Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Georgia declaration on wine tourism

Fostering sustainable tourism development through intangible cultural heritage

As global tourism is on the rise and competition between destinations grows, unique local and regional intangible cultural heritage has gradually become the discerning factor for the allure and enjoyment of tourists. Gastronomy tourism has emerged as particularly important in this regard, not only because food and drink is central to any tourist experience, but also because the concept of gastronomy tourism has evolved to encompass its cultural facets and link to local culture. Incorporated into its discourse are the ethical and sustainable values of the territory, the landscape, the sea, local history, values and culture heritage.

Wine tourism, as a crucial component of gastronomy tourism, has evolved into a key element for both emerging and mature tourism destinations in which tourists can experience the culture and lifestyle of destinations while fostering sustainable tourism development.

We, the representatives of World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Members States, UNWTO Affiliate Members, tourism administrations, international and regional organizations, the private sector, academia and civil society, gathered at the 1st UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism, organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in collaboration with the Georgian National Tourism Administration in the Kakheti wine region, Georgia, on 7–9 September 2016.


1. UNWTO’s mandate as stated in Article 3 of its Statutes (1970): “The fundamental aim of the Organization shall be the promotion and development of tourism with a view to contributing to economic development, international understanding, peace and prosperity, and universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion”.

2. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), approved by the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on 25 September 2015, in which Goal 8 calls for the promotion of a “sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”, includes tourism as Target 8.9 advocating “By 2030, devise and implement policies to promote sustainable tour- ism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products”.

3. The UN General Assembly resolution A/RES/69/233 of 19 December 2014 on the Promotion of sustainable tourism, including ecotourism, for poverty eradication and environment protection, which recognizes that “sustainable tourism, including ecotourism, represents an important driver of sustainable economic growth and decent job creation, that it can have a positive impact on income generation and education, and thus on the fight against poverty and hunger, and that it can contribute directly to achieving the internationally agreed development goals”.

4. The Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, adopted by the UNWTO General Assembly in 1999, and endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2001, whose Article 3 and 4 underline that “tourism as a factor of sustainable development as well as a user of the cultural heritage of mankind and contributor to its enhancement”.

Recalling in particular to the following instruments:

5. UNWTO Survey on Gastronomy Tourism (2012), carried out in 2012 with the participation of 33 UNWTO Affiliate Members.

6. The 1st UNWTO Global Report on Gastronomy Tourism (2012), initiated by the UNWTO Affiliate Members Programme, which provided the series of conclusions based on the results of the UNWTO Survey on Gastronomy Tourism.

7. The 1st UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism held in San Sebastian, Spain, (27- 29 April 2015).

8. The UNWTO Gastronomy Network, which was launched in September 2015.

9. The 2nd UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism held in Lima, Peru, (27 - 29 April 2016).

10. The UNWTO Wine Tourism Prototype: The Joyful Journey (2015-16), developed by the UNWTO Affiliate Members Programme, together with Affiliate Member, the Leading Brands of Spain Forum (FMRE), and with the participation of five wineries in Spain, Barbadillo, Felix Solís, Freixenet, González Byass, and Osborne.

11. The Joyful Journey Network, which has been established to ensure the image and consistency of the derivatives of the UNWTO Wine Tourism Prototypes at an international level.

Agreed that:

12. Wine tourism is a fundamental part of Gastronomy Tourism.

13. Wine tourism can contribute to fostering sustainable tourism by promoting both the tangible and intangible heritage of the destination.

14. Wine tourism is capable of generating substantial economic and social benefit for key players of each destination, in addition to playing an important role in terms of cultural and natural resource preservation.

15. Wine tourism facilitates the linking of destinations around the common goal of providing unique and innovative tourism products, whereby maximizing synergies in tourism development, surpassing traditional tourism subsectors.

16. Wine tourism provides an opportunity for underdeveloped tourism destinations, in most cases rural areas, to mature alongside established destinations and enhance the economic and social impact of tourism on a local community.

17. Wine tourism provides an innovative way to experience a destination´s culture and lifestyle, responding to consumers´ evolving needs and expectations.

18. Wine tourism´s potential will be heightened if implemented appropriately through a public-private collaboration strategy, promoted through an effective communication across different sectors and involving the local community.

Given the above, calls for:

19. Recognition of the importance of wine tourism as an integral part of cultural tourism and provide opportunity for sustainable development of wine tourism in many destinations.

20. Development of policies that facilitate both the promotion and preservation of wine tourism destinations as well as respect the social and cultural values of local community.

21. Fostering of public and private partnerships with an emphasis on local entrepreneurship within the tourism value chain, while taking into account the authenticity of destination.

22. Engaging in pertinent sub-national, national, regional, international and multilateral dialogues in order to advance the implementation of the above-mentioned objectives.

23. Advancing research in wine tourism to boost competitiveness of destinations through innovative product development within and beyond wine tourism activities.

The Conference:

24. Outlined clear actions to be taken by stakeholders interested in designing a comprehensive wine tourism experience. The UNWTO Prototype Methodology on Wine Tourism, the Joyful Journey is established as a tool to carry out such endeavours.

25. Discussed the dynamics of wine tourism and its evolutions, facilitating knowledge exchange.

26. Identify key challenges and best practices in the wine tourism sector, highlighting the latest developments in the field.

This Declaration will be presented to the governing organs of UNWTO for consideration and possible adoption.

We extend our sincere gratitude to our host, the Georgian National Tourism Administration, for their warm hospitality and gregarious support in the organization of the 1st UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism and for offering us the unique opportunity to celebrate it in one of the birthplaces of wine, the ¨cradle of wine¨.

Tbilisi, Georgia, 9 September, 2016

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