Travel Behaviors of Midwest Wine Tourists
The Northern Grapes Project (NGP) continues to advance our industry’s knowledge of the habits of Midwest wine tourists. The latest issue of Northern Grapes News, features the research of Michigan State University’s Dan McCole, Don Holecek and Leanna Popp: Understanding the Travel Behaviors of Wine Tourists in Michigan’s Leelanau Peninsula.
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More than 100 tasting room visitors responded to the study, that involved them plotting their route on a map and answering questions including, what trip planning resources they used, planned and unplanned stops and their reasons for travel.
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The researchers found that the average number of total stops for the participants was almost 7 and winery visits accounted for more than half of those stops. The researchers said, ‘although attracted by the wineries, most visitors stop at other places besides wineries, generating economic activity to other businesses in the area.”
The routes on the maps also indicated that tourists, rather than locals, often take indirect routes to their stops, suggesting implications for signage.
|Table 1. Average number of stops in itineraries.|
Table Courtesy Northern Grapes Project
A large percentage of the wine tourists planned the stops on their trip in advance, but interestingly, about 60% of respondents said they visited wineries they had not planned to visit.
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Results also showed that wine trail information was a primary information source, suggesting, said the researchers, ‘that wine trail guides can help increase the number of stops wine tourists make when touring a region.”
The researchers also said that the ‘gravity effect” in tourism, where a large attraction draws more people than a small attraction, is changing. ‘Multi-destination trips are becoming more popular,” they said, ‘and wine tourism is well suited to take advantage of this trend.”
Click here for the full report on the study in the NGP’s Northern Grapes News, written by Michigan State University’s Dan McCole.