticulture and other institutions of importance for the sector such as Bodegas de Argentina (Wineries of Argentina), COVIAR (Argentinean Wine Corporation), Wines of Argentina, which also generates a dynamic business environment and ensures that tourists receive the best possible experiences.
In addition, Mendoza belongs to the Great Wine Capitals Network. This links Mendoza with the main wine cities in the world. The network is a space to share best practices and challenges and boost the continuous improvement of the sector. As of this year, the Great Wine Capitals Network will join the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) as an observer.
All this improves the quality of tourist services continuously, through new investments and initiatives.



3. Infrastructure: Essential communication routes so that the traveler can move in and out of the tourist destination. They can be maritime, through land or air.
In the case of wine tourism, the link between the different establishments and the accessibility to them is very important to develop true ‘wine itineraries” so that the tourist can schedule their day in an efficient way and enjoy it to the fullest.
Mendoza is located on the layout of the two most important routes in Argentina: Route 7 links East and West and Route 40 connects North and South of the country. In addition, following Route 7, you can cross directly to Chile through the Cristo Redentor International Pass, the most important pass between the two countries. It is interesting to know that tourists could continue their wine visit on the other side of the mountain range and enjoy the Casablanca Valley, which offers very different landscapes and products. Visitors can arrive to Mendoza by car or with a variety of bus lines that link Mendoza with the most varied destinations in Argentina and neighboring countries.
By air, Mendoza has an international airport that receives -under normal circumstances- flights from Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Iguazú, Bariloche, Santiago de Chile, San Pablo (Brazil), Panama and Colombia.
Once in the province, there is a wide range of agencies that organize visits to wineries. There is also a Tourist Bus to visit the city and another Wine Bus, to explore the different areas of wine. The roads are in good condition and allow you to reach the different wineries with your own mobility for visits and tastings, with prior reservation.


4. Services: They can be classified as basic or direct such as hotels, travel agencies and restaurants, and complementary services, which are necessary for tourists to have a good experience, such as banks, exchange houses, fuel stations, supermarkets, etc.
The province of Mendoza has several cities that offer everything necessary for both the local inhabitants and tourists. This includes a wide variety of universities and institutions that offer both quality training for the local human capital as well as academic activities for foreigners.
It also has several 5-star hotels, congress and exhibition centers, mountain or wine lodges, spas, restaurants for all tastes and budgets. Also travel agencies that can organize the entire experience in different languages, car rental services.
In recent years, new local services related to wine tourism have emerged in the digital sphere. Thus, several platforms assist tourists to organize their itineraries and make their reservations. Some of them are: www.winerybooking.com, www.wineobs.com.



5. Demand (tourists): Tourists are the key element that cannot be missing! We call tourists to those who spend the night at least one night in the destination and day visitors to those who go away after a certain activity. Both categories are of great importance and we have to take them into account when developing strategies to attract them and have them enjoying what our destination has to offer.
Little by little, Mendoza – which has a little less than 2 million inhabitants – has managed to attract more than 3 million tourists annually. More than a million of them declared their special interest in wine as the reason to visit Mendoza. Many of them come from other provinces of Argentina and 36% come from abroad. Within this last group, Chilean, Brazilian and Peruvian visitors stand out, but there is also a large number of North Americans and Europeans. National tourism is constant throughout the year and has its peaks during the Harvest Festival weeks, Easter time and Winter Holidays. Wine tourism is one of the main attractions of Mendoza, and it allows you to enjoy the beauties of Mendoza either for a weekend or for long stays, at any time of the year and with a great offer of activities to enjoy.
The new pandemic context has closed internal and international borders for some months. Local wineries and restaurants are currently offering programs specially designed for the inhabitants of Mendoza. Thus, the people of Mendoza are enjoying the beauties and delicacies under the sun, which is one of the distinctive characteristics of our province throughout the year.
6. The host community: Local residents who directly or indirectly have contact with the tourists.
The people of Mendoza is proud of their terroir and transmit it to the visitors when offering the fruits of their land on a homemade dish, when leading a tour or tasting wines. Although Mendoza City has a million and a half inhabitants, it still preserves that small-town spirit, where neighbors greet and help each other. In a few minutes you can go from one point of the city to another, from downtown to the mountains, the Potrerillos Dam or the vineyards. The air you breathe is pleasant and the skies blue and limpid. Visitors fall in love with Mendoza in a
few hours and leave with the hope of returning soon … and many wish to return to settle down here.

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